Monday, August 27, 2001

Computer Science Program Receives Grant from National Science Foundation for Advanced Mathematical Research

Chestertown, MD, August 27, 2001 — Washington College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has received a $30,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project to develop a library of advanced mathematical programs. The grant is part of $280,000 in funding for a joint research project to be conducted in cooperation with the University of Delaware and North Carolina State University.

"Many researchers feel that if enough computers are unleashed on a task, they will eventually find some sort of an answer," said Austin Lobo, principal investigator and assistant professor of computer science at Washington College. "This project deals with computational tasks that are of such great magnitude, that one cannot simply wait for an answer to come--because that might take a lifetime. By developing programs using probabilistic techniques, we create software that makes intelligent guesses and reduces the time for complex calculating tasks literally from decades to days."
The goal of this project is to provide a component-based, open-source software library of advanced mathematical programs that can be used by other researchers to build and expand other mathematical computing modules. Titled "ITR/ACS: Collaborative Research-LINBOX: A Generic Library for Seminumeric Black Box Linear Algebra," the project will have applications in cryptography, data security, electrical communications, control systems and computer graphics, said Lobo. The Linbox group is composed of members from research institutions in the United States, France, and Canada and has been active for nearly three years.
"We have to prove mathematically before we begin the computations that our programs will finish the work at all and produce an answer despite their 'guesswork,' and that the answer will indeed be correct," said Lobo. "It takes years just to learn the mathematics needed to get to square one in this business."

College Opens Nationwide Tour for Sophie Kerr Prize Winner

Christine Lincoln's Book to Debut from Pantheon September 18

Chestertown, MD, August 27, 2001 — Baltimore-born Christine Lincoln, a 2000 graduate of Washington College and winner of the College's Sophie Kerr Prize, will begin a nationwide tour for her newly published book Sap Rising (Pantheon Books, 2001) on Tuesday, September 18, 2001. She will read from her new work at 4 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The reading will be followed by a book signing and reception. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
A non-traditional student who graduated at the top of her class, Lincoln is distinguished not only for winning the $54,000 Sophie Kerr Prize, the largest undergraduate literary prize in the nation, but also for receiving within six months of graduation a $135,000 advance from Pantheon (a division of Random House) for her collection of short stories—a singular amount for a yet unpublished writer. Lincoln's inspiring story of hardship, perseverance and personal, academic and creative accomplishment appeared everywhere from the pages of the New York Times to the nationally televised Oprah Winfrey show. Lincoln's storytelling talent, which developed while listening to her grandmother's tales at her Lutherville home, helped her to redeem the vicissitudes of sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, and single motherhood through a unique and powerful literary voice.
Lincoln's literary debut, Sap Rising, takes readers inside the hearts and minds of African-Americans whose lives unfold against a vivid rural landscape. The characters that inhabit this work are brought to life with a remarkably light touch and an extraordinary depth of insight and emotion. Kirkus Reviews states that Lincoln's fiction "delicately and graciously delineates the hardscrabble lives of a series of southern rural characters... The slenderness of the narratives belies their emotional strength, revealing the author's deep conviction that the writing process itself can redeem the poverty, ignorance, cruelty in her characters' lives."
The book tour will take Lincoln from Boston to Seattle, but she wanted to start the reading tour "at home."

Reading Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 18–Chestertown, MD
4:00 p.m., Washington College, Hynson Lounge
300 Washington Ave., Chestertown, MD 21620
Reading and book signing.
Tuesday, October 30–San Francisco, CA
7:30 p.m., Black Oak Books
1491 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94709.
Reading and book signing.
Tuesday, October 2–Baltimore, MD.
12:00 p.m., Tom Pope Show, Powernomics Radio Network
LIVE interview with call-ins.
Wednesday, October 3–Washington, DC
Time TBA, Oprah/Books That Make A Difference Event, Sotheby's.
Thursday, October 4–Boston, MA
7:00 p.m., Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02146.
Reading and book signing.
Tuesday, October 9–Detroit, MI
Time TBA
Shrine of the Black Madonna
13535 Livernois, Detroit MI 48238. Reading and book signing.
Wednesday, October 10–Iowa City, IA
8:00 p.m.. Prairie Lights
15 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City IA 52240.
Reading and book signing.
Thursday, October 11—Madison, WI
6:00 p.m., University Bookstore
711 State Street, Madison, WI 53703.
Reading and book signing.
Saturday, October 13–Nashville, TN
12:30 p.m., Southern Festival of Books
War Memorial Plaza, Downtown Nashville, TN.
Monday, October 15–Cleveland, OH
7:00 p.m., Joseph Beth Booksellers
13217 Shaker Square, Cleveland OH 44120. Reading and book signing.
Tuesday, October 16–St. Louis, MO
7:00 p.m., New Voices, New Worlds, Reading Series
Sponsored by the Urban League of St. Louis
Vaughn Cultural Center, 3701 Grandel Square, St. Louis, MO.
Reading and book signing.
Thursday, October 18–Cincinnati, OH
7:00 p.m., Joseph-Beth Booksellers
2692 Madison Road, Cincinnati OH 45208.
Reading and book signing.
Tuesday, October 23–Atlanta, GA
7:00 p.m., Chapter 11, Ansley Mall Store
1544 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta GA 30324.
Reading and book signing arranged.
Monday, October 29–Seattle, WA
12:00 p.m., University Bookstore
4326 University Way NE, Seattle WA 98105.
Reading and book signing arranged.
7:30 p.m., Elliott Bay Book Company
101 South Main, Seattle, WA 98104.
Reading and book signing.
Thursday, November 1–New York, NY
7:00 p.m., Barnes and Noble
290 Baychester Avenue, Bronx, NY 10475.
Reading and book signing arranged.
Wednesday, November 7 & Friday, November 9–Baltimore, MD
Community College of Baltimore County, Second Annual Writers Conference.
Reading, Q&A, and book signing.
Open to the public.
Saturday, November 10–Westminster, MD
11:30 a.m., Fifth Annual Random House Book Fair
Carroll Community College.
Open to the public.

For booking information, contact:

Sophie Cottrell, East Coast publicist, 212-572-2685,,
Robin Benway, West Coast publicist, 310-582-8810,

Official Release from Pantheon:

Sap Rising
By Christine Lincoln
"The 12 stories in Lincoln’s first book, which center on the lives of African Americans in the rural South, are so painfully beautiful that they must be read in spurts. . . . The knowledge with which Lincoln writes is too much for any one person to harbor." --Library Journal (starred review)
"[Lincoln] delicately and graciously delineates the hardscrabble lives of a series of southern rural characters. . . . The slenderness of the narratives belies their emotional strength, revealing the author’s deep conviction that the writing process itself can redeem the poverty, ignorance, cruelty in her characters’ lives." --Kirkus Reviews
Christine Lincoln’s literary debut, SAP RISING (Pantheon Books/September 18, 2001/$20.00) takes us inside the hearts and minds of African-Americans whose lives unfold against a vividly evoked Southern rural landscape. The characters that inhabit this work are brought to life with a remarkably light touch and an extraordinary depth of insight and emotion: a woman who must choose between a hopeless farmer who reminds her of her father and the call of the train whistle beckoning her to imaginary vistas…an abandoned seven year-old girl living inside a fantasy of invisibility…a boy whose world is both expanded and contracted by stories he hears from a beautiful stranger.
By any account, Lincoln’s has been a nightmarish life redeemed only by her storytelling talent developed as a child at her grandmother’s knee. Sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, and single motherhood have all impacted her life, and ultimately influenced her writing. At the age of 34, Lincoln graduated from Washington College in Maryland with a perfect grade point average, winning the school’s Sophie Kerr Prize and $54,000 (the richest undergraduate literary purse in the nation, awarded to the member of the graduating class showing the greatest literary promise). Lincoln’s is a magnificent story of overcoming the vicissitudes of life through dogged perseverance. Nobody is more surprised by this wonderful shift of fortune than Lincoln herself, who says, "The truth is, I should be dead. I am living proof that it is never too late to save yourself."
SAP RISING signals the arrival of a stunning new voice in contemporary American fiction–a voice whose power and intensity are matched only by the haunting effects of its simplicity. Her lyrical fiction about the African-American experience prove that Lincoln’s work transcends its own rich particularity to speak with stunning clarity to the most fundamental elements of the human experience.
Christine Lincoln was born and raised in Baltimore. At age thirty-four she graduated from Washington College and was awarded the school’s Sophie Kerr Prize, an event that was covered by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Over 400 New Students to Participate in Day of Service

Chestertown, MD, August 14, 2001 — Over 400 new Washington College students will participate in the third annual "Into the Streets Day of Service" on Thursday, August 23, 2001. Students will perform volunteer work throughout the Mid-Shore community. The day will begin with a morning pep rally in the campus' MarthaWashington Square before each group of 20 students heads off with a peer mentor for a day of community service.

"Into the Streets is a great way to introduce our new students to the Eastern Shore community," said Vicky Sawyer, Associate Director of Career Development and overseer of service learning at Washington College. "There is no better way for new students to experience ways in which their talents and time can have a positive effect on the lives of others."
Students will participate in a variety of human services and environmental projects on the Shore, including a house restoration in Crumpton, the Kent Center's field day for special needs adults and children, trail maintenance at Adkins Arboretum in Tuckahoe State Park, and animal care at the Humane Society of Kent County. Student groups also will volunteer at Echo Hill Outdoor School, Camp Fairlee Manor, Eastern Neck Island, the Horsehead Wetlands Center, the Kent Association for Riding Therapy, Magnolia Hall, the Millington Wildlife Center, Pickering Creek, and Wye Island.
The Into the Streets Day of Service was started by Washington College student Gia Grier '02 after she attended the 1999 Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL) Conference. With new ideas inspired by COOL, she worked with Sawyer to develop and increase service learning programs on and off campus for Washington College students. Into the Streets was created specifically to provide incoming freshman and transfer students a day to experience the variety of social and service organizations on the Shore that welcome student volunteers.
"Into the Streets provides our incoming students their first foray into their new community," said Sawyer. "It is a way to find kindred spirits and friends and encourage student initiative and community involvement. Through formal programs such as this, we have seen student participation in service learning increase on our campus over the past several years." For more information on Into the Streets, or if you represent a community organization seeking student volunteers, contact Vicky Sawyer at 410-778-7892.

Friday, August 10, 2001

College to Honor Country Legend Eddy Arnold and L. Clifford Schroeder at Fall Convocation

Chestertown, MD, August 10, 2001 — Washington College will honor country singer/songwriter Eddy Arnold and L. Clifford Schroeder, 1998-2001 Chairman of the College's Board of Visitors and Governors, at its Fall Convocation on Thursday, September 6, 2001, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Tawes Theatre of the Gibson Performing Arts Center. Arnold will be recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts for his contributions to country music, and Schroeder will be recognized for his service to the College and other public organizations with an Honorary Doctor of Public Service. The Convocation is free and open to the public.

Eddy Arnold holds the distinction of being the only singer to achieve Billboard chart hits in seven separate decades. Long before today's country pop revolution, Arnold became the original country crossover, bringing the country sound into the mainstream of popular American music. Managed by Col. Tom Parker, who later went on to direct the career of Elvis Presley, Arnold began to dominate country music in the late 1940s. In 1955 Arnold broke with the country music establishment by recording with the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra, expanding his appeal and making country music a mainstay of popular American music.
In 1964, Arnold embarked on a "second career" that surpassed the success of the first one and carried his music to a more diverse audience. "Make the World Go Away" was just another song until it received the Arnold touch and became an international hit. Arnold's 60-year-plus career has earned him induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
L. Clifford Schroeder, Sr., father of Washington College alumni Louis Clifford Schroeder '91 and Christopher Lyon Schroeder '94, currently serves a president of Chronos Limited and Dixie Container Capital Corporation located in Richmond, VA. Mr. Schroeder joined the Washington College Board in 1990 and was elected Chairman in 1998.
Mr. Schroeder holds a B.A. in economics from Harvard College and an M.A. from the Harvard Business School, and has had an active career in public service as well as in business.
In addition to his decade of service to Washington College, Mr. Schroeder served for 16 years as chair of the Virginia Outdoors Association, a board member of the St. Christopher's School and Taft School, vice chair of the Virginia Oyster Reef Heritage Foundation, chair of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay Board, and a member of the Board of Visitors and Governors of the College of William and Mary. He and his wife, Lois, reside in Richmond.

Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Speakers Series Focuses on Region's Sense of Place

Chestertown, MD, August 8, 2001 — The Historic Avalon Theater in Easton, Md., will host a 2001 Eastern Shore Lecture Series entitled "Journeys Home: People, Nature and Sense of Place." The presentations will explore the value we place on the natural world and give new insights into how those values translate into vibrant, safe and environmentally sound communities.
"Journeys Home" is a subscription lecture series co-sponsored by the Washington College Center for the Environment and Society, the Adkins Arboretum, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Horsehead Wetlands Center and the Maryland Center for Agroecology.
The schedule of presenters for Fall 2001 is:

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

John Hanson Mitchell: "Inventing Place"
Author of Ceremonial Time, Fifteen Thousand Years on One Square Mile, and other books melding history, environment, and place around his home in Massachusetts. Mr. Mitchell freely admits that visits to his Eastern Shore roots were the origin of the values he has developed about people, places, and things environmental.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Christopher Tilghman: "The Pull of the Land: Place and Imagination"
Mr. Tilghman's first book, In a Father's Place, is a set of stories set against natural landscapes of North America, including Maryland's Eastern Shore. The novel Mason's Retreat is about an expatriate Eastern Shore family that, on the eve of World War II, returns to its old estate on Chesapeake Bay. He is noted for being able to set scene after scene with remarkable clarity and sensitivity.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Northern Neck Chantey Singers: "Songs of Our Life, Songs of Our Sea"
A live performance of narrative and songs by a troupe of retired menhaden fishermen from Reedville, VA. Their cassette recording, See You When the Sun Goes Down, contains a selection of the chanteys they sing, traditional work songs that all-Black crews sang to coordinate the raising of their fishing nets. Performance organized in cooperation with the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation, Annapolis.
Ticket prices are $30 for the fall component of three lectures, or $10 per individual lecture. Student tickets are half-priced. All presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Avalon Theatre, Easton.
For further information, contact Dr. Wayne H. Bell, Director of the Washington College Center for the Environment and Society, at 410-810-7171.

Monday, August 6, 2001

Pianist Inna Faliks to Perform September 23

50th Season of Concert Series Honors Founders

Chestertown, MD, August 6, 2001 — The Washington College Concert Series opens its 2001-2002 season with a performance by accomplished young pianist Inna Faliks on Sunday, September 23, 2001, at 4:00 p.m. in the College's Tawes Theatre. This first concert in the series' fiftieth season is dedicated to Helen S. Gibson of Chestertown, one of the founders of the Concert Series and wife of the late Daniel Z. Gibson, president of the College from 1950 to 1970.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, American pianist Inna Faliks currently works with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory and has soloed with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony and Concert Artists of Baltimore. Called "a delight to hear" and "warmly poetic" by Baltimore Sun critic Phil Greenfield, Ms. Faliks has been invited to record her debut CD of mostly Beethoven works for the Connoisseur Society label in 2002.
As a National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist, Ms. Faliks has been presented in recitals and orchestral appearances around the country for the past two seasons. Most recently, she performed in the Chautauqua Festival and Brevard Festival, completed a tour of Arkansas and Kentucky, and gave her European debut in Toulouse, France.
Single admission tickets for the Washington College Concert Series are available only at the Tawes Theatre box office before performances and are $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth 18 years of age and under. Season tickets are available for $50.00 and single patronage sponsorships begin at $75.00. Tickets are available by check or money order from the Washington College Concert Series, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620-1197. For information or a season program brochure, call 410-778-7839 or email