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photo by Jay Fleming '09

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College News

Written by Barbara Geehan


In recognition of the College's commitment to green building initiatives and environmental leadership, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Green Building Council cited the College for innovative, sustainable environmental practices and leadership in building design. St. Mary's is the only college in Maryland to receive the EPA Green Power Leadership Club award and the first four-year residential college in the state to be LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).


Kalada Nemieboka

Two seniors are headed overseas on nine-month Fulbright grants: Kalada Nemieboka, of Randallstown, Maryland, will teach political science in Indonesia. And Monica Kim, of Columbia, Maryland, will teach English at a secondary school in Taiwan. The Fulbright program is the largest U.S. international exchange program.Monica Kim

While teaching in Indonesia, Nemieboka plans to study Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, the three most prevalent religions in Indonesia. "I am looking forward to making new friends, traveling the country, and soaking in as much of the Indonesian culture as I can," says Nemieboka. "I studied abroad twice with the St. Mary's College programs in England and China," explains Kim, "and ever since then my interest in travel has only increased. I like how my own perceptions change with my travels and how I can change the perceptions of others."


Greg Boyer '77, trombone

About 800 students and alumni, faculty, staff and local jazz enthusiasts turned out for the jazz reunion concert held February 28 in the Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC) arena. The reunion brought together original jazz band director Bob Levy, current jazz band director Don Stapleson and about 30 of his students, as well as about 40 alumni from as far back as the 1970s. The first student jazz ensemble concert under Levy was performed in 1971.

The program was divided into three sections, with current College jazz band members playing first under the direction of Stapleson. After a dramatic dimming of the lights, "The 2009 Reunion Band" vest-clad alumni played second under Levy, and a fusion of the two groups played to standing ovations as the third segment of the program. Musical selections included Steve Winwood's "Gimme Some Lovin'," Phil Burlin's "South of the Border," and Count Baise's "Easin' It." The grand finale featured both current and alumni bands, rocking to Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues."

The alumni band also performed alum Greg Boyer's piece, "Faklempt," in which he was also the featured player. Boyer is the arranger and trombone player for pop icon singer Prince.

"We join together tonight because of our continual bond with one another," said Levy. "And our continuing passion for the one thing everyone on stage shares tonight: a passion for the original American art form-jazz." Renwick Jackson, Jr., College president from 1969-1982, also spoke at the concert, "St. Mary's College was and is a place of dreams….Bob Levy's a lover. He loves people for themselves, and he believes that when we love, that's when we dream and achieve fulfillment."


Circle K Club awards

The campus's Circle K Club, dedicated to service, leadership, and fellowship, received six awards at its district convention, including the King Crab award to club president Kelli Hill '10 for performing over 150 service hours in the last year. The district represents 24 CKI clubs. The club was busy this spring collecting items for its Canned Food Drive, teaching tie-dyeing during World Carnival, and rehabilitating a home for Christmas in April. The club, with about 20 members, completed more than 1,000 service hours in the past year.

(Photo: from left, Kelli Hill '10, Kristen Brunot '10, Erika Schmitt '12, James Massey '12, and club adviser Glynnis Schmidt.)


Nitze Scholar Marjorie Foley '09 received the 2009 Maryland Collegiate Honors Council award for Outstanding Honors Student from a Four-Year College. Competition, according to Michael Taber, assistant professor of philosophy, can be so stiff that most years directors do not nominate any students. The most recent St. Mary's student to win was Tabitha Clem '05, now in the doctoral program in organic chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley. Foley plans to enter the M.A.T. program after graduation this spring.


In light of the current economic environment, increased operating costs, and a reduced endowment value, the College's Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year by five percent. The rise in tuition, room and fees will be accompanied by an increase in the cost for board, which will go up from $107 to $450, depending on the meal plan a student chooses. Overall, in-state tuition, fees, room and board for the 2009-2010 academic year will total $22,874, up from $21,559 for the 2008-2009 academic year.


In an effort to reduce waste, the Great Room went trayless starting in January. Though possibly inconvenient for some, most students who responded to a survey agreed removing trays is worth the economic and environmental benefits-including reducing food waste by 23 percent, countering rising food costs, and cutting utility costs. Trays will be made available upon request to those with special needs.


Those receiving honorary doctorates at the 2009 Commencement are all educators in one way or another:

Frank Warren

The Class of 2009 chose this year's Commencement speaker. Frank Warren, of Germantown, Maryland, is founder of the popular web site Warren says he created the site-where he posts 20 secrets per week from the 1,000 he receives as postcards through the mail-so that people can rid themselves of the guilt and shame that they've carried by harboring the secret. Among the web site's many awards, including Weblog of the Year, PostSecret has been praised by the National Mental Health Association for raising public awareness of mental health and suicide. Warren is a regular volunteer on YouTube's hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE.

Sandra Feneley, artist, professor, and librarian of Renaissance holdings, co-founded, with her husband John, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in 1975. Soon after, the relationship between the Centre and the College began, and now over 300 of St. Mary's students have had the chance to study abroad in Oxford.

High school teacher and author Elias Vlanton may be best known for his non-fiction book, Who Killed George Polk? The Press Covers Up a Death in the Family (1996). A first-generation Greek-American, Vlanton investigated the murder of CBS journalist George Polk in Thessaloníka in 1948, at the height of the Greek civil war. He teaches history at Bladensburg High in Prince George's County and helps students make the leap to college.

Reginald Ballard, now in the District of Columbia's Office of the Chancellor of Education, was principal of Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C., in 2000 when he began his relationship with St. Mary's. He and President O'Brien helped fulfill a promise of a college education to deserving students.

Ballard's efforts were primarily helped by Cardozo English teacher Frazier L. O'Leary, Jr., who has continued to inspire students to stretch themselves. O'Leary is a national consultant with the College Board's Advanced Placement program and coaches baseball at Cardozo. Says O'Brien of his teaching: "It is magical to watch him."


After the campus and public had a chance to study alternatives for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety along Route 5-including a footbridge and a tunnel-it was decided to use traffic-calming designs. The traffic-calming or "streetscape" alternative is intended to slow vehicle speeds by reducing the widths of travel lanes and shoulders, and other efforts such as possible sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping and improved lighting.

When Route 5 was built decades ago, it was designed to carry traffic traveling 60 miles per hour. The College at the time was located on only one side of the highway. As the school expanded and buildings occupied both sides, the speed limit was decreased to 30 miles per hour. However, according to a recent Maryland State Highway Administration survey, 15 percent of drivers exceed 45 miles per hour. When classes are in session, some 550 people cross Route 5 daily between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.


The James P. Muldoon River Center was formally dedicated on December 6, 2008. The building's namesake, right, has been a Board of Trustees member since 2000 and chair since 2003. The facility is the first privately funded building in the history of the College.

Two areas of the building have quickly become campus favorites: the upstairs lounge with its stunning fireplace that has been dubbed the "awesome room," and the deck off the lounge that overlooks the St. Mary's River. The center is the home of recreational water sports and houses an estuarine research lab, a classroom, meeting and seminar rooms, boat repair facilities, a safety monitor station, water sports equipment storage, small locker rooms, and offices for waterfront staff and biology faculty.

Last year, the Student Government Association voted to contribute $65,000 from the student activities budget to fund a geothermal heat pump system for the River Center. The system saves about $20,000 per year in energy costs and is 45 percent more efficient than conventional heating/cooling components. The new system reduces noise pollution and will reduce CO2 emissions by 250 tons per year. Pollution from storm water runoff from this site has been reduced 39 percent due to a permeable surface at the boatyard. The building is estimated to use about 30 percent less water than comparable conventional buildings. Along with bamboo floors, half the lumber and 100 percent of the cedar shingles used in the construction of this building are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to be from environmentally managed forests.

"I want to thank the students of St. Mary's who gave so much to ensure that this building would be green," said Muldoon during the opening. "I am proud of the many things that the Board has accomplished, and I am especially proud of this River Center and what it will mean to our kids and St. Mary's waterfront programs, the St. Mary's River Project, and our community at large."

Glendening Hall

All paths lead to Glendening Hall, left, which opened in January next to the Athletics and Recreation Center and holds all the student services that used to be spread across the campus, such as financial aid, registrar, career development, international education, and residence life.

Anne Arundel Hall has been repopulated by the Art Department, which took over the second floor vacated by the Psychology Department when it moved to Goodpaster Hall. The Philosophy and Religious Studies departments and the Publications Office fill out the first floor, at least until 2013.


old boathouse shingle

Some of the cedar siding from the old boathouse has been salvaged and turned into a collectible with a plaque. Each boathouse shingle measures approximately 3" x 4" and comes in its own gift box. The cost is $300 (tax deductible) and the proceeds go to the River Center and waterfront programs. Information: Karen C. Raley '94, 800-458-8341.


Women's soccer team

by Nairem Moran, sports information director

Several St. Mary's athletic squads had formidable campaigns during the 2008-09 school year with a trio of teams going to the national level.

Carrying the torch for St. Mary's this year was the women's soccer team as it crafted a season of historical proportions. It captured the school's first-ever Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championship title with a 1-0 victory over York (Pa.) en route to the conference's automatic berth in the 2008 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament. Along with matching the program's high in All-CAC selections with seven, SMCM coach Brianne Weaver '00 won CAC Coach-of-the-Year honors, while Lauren Carrier '09 was tabbed the CAC Player-of-the-Year. In addition, St. Mary's earned the program's first-ever national ranking: No. 25 on October 7 and No. 24 on October 14. St. Mary's posted an overall record of 12-3-3, including a 6-1-1 mark in conference play. In other fall action, field hockey and volleyball both advanced to the conference championship title contest for the second straight year. Field hockey's Emily Smithson '09 and volleyball's Katie Ewing '10 both earned All-America honors, while Smithson picked up CAC Player-of-the-Year laurels.

The Seahawks transitioned into the winter season effortlessly as men's basketball captured the Fourth Annual Provident Pride of Maryland Division III Scholarship Tournament with a come-from-behind 84-81 triumph over Johns Hopkins, and wrapped up the year witha school record 21 wins against five losses, while capturing the program's first-ever CAC regular-season title with a 14-2 league mark.

In the pool, Brie McDowell '09 and Rachel Hotchko '10 represented St.Mary's at the 2009 NCAA championships where McDowell notched three more All-America awards to become the program's most decorated swimmer with five career All-America citations. The 2007 and 2009 CAC Women's Swimmer-of-the-Year, McDowell helped the Seahawks to a second-place finish at the conference championships for the second straight year. The Seahawk men placed third at CACs for the first time since 1999 as Michael Preston '09 set five school records at the meet. Lacrosse midfielder Lauren Carrier was the big story of the spring season by setting the NCAA Division III women's lacrosse record for most consecutive games with at least one goal (46). She started the streak as a first-year student on April 15, 2006 in a loss to Mary Washington. And it was done after recovering from a torn ACL October 15. As she told, "Breaking the record was just icing on the cake." Lauren was also featured in the April 6 edition of Sports Illustrated, one of six athletes featured in SI's "Faces in the Crowd." At press time, Lauren's record stood at 59.

Lacrosse team

The lacrosse team was also busy off the field. It raised $3,771.74 through the sales of pink St. Mary's lacrosse t-shirts and through donations from more than 500 fans at a March 7 game against McDaniel College. The game was played in remembrance of Christine A. DeWitt, the mother of a player once coached by lacrosse coach Kara Reber at Lycoming College, who lost her life to breast cancer last year, as well as all individuals affected by this disease.


First-year head coach Chris Hasbrouck was selected as the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) men's lacrosse coach of the year, headlining a group of six Seahawk players representing St. Mary's College on this year's All-CAC teams. Coach Hasbrouck becomes the third Seahawk mentor to earn CAC coach-of-the-year honors; Jason Hurley (1990-2001) won the honor in 1995 and 1998 while Jayme Block (2002-08) was the 2004 honoree. Team captains Marc DiPasquale '09 and Ryan Alexander '10 and Ryder Henry '09 all received first-team nods, while senior captain AJ Armstrong '09 and Dennis Rosson '11 and Pat Simpson '11 all earned a spot on the second team.


Men's and women's cross country has been added as a new varsity sport, bringing the number to 17. "We've had an active cross country club at St. Mary's for many years and we are confident that our school can attract talented runners throughout the state and region," says Scott Devine, director of athletics and recreation. The search for a coach has begun.


Justin Dohn

Justin Dohn '09 was presented the Distinguished Student Researcher Award by the School for Field Studies (SFS) in recognition of exceptional environmental research skills during the spring semester 2008 at the SFS Center for Rainforest Studies in Queensland, Australia. The award is given to outstanding SFS college students who have made an important contribution to an environmental field or discipline. Dohn studied the effectiveness of three weed control methods that threaten an area's biodiversity.


The College's Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Circle, a national leadership honor society, earned its fifth consecutive ODK Superior Circle Recognition Award for 2007-2008. Out of 311 colleges with ODK Circles, St. Mary's was one of only three schools that earned this distinction. ODK recognizes andpromotes academic excellence, leadership abilities, and exemplary character. Student members must rank in the upper 35 percent of their school and must show leadership in at least one of five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social or religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech, and the mass media; and creative and performing arts.


The Department of Educational Studies tells us that nearly 10 percent of this year's senior class applied to the 2009-2010 M.A.T. program. In four short years, the program has gone from graduating six teachers with master's degrees to welcoming a class of 46.


J. Roy Hopkins

Psychology professor J. Roy Hopkins, a member of the faculty since 1980, is retiring. His research interests are adolescent and early adult social development and cognitive development, as well as masculinity ideology. He has published on the topics of adolescence, on teaching psychology in undergraduate curricula, on masculinity and identity issues, and authored a textbook on adolescence, which was translatedinto Spanish, and co-authored a textbook in introductory psychology that went through three editions. Besides his classroom duties, he has served on a number of boards, panels, and reviews, including eight years as an exam reader of the Educational Testing Service and College Board Advanced Placement Test in psychology. He has led external reviews of peer institutions' psychology departments and has participated in accreditation reviews of other institutions on behalf of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

"Roy's mentoring of students often became the foundation for lifelong reciprocalfriendships," says colleague Laraine Glidden. "Similarly, he is respected and beloved among many colleagues, and they (we) will feel a personal and professional loss with his retirement. He has been a joy and an inspiration." In retirement, Hopkins will work on a book, paint, volunteer and travel.

No matter what the weather, you probably have seen Assistant Registrar Susan Morse briskly walking with her exercise buddies during lunch. After 30 years working in the registrar's office, Susan has many fond memories of this campus. And she watched it all from the very same office in Anne Arundel Hall, until she moved this year to Glendening. She was primarily responsible for managing the degree certification process for graduating seniors, overseeing the process for building the class schedule each semester, and assisting with student registration each semester.

Some of her favorite memories: Noontime walks around a beautiful and expanding campus, assembling diplomas at the end of the spring semester for the commencement ceremony, students camping out in front of Anne Arundel Hall during registration to ensure getting their first choice of classes before we had assigned registration times, and watching a movie being made on the Dove, starring Anthony Hopkins and Richard Crenna. Susan plans to continue her daily walking routine after retirement, and volunteering and traveling.

Says her working and walking partner Joan Pickett, executive assistant to the provost: "Susan is an invaluable resource of institutional knowledge. Her friendly and caring personality has made our noontime exercise walks around campus a true pleasure. I wish her all the best that life has to offer in her retirement-she's earned it!"