Friday, January 29, 2010

Washington College Department Of Drama Presents 'We, Tiresias'

Chestertown – The Washington College Department of Drama will present a staged reading of “We, Tiresias,” a new work by award-winning playwright Stephen Spotswood ’99 in Decker Theatre on Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6, at 8 p.m.

The play relates the story of Tiresias, the old blind prophet who, in one of the stage’s oldest stories, set the wheels turning and led Oedipus to his doom.

Tiresias’ own tale is one that makes that tragedy seem like a cakewalk. Born a man who could see the future at a time when only women were allowed the gift of prophecy, Tiresias saw the world from a unique perspective, spending decades as a woman thanks to the retribution of Hera.

In “We, Tiresias,” the prophet’s story is told by three voices: the boy prophet, the woman Tiresias was forced to become in his middle years, and the old blind man we know so well from “Oedipus Rex.”

Directed by Professor Dale Daigle, Chair of the Drama Department, and student Stephen Jordan, “We, Tiresias” features Antoine Jordan and Professors Tim Maloney and Polly Sommerfeld.

Decker Theatre is located in the new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. For reservations and more information, call 410/778-7835 or e-mail

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Award-Winning Photographer Explores 'American Power' at Washington College (Date Change)

CHESTERTOWN – Award-winning photographer Mitch Epstein will give a multi-media presentation based on his latest project, American Power, at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, March 3 (NEW DATE), at 7:30 p.m. A book signing will follow.

Although postponed by snow from February 9, the lecture promises to be an exciting glimpse into Mitch Epstein's brilliance.

Epstein’s new work examines how energy is produced and used in the American landscape, raising questions about the nature and exercise of power,
both energy-based and political. Taken on forays to energy production sites and their environs, his stunning photographs question the power of nature, government, corporations and mass consumption in the United States. In his presentation, Epstein will reflect on the role of the artist in a country torn between tradition and sustainability.

Epstein is one of America’s most distinguished color photographers. He is the author of six other books in addition to American Power, including Vietnam: A Book of Changes, The City, and Family Business. His photographs are featured in numerous major museum collections, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The American Academy in Berlin awarded Epstein the Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters for 2007-08. Other prizes include a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003. Epstein also has worked as a director, cinematographer and production designer on several films, including “Dad,” “Salaam Bombay!” and “Mississippi Masala.”

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Cosponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Center for Environment & Society, and the Department of Art and Art History, Epstein’s presentation is free and open to the public.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Washington College Receives Research Grant From National Science Foundation

CHESTERTOWN – Washington College is pleased to announce that it has received a research grant of $333,579 from the National Science Foundation.

The Major Research Instrumentation grant will enable the College to acquire an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) with laser ablation system. The instrument will be used by a multidisciplinary team of faculty members who share a critical need for high sensitivity elemental analysis in order to pursue fundamental research in biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science and anthropology.

In addition, the instrument will create a wealth of new opportunities to engage undergraduate science students in cutting-edge research on campus.

The ICP-MS lab will also serve as a center for collaborative research and innovative teaching involving faculty, undergraduate science students, high school science teachers and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students from Kent County, as well as scientists from local environmental organizations.

“Use of the instrument will positively impact traditionally underrepresented groups, as 70 percent of Washington College’s science students are women, and the Kent County STEM academy draws from a student body that is one-third minorities,” said Leslie Sherman, W. Alton Jones Associate Professor of Chemistry at Washington College.

Washington College emphasizes undergraduate education through active inquiry and seeks to promote faculty research.

In addition to Dr. Sherman, principal investigators of the grant are Anne Marteel-Parrish, Associate Professor of Chemistry; and Karl Kehm, Adrian Reed Associate Professor of Physics and Earth and Planetary Science.

The mass spectrometer will further the work of faculty associates on the grant as well: John Seidel, Lammot duPont Copeland Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies,
Chair of the Anthropology and the Sociology Departments, and Director of the Center for Environment & Society; and Mindy Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Biology.

“We are very excited about the new research opportunities this instrumentation will allow us to pursue,” said Dr. Sherman. “In addition, our students will gain invaluable experience working with the ICP-MS in collaborative research projects. Few liberal arts schools have this instrument.”

Scholar Explores 'Life In Venetian Archives' In Rose O'Neill Literary House Talk

CHESTERTOWN – Benjamin Kohl, Professor Emeritus of History at Vassar College, will offer a presentation on “Life in the Venetian Archives” at Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House on Thursday, January 28; tea and light refreshments will be served at 4 p.m., with Dr. Kohl’s talk beginning at 4:30 p.m.

From 1966 until his retirement in 1998, Dr. Kohl taught medieval and early modern history at Vassar, where he served as chair of the department for seven years.

Among his publications are the edited volumes The Earthly Republic: Italian Humanists on Government and Society (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1978), Major Problems in the History of the Italian Renaissance (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1995), and an abridged translation of Johann Weyer’s De praestigiis daemonum (Asheville, N.C.: Pegasus Press, 1998); and books including Padua under the Carrara, 1318-1405 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) and a collection of 14 of his papers, published as Culture and Politics in Early Renaissance Padua (Aldershot, Eng.: Ashgate, 2001).

Kohl currently resides in Betterton, Maryland, where he is working on a book on the governance of late medieval Venice.
In addition to his work as a scholar, on the Eastern Shore Kohl teaches in the local Elderhostel, directs the Hedgelawn Foundation Inc. (a small charitable trust dedicated to the promotion of the humanities, historic preservation, and the visual and performing arts), serves as the Secretary of the Town of Betterton Planning Commission, and drives for Food Link.

Dr. Kohl’s presentation is part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House’s recently relaunched “Tea and Talk” series, which will continue through the spring with presentations by Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies Christine Wade and Assistant Professor of Drama Michele Volansky.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7899 or visit

Exhibit Of Artwork By Area Middle-Schoolers On View At Washington College

CHESTERTOWN – Artwork by students of Chestertown Middle School is currently on view at Washington College’s Kohl Gallery, located in the new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. The exhibit is open through February 13.

In working with the middle school students whose art is on display, Washington College graduate Gillian Bourassa, now a social studies teacher at Chestertown Middle School, teamed with Kohl Gallery intern Riley Carbonneau and Professor Donald McColl, Nancy L. Underwood Chair in Art History, Chair in the Department of Art and Art History and Director of the Kohl Gallery at Washington College.

The Kohl Gallery’s hours are Tuesday from 2 to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (the gallery is closed Sunday and Monday).

A closing reception will be held on the last day of the exhibit, Saturday, February 13, at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

WC Community Supports Haiti Relief Efforts

Note from President Tipson

The massive earthquake in Haiti has taken the lives of more than 200,000 people, left half of the country's population homeless, and orphaned more than 200,000 children. Everyone in the Washington College community is shaken by the magnitude of the destruction and the loss of life. Students have begun organizing fundraisers to send aid to the ravaged nation, already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. While there were no College students or faculty members in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, we have at least one report of a member of the Washington College community who has lost a friend there. Our hearts go out to all those directly touched by this terrible event.

As news reaches us of alumni on the ground, we will share it with you. In the meantime, please join me in supporting one of the international relief organizations sending aid to Haiti.

ZUMBATHON for Haiti Relief

Saturday, January 30, 2010
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cain Athletic Center at Washington College

What is a ZUMBATHON? In this case, a 3-hour fitness party hosted by several certified ZUMBA® instructors from the area—including Washington College students and alumni—leading dances to pulsating international beats. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

  • Event starts at 1:00 p.m. and goes until 4:00 p.m.
  • We are asking for a $10 donation for entry, additional donations welcomed! (Red Cross prefers checks, however cash will be accepted)
  • No experience necessary, our instructors will be plentiful and are experienced, all you have to do is show up and be willing to have FUN!
  • Water is being donated, but it is encouraged to bring some as well
  • Wear comfortable workout clothes
  • This event is come and go as you please, drop in for a few songs or stay the whole time, it's up to you!

For more information, contact

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Washington College 2009-2010 Concert Series Continues With Gemini Piano Trio

CHESTERTOWN – The 58th season of the Washington College Concert Series continues with a performance by the Gemini Piano Trio in Decker Theatre on Saturday, January 23, at 8 p.m.

Since its formation in 1994, the award-winning Gemini Piano Trio has been praised for consummate technique and vibrant musicality. The San Diego Union-Tribune hailed the three musicians as “mind readers, anticipating each other’s every move,” while applauding their “almost uncanny musical closeness.”

The trio consists of pianist Hsiu-Hui Wang, violinist Sheng-Tsung Wang and cellist Benjamin Myers. They have recorded acclaimed CDs featuring works by Ives, Brahms, Ravel and Shostakovich.

The 2009-2010 Washington College Concert Series will continue with performances by the Lyric Brass Quintet on February 27 and pianist Inna Faliks on March 28.

Season tickets are available in advance or at the box office on performance nights. Single admission tickets, available at the box office, are $15 for adults, $5 for youth 18 and under. Decker Theatre is located in Washington College’s new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. For more information, call 410/778-7839.

'Zero Waste Movement' Taking Hold Locally

CHESTERTOWN — Everybody in the world makes waste and Americans alone dump 4.6 pounds of trash per person per day, according to the E.P.A.’s most recent figures. “More than half of that garbage ends up in landfills or is incinerated,” says Ford Schumann, director of Infinity Recycling in Chestertown.

But across the nation, an anti-garbage crusade known as the “zero waste movement” is taking shape in college cafeterias, corporations, national parks, restaurants, and both large and small municipalities. The concept is simple: Produce less waste. Recycle or compost whatever we can to keep materials out of landfills. Shun any containers or other packaging that is not biodegradable.

The Town of Chestertown, Infinity Recycling, Kent County Recycling & Waste Disposal, the Mid-Shore Regional Recycling Program, and Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society will screen the documentary “Garbage Dreams” on Wednesday, January 20, followed the next night by “Zero Waste Communities,” a lecture by Rick Anthony, on Thursday, January 21. Both programs are at 7 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall.

Anthony is a zero-waste pioneer who links the movement to sustainable agriculture, architecture, energy, industrial, economic and community development. At the 5th International Dialog on Zero Waste in Naples, Italy, in October 2009, he highlighted the fastest and most cost-effective ways that local governments can protect health, create green jobs, move toward sustainable resource management, and contribute to reducing climate change.

According to the Zero Waste International Alliance, “the goal is to guide people in changing their lifestyles and behaviors to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Implementing zero-waste practices will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center at Washington College. Admission to “Garbage Dreams” on January 20 and “Zero Waste Communities” on January 21 is free and open to the public. For more information, log on to or call 410/778-7295.

Renowned Speaker Presents 'King's Dream' At Washington College

CHESTERTOWN – In celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Washington College will present an address by nationally renowned speaker Dr. Boyce D. Watkins, assistant professor of finance at Syracuse University. Dr. Watkins will speak about “King’s Dream: The Importance of Access and Affordability of Education” in Decker Theatre on Tuesday, January 19, at 7 p.m.

Often referred to as “The People’s Scholar,” Dr. Watkins is one of the nation’s leading African-American social commentators. An advocate for education, economic empowerment and social justice, he regularly appears on CNN, “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, FOX News, BET, NPR and numerous other national media outlets.

Through his Step Up and Go to College Tour, Dr. Watkins has spoken to more than 50,000 African-American youth about the benefits of obtaining a college education. As a black financial speaker, he has given financial advice to millions of African-Americans through his series “Get Your Paper Straight” and “Black Love, Black Money, Black Relationships,” as well as more 150 national television, radio and print interviews in the last two years alone.

In addition to his position at Syracuse, Dr. Watkins is also a faculty affiliate with the College Sports Research Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Decker Theatre is located in the Daniel Z. Gibson Performing Arts Center. Admission to “King’s Dream: The Importance of Access and Affordability of Education” is free and open to the public.