Monday, October 31, 2011

Duo Orfeo Brings Innovative Guitar Music to Washington College Friday, November 11

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Innovative guitar pair Duo Orfeo will perform Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, Gibson Center for the Arts, as part of the 60th season of the Washington College Concert Series. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for youth 18 and under, or $50 for a season ticket that includes all four remaining concerts, and can be purchased at the door. Washington College students are admitted free with a valid ID.
Joseph Ricker and Jamie Balmer met in 2001 as students of guitarist Phillip de Fremery, a pupil of Andrés Segovia, and formed Duo Orfeo six years later. They use both classical and electric guitars to explore a diverse body of music, from traditional western compositions to their own bold arrangements. The pair has recorded two albums, The Grace Sessions, a 2005 recording that includes music of Bach, Brahms, Boccherini and Albéniz; and Duo Orfeo, featuring music of Federico Mompou, Eric Satie, Frédéric Chopin, Radamés Gnattali, and Francesco Da Milano.
In April of this year, Duo Orfeo participated in the critically acclaimed “Machines” project, a live performance art collaboration with pianist Oni Buchanan, trombone quartet The Guidonian Hand, and kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson. “Machines” featured the world premiere of Duo Orfeo’s arrangements of the music of Arvo Pärt for electric guitar duo. For more:
To purchase tickets in advance or for more information, please call 410-778-7839 or email concert series director Kate Bennett at Details on the remaining concerts in the series can be found at

Washington College Hosts IBM Executives for Talks to Mark 100th Anniversary of “Big Blue”

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Washington College welcomes three IBM executives to campus Wednesday, Nov. 2 to mark the 100th anniversary of a company that has transformed the business world and remained vital through a century’s worth of technological and social challenges. This event, entitled “IBM at 100: An American Icon's Global Impact on Business and Corporate Citizenship” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.
The moderator will be Norris Commodore ’73, a graduate of Washington College and member of its Board of Visitors and Governors who is Director for Worldwide Contracts and Negotiations at IBM. He will introduce two IBM colleagues as speakers: Catherine Lasser, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Global Distribution Sector of IBM Sales and Distribution; and Sally Scott Marietta, Program Manager for Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs. Lasser and Marietta will paint a picture of IBM that includes both technology and corporate social responsibility.
IBM, often called “Big Blue,” ranks 18th on the 2011 Fortune 500 list and is first on Fortune’s list of Information Technology Services firms. As a recent article in USA Today points out, “IBM has consistently bet on the introduction of new technology, from time clocks, butcher scales and coffee grinders; to punch-card machines and typewriters; to tape storage, mainframes and personal computers; to acquiring the consulting arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers; and, now, to smart social media.”
Catherine C. Lasser joined IBM in 1978 and has held both technical and leadership positions during her career. In her current role, she links the company’s technical expertise with consumer needs to get real-world solutions into the market quickly. She holds a BA in mathematics and computer science from SUNY Binghamton and an MBA in Finance from Iona College.
Sally Scott Marietta directs IBM’s community engagement and corporate citizenship in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Prior to joining IBM, she was Executive Director of the Maryland Economic Development Commission and, before that, vice president of The Greater Washington Board of Trade. She serves on the boards of several major grant-making groups and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. She also is active in the Roundtable’s Tapping America’s Potential Coalition and its Business Coalition for Student Achievement.
The evening with IBM is sponsored by the Business Management Department, the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, the Global Perspectives: Research and Writing Program, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society, and Washington College Students in Free Enterprise (WC SIFE). It is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WC Senior Stephan Jordan Is Named Student Rep on Maryland's Higher Education Commission

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Martin O’Malley has appointed Washington College senior Stephan Jordan as the student representative on the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Jordan was officially sworn in to office October 21 by Mark Mumford, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Kent County. He will serve a one-year term representing all students at Maryland’s colleges and universities, both public and private.
Washington College president Mitchell B. Reiss calls the appointment a high honor for Jordan and for Washington College. “It’s a testament to Stephan’s poise, confidence and leadership skills. Preparing our students to be engaged citizens is an important part of our mission at Washington College, and Stephan is a wonderful testament to our success. I know he will contribute in a significant way to the work of the commission.”
The son of Russell and Angela White, Stephan Jordan came to Washington College from Tuscarora High School in his hometown of Frederick, Md. The political science major has been active in a number of campus activities and groups. In addition to serving as a peer mentor, he chaired the Honor Board for the Student Government Association, performed with the Washington College Vocal Consort and the campus acappella group WACappella, acted in and directed theater productions, and was inducted into the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa.
As a Hansard Scholar, he spent the fall semester of his junior year in London, studying parliamentary government and British public policy at the London School of Economics and Politics. Jordan also completed an internship in the House of Commons, the elected body of the British Parliament. He was a Parliamentary Intern and Research Assistant to Mark Lazarowicz, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, Scotland. During his time in Parliament he completed in-depth research projects, worked with constituents and government agencies, attended public debates in the House of Commons and even attended Prime Minister’s Question Time.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission establishes statewide policies for public and private colleges and universities, and for private career schools. The Commission reviews and approves the start-up and continuation of new colleges and universities in Maryland, as well as requests for new academic programs at established schools. The Commission's 12 members are appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. The student member is appointed to a one-year term. The other 11 appointments serve five-year terms.
This is the second time in four years that a WC student has been selected to serve on the MHEC. Joshua Ackerman served in 2009.
Below, Stephan Jordan was officially commissioned for his state post by Kent County Circuit Court Clerk Mark Mumford, right. Photo by Antoine Jordan.

"Sex, Lies, and the Founders," Final Beeman Talk Traces Media's Evolving Coverage of POTUS

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Acclaimed historian Richard Beeman delivers the final lecture in his “Inventing a Nation” series on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 pm in Decker Theatre of the Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue. In a talk titled “Sex, Lies, and the Founders: The American Presidency, Democracy, and the Media, ” Beeman will discuss how the democratization of American presidential politics and the development of an aggressive news media has eroded the barrier between a president’s public life and his private affairs.
The talk is sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center at Washington College, where Beeman is a Senior Fellow, and is free and open to the public. For more:

Monday, October 24, 2011

CES Offers Talk on Hunters and Their Prey, And a Cooking Demo on Using the Whole Animal

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Center for Environment and Society at Washington College will offer two special presentations November 4 and 5, the first on hunting and the second on how to cook some lesser-used parts of wild game. The events are something of an appetizer for the second annual Locavore Lit Fest coming March 29 to April 1. This year the literary food festival will focus on wild food, from game to plants to bacteria.

Hunting: A Matter of Life and Death. On Friday, November 4, at 6:30 p.m., in Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center at Washington College, Dr. Marc Boglioli will lecture on how contemporary hunters understand their relationship to their prey. Boglioli is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Drew University and author of A Matter of Life and Death: Hunting in Contemporary Vermont (University of Massachusetts Press), which explores how hunters’ attitudes toward animals flow from rural traditions they have maintained in the face of encroaching urban sensibilities. He offers a glimpse into a culture that experiences wild animals in a way that is at once violent, consumptive, and respectful, and that regards hunting as an enduring link to a vanishing past. Sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society, the talk is free and open to the public. Please email to or call 410-810-7162 for more information.
Wild Charcuterie: Making the Most of Your Quarry. Even the most avid hunters tend to use only a relatively small percentage of the edible parts of the animals they kill, discarding some very nutritious and delicious portions. Bill Schindler and Mark Wiest will help reverse the trend through a cooking demonstration Saturday, November 5 at 2 p.m. in the kitchen of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, 407 Washington Avenue. They will focus on oft-discarded parts of deer and geese that can be turned into delicious fare — from pates and sausages to cured meat. On the menu (but subject to change) are venison sausage, goose confit, goose liver pate, braised deer heart, and venison roast braesola.
Bill Schindler, Ph.D. is a professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College. His research focuses on prehistoric foodways and technologies. He incorporates wild foods into his and his family’s diet on a regular basis.
Mark Wiest, a doctoral student in the University of Georgia’s Department of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology, studies the conflicts and cooperative relationships that can form between state-level agencies and groups such as farmers, fishermen, loggers, and hunters that depend on natural resources. An alumnus of Washington College, Wiest is a lecturer in anthropology at his alma mater.
A $15 registration will cover the costs of supplies. Space is limited; advanced registration is recommended. Please contact or 410-810-7162 for more information or to register.

Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Washington College to Host UCLA Historian for Talk on Witchcraft

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Teofilo Ruiz, distinguished professor of history at UCLA, will visit Washington College Nov. 10 to meet with students and deliver a public lecture on witchcraft as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program.
Speaking at 4:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center, Ruiz will discuss how and why belief in witchcraft spread throughout Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. He will place witchcraft within the social, political and economic contexts of the era and look at the methods the political and religious authorities used to eradicate women identified as witches. Nearly 100,000 people, mostly old women, were executed because of the widespread belief in witchcraft and Satanism.

A scholar who specializes in the social and popular culture of late medieval and early modern Spain, Teofilo Ruiz joined the history department at UCLA in 1998 after teaching at Brooklyn College, the CUNY Graduate Center, the University of Michigan, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris). He was named a 250th Anniversary Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton, was recognized by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation in 1994 as one four U.S. Professors of the Year, and received the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award at UCLA. He has earned fellowships from the NEH, the Mellon Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

A graduate of The City College of New York who holds a master’s degree from New York University and a Ph.D. from Princeton, Ruiz is a prolific writer. Among his most recent books are Crisis and Continuity: Land and Town in Late Medieval Castile; Spanish Society, 1400-1600; From Heaven to Earth: The Reordering of Castilian Society in the Late Middle Ages, 1150-1350; Medieval Europe and the World; The Terror of History (forthcoming in 2011), and A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain (forthcoming in 2012). He is presently at work on a book on the history of the western Mediterranean.

Established in 1956 to enhance the intellectual life on American campuses, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program each year sponsors a dozen or so distinguished scholars who visit colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. The scholars spend two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and delivering a public lecture. Ruiz’s visit to Chestertown will be hosted by the Theta Chapter of Maryland, the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Washington College.

Naval Academy Brass to Perform Free Concert November 4 for 12@Hotchkiss Series

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Naval Academy Brass Quintet will provide a free lunchtime concert on Friday, Nov. 4, at noon in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College, as part of the Music Department’s “12@Hotchkiss” series.
The public is welcome at all “12@Hotchkiss” events, which host professional classical musicians from the greater Baltimore-Washington region. For more information, please visit the Performance Calendar page on the Music Department website:

Nov. 3 Convocation to Honor Nobel-Winning Chemist, Install Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry

CHESTERTOWN, MD—A Nobel-Prize winning chemist who was one of the first researchers to discover the threat that chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, pose to the earth’s ozone layer will speak at a special convocation at Washington College Thursday, November 3. Mario J. Molina will also receive an honorary doctor of science degree at the event, which culminates the College’s celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. The convocation is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. in Decker Theatre, inside the Gibson Center for the Arts on campus, 300 Washington Avenue. It also will include the installation of the first faculty member to hold the Frank J. Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry.
Mario Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in discovering the detrimental effect of CFCs on the stratosphere, especially the formation of the Antarctic Ozone Hole. The research he conducted with colleagues in the mid-1970s led the United States to ban the use of CFCs in aerosol cans and prompted a global initiative called the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, an international treaty now signed by 196 countries that are legally obligated to phase out ozone depleting substances by agreed-upon dates. His Nov. 3 address is titled “Chemistry and Climate Change.”
After a successful career at the University of California, Irvine, The Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal-Tech, and MIT, Molina returned to his native Mexico City in 2004 to establish the Mario Molina Center for Strategic Studies in Energy and the Environment, which focuses on issues where public policy and environmental health intersect. In addition to serving as the Molina Center’s director, he holds joint appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego and the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He also serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
In a profile for the journal Nature last fall, writer Jeff Tollefson described Molina as an influential celebrity in his native country. “Cab drivers have heard of him. Political leaders seek his advice. Strangers often shake his hand in a mixture of congratulations and thanks,” Tollefson wrote. “Such is the fame of Mario Molina, the 67-year-old chemist who has become something of a national icon in his hometown of Mexico City.”
While at Washington College, Molina will join students from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program at Kent County High School for a luncheon sponsored by LaMotte Company, the Chestertown-based manufacturer of tools and test kits for analyzing water, soil and air. The Director of the Education Division of the American Chemical Society will serve as emcee at the luncheon.
At the Convocation where Molina will speak, Washington College will officially invest associate professor of chemistry Anne E. Marteel-Parrish as the first holder of the Frank J. Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry. The second such chair to be established in the United States, it was endowed last spring with a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor in recognition of Professor Creegan’s 40-year service to the College and his longstanding development and oversight of the chemistry program.
Photos: Top, Mario Molina will receive an honorary degree and deliver a talk on Chemistry and Climate Change. Middle, Anne Marteel-Parrish will be installed as the first holder of the Frank J. Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry, established in honor of the man who taught at the College for 40 years, bottom.

Friday, October 21, 2011

In Nov. 1 Talk, Historian Beeman Delves into the Founders' Views on Church and State

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Acclaimed historian Richard Beeman tackles the timely topic of church and state when he delivers the third lecture in his “Inventing a Nation” series at Washington College on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. The talk is free and open to the public.

In “The Founders, Religion, and Separation of Church and State,” Beeman will explore the attitudes of members of the Constitutional Convention toward the role of religion in public life. He also will discuss the views of subsequent generations.

One of the nation’s top historians of the American revolutionary and early national experience, Beeman is former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. His Plain, Honest Men won the prestigious 2010 George Washington Book Prize. He recently joined the Washington College community as a Senior Fellow of both the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, and the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture.

On Nov. 8, Beeman will deliver the final series lecture, “Sex, Lies, and the Founders: The American Presidency, Democracy, and the Media.” For more information on the “Inventing a Nation” series, visit

For Goodfellow History Lecture, UC-Davis Prof to Focus on Creole Influence in the 13 Colonies

CHESTERTOWN, MD—John Smolenski, associate professor of history at the University of California, Davis, will deliver the annual Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, in Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center, on the Washington College campus (300 Washington Avenue). The talk is free and open to the public.
In his talk, Smolenski will highlight some of the commonalities the American colonies shared with other colonial outposts of the time. He has argued that the 13 colonies that eventually became the United States were, like their counterparts in Latin America and the Caribbean, creole societies that emerged as Old World habits, values, and practices were transformed in a New World setting.
Smolenski holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in history from Yale University and a master’s in anthropology and doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania. His book Friends and Strangers (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010) traces the creation of a creole culture among Quakers during Pennsylvania's first five decades. It will be available for purchase at a book signing following the talk.
The Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1989 to honor the memory of a history professor who taught at Washington College for three decades. Each year the series brings a distinguished historian to campus to lecture and spend time with students in emulation of Dr. Goodfellow’s vibrant teaching style.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Best-Selling Author Dava Sobel Highlights Downrigging Weekend With A Talk On Longitude

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Best-selling author Dava Sobel, one of the world’s most influential science writers, will be in Chestertown Friday, October 28 to share the story of the lone genius whose invention of the chronometer changed the way we envision and navigate our world. Based on the title of her acclaimed book, Longitude, her presentation will take place at 8 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theater, 210 High Street.

Sobel unpacks the 18th century struggle of what had become a deadly problem: the inability to correctly identify where a ship was at sea. After countless tragedies and lost ships throughout the Age of Sail, British Parliament offered a prize of £20,000 to whoever could provide a reliable solution to "the longitude problem". Sobel weaves a captivating historical narrative on the issues surrounding this predicament, as well as the amazing journey of John Harrison, a self-educated clockmaker who solved the greatest scientific problem of his day — and won the lucrative prize with his invention of the chronometer.

First published in 1995, Longitude went through 29 hardcover printings before being re-issued in October 2005 in a special tenth-anniversary edition. It has been translated into two-dozen foreign languages and was the inspiration and basis for several documentary and dramatic films about Harrison.

A former New York Times science reporter, Sobel is also the author of Galileo’s Daughter, which spent five weeks at the top of the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list, and The Planets. Her latest book, A More Perfect Heaven, published last month by Walker and Company, focuses on Nicolaus Copernicus and his “crazy” ideas concerning the Earth’s motion around the sun. Ms. Sobel’s success in popularizing science and scientists has been recognized with an Individual Public Service Award from the National Science Board, 2001, a Bradford Washburn Award from the Boston Museum of Science, a Harrison Medal from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London, and a Klumpke-Roberts Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Sobel's talk is jointly sponsored by the Center for Environment and Society at Washington College, the Van Dyke Family Foundation, Sultana Projects, and the Maryland Humanities Council. Longitude is one of three lectures and forums to be featured at the Prince Theatre during this year’s Downrigging Weekend. On October 27 at 5 p.m., New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza will address the difficulties in politics and climate change, and at the same hour on October 29, Sultana Projects will host a forum reflecting back on the building of the Schooner Sultana. Admission to all three lectures is free and open to the public. For information, contact (410) 778-7295 or(410) 778-5954.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sorority Honors Former Sister with “Queen of the Roses” 5K Walk/Run for Scholarship Oct. 23

CHESTERTOWN, MD—On Sunday, October 23, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi invite the Washington College and Chestertown communities to join the 4th Annual Queen of the Roses 5K Walk/Run, beginning at 9 a.m. in Wilmer Park. The race was created in 2008 to raise money for a scholarship founded in memory of Jasmine Dora Queen, a member of the Washington College Class of 2010 who died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism the summer before her junior year. This scholarship is awarded yearly to a Washington College student in the field of business management. Following the 2nd Queen of the Roses race, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi were able to fully endow the scholarship by raising a remarkable $20,000. Jessica Hohne, a sister of the sorority, became the first recipient in fall 2011.
Jasmine Dora was a beloved member of Alpha Omicron Pi and a prominent student in the Washington College community. During her time at WAC, Jasmine was also a member of the varsity softball team, the Black Student Union, and Cleopatra’s Sisters. She was a lively young woman who kept her sisters and friends laughing at all times. “The Queen of the Roses 5k celebrates the life of Jasmine and helps us all to remember that tomorrow is never promised,” says Alex Lating, a senior who serves as the philanthropy chair of Alpha Omicron Pi. “The sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi ask that you join us on this special day to help remember the life of a truly amazing person.”
Students may register in the dining hall beginning the first week of October. Non-students may register online at Cost to register in advance (by end of day Friday, Oct. 21) is $8 for students and $15 for non-students and includes a 2011 Queen of the Roses T-shirt. The fee to register after the Friday deadline is $20 for both students and non-students. (T-shirt availability for late registrants cannot be guaranteed.) Please contact Laurie McDade ( for more information.

Visiting Poet Mixes the Erotic and the Divine

CHESTERTOWN, MD—As a part of the English Department’s “Living Writers” course, poet Jill Alexander Essbaum will read from her collections at the Rose O’Neill Literary House on Thursday, October 27. The reading, which begins at 4:30, is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee.
Billed on her website as “Christian and erotic poetry,” Essbaum’s writing combines unique and unexpected elements, including sex and divinity, with wordplay. Critic G.M. Palmer has said no other poet today “dares play with such spiritual fire … Her poems skirt on the edge of blasphemy and pray for re-readings.”
Of her own work, Essbaum says, “I write a lot of awfully laudatory verses praising many things that religion tends to traditionally condemn. It isn’t lost on me that I’m writing about acts that just a few centuries ago might have got me hanged. But we don’t live in a regime where our poems can land us in the same hot waters as other poets from different lands or from other eras do or did.”
Essbaum’s poems have appeared in national journals, including Poetry, Image, and The Christian Century, and her debut collection, Heaven, won the 1999 Bakeless Prize, an annual book series competition for burgeoning authors. She has since published two additional collections, Harlot (2007) and Necropolis (2008). She teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Geospatial Intelligence Expert Offers Advice on Mapping a Future in National Security

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Edward Cope, Director of Research at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, will talk about careers in Geospatial Intelligence when he visits Washington College Tuesday, Oct. 25. His lecture, “New Career Possibilities in Science: Mapping the Future,” is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, is the nation’s primary source of geospatial intelligence, which it creates using remotely sensed data, physical geography, land cover and cultural data collected by myriad sources. Its data and analysis support both national defense and disaster-relief.

Before joining NGA, Cope served 32 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he helped guide the evolution of advanced geospatial-intelligence products and services. In his talk, he will offer perspective on how a multi-disciplinary science work force is needed to face the security challenges facing the U.S.

Historian Beeman Continues His "Inventing a Nation" Series Tuesday, October 25

CHESTERTOWN, MD--Historian Richard Beeman will talk about "The Creation of the Bill of Rights" in the second of four consecutive Tuesday night lectures October 25, 7:30 p.m., in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College. His "Inventing a Nation" series will continue Nov. 1 and 8.

The winner of the 2010 George Washington Book Prize and a Senior Fellow at the College's C.V. Starr Center, Beeman is an engaging speaker who will delve into the debate and process that led the First U.S. Congress to add the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. He also will offer his thoughts on its meaning today. The talk is free and open to the public. For information:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Washington College Announces Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry, Names First Recipient

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Anne Marteel-Parrish, an associate professor of chemistry at Washington College, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Frank J. Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry. The chair was established last spring with a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor in recognition of Professor Creegan’s 40-year service to the College and his longstanding development and oversight of the chemistry program.

Dr. Anne Marteel-Parrish, whose scholarship and research focus on the development of environmentally benign ceramics, will be invested in the Creegan Chair in Green Chemistry as part of a public ceremony Thursday, November 3, that brings to a close Washington College’s celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. On this occasion, the College will also present an honorary doctor of science degree to Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina, who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in discovering the threat that chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, pose to the earth's ozone layer. Molina will deliver an address titled "Chemistry and Climate Change" beginning at 5 pm. in Decker Theatre of the Gibson Center for the Arts.
With the creation of this new endowed chair, Washington College becomes only the second institution of higher learning in the country to designate a chair in green chemistry. Professor Terry Collins holds a similar chair at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Dr. Marteel-Parrish, who began teaching at Washington College in 2003, is nationally recognized for her work in green chemistry, a discipline that seeks to perform chemical reactions and experiments in environmentally benign ways. Often collaborating with students, she uses her training in synthetic inorganic chemistry to prepare compounds that can function as catalysts. She has published ten research-based peer-reviewed articles, the last four during her years at Washington College. She currently is working on a textbook in green chemistry, under contract with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Winner of the 2010 Award for Distinguished Teaching, Dr. Marteel-Parrish is also one of six recipients of the 2011 ACS-CEI Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education sponsored by the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Environmental Improvement.
Photos: Dr. Anne Marteel-Parrish, left, will be installed as the first holder of a chair in green chemistry that honors chemistry professor Frank J. Creegan, right, who taught at Washington College for four decades.

WC Historian to Share the Real Renaissance Science and Medicine Behind Harry Potter’s Magic

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Speaking at the Kent County Library on Thursday evening, October 20, Dr. Janet Sorrentino, Associate Professor of History at Washington College, will share her insights into how author J.K. Rowling’s magical world of Hogwarts reflects the real-world science and medicine practiced during the Renaissance. Her talk, “Alchemy, Transformation, & Secrets of the Chivalric Order” will take place at 6 p.m. and will complement a special traveling exhibition that is on display at the library.
“Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” is a six-banner exhibition that uses materials from the National Library of Medicine to explore Harry Potter’s world and its roots in real-world Renaissance practices. Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the library display also examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power. It will be on display at the Kent County Public Library through October 31, 2011.
Professor Sorrentino’s background includes a degree in nursing and the study of church history and liturgy. Her teaching and lecturing often combine her knowledge of medicine and religion with her expertise in world history, from the Ancient world through the Reformation.
The library is located at 408 High Street in Chestertown. For more information on the Harry Potter exhibit and Dr. Sorrentino’s Oct. 20 talk, call (410) 778-3636 or visit the library’s website.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Noted Shakespeare Scholar to Deliver the First “Lecture in Jewish Thought,” October 19 at WC

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Dr. Miriam Gilbert, a distinguished Shakespeare scholar and professor of English at the University of Iowa, will deliver the first Washington College Lecture on Jewish Thought on Wednesday, October 19. Her talk, “Shakespeare and the ‘likeness of a Jew,’ ” will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, in the Toll Science Center, with a reception to follow in the McLain Atrium.
Gilbert will discuss Jewish actors and directors who have performed in or directed productions of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and how their own backgrounds and experiences may have informed their work on the play and the portrayal of the character Shylock.
“When Shakespeare created one of the most famous fictional Jewish characters in literature, Shylock, there were probably very few Jews in England, and certainly not openly or legally,” says Gilbert. “So what images and stereotypes and beliefs lie behind this character? How has his representation on stage changed in the course of 400-plus years of performance? And what do those changes indicate about our understanding of Shakespeare’s play, and the tensions it presents? I’ll be exploring these questions, paying special attention to performances of the past forty years, in England,” she adds about her upcoming talk at Washington College.
Gilbert, who has taught at the University of Iowa since 1969, has written performance histories (Shakespeare in Performance: Love’s Labour’s Lost, 1993, Shakespeare at Stratford: The Merchant of Venice, 2001), as well as articles on teaching Shakespeare through performance. She has led eight seminars sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and now teaches a course titled “Shakespeare: Page and Stage” for the Bread Loaf School of English at Lincoln College, Oxford. She has a second home in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, where she lectures for The Shakespeare Centre.
The Oct. 19 event is free and open to the public. Sponsors include The Sophie Kerr Committee, Washington College Hillel, the Rose O'Neill Literary House, Phi Beta Kappa, and The Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture.
For more information, visit

Expert on Latin America Offers Outlook for Security Among “Guns, Gangs and Cartels”

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Howard J. Wiarda, one of the nation's most respected and influential scholars on Latin America and U.S. policy in the region, will speak Thursday, October 20 at Washington College on the topic of “Guns, Gangs and Cartels: Hemispheric Security in the New Millennium.” His talk will take place at 5 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.
Presented by the Louis L. Goldstein ’35 Program in Public Affairs, the event is free and open to the public.
Wiarda is the Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations at the University of Georgia and founding head of the university’s Department of International Affairs. He also serves as a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. For nearly a quarter century he has divided his time among the academic, policy, and think-tank worlds. Among his many prestigious posts, he has been visiting scholar/research associate at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University; founding director of the Center for Hemispheric Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; course chairman at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State; lead consultant to the National Bipartisan (Kissinger) Commission on Central America; and Thornton D. Hooper Fellow in International Security Affairs at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
A prolific author, Wiarda has written or edited more than 70 books, including American Foreign Policy (HarperCollins, 1996), Development on the Periphery (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), European Politics in the Age of Globalization (Harcourt, 2001), Latin American Politics and Development, (6th ed., Westview, 2006), and Political Development in Emerging Nations (Wadsworth, 2004). He also is the author of more than 300 articles, book chapters, op-eds, and congressional testimonies. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida and an M.S. degree from the National Defense University.
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