We’re happy to be here!
Current students and faculty share what they’re most excited about for the return to in-person living and learning at SMCM:
Nick Ashenfelter ’24: “I’m most looking forward to having in-person club meetings.”
Aliya Berger ’24: “I’m excited to join more clubs to meet more people.”
Andrew Cognard-Black, assistant professor of sociology and junior faculty professorship awardee: “I’m looking forward to being able to see people in three dimensions, but I’m mostly excited to be back in shared space where surprise encounters happen in the stairwell or on the sidewalk. There’s a lot of work that gets done on the sidelines, and under normal circumstances there’s a lot of creativity that happens spontaneously. It’s hard to schedule a facetime meeting to capture all of that. I’ve really missed the magic that can happen during chance encounters when you run into old friends or, completely unexpectedly, meet brand new ones.”
Asif Dowla, professor of economics and Landers Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts: “For me, teaching is performance. Teaching online was being on a stage without any audience. … I wasn’t sure if they understood the concepts and if and when I should try another trick to explain them.”
Brayan Ruiz Lopez ’24: “I look forward to embracing the St. Mary’s Way from a new perspective. I see it as a blank slate because the current seniors and juniors have not experienced more than two years of traditional college life. That means it is up to us to remember the culture of responsibility, integrity, respect and intellectual creativity that the College’s reputation holds.”
Barry Muchnick, associate professor of environmental studies: “I’m excited to help students harness their energy and educational experiences to collaborate on projects to protect, preserve and celebrate all that our colorful and vibrant campus community has to offer.”
Meghan Stevens ’24: “I was able to live on campus both semesters in the 2020-2021 academic year, but I definitely got a unique first-year experience with St. Mary’s College. However, through it all, with canceled sports events and seemingly endless Zoom meetings, I fell in love with the beautiful campus and the welcoming atmosphere of my peers and the faculty! I am so excited to hopefully get a realistic, non-pandemic taste of St. Mary’s College.”
Meet Erin Moran ’20, illustrator
“I brainstormed how COVID has impacted my life and the lives of other students. Technology has been a huge part of everyone’s lives and although we are all distant, the technology brings us together.”
What is your typical process for brainstorming a graphic design? Do you usually start by sketching a design before converting it to graphics? Do you start on the computer?
“I skip right to the computer to sketch my designs. I think about what I want to do and just go for it.”
Do your plans after graduating from St. Mary’s involve a career in graphic design?
“Yes! I will be a professional graphic designer; it’s what I want to be and I’m going to work hard to achieve that goal.”
What advice would you give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in graphic design?
“The best advice I can give someone is to never give up and to really pay attention to typography. Typography is everything.”
River Stewards (Extra)
Going to SMCM changed my career path from the start because I thought I wanted to be a vet! But that quickly changed once I started taking classes, with “Ecology of Coastal Systems” pointing me in the right direction. Studying submerged aquatic vegetation for my St. Mary’s Project provided me with a better understanding of how humans interact with and impact the environment, which led me to decide that I wanted to work in a field where I could lessen these (negative) impacts. My SMP research lead to an internship at the Chesapeake Research Consortium, where I was exposed not only to research, but also meetings where I saw how scientists come together to work with policy makers to work to protect the environment…. I went on to pursue an MS in environmental studies because I wanted more background in environmental policy since that plays a big role in our impacts to the environment. I was more than prepared for graduate school given the work I did for my SMP!
Seahawks for Social Change (Extra)
Howie Grube ’04 credits his college job as a resident assistant to awakening his interest in volunteerism and community service, but he got away from volunteering when he started working full time and raising four children with wife Catherine Teater Grube ’06. Today, Howie Grube works at Historic St. Mary’s City as its director of development. “I feel like I’m having an impact in the single physical location [St. Mary’s City] that has given me the most in my own life,” he says. Howie and Catherine own St. Inie’s Coffee in Lexington Park, Maryland, but Howie gives all credit to Catherine for running the business and developing its strong community core. The business’ slogan of “Coffee. Community. Conversation.” is her doing. Through St. Inie’s, Catherine Grube partners with several community organizations on free family events that support the residents of Lexington Park, including the popular “Friday Night in the Park” summer series.