Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Washington College Hosts Phi Alpha Theta History Conference, March 31

Chestertown, MD, March 28, 2007 — An array of historical topics will be explored when Washington College's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and the Department of History host the Phi Alpha Theta Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in William Smith Hall on Saturday, March 31. This year's conference marks the first time Washington College has hosted the event.

Phi Alpha Theta, the student-run National History Honor Society, sponsors regional and national conferences with presentations, informal discussions and a lecture series. In addition to having the opportunity to present thesis proposals annually at the regional meeting, students also submit writings for publication in The Historian, the organization's academic journal.

As this year's venue for Phi Alpha Theta's regional gathering, Washington College will play host to numerous participating institutions including the Catholic University of America, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Delaware State University, Georgetown University, Hood College, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary's University, Shepherd University, the United States Naval Academy, the University of Maryland-College Park and the University of Maryland University College.

Sessions will be held throughout the day and will include panels given by graduate as well as undergraduate students. Subject areas will include: the Colonial and Revolutionary Era, 20th Century Conflict Around the World, Perspectives on World War II and Its Aftermath, Perspectives on Female Gender Roles, Maryland During and After the Civil War, the Modern Far East, Ancient Rome, Women in the 19th and 20th Centuries, and many others.

Washington College students Samantha Blau, Gillian Bourassa, Brenna Bychowski, Karen Ferguson, Laura Powell, Brandon Righi and Brian Taylor "gave unselfishly of their time, energy and expertise in planning the conference," said Professor Janet Sorrentino, Washington College's coordinator for the event. She added that other regional schools' faculty members—especially Bud Burkhard, Sandra Horvath-Peterson and Rusty Monhollon—also were key in the planning and execution of the conference.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Award-Winning New York Quintet Performs At Washington College, March 31

Chestertown, MD, March 23, 2007 — The 2006-2007 Washington College Concert Series will close with a performance by the Intrada Winds, one of New York's most exciting new chamber ensembles, at the Norman James Theatre on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m.

The Intrada Winds recently captured prizes at both the Fischoff and Coleman national chamber music competitions. Formed at Yale University in 2003, the quintet has been praised for its "accomplished, colorful playing." The group features Conor Nelson on flute, Karisa Werdon on oboe, Jeremy Eig on clarinet, Adam Ward on horn, and Stephanie Corwin on bassoon.

They were recognized by Clyde Shaw, former cellist of the Audubon String Quartet, as "a terrific group of young artists allowing themselves to be a lens through which the composer's art spoke to us, the listeners."

In addition to their active schedule of chamber music competitions and recitals, the Intrada Winds frequently perform outreach concerts to children and senior adults and present master classes for students.

The musicians of the Intrada Winds have participated in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, Kent-Blossom Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, Brevard Music Festival, OK Mozart and the Festival Institute at Round Top.

Norman James Theatre is located in William Smith Hall. Reservations are strongly recommended for the March 31 performance. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for students and youth 18 and under. For tickets and more information, call 410-778-7839.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Day of Dance: 'Steps to the Future' at Washington College, March 31

Chestertown, MD, March 22, 2007 — A full day of dance master classes, sponsored by the National Dance Association, will be offered by the Washington College chapter of Nu Delta Alpha, the National Dance Honor Society, at the College's Ben Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center on Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During this "Steps to the Future" workshop, high school and college students have an opportunity to take a variety of master classes in musical-theater dance, lyrical dance, hip hop, improvisation and Pilates. The event also is an opportunity to learn about nutrition for the dancer and to meet dancers and teachers from other colleges and high schools. An informal performance is planned for 4 p.m., followed by a reception.

Information is available from the College Dance Program at 410-778-7237 or the National Dance Association office at 800/213-7193, ext. 464. While on-site registration will be available the morning of the event, pre-registration is recommended. Advanced registration forms are online at

WC Drama Department's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Rouse Audiences, March 23, 24

Chestertown, MD, March 22, 2007 — Washington College's Drama Department will stage Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a senior thesis directed by Liz Clarke, on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the College's Norman James Theatre.

A haunting tour de force of American drama, Albee's play portrays a dinner party turned sour when a night of party games transforms into a psychological and emotional battle. George and Martha, a bitter, alcoholic couple, invite Nick, the new biology professor, and his wife Honey to their New England home for a few nightcaps and pleasantries. Despite erupting verbal comments and intermittent physical abuse between George and Martha, Nick and Honey endure with fascination and embarrassment their hosts' abuse, even when they become targets.

Selected for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1963, the play lost this honor due to the advisory board's reevaluation of the play's language and sexual themes. Less ruffled by the then-controversial profanity, audiences today fall for the brilliant depth and pathos of Albee's chief masterpiece.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? stars Matt Folker, junior Juliana Schoettler, freshman James Maguire, and sophomore Arielle Brown. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For show information, call 410-778-7835 or e-mail

Dr. John Girvin Presents 'Artificial Vision,' March 29

Chestertown, MD, March 22, 2007 — Is there new hope for the blind? The emerging technology of artificial vision will be explored when distinguished neurosurgeon Dr. John P. Girvin presents "Artificial Vision: Fact or Fiction?" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Thursday, March 29, at 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Girvin recently served as Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is the former Chair of the Division of Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurological Sciences at the University of Western Ontario.

Renowned for his work on epilepsy and brain aneurysms, Dr. Girwin also has been involved in the extraordinary advances made over the past two decades in the area of artificial vision, which his lecture here will describe.

"Artificial Vision: Fact or Fiction?" is presented by the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, the Department of Art, the Daniel Z. Gibson/John A. Wagner Psychology Visitors Fund, the Premedical Committee and the Sigma Xi Chapter of Washington College. Admission is free and open to the public.

Andrew Mehdizadeh Selected As Washington College's First Presidential Fellow

Chestertown, MD, March 22, 2007 — Washington College is pleased to announce that Andrew Mehdizadeh, a member of the junior class, has been selected as the College's inaugural Robert W. and Louisa C. Duemling Presidential Fellow.

The prestigious Presidential Fellows Program is an annual institute presented by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for the Study of the Presidency (CSP), and open to one student from each of 85 leading American colleges and universities. Through Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, this special opportunity is now open to WC students—and Mehdizadeh will be the first.

"Among a formidable field of applications, Andrew's was a standout," said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center. Mehdizadeh was selected by a faculty committee that included Goodheart, Melissa Deckman, Michael Harvey, Andrew Oros, Tahir Shad and Richard Striner.

"The committee was impressed by Andrew's outstanding academic work," Goodheart said, "and also by his extracurricular leadership in the Washington College community."

Mehdizadeh has been active in the Student Government Association, the International Relations Club, the Coalition for Peace and Social Justice, and the International Studies Council.

He also has logged considerable "real-world" service as an intern at the Center for American Progress and as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

"I'm honored and extremely grateful to have been chosen," said Mehdizadeh, a political-science major. "I'm grateful to the C.V. Starr Center, to Washington College and to the CSP. I look forward to going to Washington to study how history and politics intertwine."

Thanks to its first-time-ever inclusion in the program, Washington College joins a distinguished roster of participating American colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton. For more than 35 years, CSP Fellows have been coming to Washington, D.C., to learn about leadership and governance, to share their outstanding research and scholarship, to develop as future leaders of character, and to be inspired to careers in public service.

The Presidential Fellows Program is a non-resident, part-time, year-long opportunity to study the U.S. presidency, the public policymaking process, and the Chief Executive's relations with Congress, allies, the media and the American public.

"The program offers Washington College students an experience that—perhaps second only to a job in the White House—provides a close-up, insider's view of the U.S. presidency," said Goodheart. "Andrew will be taking his place among the best and brightest from America's leading colleges and universities."

Washington College's participation in the program comes courtesy of a generous gift from Robert W. and Louisa C. Duemling, longtime friends and benefactors of the College. Robert Duemling is former U.S. Ambassador to Suriname and former Director of the National Building Museum. In addition to having taught in Washington College's Department of Art, he is a Board of Visitors and Governors member emeritus and is Chairman of the Starr Center's Advisory Board.

"It's an exhilarating feeling," said Mehdizadeh, "to be the first Washington College student to have this opportunity."

Established in 2000 with a grant from the New York-based Starr Foundation, the C.V. Starr Center draws on the special historical strengths of Washington College and colonial Chestertown to explore the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture, through innovative educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach. In addition to the Presidential Fellows Program, the Starr Center also offers a range of special programs and extracurricular opportunities to Washington College students, including the Comegys Bight Fellowships and Frederick Douglass Fellowships, as well as weekend road trips and summer programs. For more information, visit

Noriko Murai Discusses 'Okakura's Way of Tea,' March 28

Chestertown, MD, March 22, 2007 — A scholar from Tokyo is visiting Washington College to offer insights on Chanoyu—the Japanese tea ceremony—as well as explore the West's fascination with such quintessentially Japanese cultural idioms.

Dr. Noriko Murai, who teaches art history at Temple University's Japan campus, will present "Okakura's Way of Tea: Representing Chanoyu in Early Twentieth-Century America" at the Casey Academic Center Forum on Wednesday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m.

The Book of Tea (1906), by the Japanese art historian Kakuzo Okakura, remains one of the most popular books written in English on traditional Japanese aesthetics.

What is often overlooked is the fact that Okakura originally wrote this book in Boston for an American audience.

As such, The Book of Tea reveals a great deal about America's burgeoning passion for Japanese art and culture in the early 20th century.

Dr. Murai will discuss how Okakura strategically presented the Japanese way of tea as a therapeutic antidote to the burdens of modernity. Moreover, she will examine the issue of gender imagination surrounding "tea-drinking" between Japan and the U.S. and its effect on the historical reception of The Book of Tea.

Dr. Murai specializes in modern Japanese art and the reception of Japanese art in the modern West. She has published articles in English and Japanese on the subject of Wednesday's lecture and is currently writing a book on Okakura in Japanese.

She also is organizing an exhibition on Isabella Stewart Gardner and East Asia to take place at the Gardner Museum in Boston in early 2009.

"Okakura's Way of Tea" is presented by the Washington College Department of Art. Admission is free and open to the public.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Renowned Oceanographer to Discuss the "Blue Revolution" at Washington College, March 29

Chestertown, MD, March 19, 2007 — Washington College welcomes acclaimed oceanographer Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program and Professor of Fisheries & Aquaculture at the University of Rhode Island, who will present the latest research on ecological aquaculture on Thursday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in its 2006 report confirmed that aquaculture is one of the most rapidly growing businesses in the world today, and certainly the fastest growing form of agriculture. Worldwide aquaculture is a $63 billion business providing 43% of all fish consumed. (In 1980 just 9% of aquatic products were provided by aquaculture.) Globally, consumer demands for fish continues to climb, especially in the developed nations which in 2004 imported 33 million metric tons of fish worth over $61 billion.

"Wild, capture fisheries have remained stable since the mid-1980s, hovering around 90-93 million metric tons per year and there is little hope of any significant increases in catches beyond these levels. A recent FAO global assessment of wild fish stocks found that out of the nearly 600 species groups it monitors, 52% are fully exploited, while 25% are either overexploited, depleted, or recovering. Just 23% are moderately exploited or underexploited. FAO's report estimates that an additional 40 million metric tons of aquatic foods will be required by 2030 just to maintain current levels of consumption. The only option for meeting future demand for fish is the global expansion of aquaculture—the so-called "blue revolution."

In his lecture on March 29, "The Evolution of the Blue Revolution," Dr. Costa-Pierce will argue that aquaculture is an effective tool to meet global food demands. The "ecological aquaculture" model adopts not only the technical aspects of ecosystems design, but also incorporates comprehensive planning for the wider social, economic, and environmental contexts of aquatic agriculture. Costa-Pierce also believes that new aquaculture developments must be planned as part of—not separate from—comprehensive management strategies for the restoration and sustainability of coastal ecosystems, coastal fisheries and coastal communities.

Dr. Costa-Pierce's scientific interests include ichthyology, fish biology, the ecology, design, and engineering of aquaculture and fisheries ecosystems, aquatic food production systems, and the social and economic dimensions of aquaculture of marine and freshwater fish of importance to coastal communities. He has worked in fishing communities in over 20 countries as a consultant to a number of United Nations organizations, as a senior environmental consultant for The World Bank, and as a Post-Evaluation Consultant for The Asian Development Bank. He has over 100 scientific, education, and extension publications in the aquatic and environmental sciences, and he is the author of several books includingEcological Aquaculture (2002) and Urban Aquaculture (2005).

In the last few years Dr. Costa-Pierce has been working with consumers on national and international levels to develop community-based methods and products that can be differentiated from mass consumer products. "Aquaculture is nothing new" says Costa-Pierce, "because aquatic animals and plants were farmed using ecologically sophisticated technologies over 3,000 years ago. But as it 'greens up' and evolves more socially and ecologically responsible operations, it has the potential to be a vital part of the future of the world's working waterfronts."

The March 29 event is part of the College's George Goes Green efforts to raise awareness of sustainable community practices. It is sponsored by the Center for the Environment and Society, which supports interdisciplinary education, research, and the integration of ecological and social values.

Admission to the lecture is free and open to the public. Litrenta Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. For information, call 410-778-7295.

Lancelot and Gareth: The High-Water Marks of Malory's Morte Darthur, March 22

Chestertown, MD, March 19, 2007 — The Sophie Kerr Committee will present "Lancelot and Gareth: The High-Water Marks of Malory's Morte Darthur," a lecture by Baylor University Professor of English Thomas Hanks Jr., at the Casey Academic Center Forum on Thursday, March 22, at 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Hanks, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, is a well known specialist in medieval English literature, especially the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and of Sir Thomas Malory.

Admission to "Lancelot and Gareth" is free and open to the public.

Washington College's Adam Goodheart Wins Emmart Award

Chestertown, MD, March 19, 2007 — The 2007 A.D. Emmart Award for exemplary writing in the humanities by Maryland residents has been awarded to Adam Goodheart, the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College.

Goodheart will receive a $1,000 award in recognition of "Expanding on Jefferson," which appeared in an issue of The New York Times Magazine devoted to architecture.

The story explores the tension and controversy at the University of Virginia over plans to erect new buildings planned on a "South Lawn" near the world-renowned "academical village" designed by Thomas Jefferson.

The contest was open to stories published during the 2006 calendar year in newspapers and magazines that circulate in Maryland. Goodheart's article won out over more than 50 entries culled through by the Emmart Award judges' panel.

Two $250 honorable-mention awards also were issued, to Van Smith and Michael Anft for pieces published in the Baltimore City Paper andBaltimore magazine respectively.

Now in its 33rd year, the Emmart Award honors the journalistic legacy of A.D. Emmart (1902-1973), an esteemed reporter, editorial writer and arts critic for the Baltimore Sun.

Funded by the Abell Foundation, the contest is focused on "writing in the humanities" to reflect the range of Emmart's work covering topics in the arts, history, social sciences, ethics and religion.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Abu Khalil, Levy Discuss Israel-Lebanon Conflict, March 28

Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2007 — The Goldstein Program in Public Affairs will present "The Underlying Causes of the Israeli War on Lebanon," a discussion with political-science author As'ad Abu Khalil and former Israeli Ministry of Justice Policy Advisor Daniel Levy, at Washington College's Hynson Lounge on Wednesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Khalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, and visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam & America's New "War on Terrorism" (2002) and The Battle For Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism and Global Power (2003). He maintains a blog, the Angry Arab News Service, in which he describes himself as an "atheist secularist."

Born in Lebanon, Dr. Khalil received a B.A. and M.A. in political science from the American University of Beirut, and a Ph.D. in comparative government from Georgetown University. He has taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College and Randolph-Macon Woman's College.

Daniel Levy is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Policy Initiative of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and directed policy planning and international efforts at the Geneva Campaign Headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Levy served as senior policy advisor to former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin, and under the Barak government he worked in the prime minister's office as a special advisor and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit.

As a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation, Levy seeks to encourage thought-provoking debate and offer strategic solutions for resolving the long-running conflicts in the Middle East, core among them the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has published extensively in a broad range of publications includingHa'aretz, the Jerusalem Post, the Boston Globe, the (London) Evening Standard and theInternational Herald Tribune.

Admission to "The Underlying Causes of the Israeli War on Lebanon" is free and open to the public.

Novelist Mallon Previews 'Fellow Travelers' at Washington College, March 27

Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2007 — He's an author of historical fiction whose works revive disparate memories of America's past, from the Civil War to the Jazz Age to Dallas on the eve of the JFK assassination. John Updike has called him "one of the most interesting American novelists at work." Thomas Mallon, a C.V. Starr Visiting Fellow, will present a reading from his forthcoming novel, Fellow Travelers, at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Tuesday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and theRose O'Neill Literary House.

Mallon is the author of the novels Henry and Clara, Two Moons, Dewey Defeats Truman, Aurora 7 andBandbox, as well as four works of nonfiction.

"Thomas Mallon's writing sneaks up on you," writes book critic Christopher Shea. "Every so often, you pause and realize that he's been stringing together one perfectly balanced sentence after another, chapter after chapter."

Fellow Travelers is slated for publication in April by Random House. Set in 1950s Washington, D.C., the story is populated by the era's political icons—McCarthy, Kennedy, Nixon—and a host of fictional characters woven into a story filled with high political drama, betrayal, humor and heartbreak.

A former Deputy Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mallon taught English at Vassar College and was literary editor of GQ magazine, where he wrote the "Doubting Thomas" column for 10 years. He has contributed frequently to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar and Harper's.

Admission to Mallon's March 27 reading is free and open to the public. A booksigning and reception will follow.

Best-Selling Author Mary Karr Kicks Off Sophie Kerr Weekend at Washington College, March 23

Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2007 — Washington College welcomes acclaimed poet and memoirist Mary Karr, New York Times best-selling author of The Liars' Club and other works, to kick off the annual Sophie Kerr Weekend with a lecture/reading at Norman James Theatre on Friday, March 23, at 5 p.m.

"Spitfire," "devotedly irreverent" and "elegantly devastating" are just some of the phrases that have been used to describe author Mary Karr. Her first memoir, The Liars' Club, depicts a wild, eccentric Texas upbringing. A highly influential work, it is credited with reviving the memoir as a creative literary form. The Liars' Club won the PEN Martha Albrand Award for best first nonfiction and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year and was a "Best Book" for more than 30 newspapers and magazines.

The sequel, Cherry, about Karr's adolescence, was a bestseller for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle. It was a "Best Book" for those periodicals and The New Yorker, where it was excerpted.

Karr's poetry has won prizes from Best American Poetry and Pushcart. To date, she has had four poetry collections published, the most recent being Sinners Welcome (Harper Collins, 2006). Her poems appear in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry and Parnassus.

In her Washington College appearance, Karr will read from her works and present a talk titled "Truth, Lies and the Craft of Memoir." A booksigning will follow.

Held every March at Washington College, the Sophie Kerr Weekend gives a group of 100 high school-age writers a chance to experience the College's renowned creative writing program through readings, seminars and small-group workshops with visiting authors and faculty members.

The Sophie Kerr Weekend also 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 Mary Karr's March 23 presentation is free and open to the public.

Library of Congress' Eubanks to Present Reading at Washington College, March 19

Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2007 — Ralph Eubanks, Director of Publishing at the Library of Congress, will present a reading from his forthcoming book at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Monday, March 19, at 4:30 p.m.

Eubanks is appearing at Washington College as the 2007 Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow. The Douglass Fellowship, which supports work in African-American studies and related areas, is administered through the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Eubanks will be in residence at Washington College during the week of March 19, during which time he will lead a writing workshop in addition to presenting his Monday reading.

Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi's Dark Past, whichWashington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2003. Eubanks is a contributor to the Washington Post Outlook and Style sections, theChicago Tribune, Preservation and National Public Radio.

Eubanks' forthcoming book, which explores the life of his grandparents, will highlight his March 19 presentation, titled "Place Opens a Door in the Mind: American History Revealed in Ordinary Lives and Places."

Admission to the reading is free and open to the public. A booksigning and reception will follow. Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. For more information, call 410-810-7161.

Professor Nancy Ruth Tatum Dies at 76

Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2007 — Nancy Ruth Tatum, a Shakespearian scholar and a long-time professor of English literature at Washington College, died at Mercy Medical Center in Daphne, Alabama, on February 26, 2007, after a lengthy illness. She was 76.

Dr. Tatum received her B.A. from the University of Arkansas in 1952, her M.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 1954 and her Ph.D from Bryn Mawr College in 1960.

That year, she joined the English Department at Washington College, where she taught for 38 years. She was presented with the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1975 and was named the Ernest A. Howard Professor of English Literature in 1979. Upon her retirement in 1998, she was hailed as a vigorously independent spirit who spoke out for the causes of academic freedom and faculty rights. English Chair Richard Gillin called hers "the voice of tradition and duty" who "reminded us of our responsibility to bring students up to a higher standard of writing and thinking. During her time as Chair of the English Department she helped guide the development of a college-wide writing requirement and then made sure that we in the English Department developed rigorous Forms courses. That distinctive voice heard among the faculty and administration was also heard in different ways by students, who ... attest to the special gift she had given them through her courses on Shakespeare."

Dr. Tatum is survived by several nieces, nephews and other relatives. Graveside services will be held at the family plot in Anderson, MO, at a future date.

Memorials may be made to a scholarship to be established at Washington College in Dr. Tatum's name.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Summer Field School Offers Forays Into Native American And Early Colonial Archaeology, May 21-June 29

Chestertown, MD, March 9, 2007 — Washington College's Department of Sociology and Anthropology will again offer a Summer Field School in Archaeology from May 21 to June 29, 2007. Taught by archaeologist Darrin Lowery, Dr. John Seidel and staff from the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory, the course provides practical experience in all phases of field archaeology. This summer's work will continue the search for Indian sites in Kent County, moving to the Eastern Neck and Rock Hall area. In addition, archaeologists will be searching for some of the earliest colonial sites in the area, dating to the second half of the 1600s. Last year's efforts revealed sites with Indian trade beads and pipes dated to the late 1600s, and deed research has suggested the location of several additional early colonial sites.

The eight-credit program—open to both college students and adults—will teach excavation and lab techniques; remote sensing; artifact identification, dating and analysis; and mapping and surveying of archaeological sites using both theodolite and GPS. Hands-on fieldwork will be augmented by lectures and special presentations, laboratory work, and trips to regional sites and museums.

"This year's Field School will give students the chance to explore Native American and colonial archaeology," said Seidel, associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies and Interim Director of the College's Center for Environment & Society. "Over the past two years, we have found more than 40 unrecorded archaeological sites in the county, up along the Sassafras River. We'd like to take a closer look at several of those through excavations, while shifting our search for new sites to a new area, around Eastern Neck. This is exciting work—these are completely unknown sites, including some of the very first colonial settlements in the area."

Interested students are encouraged to apply early, as space in the class is limited. Limited housing on the Washington College campus may be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The class runs for six weeks, meeting five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The base of operations is the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory in the Custom House. Vans will take students to field sites outside of Chestertown. Tuition is $2,700. Students will register for ANT 296 Sections 10 and 11.

For more information and to register, contact Dr. John Seidel at 410-778-7756, or via e-mail:

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Washington College Chosen for Inclusion in 'The Best 366 Colleges,' Princeton Review College Guide

Chestertown, MD, March 7, 2007 — Washington College is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review.

The New York-based company known for its test-prep courses, books and other education services has honored Washington College by selecting it for inclusion in the forthcoming edition of the popular annual Best Collegesguidebook.

The Best 366 Colleges: 2008 Edition (Random House/Princeton Review Books, $21.95) will be available in bookstores in August 2007.

"Only about 10 percent of the colleges in America are in this book," said Robert Franek, Vice President of Publishing at the Princeton Review. "It is our flagship guide to the cream-of-the-crop institutions for undergraduates."

To be counted among the ranks of the very best, Washington College and the nation's other top schools were judged on a spectrum of factors, Franek explained. "We chose them as our best based on several criteria, including our regard for their academic programs and other offerings, institutional data we collect from the schools, and the opinions of students, parents and educators we talk to and survey."

The Best 366 Colleges includes public and private schools, traditional and non-traditional colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and science and technology-focused institutions.

What sets the Princeton Review's annual Best Colleges guide apart from all other higher-education guidebooks is that it is the only one offering two-page profiles on the schools along with college-ranking lists in more than 60 categories, based on surveys of more than 115,000 students.

Thus, the students themselves rate their own schools and report on their experiences at them.

When each edition is published, the Princeton Review posts the book's ranking lists and excerpts from the college profiles on its influential web site,

"We present a wide range of colleges in the book," noted Franek. "They vary by region, size, selectivity and character, but each one is an outstanding institution."

WC's Professor Knight Awarded Wilson Fellowship

One of only 20 nationwide to receive prestigious award

Chestertown, MD, March 7, 2007 — Washington College is pleased to announce that Dr. Alisha Knight, Assistant Professor of English and American Studies and Director of the Black Studies Program, has been awarded a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship.

The Wilson Fellowship, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, assists junior faculty in their pursuit of scholarly research and writing in order to support their chances for success as tenured academics.

An interdisciplinary committee of noted scholars reviewed the credentials of applicants nationwide from a range of fields in the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences. Dr. Knight is one of only 20 to receive this prestigious award.

"Dr. Knight's fellowship is an honor for Washington College as well as for her," said Provost and Dean Christopher Ames. "She is pursuing an important and original line of research, and this fellowship will allow her to bring that significant work to fruition earlier."

Under the auspices of the fellowship program, Dr. Knight intends to further her research into a unique aspect in the development of African-American literary history: the role of 19th-century subscription publishing.

Subscription books geared toward African-American readers were sold door-to-door by traveling agents. On the one hand, subscription publishing arguably was an optimal method for disseminating books to a primarily rural African-American readership that had limited access to bookstores. On the other hand, by the 1870s subscription publishing was suffering from a diminished reputation.

Dr. Knight's project raises (and attempts to answer) important questions about why African-American authors would choose subscription publishing and thereby risk their literary reputations. Studying book-dissemination methods can shed light on the roles these authors assumed as agents for social change.

The Wilson Fellowship award period runs from June 2007 to June 2008. It includes a stipend, a travel or publication grant, and a fall retreat. During the grant period, Dr. Knight will be paired with a scholar in her academic field who will advise and mentor her.

"The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has supported intellectual leaders for over six decades," said Dr. Knight. "Not only am I honored and humbled to receive this award, but I also feel uplifted by this acknowledgement of my work and recognition of my potential."

Annual Washington College Career Fair, March 21

Chestertown, MD, March 7, 2007 — The Center for Career Development at Washington College in conjunction with student representatives from SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) and S.A.M.S. (Student Athlete Mentors) will sponsor the 2007 Career Fair. The annual event provides the opportunity for students, alumni and community members to come together with employers and exchange career information. 28 employers and organizations will participate in the event which will run from 10 - 3 in the Casey Academic Center. Exhibitors will have information on full and part-time positions, summer jobs and internships. The 2007 Career Fair is free and open to the public. For more information please call Ann Atwater Bourne at 410-778-7890 or visit where a complete list of exhibitors is available.

Monday, March 5, 2007

$1.05-Million Gift Funds Historic House Purchase by Washington College

Circa-1735 Building Will Become Residence for Visiting Historians

Chestertown, MD, March 5, 2007 — A gift of more than $1 million has enabled Washington College to purchase an 18th-century house that will be used as a residence for visiting fellows of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Located on Queen Street in the heart of the historic district, the circa-1735 structure, traditionally known as the Buck-Chambers House, is one of the oldest buildings in Chestertown, and one of the few to preserve its 18th-century interior substantially intact.

The $1.05 million gift to Washington College came from the Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund, a family fund established by Margaret Henry Penick Nuttle. Mrs. Nuttle's husband, the late Philip E. Nuttle, was a member of Washington College's Class of 1929; her daughter, Margaret Nuttle Melcher, is a member of the Class of 1969; and her grandson, Stephen Fuchs, is a member of the Class of 1996.

A longtime benefactor of research in colonial history, Mrs. Nuttle is a direct descendant of the patriot Patrick Henry, and the newly purchased house will be known as the Patrick Henry Fellows Residence.

"The Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund is a legacy of my parents, who were charter members of the board of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation in 1944," said Mrs. Nuttle. "The gift to Washington College continues that legacy, honoring the memory of Patrick Henry while promoting the history of the Founding Era at one of America's oldest schools."

Mrs. Nuttle pointed out that there is an interesting historical connection between George Washington, Patrick Henry and Chestertown. Washington, Henry and another Virginia representative, Edmund Pendleton, stayed in Chestertown—then known as "New Town on Chester" —on the night of Friday, September 2, 1774, while en route to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

"Mrs. Margaret Nuttle is second to none in her devotion to Patrick Henry and to the other Founding Fathers in whose circles he moved," said Washington College President Baird Tipson. "We are delighted that she has chosen to honor her ancestor and Washington College with this generous gift."

In addition to funding the purchase of the property, the Nuttle family's gift also will enable the house to be renovated and furnished, and will establish an endowment ensuring its permanent upkeep. The house will serve as a residence for visiting historians, who will spend up to a year in Chestertown while working on books on the history and legacy of America's Founding Era. The Patrick Henry Fellows Residence should be ready to welcome its first such resident in fall 2008.

The fellowship program will be overseen by the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, headquartered a block away in the historic Custom House. Established in 2000 with a grant from the New York-based Starr Foundation, the C.V. Starr Center draws on the special historical strengths of Washington College and colonial Chestertown to explore the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture, through innovative educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach. In cooperation with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington's Mount Vernon, the Center administers the George Washington Book Prize, a $50,000 annual prize recognizing outstanding published works that contribute to a greater understanding of the life and career of George Washington and/or the Founding Era.

"The acquisition of the Patrick Henry Fellows Residence is a major step forward for the C.V. Starr Center," said Adam Goodheart, the Center's Hodson Trust-Griswold Director. "It will allow us to bring to Chestertown, for extended residencies, brilliant writers on American history of the same caliber as those who receive the George Washington Book Prize each year. We are grateful for the generosity and foresight of the Nuttle family in making this possible."

The house has fascinating ties with American history, and with the history of Washington College, stretching back into the 18th century. An early owner, General Benjamin Chambers, was a Revolutionary War soldier who became the College's first treasurer in 1782, and later served as president of its Board of Visitors and Governors.

In recent decades, the house was the home of legendary English professor Norman James, and afterwards of Ted Widmer, the Starr Center's founding director, and his family. The house was purchased from an owner to whom the Widmers sold it last year.

Mrs. Nuttle, the great-great-great granddaughter of Patrick Henry, has been a supporter of American history at Washington College since before the Starr Center's founding, and has also made major gifts to programs at Princeton, Johns Hopkins and Red Hill, the Henry family house, which was designated the Patrick Henry National Memorial in 1986 by President Reagan. Her daughter, Mrs. Melcher, studied English literature and history, received a master's degree from Washington College in 1977, has taught history, and is active in historic preservation and in the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Mr. Fuchs studied drama at Washington College and has since been an entrepreneur in information technology.

As it begins the process of outfitting the newly acquired property, the Starr Center is welcoming donations of antiques, artwork and other furnishings; all donations are tax-deductible and will receive appropriate recognition. For more information, call 410-810-7161.

A Literary Evening: Annual Freshman Reading at O'Neill House, March 6

Chestertown, MD, March 5, 2007 — It will be an evening of literary efforts from up-and-coming talents when first-year students from Washington College's writing workshops present the Annual Freshman Reading at the Rose O'Neill Literary House on Tuesday, March 6, at 8 p.m.

The participants will read selections of poetry and prose they wrote last semester during workshops led by Peter Campion, Bob Mooney and Katherine Wagner. For many of these students, this will be their first public reading.

In keeping with time-honored Annual Freshman Reading tradition, the poster announcing the reading will be signed by all the participants and hung in a place of honor at the O'Neill Literary House.

Admission to the Annual Freshman Reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-810-5768.

Those slated to read include

  • Alyse Bensel
  • Adam Church
  • Lauren Davenport
  • Ricky Davis
  • Mary DiAngelo
  • Allison Fischbach
  • Jackie Garcia
  • Susanne Hopkins
  • Oluademi James-Daniel
  • Elise Keller
  • Kirstin Kibbe
  • James Maguire
  • Hailey Reissman
  • Laura Walter
  • Katie Weagley

Thursday, March 1, 2007

WC Drama Department's "According To Goldman" Performed, March 2, 3

Chestertown, MD, February 28, 2007 — Washington College's Drama Department will present "According to Goldman," a senior thesis directed by Alaina Anderson, stage-managed by Tim Helmer, and written by Bruce Graham, in the College's Norman James Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3 at 8 p.m.

A film buff's delight, "According to Goldman" centers on ex-Hollywood hotshot Gavin Miller, who currently works as a professor of film. Frustrated by students whose list of great movies includes "The Matrix" and "Legally Blonde," Gavin recognizes the brilliance in one pupil—Jeremiah Collins. In cinematic style, the scenes seamlessly trace the lives of Jeremiah, Gavin, and Gavin's wife, Melanie, and capture the bittersweet truths of human connection.

"I fell in love with this play for what it says about life," notes Director Alaina Anderson. "We let society change us until we are virtually unrecognizable to those we know and love."

"According to Goldman" stars junior Phil Doccolo, senior Greg Schaefer, and sophomore Aileen Brenner. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For show information, call 410-778-7835 or e-mail