Fountain

Communications & Updates

Dear Undergraduate Students, 

More than a year ago, we faced an unimaginable disruption to our daily lives. At Hood, our primary focus was for the health and safety of our community. Beginning in the fall of 2020, through our shared dedication and perseverance, we lived a “new normal” that enabled us to continue operations successfully through this current academic year.

Encouraged by lower positivity rates and increased vaccination availability, we find ourselves looking forward with hope and optimism. Today, I am writing to share the promise of fall - when we can fully resume on-campus operations, in-person classes, co-curricular activities and a robust, thriving campus community.

Although we do not yet know all the details, we wanted to share this news with you now. We know it may raise some questions and possibly some anxiety; be assured that we will continue to seek your feedback and share information as we move forward, and we will continue to keep the safety and well-being of the community as our priority.

Based on conversations with the health department, our partners at Frederick Health, the COVID Emergency Response Team and the Oversight Working Group, we have made the following decisions thus far:

Summer 2021

Summer session classes will be taught primarily online, although some hands-on experiences will be in person, including the Summer Research Institute, art studios, science labs, fieldwork and other experiences. Students enrolled in summer classes at Hood can live on campus. 

Summer advising and registration sessions for our incoming class will be virtual. Later this summer, we are hosting optional on-campus visits to allow incoming students and their families to “Say Hello at Hood.”

The 2021-22 Academic Year

The College is planning for an in-person experience for all undergraduate classes. Graduate classes will also be predominately in-person, with some existing online and hybrid course options. 

Classes will begin on Monday, August 23, and the full academic calendar for the coming year can be found here

Housing & Residence Life

Due to COVID-19, leniency was provided to the residency requirement for the 2020-21 academic year. We will return to normal operations in the 2021-22 academic year and therefore, the residency requirement has been reinstated. All undergraduate students are required to complete a Housing and Food Service Contract in Self-Service or apply for a housing exemption by Friday, April 23, as we prepare for a new semester with record enrollment of new students.

New students will receive information on the housing process from residence life as they place their deposits for fall.

Health & Wellness

We will finalize our fall protocols later this summer as we better understand the trajectory of the virus. This includes mask and social distancing requirements, surveillance testing and quarantine/isolation procedures. COVID-19 vaccines will become available for students this week and we strongly encourage all students to register for a vaccine now so you can schedule an appointment as soon as possible. More information can be found here or you can email wellness@hood.edu if you have questions. We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated before leaving campus this semester and definitely prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

As we continue to plan for the fall semester, we will send information via email and update the website. Thank you to each and every member of Hood community for your commitment, cooperation and resiliency. The success of the past year was only possible because of you. I look forward to us being together in the next academic year – it is going to be a great year! 

Best,
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Earlier today I sent the below message to our students. I am thrilled that we are nearing normalcy and will once again be together on campus and in community, able to deliver on the promise of a student-centered and personalized educational experience. Having our vibrant community together again will be good for our students, each other, and our community at large, providing personal interactions that have been the hallmark of our campus culture. 

More details will be relayed in the coming months as we begin the shift back to on-campus operations in preparation for the fall semester. This will include a robust discussion of the results of the lemonade exercise and how we will incorporate lessons learned into our new normal.

Best,
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Message from the President:

More than a year ago, we faced an unimaginable disruption to our daily lives. At Hood, our primary focus was for the health and safety of our community. Beginning in the fall of 2020, through our shared dedication and perseverance, we lived a “new normal” that enabled us to continue operations successfully through this current academic year.

Encouraged by lower positivity rates and increased vaccination availability, we find ourselves looking forward with hope and optimism. Today, I am writing to share the promise of fall - when we can fully resume on-campus operations, in-person classes, co-curricular activities and a robust, thriving campus community.

Although we do not yet know all the details, we wanted to share this news with you now. We know it may raise some questions and possibly some anxiety; be assured that we will continue to seek your feedback and share information as we move forward, and we will continue to keep the safety and well-being of the community as our priority.

Based on conversations with the health department, our partners at Frederick Health, the COVID Emergency Response Team and the Oversight Working Group, we have made the following decisions thus far:

Summer 2021

Summer session classes will be taught primarily online, although some hands-on experiences will be in person, including the Summer Research Institute, art studios, science labs, fieldwork and other experiences. Students enrolled in summer classes at Hood can live on campus. 

Summer advising and registration sessions for our incoming class will be virtual. Later this summer, we are hosting optional on-campus visits to allow incoming students and their families to “Say Hello at Hood.”

The 2021-22 Academic Year

The College is planning for an in-person experience for all undergraduate classes. Graduate classes will also be predominately in-person, with some existing online and hybrid course options. 

Classes will begin on Monday, August 23, and the full academic calendar for the coming year can be found here

Housing & Residence Life

Due to COVID-19, leniency was provided to the residency requirement for the 2020-21 academic year. We will return to normal operations in the 2021-22 academic year and therefore, the residency requirement has been reinstated. All undergraduate students are required to complete a Housing and Food Service Contract in Self-Service or apply for a housing exemption by Friday, April 23, as we prepare for a new semester with record enrollment of new students.

New students will receive information on the housing process from residence life as they place their deposits for fall.

Health & Wellness

We will finalize our fall protocols later this summer as we better understand the trajectory of the virus. This includes mask and social distancing requirements, surveillance testing and quarantine/isolation procedures. COVID-19 vaccines will become available for students this week and we strongly encourage all students to register for a vaccine now so you can schedule an appointment as soon as possible. More information can be found here or you can email wellness@hood.edu if you have questions. We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated before leaving campus this semester and definitely prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

As we continue to plan for the fall semester, we will send information via email and update the website. Thank you to each and every member of Hood community for your commitment, cooperation and resiliency. The success of the past year was only possible because of you. I look forward to us being together in the next academic year – it is going to be a great year! 

Best,
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We are approaching a holiday weekend during which families and friends may be gathering, or you may be traveling. If either is true for you, please remember to minimize the risk of COVID spread by gathering in smaller groups and staying outside as much as possible. Practice food safety, wash your hands often and wear your mask. If you plan to gather with those outside of your usual bubble, sign up now for testing on April 6You can sign up until the end of the day

If you are traveling out of state, check the Employee Travel Policy page for an updated list of states with positivity rates above 10 percent. For such states, you are required to obtain a negative COVID test prior to returning to work. We are seeing the positivity rate in Frederick County higher than we would all like, and much higher than our current campus rate, so we must all remain vigilant.

Vaccination clinics continue to open across the state and appointments are becoming easier to obtain. We have nearly 100 faculty and staff members on campus who have self-reported that they are fully vaccinated. We encourage you to let the College know you have been fully vaccinated; you can do so on the form found on the COVID-19 Vaccines page. This information is confidential and stored in human resources.

My thanks to Sarah Tansits, Amanda Rzepkowski and Meg Timmons for a successful Wellness Week. The activities have been a welcome and fun distraction. A reminder that tomorrow is a Wellness Day and Spirit Friday. There will be no classes in session, though offices remain open. Be sure to wear your Hood gear to the Wellness Week events planned!

My thanks also to the new members of the Staff Council board for FY’22. They are:

  • Academic Affairs: Lisa Copenhaver and Ron Wiafe
  • Enrollment Management: Nikki Bamonti
  • Finance and Administration: Kichelle Charleswell
  • President’s Office: Jennie Bowker
  • At-Large: Thomas Chatfield and Amanda Rzepkowski

Please mark April 29-May 4 on your calendar, when we will be scheduling the finalists for the vice president of community and inclusivity on campus. More details will follow shortly. The search committee is currently selecting semi-finalists for Zoom interviews. I’m pleased to report that there was significant interest in the position (100 applicants), including some very impressive candidates.

I hope everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine; it looks like it will be a great spring weekend.

Sincerely,
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

We are approaching a holiday weekend during which families and friends may be gathering, or you may be traveling. If either is true for you, please remember to minimize the risk of COVID spread by gathering in smaller groups and staying outside as much as possible. Smaller groups means more candy for you! Practice food safety, wash your hands often and wear your mask. If you plan to gather with those outside of your usual bubble, sign up now for testing on April 6You can sign up until the end of the day

If you are traveling out of state, check the Travel Policy page for an updated list of states with positivity rates above 10 percent. For such states, you are required to obtain a negative COVID test prior to returning to campus. We are seeing the positivity rate in Frederick County higher than we would all like, and much higher than our current campus rate, so we must all remain vigilant.

My thanks to Sarah Tansits, Amanda Rzepkowski and Meg Timmons for a successful Wellness Week. The activities have been a welcome and fun distraction. A reminder that tomorrow is a Wellness Day and Spirit Friday. There will be no classes in session, though offices remain open. Be sure to wear your Hood gear to the Wellness Week events planned!

I hope everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine; it looks like it will be a great spring weekend. And remember, you’re safer on campus! Stay focused to get us through the end of the semester.

Sincerely,
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community,

Yesterday, we tested 512 individuals – including faculty and staff as a part of our usual surveillance testing and all residential students. Frederick Health has completed and reported on 80 percent of the tests so far, with only one positive case.

Given this information and in consultation with Amanda Rzepkowski, our director of wellness, I have made the decision to resume normal on-campus operations, including in-person classes, beginning Thursday morning.

The fitness center and library and learning commons will reopen at its normally scheduled time tomorrow morning; and beginning with breakfast tomorrow, the dining room in Coblentz Dining Hall will reopen to allow for eat-in meals.

Visitor policies will resume on Thursday to allow residential students to visit other rooms and residence halls, per the protocols put in place on February 12.

As it did last semester, this COVID bump can serve as a lesson to not let our guard down or become complacent with our behavioral protocols. I am so proud of the work we have all done collectively to work, live and learn together despite the many challenges we face every day.

I am thankful to all of you for pivoting quickly over the weekend and following the protocols we had to put in place. This was a hard pivot, with the timing and the restriction of activities and available facilities. But because of your swift action and cooperation, we were able to contain the number of cases and continue with our semester.

As always, if you have questions, please send them to covidquestions@hood.edu and reach out to the services available to you, whether it is the counseling center, the dean of students, your faculty or colleagues, or me. 

Stay well,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community, 
 
I wanted to send an update since my email on Friday. We have held steady with eight confirmed cases and completed contact tracing to move 28 individuals into quarantine. All residential students will be tested on Tuesday. (Wellness will be sending logistics for that testing.) 
 
While all classes will be virtual through Wednesday, March 17, offices will be open and staff will be on campus as per current guidelines. Faculty may teach classes from their offices, classrooms, laboratories or studios as needed.  
 
Departments should communicate directly with students regarding internship/clinical experiences, as these are an “exception” to restricted campus activity/virtual learning. 
 
Student workers should not work in offices but if possible, should work remotely. 
 
To reiterate key aspects of Friday’s message: 
 
The fitness center and library are closed through Wednesday; library offices and services are available online. 
 
Residential students are to follow protocols from the beginning of the semester, which entail: 
·         Students are not allowed to enter rooms or residence halls other than their own.  
·         Students are not allowed to have off-campus visitors.  
·         Students may visit residential lounges in their own building, following mask, occupancy and social distancing protocols. 
·         Students are allowed to use the laundry room and kitchen, following mask, occupancy and social distancing protocols. 
 
Coblentz Dining Hall is open for to-go meals only. The tents on campus will be open for outside dining, with a limit of three people per table, and following masking protocol when not eating or drinking. Heaters will be available in the tents. The Blazer will be open regular hours. 
 
I’m encouraged by the compliance and strong community spirit I’ve seen thus far over the weekend. I know this is hard after more than a year of living with the pandemic. Remember, we are in this together and we are #HoodStrong.
 
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D. 
President

Dear Hood Community,

 

I convened a special meeting of CERT this evening, following eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 this morning during testing of student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff. Contact tracing is underway and those who were possibly exposed have been moved to quarantine, with more expected in the next several hours. 

 

All athletic competitions and practices have been canceled for the weekend, including the lacrosse watch party. The fitness center and library will also remain closed for the immediate future to prevent spread. All classes will be virtual through Wednesday, March 17, pending contact tracing and test results. 

 

On Tuesday, March 16, all residential students will undergo mandatory testing from noon to 5 p.m. in the Whitaker Commons. A separate email with specific times for students per residence hall will go out over the weekend. Students who miss testing will be held accountable through the judicial process.  

 

Residential students are strongly encouraged to remain on campus this weekend.  

 

In effect immediately, residential students are to follow protocols from the beginning of the semester, which entail: 

·         Students are not allowed to enter rooms or residence halls other than their own.  

·         Students are not allowed to have off-campus visitors.  

·         Students may visit residential lounges in their own building, following mask, occupancy and social distancing protocols. 

·         Students are allowed to use the laundry room and kitchen, following mask, occupancy and social distancing protocols. 

 

Coblentz Dining Hall is open for to-go meals only. The tents on campus will be open for outside dining, with a limit of three people per table, and following masking protocol when not eating or drinking. Heaters will be available in the tents. The Blazer will be open regular hours. 

 

As we did last semester, we will get through this COVID bump and come out a stronger community.  

 

If you have any questions, please send them to covidquestions@hood.edu

 

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.

President

Dear Students, 

Congratulations on a successful first week of the semester even if we did have to start virtually because of winter weather. It was so fun to see some of you on campus enjoying the snow with snowmen and football games on the Quad; I hope those of you who were virtual also had some R&R before gearing up for the semester. Don’t forget to check the webcam when you’re missing campus.

As we’ve completed re-entry testing and gotten into the swing of things, I want to remind those of you coming to campus of the critical importance of your role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 not only on campus but in the Frederick community. The emergence of new variants of the virus, which are even more transmissible, brings renewed urgency to our efforts. 

While we successfully kept campus open in the fall, spring semester will be an even greater test of our resilience and commitment. It is more imperative than ever that you take seriously your responsibility for keeping yourselves, and others, as healthy and safe as possible. I understand that 24/7 safeguards against the virus are tiring, and we are all ready for the pandemic to be over. But until we are all vaccinated, which will not happen for months, we must be even more vigilant. 

As some look forward to Super Bowl Sunday (a year ago who would have imagined this Pats fan being unhappy that Brady is back in the big game?!), please use your best judgment and do not have Super Bowl Sunday become “super spreader Sunday.” Masking, social distancing, limits of the number of people in a given space all still apply. 

As you monitor your health daily, it’s important to be hyper vigilant. Sometimes a cold can be just a cold, but if you are experiencing any possible COVID symptoms, please err on the side of caution. Stay home or in your room, complete the #CampusClear app and, as soon as possible, get a COVID-19 test.

We will retest all residential students on Monday, Feb. 8; weekly surveillance testing will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The testing is mandatory for employees. If you are spending any time on campus, you are eligible for testing and must make yourself available for it. If you want to opt into testing on any given week, you can do so no later than the previous Thursday by emailing wellness@hood.edu

Given the amount of misinformation I hear on a daily basis, I want to remind you to stay educated by referring to reputable sources for information regarding COVID-19. These include:

The registrar’s office will be working remotely until the week of Monday, Feb. 15. With the drop/add deadline on Feb.10 at 5 p.m., please submit all documents to registrar@hood.edu in advance of the deadline. If you have any questions or concerns, please email registrar@hood.edu

I hope you’ve all had a chance to explore the new library and learning commons, either in person or virtually. While it will eventually have 24-hour access after the pandemic, be sure to check out its regular hours for this semester.

Be sure to check out Pergola Connect for upcoming events, including Movie Night, Saturday, Feb. 6 and Trivia Night on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

February is designated as Black History Month, originally chosen as a week of celebration to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is a time to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to this country and a time to reaffirm our collective commitment to seek racial justice. The recognition and awareness should not stop when February comes to a close. Today and every day, Black history is American history. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Congratulations on a successful first week of the semester even if we did have to start virtually because of winter weather. Thank you to the faculty who had to pivot quickly to all virtual. I hope we won’t have to use that plan again this semester, but good to know that we are ready.

As we’ve completed re-entry testing and gotten into the swing of things, I want to remind those of you coming to campus of the critical importance of your role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 not only on campus but in the Frederick community. The emergence of new variants of the virus, which are even more transmissible, brings renewed urgency to our efforts. 

While we successfully kept campus open in the fall, spring semester will be an even greater test of our resilience and commitment. It is more imperative than ever that you take seriously your responsibility for keeping yourselves, and others, as healthy and safe as possible. I understand that 24/7 safeguards against the virus are tiring, and we are all ready for the pandemic to be over. But until we are all vaccinated, which will not happen for months, we must be even more vigilant. 

As you monitor your health daily, it’s important to be hyper vigilant. Sometimes a cold can be just a cold, but if you are experiencing any possible COVID symptoms, please err on the side of caution. Stay home, complete the #CampusClear app and, as soon as possible, get a COVID-19 test.

We will retest all residential students on Monday, Feb. 8; weekly surveillance testing will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The testing is mandatory for employees. If you are spending any time on campus, you are eligible for testing and must make yourself available for it. If you want to opt into testing on any given week, you can do so no later than the previous Thursday by emailing wellness@hood.edu

Given the amount of misinformation I hear on a daily basis, I want to remind you to stay educated by referring to reputable sources for information regarding COVID-19. These include:

The registrar’s office will be working remotely until the week of Monday, Feb. 15. If you have any questions or concerns, please email registrar@hood.edu

I hope you’ve all had a chance to explore the new library and learning commons, either in person or virtually. While it will eventually have 24-hour access after the pandemic, be sure to check out its regular hours for this semester.

February is designated as Black History Month, originally chosen as a week of celebration to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is a time to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to this country and a time to reaffirm our collective commitment to seek racial justice. The recognition and awareness should not stop when February comes to a close. Today and every day, Black history is American history. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

It’s exciting that in just a few days we’ll have students and faculty on campus again. These last two months have been so quiet with limited personnel here.

I remind you again to refer to the Welcome Home Blazers website and the New Horizon Plan. It is only with our continued commitment to these protocols that we will have a successful semester.

full testing calendar has been published for your easy reference and in addition to the random surveillance testing, members of the community can request to be included in that week’s testing. Faculty and staff who are being tested this week have already been notified. To be included in the testing on Wednesday, Feb. 10, email Stephanie Arcadia at arcadia@hood.edu no later than February 3. We will once again utilize the RAVE alert system for same-day test reminders.

Please note that if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, you will not be included in surveillance testing for 90 days from your last positive test. CDC guidance shows that a person can test positive for up to three months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others. If you fall into this category, please email wellness@hood.edu with that information.

It seems that every day there is a new update on the vaccination picture. This week, we received good news that the state will include higher education in Phase 1B, allowing our in-person faculty to be vaccinated. Our frontline workers (dining, facilities, campus safety, residential life) will be included in Phase 1C. The roll-out of vaccines is very slow. Stay tuned as we work through the logistics but be assured that we are working very hard on getting access to all who want it.

In preparation for the upcoming semester, we are looking for volunteers for the Blazer Support Team. As part of the Blazer Support Team, you can serve in two ways: meal delivery or contact (phone, email, Zoom) for those in quarantine. If interested or would like more information, please email Thomas Chatfield (chatfield@hood.edu). We will host a quick zoom to go over the roles and answer any questions people might have after more volunteers can be added.

Frederick Health is looking for faculty, staff or students to help with the vaccine distribution process. There is a great need for clinical help from nursing students and nursing faculty who have the IM injection competency to help administer the COVID vaccine; but they also need non-clinical volunteers to help with greeting people as they arrive, registering people in the specific tracking system, monitoring those who have received the vaccine, and to help them sign-up for their second vaccine. All volunteers must be current with their flu vaccine. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Bre Harwood at harwood@hood.edu. I hope we will be able to send some volunteers to help our neighbors with this important task. Ensuring “shots in arms” as soon as they are available is critical to moving us past the pandemic.

I am happy to report that fundraising is going well with a very strong end to the calendar year. The Hood Fund is trending 25 percent ahead of where it was this time last year with an increase in participation, as well. My thanks to each of you for continuing to support the College in this important way. 

The January term, which ran from January 4 through 22, was very successful. In total, more than 140 students enrolled in online undergraduate and graduate classes. We hope to repeat this success next January with a similar array of online course options to support our student’s degree progression.

We will be welcoming at least 34 new undergraduate students and at least 68 new graduate students when the spring semester begins. Please be sure to give them a Hood Hello when you see them.

As folks are returning to campus, perhaps for the first time since last spring, remember that there is a surplus office supply “closet” in the basement of Alumnae Hall. You never know what treasures you might find for your office.

A "tree-mendous" thank you to Susan Simonson for her work with the Frederick County Forestry Board to have campus included as a companion to the Baker Park Tree Walk. The map includes 14 of our campus trees with photos and information about each specimen. On-campus signage for each tree is forthcoming. What a great way to share the beauty of Hood.

I hope you’ll join us virtually for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Learning Commons on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 2:30 p.m. We’ll live stream the event on the College’s YouTube channel. I’m excited for you all to see the new space in person. It is truly magnificent. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students, 

It’s exciting that in just a few days we will begin our spring semester after such a long break.

I remind you again to refer to the Welcome Home Blazers website before you return to campus. It is only with our continued commitment to these protocols that we will have a successful semester. 

full testing calendar has been published for your easy reference and in addition to the random surveillance testing, you can request to be included in that week’s testing. You must be tested before returning to campus for in-person classes. Residential students will need to “stay-in-place” and limit close contacts until you receive your negative test result (estimated to be 24 hours or less). All residential students will be retested on Monday, Feb. 8. We will once again utilize the RAVE alert system for same-day test reminders.

Please note that if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, you should not be included in surveillance testing for 90 days from your last positive test. CDC guidance shows that a person can test positive for up to three months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others. If you fall into this category, please email wellness@hood.edu with that information. 

Frederick Health is looking for faculty, staff or students to help with the vaccine distribution process. There is a great need for clinical help from nursing students and nursing faculty who have the IM injection competency to help administer the COVID vaccine; but they also need non-clinical volunteers to help with greeting people as they arrive, registering people in the specific tracking system, monitoring those who have received the vaccine, and to help them sign-up for their second vaccine. All volunteers must be current with their flu vaccine. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Bre Harwood at harwood@hood.edu. I hope we will be able to send some volunteers to help our neighbors with this important task. Ensuring “shots in arms” as soon as they are available is critical to moving us past the pandemic.

We will be welcoming at least 34 new undergraduate students and at least 68 new graduate students when the spring semester begins. Please be sure to give them a Hood Hello when you see them.

A "tree-mendous" thank you to Susan Simonson for her work with the Frederick County Forestry Board to have campus included as a companion to the Baker Park Tree Walk. The map includes 14 of our campus trees with photos and information about each specimen. On-campus signage for each tree is forthcoming. What a great way to share the beauty of Hood.

I hope you’ll join us virtually for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Learning Commons on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 2:30 p.m. We’ll live stream the event on the College’s YouTube channel. I’m excited for you all to see the new space in person. It is truly magnificent. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students, 

Happy new year! With the news that positivity rates in the state and county are decreasing, I am happy to share the good news that Hood College will be reopening as planned for the spring semester with the support of the Oversight Working Group (OWG) and the COVID Emergency Response Team (CERT). 

Throughout the fall semester, the College’s proactive strategies to detect and prevent transmission of COVID-19 proved effective. Cumulatively, the on-campus positivity rate was never higher than 1.2 percent. This was achieved through weekly surveillance testing, conducting immediate contact tracing following a positive case and quarantining when necessary. Most important to this success was the commitment of everyone on campus to the behavioral practices that prevent spread – wearing a mask, monitoring symptoms, washing hands and social distancing. Since almost half of the student cases (a total of 42 reported) were asymptomatic, all of these measures are critical. Contact tracing results showed that following these protocols prevented transmission in the classroom, in dining facilities or within athletic practices. Together, we did it! 

In the fall, course attendance was structured to be as flexible as possible to best meet each student’s learning needs. Just as we know that our on-campus COVID 19 cases were lower than off campus, we also know that overall, student progress and success was impacted negatively by being fully online. Also, for faculty, it was difficult to plan for hybrid courses without knowing which students would be remote and which would be in person. Accordingly, we’ve been urging you to commit to your course modality before the start of the semester and encourage all students, who are able, to attend classes in person. 

Over the break, we completed a comprehensive review of our COVID-19 New Horizon Plan, building on our success in the fall to respond to changing conditions, both internal and external, and improving the plan to not only better ensure COVID-19 prevention, but also to respond to your feedback to better meet your needs and support your academic success. We will once again combine risk mitigation, surveillance testing and public health interventions to help safely resume on-campus activities for the spring semester. 

Our plan, designed to be flexible, enables us to respond quickly as conditions may change on campus or in the Frederick community. While we can never remove all risk, we are dedicated to once again make Hood College the model for a successful on-campus experience. 

It is imperative that you read the below message carefully and refer to the Welcome Home Blazers website . I know that COVID fatigue is real, but only with our continued commitment to the behavioral protocols will we be able to have a safe and successful spring semester. Experts are telling us that we are in the last stage of this pandemic, as we leave winter behind and vaccines become more widely distributed. Hold on, we are almost there!

Testing

  • All new and returning students who will be on campus will be tested the week of January 25. All students are encouraged to quarantine as much as possible for at least 10 days prior to coming to campus.
  • Residential students will quarantine until receiving a negative test result (expected time: 24-48 hours).
  • Residential students will be retested February 8. Additional information regarding the move-in process will be sent from residence life.
  • If you have questions, please email covidquestions@hood.edu

Behavioral Protocols

Campus Updates

  • The newly renovated Beneficial-Hodson Library and Learning Commons will re-open on Monday, Feb. 1. Be sure to visit and explore – we are so excited to provide you with this beautiful space to learn. We will hold a virtual ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 3:30 p.m. (details to follow).
  • For the spring semester, we will be welcoming 29 new undergraduates and 50 new graduate students. If you are on campus, please give your new peers a Hood Hello and make them feel welcome.
  • In lieu of a spring break, we have designated March 29-April 1 as Wellness Week. Faculty have been asked to lighten coursework that week as much as possible and we will have campus-wide programing and fun events to promote wellness. More details will be forthcoming but if you have ideas for activities, please send to wellness@hood.edu.
  • IT has improved audio and video technology in classrooms.
  • Heaters will be placed under the tents on the Quad and the Whitaker patio to allow outdoor seating to be used during the winter months.

Dining Services

  • Coblentz Dining Hall will open for brunch and dinner on Wednesday Jan.27; regular service resumes Thursday, Jan. 28. 
  • The Blazer will reopen on Monday, Feb. 1.
  • Faculty and staff are reminded not to eat in the Dining Hall or pick-up food at the Blazer between noon and 1 p.m. to reduce congestion for our students.

Staff Changes 

  • My thanks to Teresa Cevallos, director of wellness, for postponing her retirement and staying with us until the end of January. Teresa has been instrumental in our COVID-19 response and testing protocol. Please wish Ms. Cevallos well as she enjoys retirement. 
  • Welcome to our new director of wellness, Amanda Rzepkowski, MPH, who begins at the College on Monday, Jan. 25. Amanda’s experience includes developing an employee well-being program for the Johns Hopkins Health System and developing student wellness programs at her alma mater, James Madison University. 
  • And welcome to our new dean of students, Ron Wiafe, who begins on Tuesday, Jan. 19. His office will be located in the Student Life suite on the 2nd floor of the Whitaker Campus Center.
  • Two new faculty members will join our community beginning this spring. Dr. Sherita Henry is an assistant professor in the nursing department and will be leading our new public health program. Dr. Daniel Sierra Sosa is an assistant professor in the computer science department. Please welcome them!

Together, we are stronger. Your resilience, commitment to your education and support for each other has been amazing – thank you! Stay safe and well!

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Happy new year! With the news that positivity rates in the state and county are decreasing, I am happy to share the good news that Hood College will be reopening as planned for the spring semester with the support of the Oversight Working Group (OWG) and the COVID Emergency Response Team (CERT). 

Throughout the fall semester, the College’s proactive strategies to detect and prevent transmission of COVID-19 proved effective. Cumulatively, the on-campus positivity rate was never higher than 1.2 percent. This was achieved through weekly surveillance testing, conducting immediate contact tracing following a positive case and quarantining when necessary. Most important to this success was our shared commitment to the behavioral practices that prevent spread – wearing a mask, monitoring symptoms, washing hands and social distancing. Since almost half of the student cases (a total of 42 reported) were asymptomatic, all of these measures are critical. Contact tracing results showed that following these protocols prevented transmission in the classroom, in dining facilities or within athletic practices. Together, we did it! 

Over the break, we completed a comprehensive review of our COVID-19 New Horizon Plan, building on our success in the fall to respond to changing conditions, both internal and external, and improving the plan to not only better ensure COVID-19 prevention, but also to respond to your feedback to better meet your needs and support your work as well as better serve our students. We will once again combine risk mitigation, surveillance testing and public health interventions to help safely resume on-campus activities for the spring semester. 

A number of staff and faculty will work remotely to allow for low-density population and effective social distancing. While we can never remove all risk, we are dedicated to once again make Hood College the model for a successful on-campus experience. The New Horizon Plan, designed to be flexible, enables us to respond quickly as conditions may change on campus or in the Frederick community.

It is imperative that you read the below message carefully and refer to the Welcome Home Blazers website and the New Horizon Plan. I know that COVID fatigue is real, but only with our continued commitment to the behavioral protocols will we be able to have a safe and successful spring semester. Experts are telling us that we are in the last stage of this pandemic, as we leave winter behind and vaccines become more widely distributed. Hold on, we are almost there!

Testing

  • Campus offices will open in person, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19 (closed Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • Employees who were not tested on campus on Monday, Jan. 11 must produce a negative test before returning to campus. 
  • For all testing on Tuesday, Jan. 19, you must opt into the testing list by emailing Stephanie Arcadia at arcadia@hood.edu no later than noon Thursday, Jan. 14. If you do not contact Stephanie, you will not be tested on January 19. 
  • Weekly random surveillance testing (increased to 25 percent of the on-campus population) will begin in February.
  • All returning students will be tested the week of January 25, with all residential students being retested February 8.

Behavioral Protocols

Campus Updates

  • The newly renovated Beneficial-Hodson Library and Learning Commons will re-open on Monday, Feb. 1. Be sure to visit and explore – what a wonderful space for our campus community. We will hold a virtual ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 3:30 p.m. (details to follow). 
  • For the spring semester, we will be welcoming 29 new undergraduates and 50 new graduate students. In addition, retention of current students from the fall semester is trending well, although this data is still preliminary. Undergraduate admissions for the class of 2021 remains on par with last year.
  • In lieu of a spring break, we have designated March 29-April 1 as Wellness Week. Faculty have been asked to lighten coursework that week as much as possible and we will have campus-wide programing and fun events to promote wellness. More details will be forthcoming but if you have ideas for activities, please send them to wellness@hood.edu.
  • IT has improved audio and video technology in classrooms.
  • Heaters will be placed under the tents on the Quad and the Whitaker patio to allow outdoor seating to be used during the winter months.

Dining Services

  • Coblentz Dining Hall will open for brunch and dinner on Wednesday Jan.27; regular service resumes Thursday, Jan. 28. 
  • The Blazer will reopen on Monday, Feb. 1.
  • The new self-serve café in the Learning Commons will open on February 1.
  • Faculty and staff are reminded not to eat in the Dining Hall or pick-up food at the Blazer between noon and 1 p.m. to reduce congestion for our students.

Staff Changes

  • My thanks to director of wellness Teresa Cevallos for postponing her retirement and staying with us until the end of January. Teresa has been instrumental in our COVID-19 response and testing protocol. Please wish Teresa well as she enjoys retirement.
  • Welcome to our new director of wellness, Amanda Rzepkowski, MPH, who begins at the College on Monday, Jan. 25. Amanda’s experience includes developing an employee well-being program for the Johns Hopkins Health System.
  • And welcome to our new dean of students, Ron Wiafe, who begins on Tuesday, Jan. 19. His office will be located in the Student Life suite on the 2nd floor of the Whitaker Campus Center.
  • Two new faculty members will join our community beginning this spring. Dr. Sherita Henry is an assistant professor in the nursing department and will be leading our new public health program. Dr. Daniel Sierra Sosa is an assistant professor in the computer science department. Please welcome them!
  • And last, but certainly not least, please wish Carol Wuenschel well as she retires on January 29 after 23 dedicated years at Hood College. Throughout her tenure, she has demonstrated the highest ethical and professional standards in supporting the needs of employees and managers.

COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Per CDC guidelines, Phase 1B of vaccine distribution includes education. The state has defined that as K-12 teachers only. With my higher ed colleagues in Maryland, we are strongly advocating that higher education be included in 1B. 
  • Our nursing students in clinicals and faculty members who are working with them will be vaccinated by their site partners, for which we are most thankful. 
  • The Frederick County Health Department has opened COVID-19 vaccination clinic appointments to everyone in Priority Group 1A to receive a COVID vaccination, including all healthcare providers who are licensed, registered and certified in Maryland who live or work in Frederick County. HR has sent out a separate email to employees who may qualify 
  • Availability of vaccinations after these initial phases is still unknown. We are in weekly communication with the health department and will share information as it becomes available. We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated as soon as you are eligible. 

Together, we are stronger. Your resilience, commitment to our mission and support for each other has been amazing – thank you! Stay safe and well!

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community, 

Since the start of the pandemic, every decision I have made has been with the health and safety of the Hood community as my top priority. With that in mind, and given the continuing challenges of COVID-19, I am writing to inform you that Hood College will not participate in men’s or women’s basketball for the 2020-21 winter season. This decision was based on the recommendations of the public health experts at the Frederick County Health Department and Frederick Health, as well as the College’s COVID Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Board of Trustees. At this time, the plan is for track and field to begin practicing for their outdoor spring season and swimming to compete within the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) beginning in mid-March. 

As with our previous decision to forgo competition in the fall, this is a very difficult decision, as I know how important competitions are to our student-athletes and our whole community. Yet, it is the only responsible one for not only the Hood community, but also the Frederick community. The COVID-19 landscape is even worse than it was when we made the decision to forgo a fall season. Local hospitals are facing limited capacity. The county’s positivity rate currently is higher than the state average and areas where our students would be competing are even higher (Pennsylvania, for example, has a positivity rate of over 40%).

Dr. Kolb and I know that our student-athletes and coaches want to compete, and that is what we want for them. We will begin the spring semester by building on the engaging athletic experience we were able to create in the fall and continue to plan for at least limited intercollegiate competition for all sports this spring.

I look forward to the day when I can sit in the bleachers and cheer on our student-athletes. I know that day is coming. This will not last forever.

If you have any questions, reach out to covidquestions@hood.edu.

Stay safe and well.

Best,
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students, 

The COVID Emergency Response Team (CERT) met this morning to discuss the current positivity rate in Frederick County. Based on that metric, we have made the decision to remain at our current status for the week of January 11, with most faculty and staff working remotely. All student support offices are open and available to support you virtually.

As things continually change on the COVID landscape, I thank you for your patience as we work to make the best decisions for your safety. As I walked my dog Nikka on campus last night, I commented to my son, I am so tired of campus being so quiet! I am so excited to have you back on campus. Our fall semester results clearly demonstrate that we can be on campus safely and that it is best for you to be here, in the classroom, learning. However, we will continue to prioritize mitigating the risk of COVID-19. 

CERT will meet again January 12 to make any decisions necessary that may affect the start of the semester on campus, with an announcement planned to go out no later than Wednesday, Jan. 13.

As always, please send any questions or concerns to covidquestions@hood.edu. Until I see you on campus, stay safe and be well. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

The COVID Emergency Response Team (CERT) met this morning to discuss the current positivity rate in Frederick County. Based on that metric, we have made the decision to remain at our current status for the week of January 11, with most faculty and staff working remotely. Some will return to campus next week for critical functions, including recruitment tours, accounting, etc.

If you were tested on Monday, Jan. 4 but are not planning to return to campus until after January 11, you will still need to be tested again (as indicated in last week’s email).

Testing will occur on Monday, Jan. 11, from 2 to 3 p.m., for those who plan to return to campus next week after receiving their negative test result. Testing is also available for anyone who wishes to be tested. For all testing on Monday, Jan. 11, you must opt into the testing list by emailing Stephanie Arcadia at arcadia@hood.edu no later than 4 p.m. today. If you do not contact Stephanie, you will not be able to be tested on January 11.

For the remainder of the workforce, please email Stephanie with your expected “return to work” date so that she can schedule you for subsequent testing. A reminder that all faculty and staff must be tested and receive a negative test result before returning to campus for the spring semester.

As things continually change on the COVID landscape, I thank you for your patience as we work to make the best decisions for your safety. As I walked my dog Nikka on campus last night, I commented to my son, I am so tired of campus being so quiet! I am so excited to have you and our students back on campus. Our fall semester results clearly demonstrate that we can be on campus safely and that it is best for our students to be here, in the classroom learning. However, we will continue to prioritize mitigating the risk of COVID-19. 

CERT will meet again January 12 to make any decisions necessary that may affect the start of the semester on campus, with an announcement planned to go out no later than Wednesday, Jan. 13.

As always, please send any questions or concerns to covidquestions@hood.edu. Until I see you on campus, stay safe and be well. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

We have been monitoring Frederick County’s COVID-19 positivity metrics, which is one of the indicators we use to determine our ongoing response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the current positivity rate, 10.8 percent, dictates that we return to the Sunrise Plan. Therefore, for the week of January 4-8, offices will be open with employees working remotely. Essential employees will be on campus, including campus safety and the mail room with limited hours.

If you are taking a J-term course and need access to campus resources, please let your instructor know right away. All student support offices will be open and available to support you virtually.

Please send any questions or concerns to covidquestions@hood.edu.

Wishing you and your families a very happy new year. Hold on to Hope – 2021 will be better. Stay well,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We have been monitoring Frederick County’s COVID-19 positivity rates, which is one of the indicators we use to determine our ongoing response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the current positivity rate, 10.8 percent, warrants a return to the Sunrise Plan. Therefore, for the week of January 4-8, offices will be open with employees working remotely. Essential employees will be on campus, including campus safety and the mail room. The mail room will have limited hours; if offices need to check mail, they can make arrangements directly with duplicatingservices@hood.edu for office delivery or mail to be picked up at the switchboard.

Faculty who are teaching a J-term course and need access to campus for instructional purposes should notify campus safety to ensure access to buildings. If faculty or students require on-campus support during J-term (library, student success center, registrar, career center, graduate school, etc.), please contact those offices directly; all will be open virtually during regular business hours beginning January 4. If any other personnel or faculty need to access buildings or offices, contact your immediate supervisor and campus safety for entry to buildings.

If any other personnel or faculty need to access buildings or offices, contact your immediate supervisor and campus safety for entry to buildings.

COVID-19 testing, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 4, will still occur. If you wish to still be tested on Monday, hours have been adjusted to 2-3 p.m. If you do not want to be tested on Monday, you must let Stephanie Arcadia (arcadia@hood.edu) know ASAP. If she doesn’t hear from you, it will be assumed that you will come for testing on Monday. Please note that if you are returning to work on campus this semester, you will still need a negative test within 72 hours of returning; the January 4 test will not be valid for return to work the following week. Next week, after we determine if we can re-open campus the week of January 11, we will send out more information on testing prior to returning to work.

Please send any questions or concerns to covidquestions@hood.edu.

Happy new year. Stay well,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

Congratulations on completing the fall semester! Over and over again, we heard that colleges and universities would not be able to make it on campus for the semester. We saw colleges and universities across the country shift to online earlier than planned. And yet, because of your vigilance and commitment, we remained on campus. Thank you for that and thank you for the sacrifices you made for the benefit of others’ safety and health.

Now is the time to rest and recharge. Campus is unnaturally quiet without you here, but unlike the spring and summer when there was unknown about your return, I am confident that the spring semester can be as successful as the fall.

I wanted to send some updates on what you can expect for the spring semester, which begins on Monday, Feb. 1. The surge of COVID-19 cases all across the country is alarming. Due to the rise in cases and better availability of tests, we will require all on-campus constituents to be tested before resuming time on campus for the spring semester. Faculty and staff (including dining hall and facilities staff) will be tested throughout January before they return to their campus workspaces.

For students taking classes on campus in the spring – graduate, commuter and residential – you will be tested on January 27 or 28 (or will need to provide proof of a negative test taken no earlier than January 27). Resident assistants will be tested on January 25. Residential students will be instructed to shelter-in-place until their test results come back. All residential students will also be retested on February 8.

Complete details of the testing and move-in plans, as well as other updates to the New Horizon Plan, will be available on the website and sent via email and social media after the new year. Please continue to monitor your Hood email regularly during the winter break.

A reminder that we are asking all students (undergraduate and graduate) who are registered for the spring 2021 semester to declare their attendance modality for each class and maintain this attendance modality for the duration of the spring semester. If you have not yet completed the Hood College Attendance Elections survey, please do so before classes begin on Feb. 1. As always, we encourage you to send questions or concerns to covidquestions@hood.edu.

I also wanted to update you on the new faces you will see on campus in the spring. Our new Dean of Students Ron Wiafe will be joining us in January. Both searches for the assistant director of student engagement and the director of wellness are in the final stages and we hope to make announcements of their arrivals in the new year.

The contractors are completing the final touch-ups to the new residence hall during the winter break. Additionally, work on the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Learning Commons is wrapping up this month. The renovated building is beautiful, with a much more open floor plan, increased natural light, new study rooms equipped with the latest in technology, new furniture and a café. Make sure to visit the renovated building when you return to campus.

Virtual counseling sessions will be available, beginning January 4, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. To make an appointment, call 301-698-8374 (option 1). Counseling services are free of charge for graduate and undergraduate students.

Please be safe and continue to use the behavioral protocols you know so well as you celebrate your break and the holidays with family and friends. I wish you peace and happiness in the new year and can’t wait to welcome you back to campus for the spring semester.

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Congratulations on completing the fall semester! Over and over again, we heard that colleges and universities would not be able to make it on campus for the semester. We saw colleges and universities across the country shift to online earlier than planned. And yet, because of your vigilance and commitment, we remained on campus. Thank you for that and thank you for the sacrifices you made for the benefit of others’ safety and health and for our students’ experience.

Now is the time to rest and recharge. Campus is unnaturally quiet without many of you here, but unlike the spring and summer when there was unknown about a return to campus, I am confident that the spring semester can be as successful as the fall.

I wanted to send some updates on what you can expect for the spring semester, which begins on Monday, Feb. 1. The surge of COVID-19 cases all across the country is alarming. We want to create the foundation for a successful spring semester. With the rise in cases and better availability of tests, our testing plan for spring will require all on-campus constituents to be tested before resuming time on campus. Faculty and staff (including dining hall and facilities staff) will be tested, beginning January 4 and before you can return to your campus workspace.

We are asking staff who are returning to campus in January to start the new year telecommuting, coming to campus only to be tested the week you are due back in person. Testing will occur on Monday, Jan. 4 for last names A-M from 2 to 3 p.m., last names N-Z from 3 to 4 p.m. in Whitaker Commons for those staff members scheduled to restart on campus on January 4. Staff may also present a negative test if it is obtained within 72 hours of returning to campus.

You will receive an email confirmation for January 4’s testing by the end of the week. If you want to be tested on January 4 and do not receive the email, please contact arcadia@hood.edu to be added to the list.

Additional testing will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 19 and 26; details for those dates will be forthcoming after the new year.

Senior team will be meeting over break and will send out communication on or around January 1 with further details given external factors at that time. Updates to the New Horizon Plan will be available on the website and sent via email and social media after the new year.

Work on the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Learning Commons is wrapping up this month. The renovated building is beautiful, with a much more open floor plan, increased natural light, new study rooms equipped with the latest in technology, new furniture and a café. Please visit the renovated building when you return to campus in January.

I also wanted to update on the new faces you will see on campus in the spring. Our new Dean of Students Ron Wiafe will be joining us in January. Both searches for the assistant director of student engagement and the director of wellness are in the final stages and we hope to make announcements of their arrivals in the new year.

Remind your students if you are in touch with them that virtual counseling sessions will be available, beginning January 4, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. They can make an appointment by calling 301-698-8374 (option 1). Counseling services are free of charge for graduate and undergraduate students.

If you are an academic advisor, please ensure your advisees are enrolled for spring classes, or are aware of next steps to resolve holds on registration. Now that final grades are in, advisees appreciate messages of congratulations for a successful fall semester. Students who may have struggled – first-year students in particular – benefit from a reminder to adjust schedules to repeat failed courses and to drop courses for which they lack the pre-requisite. Final grades for advisees are listed in Self-Service.

The travel policy page will continue to be updated as we get information about positivity rates in states across the country. Please be safe and continue to use the behavioral protocols you know so well as you celebrate your break and the holidays with family and friends.

Hot off the press: I am pleased to announce that we received $3.49M gift from The Hodson Trust to support the learning commons renovation and the Hodson Academic Excellence Scholarship Fund. The award included an additional amount to recognize the success of our fall semester – my thanks again to all of you for helping make that happen!

If I don’t see you on campus or in “Zoomland” before break, please have a happy holiday.

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community,

I’m pleased to announce that in our penultimate week of surveillance testing we had zero positives! I wanted to ensure that our offices were open, and we were available, in person, to meet our students’ needs as they wrapped up the semester.

With the semester ending next Wednesday and given the Governor’s strong recommendation to reduce density in the workplace, I have asked the vice presidents to work with their divisions on further reduction of office density beginning Monday, Nov. 30, such that most offices will work remotely, Monday through Thursday, until winter break begins on Wednesday, Dec. 23, with the following exceptions:

  • Admission
  • Advancement
  • Campus Safety
  • Facilities
  • Financial Aid
  • Mail Room and Print Shop
  • Marketing and Communications

That said, it is imperative that we maintain communication, accessibility, productivity and most important, timely response to our students and our colleagues, during this period of time. Please regularly check voice mail and arrange to come in to pick up mail. Also, campus will be open so you are free to come to campus as needed to complete your work.

I am disappointed to announce that, also per the Governor’s briefing last week, our outdoor, end-of-year celebration that we had been planning for Thursday, Dec. 10 will be postponed. In light of cases surging, it is the prudent thing to do, although I am sorry we will not be able to gather as we usually do at this time of year. 

Stay safe and stay well.

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Hello Hood students! 

We are days away from final exams and the official end of the fall 2020 semester. It has been a challenging semester for us, but the Hood spirit of perseverance and community has prevailed. I want to assure you that, pandemic or not, our singular focus remains on you and your academic success. 

To that end, the working group charged with reviewing academic and curriculum delivery has carefully assessed the strategies and policies we implemented this fall (outlined in the New Horizon Plan). The goal of this review was to use the lessons-learned (both good and bad) to improve your learning experience next spring.  We asked:  What worked well? What didn't? And how can we improve?   

Below, I share with you an important outcome of this review that will require your attention before the spring semester begins on February 1. 

As you have seen through the registration process, spring classes, much like fall classes, will be offered in one of three possible modalities.  The modality of each class was evident as you registered.  To briefly summarize, the three modalities are: 

  • Traditional - Synchronous (live) engagement between students and faculty on the designated day and time reflected in the course schedule. In this modality, faculty may either be on campus or remote, but students experience live engagement with their peers and the faculty member during each class.  
  • Hybrid - Up to 50 percent of the class will be taught in traditional format (as described above) with the remaining 50 percent taught online and asynchronously. 
  • Online - Fully asynchronous course delivery with optional live engagement with faculty or peers in the class.  

This fall, one of the greatest challenges faculty faced, particularly those teaching traditional and hybrid classes on campus, was the unexpected shift from students attending class in person on some days and remotely on other days.  While we've been extraordinarily flexible in accommodating student preferences from day to day, such unpredictable attendance patterns undermine our ability to offer students a consistent and formative learning experience.  Furthermore, it negatively impacts the quality of the learning environment for all students in the class, which is not consistent with the Hood College learning experience we promise. 

Faculty must be able to predict the classroom environment in which they're teaching.  They must also be able to build a learning community in each class that is based on solid and predictable expectations, and each student is a valuable member of that learning community.  When that community changes dramatically and unexpectedly from class to class, everyone is impacted. 

To address this challenge in the spring, we will be asking all students (undergraduate and graduate) who are registered for the spring 2021 semester to declare their attendance modality for each class.  And we ask that you maintain this attendance modality for the duration of the spring semester.   This does not mean you must attend class every day. If you must be absent due to illness or other reasons, please contact your professor per the usual protocol.  However, if you wish to change your modality for the duration of the semester, such changes must be approved by the dean.  Graduate students should submit their request to graddean@hood.edu, and undergraduate students should submit their request to deanofstudents@hood.edu.  

This evening, all students will receive an email from the registrar containing a link to an online survey.  This survey will enable students to view each of their spring classes and declare how they intend to attend each class. Attendance options will be: 

  • Remote - You will attend this class remotely for the duration of the spring semester. 
  • In Person- You will attend the class on campus and in person, meeting in the assigned classroom at the designated meeting time (all classroom seating has been modified to reflect physical distancing standards recommended by the CDC). 

Again, you will declare your intended attendance modality for each class listed on your spring schedule.  If you are choosing to live on campus, we assume you will be attending class in person or as instructed by the professor unless there are underlying circumstances that would prohibit doing so.  Should you change your spring schedule, your attendance declaration must also be updated.  Course rosters will reflect each student's attendance commitment for the duration of the spring semester and this information will be visible to the faculty member, thereby allowing them to design the classroom learning community with greater confidence and consistency.   

All students must confirm their attendance modality for each class on their spring schedule by February 1 (the first day of classes for the spring semester).  Once selected, students will be expected to maintain their designated attendance commitment throughout the spring semester.  Of course, we will continue to offer flexibility for any student who experiences an emergent situation or who may need to quarantine or isolate with approval from the appropriate dean and as outlined in the New Horizon Plan.  Likewise, individual faculty members may choose to include additional attendance guidelines in their course syllabi.

Please complete the attendance declaration survey as soon as possible; you will receive the link in an email from the registrar this evening. 

Thank you for your prompt response and good luck with finals! 

Sincerely,

Debbie Ricker, Ph.D. 

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Dear Hood Community, 

Last night, the Frederick County Board of Health convened and set forth new regulations that will require face masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces regardless of the person’s ability to socially distance, and reduced capacity in fitness centers to 25 percent. The regulations, which can be read in their entirety here, go into effect at 5 p.m. today and are subject to monetary fines.

I am reminding you all to always wear your mask – on campus and off – unless you are eating or in your private residence. The CDC this week released new guidance that suggests that mask wearing is a preventative method for both the mask wearer and those around you, reducing the risk of transmission by more than 70 percent.

Athletics will make the necessary adjustments to the pool and fitness center so that we may keep them open for the remainder of the semester for your use. Face masks must be worn at all times while in the fitness center.

As the numbers in the county, state and country continue to rise, I am proud that we have consistently stayed below the average, never having a cumulative positivity rate higher than 1.2 percent. And this week’s surveillance testing resulted in 97 negatives tests and zero positive. With these encouraging outcomes, we will continue our plan to remain on campus until November 25 and will comply with all state mandates as necessary.

I remind you again about the testing on Monday, Nov. 23. If you would like to be included, please email arcardia@hood.edu before 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Please continue to stay safe and well.

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

We are just two weeks from the end of the semester and yet we must adjust to external factors in order to make it to November 25. Yesterday Governor Hogan announced that, beginning today at 5 p.m., Maryland would take a step back in its Roadmap to Recovery with a “return to more stringent coronavirus restrictions.”

The College is determined to continue to provide students with the resources they need, especially at this critical point in the semester, while following all safety protocols to mitigate risk to the community. All student-centered offices will remain open so that students are able to make plans for the spring semester and receive the necessary support for the last week of classes and final exams. Your vice president will work with directors to assess and revise work schedules accordingly to reduce density while keeping offices open for our students. For spring, the College will continue to implement the teleworking policy for COVID-19-related issues. To ensure that our records are accurate and your plan for the spring semester is confirmed, human resources will be asking all employees to renew their request for a “work from home” accommodation.

Capacity restrictions have been placed on indoor gatherings (no more than 25 people, with proper social distancing). To that end, the ROTC program for Veterans’ Day this evening will be limited to 25 people. The fitness center and pool will remain at 50 percent of its capacity.

Maryland’s key metrics have “worsened considerably” in the past week with “widespread community transmission.” (Governor Hogan) More than ever before, it is important to limit your travel and please remember to follow the protocols for notification if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or test positive. Contact Meg Timmons at timmons@hood.edu so that we can provide you with the necessary resources, even if you are working remotely, so that we can keep track of cases.

I also want to remind you again about voluntary testing before the holidays. Testing will occur on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and Monday, Nov. 23. To be included in the testing, please email arcardia@hood.edu no later than 5 p.m. on the previous Thursday. It’s important to know, as much as you truly can, that you are COVID free before seeing family and friends.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating: you are an amazing community. Only because of your commitment, hard work and heavy lifting have we made it to this moment and were able to ensure the same Hood educational experience whether in person or online.

Maryland’s positivity rate is currently better than 43 other states, yet we also are uncertain regarding what the next few months will look like related to COVID-19. We have every intention of starting classes on campus on Monday, Feb. 1, but that decision may be taken out of our control. If cases surge to the point where states begin to shut down again or travel back to campus becomes restricted for our students, we will consider beginning the semester online. To that end, please remind your students to take all of their academic resources (tablet, laptop, books, etc.) with them on break. It’s something I hope we won’t see, but I want us to all be realistic and over-prepared.

The last week of classes and preparing for final exams are always stressful; this week, probably more so. Remember to practice self-care and be kind to one another. The Hood hello can go a long way to lift spirits and make someone’s day. Be sure to overuse it this time of year!

Save the date for an outdoor, socially distanced, end-of-year celebration in place of our annual holiday party: Thursday, Dec. 10 at noon (Snow/rain date: Monday, Dec. 14). We will also use this opportunity for a “mini” retirement celebration of Dean White. More details will follow.

Stay safe and stay well.

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students, 

We made it to November! We are less than three weeks away from Thanksgiving. We are so close to making it to the end of the semester, and yet we all must remain vigilant. We have seen three more cases on campus in the last week and the numbers in Frederick County, especially the city, continue to rise. Yesterday, both the Governor and the County Executive urged compliance with mask wearing outside when social distancing can’t be maintained. We strongly urge residential students to leave campus only if absolutely necessary. 

To help with usage of the #CampusClear app, residential life held a challenge among residence halls for the last week of October. I’m pleased to announce that Smith Hall was the winner, with a daily average of 100 users, and will receive take-out Chipotle for the whole building for their efforts! Keep it up! 

By now you have also seen that we have loosened the visitor policy in res halls, and residential students are now allowed to visit in other buildings, with some restrictions. Be sure to check out the visitor policy for the details and practice all the behavioral protocols in place.

As I announced last week, we are encouraging everyone who is leaving campus to request a COVID test before you leave for the semester. Testing is being offered on Tuesdays, Nov. 10 and 17 and Monday, Nov. 23. Please email wellness@hood.edu no later than the previous Thursday to be added to the list. Results are taking between 24-48 hours so plan accordingly.

Registration for J-term and spring semester starts Monday, Nov. 9. Credits for J-term are $500/credit. Visit the registrar’s office website for more information.

Please join me in congratulating the winners of the 2020 Hood Votes! essay contest: Levi White ’24 (first place); Natalie Kolosieke ’21 (second place); and Anna Schipske ’24 (third place). Continue to check Pergola Connect for weekly programs and activities.

As we near the end of the regular semester and the beginning of finals, be sure to reach out for additional support as needed. The Online Success Toolkit is a great resource for you. 

Stay well,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Tomorrow is Election Day. I encourage everyone to vote. If you are voting in person and need to do so during the workday, please coordinate with your supervisor and take the time to do your civic duty. 

Recently, the national political landscape has been increasingly contentious. Sadly, I anticipate that that will continue past tomorrow, especially since the results of the presidential race may not be known for some time. 

The class of 1918 dedicated one of the four columns on Alumnae Hall to represent democracy as one of Hood’s core values, defining it as embracing diversity, fostering freedom of thought and expression, and promoting engaged citizenship both in self and others. One hundred years later, our collective commitment to these ideals remains the foundation of the U.S. democracy and our academic community. As a core element of a liberal education, I encourage you to embrace this value both through deeper theoretical understanding and in practice through your interactions with others. 

Tomorrow night, starting at 6 p.m., a watch party will be set up in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall for the community to watch the returns. Also, at 6 p.m., the Whitaker Campus Center will be set up as an election-free zone with a variety of music, games and self-care activities. These areas are being set up for members of the Hood Community only. A licensed counselor will be available on call from 6 to 9 p.m. for students who may want to process their experience. Please urge your students to take advantage of these opportunities and be in community with their peers. And thank you for supporting our students through these challenging times.

As we near the holidays and possible travel, please review the Travel Policy page for hotspot states and know that if you do travel to one of these states, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days following your return (or are cleared with a negative test taken upon your return). This list is updated regularly. If you have questions about working from home or self-quarantine, contact human resources. 

We will continue randomized surveillance testing for the next three weeks, November 3, 10 and 17 from 2 to 4 p.m and during winter break. Also, we have added an additional COVID test date on Monday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Whitaker Commons for those who may be traveling over Thanksgiving. If you would like to be tested on any if these dates, email wellness@hood.edu no later than 5 p.m. on the previous Thursday.

Thank you, as always, for all you have done to get us to this point. By my count, we are 22 days from the end of the semester. We are indeed #Hoodstrong. 

Stay well,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students, 

With four weeks left in the semester, now is the time to be even more vigilant with our COVID-19 behavioral protocols, including using the #CampusClear app every day. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control expanded its definition of close contact as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.” The change being that the 15 minutes no longer needs to be consecutive minutes. Our contact tracers will now use this protocol when conducting their interviews.

The assistant directors (ADs) of residence life and resident assistants (RAs) have launched a #CampusClear competition between residence halls. The residence hall having the highest percentage of participation using #CampusClear between October 26 and November 1 will be treated to Chipotle. Details will be provided by the Office of Residence Life. The winning hall will be announced November 2. COVID-19 compliance policies and regulations must be adhered to at all times. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far. 

Unfortunately, in the past two weeks, we had three positive cases, but we were able to contain further spread with immediate contact tracing and quarantining. Remember that if you are ever concerned about possible exposure, you should get tested and can do so by emailing wellness@hood.edu. And if you are chosen for the random surveillance testing, it is mandatory if you are on campus. If you are studying from home and are chosen, please email arcardia@hood.edu for test exclusion. It is important to respond to the initial testing email within 24-48 hours.

I was disappointed when we had to cancel Safe Harvest this year. It was the right decision to ensure the safety of our community and the greater Frederick community. To provide a bit of Halloween cheer, student engagement will be setting up “trick or treating” in Whitaker on Friday, from noon to 1 p.m. All trick or treating stations will be set up to ensure social distancing and other precautions. Senior team will be onsite to join in the fun; and there will be a costume contest. For those studying from home, please post your costume photos to Instagram or Facebook and tag the College. There will be prizes!

The election is one week away. For information about voting, check the Hood Votes website and watch this special video from “Suite Life of Zack & Cody” star Phill Lewis. On Election Night, starting at 6 p.m., a watch party will be set up in Hodson Auditorium- Rosenstock Hall to watch the returns. Also, at 6 p.m., the Whitaker Campus Center will be set up as an election-free zone with a variety of music, games and self-care activities. These areas are being set up as safe spaces for members of the Hood Community only.

As a reminder, the official results of the presidential election may or may not be known on Election Night. A licensed counselor will be available on call from 6 to 9 p.m. for students who may want to process their experience. If you did not get an opportunity to attend the lectures or film series, please see the Hood Votes website for these.

Course schedules for the winter term (J-term) and spring semester are available on Self-Service. The academic advising period for both J-term and spring began yesterday (October 26) and continues through November 6, with registration beginning on Monday, Nov. 9. Make plans to meet with your academic advisor before registration. You should also check for holds in Self-Service that will prohibit your registration and work to resolve those holds before registration.

As we approach this weekend of traditional trick-or-treat activities, several student organizations, in addition to the student engagement office, have planned events for your enjoyment. Do not forget to see Pergola Connect for details and to register for these events. Be smart and be safe!

  • Oct 27 Ghoul Café, Whitaker Commons, sponsored by CAB, 8 p.m. 
  • Oct 28 Whitaker Wed, OPERATION Tournament, sponsored by the Pre-Health Club, 8 p.m. 
  • Oct 29 Rocky Horror Picture Show, Outdoor theater, sponsored by QSU, 7 p.m.
    BSU Uncensored Series, 9 p.m.; must register on Pergola Connect to participate 
  • Oct 30 “Trick or Treat” in Whitaker Campus Center; noon – 1 p.m. 
  • Oct 31 Murder Mystery, 5 p.m.; must register on Pergola Connect 
  • Nov 1 Annual Pergola Lighting, 8 p.m.; RSVP on Pergola Connect 
  • Nov 10 Speed mentoring for women in STEM (juniors, seniors and graduate students welcome) RSVP here

Good luck as you wind down the semester and get ready for finals! 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

With four weeks left in the semester, now is the time to be even more vigilant with our COVID-19 behavioral protocols, including using the #CampusClear daily. It is important that we remain compliant with the most recent CDC guidelines. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control expanded its definition of close contact as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.” This means that the 15-minute time period no longer needs to be consecutive minutes. Our contact tracers will now use this updated protocol when conducting their interviews.

Unfortunately, in the past two weeks, we had three positive cases. Contact tracing has shown us that the spread of COVID-19 on campus has been due to lapses in protocol, and not through academic, athletic or dining settings. Fortunately, we were able to contain further spread with immediate contact tracing and quarantining. 

Remember that if you are ever concerned about possible exposure, you should get tested and can do so if you are on campus by emailing wellness@hood.edu or check here for off-campus testing sites. And if you are chosen for the random surveillance testing, it is mandatory if you are working on campus. If you are working from home and are inadvertently chosen, please email arcardia@hood.edu for test exclusion. It is important to respond to the initial testing email within 24-48 hours.

As we near the holidays and possible travel, please review the Travel Policy page for hotspot states and know that if you do travel to one of these states, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days following your return (or are cleared with a negative test taken upon your return). This list is updated regularly. If you have questions about working from home or self-quarantine, contact human resources. 

The Hood Blazer Support Team (BST) is in need of more volunteers. If a student needs to quarantine or isolate on campus, we need faculty and staff to:

  • Contact them via phone to check on them daily and/or 
  • Help deliver meals (breakfast between 8 and 9 a.m.; lunch noon-1 p.m.; dinner 4-5 p.m.) 

If you are able to help, please email Jennie at bowker@hood.edu or Thomas at chatfield@hood.edu.

The Board of Trustees met in mid-October and approved the following actions:

  • Approved the AY 2021-2022 Tuition and Fee Schedule 
  • Approved the January 2021 degree candidates 
  • Approved the new academic program low-residency MFA in Creative Writing 
  • Approved the new academic program B.A. in finance 
  • Approved trustee emeriti status for Janet Hobbs Cotton ’59 and Amy K. Chan 
  • Approved a lease agreement with Frederick Health for nursing and other programs 
  • Extended the President’s Employment Agreement through June 30, 2023 

With regard to the latter item, our academic space analysis revealed a significant space limitation in our nursing program (classrooms, labs, and offices). This constraint has resulted in denying admission to highly qualified prospective nursing students. Frederick Health has offered a lease to use one floor of their building on the corner of Toll House and North 7th St. PBAC approved the lease based on a pro forma demonstrating that this will allow significant growth in the nursing program and produce additional revenues after a modest investment period of 1-2 years. In addition to the nursing program, the new major in public health and possibly any future health-related programs will be housed there. Also, the board asked that a joint task force be formed with Frederick Health to explore how we might partner to build a School of Health Sciences. This will be discussed with campus constituents during the upcoming strategic planning process, as described below. 

The board discussed initiatives for the next strategic plan, scheduled for approval in October 2021. Next steps will involve bringing those ideas to all campus constituents for feedback and input and forming working groups to develop various aspects of the plan. More information will be shared following the end of the fall semester. 

Marcom has updated its website with expanded brand guidelines; before using the institutional logo, please refer to these. There have been a number of alternations to the logo in recent weeks that violate the logo’s integrity. If you have questions, please contact marketingoffice@hood.edu.

I was disappointed when we had to cancel Safe Harvest this year. It was the right decision to ensure the safety of our community and the greater Frederick community. To provide a bit of Halloween cheer, student engagement will be setting up “trick or treating” in Whitaker on Friday, from noon to 1 p.m. All trick or treating stations will be set up to ensure social distancing and other precautions. Senior team will be onsite to join in the fun; and there will be a costume contest. For those working or studying from home, please post your costume photos to Instagram or Facebook and tag the College. There will be prizes!

Early voting in Maryland begins tomorrow and runs through November 2, with Election Day on November 3. I encourage everyone to vote. If you are voting in person and need to do so during the workday, please coordinate with your supervisor and take the time to do your civic duty. 

Consider participating in our virtual Grad Appreciation Week, November 7-12. You can sign up here. Rather than lobby tables, staff and faculty will drop in for a surprise greeting via Zoom. We’ll have prizes and other goodies to make our grad students feel special during this end-of-semester tradition. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

We are less than six weeks away from the end of the semester. Thanks to your hard work and diligence, we will make it to Thanksgiving! The one area where we could do better is use of the #CampusClear app. For those of you on campus, please remember to complete it daily and faculty, please remind your students to use the #CampusClear app every day. 

The working groups that developed the New Horizon Plan will be meeting over the next several weeks to update and revise the plan for the spring semester. Any suggestions on how we can improve the plan for the spring is most welcome – the more perspectives and voices, the stronger the result. Please send such suggestions to covidquestions@hood.edu.

I know how arduous the semester has been for all of you. December is anticipated to be relatively quiet so as a thank you for all you have done since the pandemic began, I am closing the College on Fridays in December (December 4, 11 and 18). If anyone is unable to take one of those days due to critical year-end work, your supervisor will work with you to find another day you can take off. I hope this provides time to get ready for the holidays and most important, time for yourself to relax and recharge. You’ve all earned it!

The dean of students’ search is well underway and final candidates from a large and highly competitive pool will be on campus beginning next week. My thanks to the search committee, chaired by Debbie Ricker along with committee members Ashley Arevalo ’22, Becky Grove, Lisa Littlefield, Thurmond Maynard, Russell Odor ’23, Oney Smith and LaShawn Taylor. Provost Ricker will send more information shortly related to on-campus itineraries and resumes.

As we are less than three weeks away from the election, I wanted to extend my thanks to the political science department, student life and the library for their work on voter registration, speakers and programming, as well as the resources available on Hood Votes

Safe Harvest has always been one of my favorite traditions on campus. Unfortunately, it had to be canceled this year in order to keep our “campus bubble” safe and for the safety of the greater Frederick community. SGA is exploring safer alternatives. More details will be forthcoming. 

Some good news to report for next year! Prospective undergraduate student interest in fall 2021 remains high with applications running ahead of last year and processing of those applications is running well ahead of previous years.

The Board of Trustees is wrapping up its fall (virtual) meeting today. I will provide a full report next week. Until then, stay safe and be well. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community, 

I couldn’t let the day get away from me without sending a quick note to say thank you! And congratulations to all of us for officially hitting the halfway point between when we first welcomed everyone back to campus and the end of the fall semester. We all may have had some doubt that we would get this far, but through all of us following the pledge, we have made it! 

Please keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to executing some of the Chap Challenge ideas I’ve received. Stay focused and remember H-O-O-D!

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Undergraduate Students, 

To further increase our commitment to students, we have listened to your concerns about academic scheduling. As announced by Provost Ricker, the spring academic calendar has been revised such that classes will begin on Monday, Feb. 1 and end Friday, May 14, and we have removed spring break. Both of these changes are to minimize the risk of COVID-19, starting later in case there is a spike during the winter months and reducing the amount of off-campus travel during the spring semester. You and the faculty have shared that the lack of a fall break and the compressed schedule have proven challenging, so the spring calendar includes added days off throughout the semester. In addition, given the longer break between semesters, we’ve added an online J-Term, from Monday, Jan. 4 through Friday, Jan. 22. Class schedules for both the J-Term and the spring semester will be available on Monday, Oct. 19 via Self-Service.

Last week, from the more than 500 COVID-19 tests performed, we had only two positive results; this week’s surveillance testing showed no positive results! I am very proud of and thank you for all you have done to ensure that we moved in the right direction after our rise in cases earlier this month. For residential students, upon the recommendation of residence life, CERT has made a change in the visitor policy in residence halls, allowing for in-building, room-to-room visitation. Please see the Visitors to Campus page for details. Any questions can be sent to residencelife@hood.edu; or contact an assistant director (formerly area coordinator) or your RA.

While the College’s numbers have dropped over the past few weeks, unfortunately Frederick County saw a spike in cases such that the county has decided not to increase public gathering capacities and expanded openings per Governor Hogan’s recent order. This is a good reminder that when you are off campus, please follow the same protocols: masks on, even when outside and in cars with others; repeated handwashing; and social distancing.

A critical, non-optional part of the New Horizon Plan is surveillance testing, since many individuals with COVID are asymptomatic, but still contagious. Approximately 100 people are randomly selected each week, typically between 2 and 4 p.m. each Tuesday, with a heavier weight to residential students (see the Testing page for more information).

If you are contacted to be tested and have a conflict, you can reschedule for the following week; please do so by Monday at noon. All members of the Hood community – faculty, staff and students – must adhere to the surveillance testing protocols or face possible sanctions. Additionally, if you would like to be a part of the weekly testing, please let wellness@hood.edu know by the previous Thursday.

As announced by Dean White, Sarah Tansits joined our community this week as interim director of student engagement and orientation. Please reach out and welcome her; I know she is eager to get to know you and to hear your ideas of how we can improve your student life experience and student engagement activities. One of her top priorities is to launch the search for the assistant director of student engagement for diversity and inclusion to fully staff the student engagement office and better support you. 

Election day is six weeks away. If you have not yet registered to vote, I urge you to do so. Participating in elections is a right and a privilege and one that should not be taken for granted. You can learn more on the Hood Votes page; if you have additional questions, you can reach out to the dean of students office.

Join us for Fall Family Weekend with the virtual schedule of events and our on-campus parade of cars! More details can be found here for the October 2-4 events.

Good news to report across campus:

  • In three years, the College has moved quickly ahead on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, moving from the 601-800 band in 2018 to 401-500 this year for Best National Institution. Hood was also ranked on four major lists for U.S. News & World Report: Best Value, Best Undergraduate Teaching, Bester Colleges for Veterans and Best Regional Universities.
  • The construction on the renovation of the library and learning commons is moving along well and is still on schedule to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Please continue to check the Corq app for a listing of programs and activities and register for the app, if you have not done so already. And don’t forget to join the senior team for an exciting GAME NIGHT at next week’s Whitaker Wednesday, Sept. 30 starting at 8 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the first 25 who check in. A surprise gift will be given to one lucky winner at the close of Game Night. You must be present to win. You will not want to miss the opportunity to challenge members of the senior team. 

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

To further increase our commitment to students, we have listened to concerns about academic scheduling. As announced by Provost Ricker, the spring academic calendar has been revised such that classes will begin on Monday, Feb. 1 and end Friday, May 14, and we have removed spring break. Both of these changes are to minimize the risk of COVID-19, starting later in case there is a spike during the winter months and reducing the amount of off-campus travel during the spring semester. Faculty and students have shared that the lack of a fall break and the compressed schedule have proven challenging, so the spring calendar includes added days off throughout the semester. In addition, given the longer break between semesters, we’ve added an online J-Term, from Monday, Jan. 4 through Friday, Jan. 22. Class schedules for both the J-Term and the spring semester will be available on Monday, Oct. 19 via Self-Service.

Last week, from the more than 500 COVID-19 tests performed, we had only two positive results; this week’s surveillance testing showed no positive results! I am very proud of and thank you for all you have done to ensure that we moved in the right direction after our rise in cases earlier this month. 

A critical, non-optional part of the New Horizon Plan is surveillance testing, since many individuals with COVID are asymptomatic, but still contagious. Approximately 100 people are randomly selected each week, typically between 2 and 4 p.m. each Tuesday, with a heavier weight to residential students (see the Testing page for more information).

If you are contacted to be tested and have a conflict, you can reschedule for the following week; please do so by Monday at noon. All members of the Hood community – faculty, staff and students – must adhere to the surveillance testing protocols or face possible sanctions. Additionally, if you would like to be a part of the weekly testing, please let wellness@hood.edu know by the previous Thursday.

As announced by Dean White, Sarah Tansits joined our community this week as interim director of student engagement and orientation. One of her top priorities is to launch the search for the assistant director of student engagement for diversity and inclusion to fully staff the student engagement office and better support our students. 

Good news to report across campus:

  • In three years, the College has moved quickly ahead on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, moving from the 601-800 band in 2018 to 401-500 this year for Best National Institution. Hood was also ranked on four major lists for U.S. News & World Report: Best Value, Best Undergraduate Teaching, Best Colleges for Veterans and Best Regional Universities.
  • The construction on the renovation of the library and learning commons is moving along well and is still on schedule to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Best,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

As I announced last week, during a virtual game sponsored by one of our student groups, derogatory and racial language was used, first over the microphone and then in the chat, by two participants. Based on an investigation by campus safety and information technology, it appears that the individuals were non-Hood students. Student engagement is working with all student organizations to ensure that safety protocols are in place so that only Hood community members, using identifying credentials, can enter virtual spaces. The African American Studies program is hosting a Race Café for the entire community tonight at 8 p.m. Check your Hood email for information to register. We must continue to do all we can to promote our values of inclusivity and support each other.

As communicated last week, we did see eight COVID-positive cases on campus, plus an additional 14 who needed to be isolated or quarantined. Thanks to contact tracing, we were able to quickly identify those individuals and determine that transmission occurred during social networking. No transmission was found to have occurred in academic settings. Many times, the contact tracers will call from their personal phones. It’s very important for you to answer your phone and/or check messages from numbers you don’t recognize for this reason. 

Surveillance testing is also an important tool to reducing the spread of the virus on campus. Compliance with random testing is a mandatory condition of you being on campus. If you are contacted for weekly surveillance testing, you must comply or reschedule immediately. Failure to appear a second time is in violation of COVID protocols and will be sanctioned.

As we saw last week, we are not immune to the virus on campus. While most have been following the protocols, there were some unintentional lapses. Recognizing this is not about blame or judgment but a reminder to us all that we must support each other and remind each other of the rules when we see them not being followed. Being isolated or quarantined is a very challenging situation and we want to avoid others having to go through this, nor do we want others to experience the coronavirus illness. We must remain committed to the protocols in the plan – wearing masks (even while outside and in cars); symptom monitoring and daily use of the #CampusClear app; washing hands and using hand sanitizers upon entering buildings; and social distancing. Also, furniture should not be moved, including the tables and chairs in the tents. If you’re not feeling well, contact Health Services. Don’t second-guess yourself. It’s safer to call than to let even mild symptoms go unchecked.

As we look to making it to the end of the semester on campus, we must be more vigilant and not lapse into old habits. Wherever you are, you must assume that everyone has COVID. I know we can do it. I believe in the Hood community!

Be sure you are checking the Corq app for ways to stay involved and engaged this semester. Check out Hood Votes for important information about voter registration, education and engagement. Find out how, when and where you can exercise your right to vote via absentee or mail-in voting or in person. Informative lectures/webinars and other exciting events have been planned. Make your voice heard and your vote count! And make sure you have Fall Family Weekend on your calendars. The planning committee has a weekend full of virtual and on-campus events.

Stay well. 

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As I announced last week, during a virtual game sponsored by one of our student groups, derogatory and racial language was used, first over the microphone and then in the chat, by two participants. Based on an investigation by campus safety and information technology, it appears that the individuals were non-Hood students. Student engagement is working with all student organizations to ensure that safety protocols are in place so that only Hood community members, using identifying credentials, can enter virtual spaces. The African American Studies program is hosting a Race Café for the entire community tonight at 8 p.m. Check your Hood email for information to register. We must continue to do all we can to promote our values of inclusivity and support each other.

As communicated last week, we did see eight COVID-positive cases on campus, plus an additional 14 who needed to be isolated or quarantined. Thanks to contact tracing, we were able to quickly identify those individuals and determine that transmission occurred during social networking. No transmission was found to have occurred in academic settings. 

My thanks to those staff members who are certified contact tracers. We are in need of more contact tracers. If you are interested in taking the free online certification, it can be found here. Once you have completed it, send a copy of your certificate to Meg Timmons at timmons@hood.edu.

Another important part of our response has been the Blazer Support Team, volunteers who support individuals in quarantine and isolation. We could use more BST help. Coordinated by Jennie Bowker and Thomas Chatfield, the BST team delivers meals to our residential students, texts or calls individuals in isolation or quarantine daily to help ease loneliness and ensure they have what they need. If you are able to help out in any of these ways, please email Thomas at chatfield@hood.edu.

Surveillance testing is also an important tool in reducing the spread of the virus on campus. Compliance with random testing is mandatory for those of us working on campus. If you are contacted for weekly surveillance testing, please comply or reschedule immediately if there is a conflict.

My thanks to everyone for complying with the protocols of the New Horizon Plan – wearing masks (even while outside and in cars); symptom monitoring and daily use of the #CampusClear app; washing hands and using hand sanitizers upon entering buildings; and social distancing. With the recent cases on campus, it was evident that when these protocols were followed, the virus did not spread. As we look to making it to the end of the semester on campus, we must be more vigilant. I know we can do it. I believe in the Hood community!

I know that we all share the disappointment of not having been able to properly say our goodbyes and congratulations to the Class of 2020, Hood's Class of Hope. As a show of support for our newest alumni, please complete this form if you’d like your well wishes, advice and congratulations for the Class of 2020 to be included in Hood Magazine. I know they'll love hearing from all of you. Submissions must be received by September 21 to be considered for print. 

In place of my regular office hours, senior team will join me today at 1 p.m. via Zoom. Please join us!

Stay well. 

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community,

On Sunday evening, upon the recommendation of CERT (COVID-19 Emergency Response Team), I issued a shelter-in-place order for the campus. First, I would like to apologize as the notice did not allow a lot of time to prepare or have questions answered and led to some understandable confusion and anxiety. Unfortunately, these times are marked by uncertainty and, as I have said before, require patience and flexibility. I thank all of you for the quick pivot to the shelter-in-place. I am deeply grateful to our faculty for making the necessary adjustments to provide fully online instruction, and to the area coordinators, resident assistants, CERT, contact tracers, Blazer Support Team volunteers, campus safety, dining services, facilities and countless other staff members for supporting our students through this difficult transition. And I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our students and their families for your understanding and compliance with our directive, despite the hardship on you, in order to help ensure the safety of the community.

The shelter-in-place was enacted in an over-abundance of caution to ensure that the cluster of cases we were following did not spread and to provide time to gain a better understanding of its potential extent on campus. Since Saturday morning, when we were notified of the first symptomatic community member, we have contact traced 22 individuals who were either exhibiting symptoms or had possible exposure. All were immediately placed in quarantine or isolation and have been tested. 

As of right now, eight community members have tested positive; all others have tested negative. We are awaiting a second test result from one symptomatic individual who originally tested negative. 

Over the next week, we hope to retest all residential students, essential employees and any other members of the campus community who wish to be tested (email wellness@hood.edu). Given that we have had no reports of additional symptomatic individuals in the past 36 hours, have completed all contact tracing and reviewed our metric dashboard as well as consulted with health officials, as of 7 a.m. tomorrow, the shelter-in-place will be lifted and the College will resume normal operations per the New Horizon Plan

We had planned on loosening the visitor policy in mid-September. Because I believe that we all have collectively learned from these events and are all strongly committed to ensuring it does not occur again, I hope that we can still do so in the coming weeks. 

As I said in my email on Sunday, the existence of COVID-19 on our campus indicates a lapse in protocols. I implore you to consider the dire and pervasive consequences of having to extend a shelter-in-place or move fully to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester or academic year.

Remember the protocols you pledged to uphold when you made the decision to be on campus this semester: 

  • Mask on, everywhere except your residence room and when eating. Even when outside, if you are unable to socially distance, you must wear a mask. This includes inside a car when with others and when you are off campus.
  • Monitor your symptoms daily and alert health services when you are not feeling well. You are also required to show up for testing when you are notified. Failure to show up may result in losing your privilege to live on campus for the remainder of the semester.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, especially after coming in contact with high-touch areas.
  • Social distancing – maintain at least six feet between you and others. Do not move furniture to create larger social groups, whether in the buildings or in the tents.

It depends on each and every one of us to ensure that we can continue on this path. We knew the semester would look different but imagining it and living it are two very different things. I know it is hard and I and all members of our community are here to listen and provide support to each other. This is what it means to be a part of the Hood community, to be a true Blazer.

As I said in my August 7 email: If we are not all fully committed and Hood Strong together, we will not be successful. 

My belief in the strength of the Hood community and our willingness to have this different kind of semester has been tested but remains steadfast. Yes, we are forgoing some things, but we are also gaining so much more – fortitude, compromise, flexibility and the opportunity to be together in community. 

Stay safe. Stay well. Make smart choices.

Warm regards,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

It is with regret that I inform you that over the past 48 hours, we have had to move 14 students into quarantine, several of whom are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. All students are being tested and while awaiting results, we believe we must take action at this time.

Therefore, I have made the difficult decision to put the campus in shelter-in-place status for the next 72 hours. Although we only have one confirmed case at this time, it is prudent to exercise extreme caution for the safety of our community and to allow us to better understand the extent to which the virus is present on campus. The shelter-in-place will stay in effect until at least 7 a.m. Thursday, September 10. We will communicate our next steps no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Shelter-in-place will include the following:

  • All classes will shift to a fully online modality. In-person internships will be suspended for the next few days.
  • Faculty who need access to offices, labs or classrooms in order to deliver their courses are permitted on campus.
  • Campus offices will be closed and employees will work remotely. Only essential personnel should report to campus.
  • Whitaker Campus Center, including the Blazer, will be closed.
  • Commuter and graduate students should not come to campus.
  • Residential students:
    • Should stay in their rooms as much as possible, leaving only to go to the bathroom or retrieve meals. RA’s will provide additional instructions, including use of common areas.
    • There will be no in-person dining in Coblentz, the tents, or in or outside Whitaker. Meals should be picked up at Coblentz and brought back to room. Off-campus food delivery is not allowed during this period.
    • Students with off-campus jobs or any other off-campus obligations that cannot be canceled, must inform their RA. All such students will be required to participate in COVID testing on Tuesday.
    • It is very important that students do not leave campus. National health officials have urged colleges to not shut down completely – thus spreading possible cases to other communities and households. Leaving Hood to go home for these shelter-in-place days would be highly irresponsible, and could result in removal from campus housing for the remainder of the semester.

Following these new protocols, in addition to those already in place, will enable us to recreate our campus bubble. As I have warned, failure to follow the basic protocols of mask wearing, washing hands, symptom monitoring and social distancing has brought us to this very disappointing place. From here, two things can happen. We can collectively learn from our mistakes, reaffirm our commitment to the Heart, Mind and Hands pledge, and be able to lift the shelter-in-place. Or if we do not, I will have no choice but to close campus. I still believe we can be here together until Thanksgiving and I know that is what we all want, but I need each of you to stand with me, please.

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

We have made it through three weeks of classes! Congratulations on all your hard work, new habits and healthy behaviors. One reminder is that the new signage is an important part of our protocols to help maintain social distancing. Please pay attention to and follow the signage – even if that means going out of your way to exit or enter a building or get to another floor. Also, furniture should not be moved. It has been placed specifically to allow for low density and social distancing.

I want to also remind you about the Chap Challenge. I’ve received some suggestions for the celebration/prize when we make it to the end of the semester on campus, including karaoke on the quad, a food truck rally or a concert. How do you think we should celebrate? You have until the end of next week to get your ideas to me at president@hood.edu. I want to hear from you!

As I said in my email last week, we are watching science unfold in real time. I cited a study by Duke University about gaiters as face masks. I was rightly challenged by a student who had found another study disputing the Duke findings. If you do use a gaiter, like all face coverings, it should be double-layered. Multiple layers of protection are the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including masks, monitoring your daily health, washing your hands and social distancing. If we continue to do all of those things, we can and will make it to Thanksgiving safely.

A reminder that with the new academic calendar, offices will be open and classes in session on Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). As you navigate this semester with no long breaks, please reach out to the Student Success Center and the resources available to help you, including the Online Success Toolkitonline tutoring support and counseling services.

Thank you to all who have shown up when called for the random weekly testing. You will be notified by email if your test is negative and, depending on how tests are batched in the lab, you may receive your results at a different time from someone tested the same day. 

Join tonight’s mask painting at 5 p.m. on Whitaker Patio. See Hood College Intramurals for the schedule of fall 2020 Intramural Tournaments, and don’t forget to download the Corq app to keep up with campus events.

I encourage all of you to get outside and enjoy the last bit of summer this weekend. As Maryland enters Phase 3 tonight at 5 p.m., remember to continue with smart and healthy habits, not just when you are on campus. As Governor Hogan says, “be vigilant!” If you have any questions, please send them to covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We have made it through three weeks of classes! Congratulations on all your hard work, new habits and healthy behaviors. One reminder is that the new signage is an important part of our protocols to help maintain social distancing. Please pay attention to and follow the signage – even if that means going out of your way to exit or enter a building or get to another floor. 

I want to also remind you about the Chap Challenge. I’ve received some suggestions for the celebration/prize when we make it to the end of the semester on campus, including karaoke on the quad, a food truck rally or a concert. How do you think we should celebrate? You have until the end of next week to get your ideas to me atpresident@hood.edu. I want to hear from you!

As I said in my email last week, we are watching science unfold in real time. I cited a study by Duke University about gaiters as face masks. I was rightly challenged by a student who had found another study disputing the Duke findings. If you do use a gaiter, like all face coverings, it should be double-layered. Multiple layers of protection are the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including masks, monitoring your daily health, washing your hands and social distancing. If we continue to do all of those things, we can and will make it to Thanksgiving safely. 

Thank you to all who have shown up when called for the random weekly testing. You will be notified by email if your test is negative and, depending on how tests are batched in the lab, you may receive your results at a different time from someone tested the same day.

A reminder that with the new academic calendar, offices will be open and classes in session on Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). Keep Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. on your calendar for the senior team webinar via Zoom.

I encourage all of you to get outside and enjoy the last bit of summer this weekend. As Maryland enters Phase 3 tonight at 5 p.m., remember to continue with smart and healthy habits, not just when you are on campus. As Governor Hogan says, “be vigilant!” If you have any questions, please send them to covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students,

Welcome back to another academic year and congratulations on completing the first week of classes – whether on campus or at home. I’m sure you’ve read that some schools didn’t even reach this point, but I am encouraged by what I’ve seen thus far on our campus. With a few exceptions, including protocols not being followed off campus, you have all been masked, socially distanced, following signage, and honoring the Heart, Mind and Hands Pledge you signed. I do want to remind you that, per Governor Hogan’s executive order, face masks are required outside if you are unable to socially distance. If you are outside and alone, you do not need to wear a face mask, but make sure you have it and your Hood ID with you at all times. Also remember to always use sanitizer whenever you touch anything others may have touched such as doorknobs, keyboards and the like. 

I thank all of you for taking the pledge seriously. I believe we can be one of the schools who makes it! So, let’s dig deep and show our Hood spirit and pride – Go Blazers! I know this is hard and so we are doing the following to help keep us all motivated:

  • Ideas for Student Engagement Activities: Forward your best ideas to studentengagement@hood.edu by noon, Friday, Aug. 28 to enter a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Please make sure to include your name, email address and contact number. 
  • Free Drinks: We will be handing out coupons for a free drink from the Blazer (thanks to Aramark) when we see members of the community following the protocols. 
  • Daily use of #CampusClear app: These reports are reviewed daily as one metric to ensure it is still safe to be on campus. Each day that you use it, your name will be entered into a drawing. Each month, on Spirit Friday (the first Friday of the month), we’ll do a drawing for Amazon gift cards. The more you use the app, the better your chance to win! 
  • The Chap Challenge: by Friday, Sept. 25 send to president@hood.edu your ideas for what Hood should do if we are able to continue our current status until the end of the semester. I have shared this idea with a few students and to help stimulate your thinking, suggestions thus far include a big concert, a few random days off in the spring semester, and bookstore coupons for everyone. 

As I shared in my email last week, we have a public dashboard listing the current and cumulative totals of COVID-19 cases on campus, as well as our overall positivity rate. This dashboard will be updated weekly, although it will not include identifying information in accordance with privacy laws. As you can see, we have had four confirmed cased on campus since August 3, with no known cases on campus for nearly two weeks. In other words, we are doing extremely well but this will only be the case if we continue to follow all protocols. Breaking the rules this semester means a threat to the health and safety of our Hood community and to the Frederick community. If you are found not complying with the protocols, you will be sanctioned. If it happens again, you will be removed from campus.

A critical part of our COVID mitigation plan is a quick response to any cases on campus. To help manage that response, we have added a student COVID case manager, Dr. Sue Kolb, our athletic director. Dr. Kolb will support students and ensure our protocols, including quarantine and/or isolation if necessary are followed. If you are tested on campus, Dr. Kolb will contact you immediately if the test is positive. If negative, you will receive an email. If you have any questions, you can contact Dr. Kolb at kolb@hood.edu or Teresa Cevallos, our director wellness at wellness@hood.edu.

As part of that response, we have a team of certified contact tracers on campus to immediately contain the spread of the virus by identifying and reaching out to all close contacts. A close contact is identified as any individual who was within six feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting from two days before illness onset. You may find yourself to be in a room or classroom with someone who develops the virus this semester. If you follow the social distancing and mask protocols, you are not at risk. 

Our understanding of COVID-19 is growing daily and as the research progresses, behavioral protocols may change. To that end, a recent study has shown that neck gaiters may be worse than no mask at all. If you are wearing a neck gaiter on campus, they must be double-layered. Please use the bandanas we gave away as masks; do not just tie them around your head. Disposable masks and double-layered cotton masks are the best. Face shields are also not a substitute for masks. If you are wearing a face shield to protect your eyes, you must still wear a mask. Extra masks are available at the switchboard in Whitaker.

Many have asked how many individuals chose to be remote this semester. Currently, just under 40 percent of students are studying entirely online; while 31 percent of faculty and 23 percent of staff are teaching or working remotely.

A big thank you to all who all who volunteered last week in Whitaker for testing and key pick-up, on the sides of campus roads and near buildings to wave hello to new and returning students, and to those in the Welcome Tent. The Hood Hello was evident, and campus was alive in a way that it hasn’t been since early March. Students living in our new residence hall also returned this past weekend. Thank you for your patience with the last-minute delay. It was fun to see your excitement as you moved in. I know everyone on campus is anxious to see it but remember only residents and employees with official business are allowed. We will plan a belated ribbon-cutting and building tour when the time is right.

Last Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. It would take until 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for all to have the right to vote. The very best way you can honor the fight of the suffragettes and civil rights activists is to vote. The Dean of Students Office will be sending more information about how you can vote depending on your state residency.

Mark your calendar and plan now to attend Whit Wednesday, weekend and other campus events:

  • Aug 26 Stress-free night 5 p.m. Whitaker patio Lots of fun events, snacks and a drawing for a free planner 
  • Aug 29 Painting door stops 5 p.m. Front of Coblentz Hall; prizes and giveaways 
  • Sept 2 Virtual Organization Fair noon-4 p.m. 

AND that’s not all—check in daily to keep up with campus events, including information about weekend activities via one of the following apps:

I will continue to have virtual office hours most Tuesdays throughout the semester; and as always, if you have questions, send them to covidquestions@hood.edu. Stay safe. 

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to another academic year and congratulations on completing the first week of classes – whether on campus or at home. I’m sure you’ve read that some schools didn’t even reach this point, but I am encouraged by what I’ve seen thus far on our campus. With a few exceptions, you have all been masked, socially distanced, following signage, and honoring the Heart, Mind and Hands Pledge you signed. I do want to remind you that, per Governor Hogan’s executive order, face masks are required outside if you are unable to socially distance. If you are outside and alone, you do not need to wear a face mask, but make sure you have it and are wearing your Hood nametag (or carrying your Hood ID) at all times. Also remember to always use sanitizer whenever you touch anything others may have touched such as doorknobs, keyboards and the like. 

I thank all of you for taking the pledge seriously. I believe we can be one of the schools who make it! So, let’s dig deep and show our Hood spirit and pride – Go Blazers! I know this is hard and so we are doing the following to help keep us all motivated:

  • Free Drinks: We will be handing out coupons for a free drink from the Blazer (thanks to Aramark) when we see members of the community following the protocols. 
  • Daily use of #CampusClear app: These reports are reviewed daily as one metric to ensure it is still safe to be on campus. Each day that you use it, your name will be entered into a drawing. Each month, on Spirit Friday (the first Friday of the month), we’ll do a drawing for Amazon gift cards. The more you use the app, the better your chance to win! 
  • The Chap Challenge: by Friday, Sept. 25 send to president@hood.edu your ideas for what Hood should do if we are able to continue our current status until the end of the semester. I have shared this idea with a few students and to help stimulate your thinking, suggestions thus far include a big concert, a few random days off in the spring semester, and bookstore coupons for everyone. 

As I shared in my email last week, we have a public dashboard listing the current and cumulative totals of COVID-19 cases on campus, as well as our overall positivity rate. This dashboard will be updated weekly, although it will not include identifying information in accordance with privacy laws. As you can see, we have had four confirmed cased on campus since August 3, with no known cases on campus for nearly two weeks. In other words, we are doing extremely well but this will continue to be the case only if we continue to follow all protocols. Breaking the rules this semester means a threat to the health and safety of our Hood community and to the Frederick community. If you are found not complying with the protocols, you will be sanctioned per the Faculty Code or Staff Manual. 

A critical part of our COVID mitigation plan is a quick response to any cases on campus. To help manage that response, we have added an employee COVID case manager, Meg Timmons. If you are tested on campus, Meg will contact you immediately if the test is positive. If negative, you will receive an email. If you have any questions, you can contact Meg at timmons@hood.edu or Teresa Cevallos, our director wellness at wellness@hood.edu

As part of that response we have a certified team of contact tracers on campus to immediately contain the spread of the virus by identifying and reaching out to all close contacts. A close contact is identified as any individual who was within six feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting from two days before illness onset. You may find yourself to be in an office or classroom with someone who develops the virus this semester. If you follow the social distancing and mask protocols, you are not be at risk. 

Our understanding of COVID-19 is growing daily and as the research progresses, behavioral protocols may change. To that end, a recent study has shown that neck gaiters may be worse than no mask at all. If you are wearing a neck gaiter on campus, they must be double-layered. Please use the bandanas we gave away as masks; do not just tie them around your head. Disposable masks and double-layered cotton masks are the best. Face shields are also not a substitute for masks. If you are wearing a face shield to protect your eyes, you must still wear a mask. Extra masks are available at the switchboard in Whitaker.

Many have asked how many individuals chose to be remote this semester. Currently, just under 40 percent of students are studying entirely online; while 31 percent of faculty and 23 percent of staff are teaching or working remotely.

A big thank you to all who all who volunteered last week in Whitaker for testing and key pick-up, on the sides of campus roads and near buildings to wave hello to new and returning students, and to those in the Welcome Tent. The Hood Hello was evident, and campus was alive in a way that it hasn’t been since early March. Students living in our new residence hall also returned this past weekend. Thank you for your patience with the last-minute delay. It was fun to see your excitement as you moved in. I know everyone on campus is anxious to see it but remember only residents and employees with official business are allowed. We will plan a belated ribbon-cutting and building tour when the time is right. 

Last Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. It would take until 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for all to have the right to vote. The very best way you can honor the fight of the suffragettes and civil rights activists is to vote. 

I will continue to have virtual office hours most Tuesdays throughout the semester, and senior team will begin virtual sessions for faculty and staff. The first will be September 15 at 1 p.m. 

As always, if you have questions, send them to covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Hello-

Let me start by saying how excited the dining team is to welcome you to the beautiful Hood campus. We can’t wait to see your smiling faces (even if those smiles are behind masks)! We know you have a lot of questions surrounding dining services, so let me take a moment to try and answer some.

Coblentz Dining Hall and the Blazer will be open for regular operating hours, which you can view at hood.campusdish.com.

You’ll notice some differences – all of which are put in place to protect you:

  • We’ve rearranged the dining room tables and have 81 seats in Coblentz Dining Hall.
  • We have added additional seating outside on the Quad. Enjoy your meal al fresco!
  • There are directional signs and floor decals set up throughout to define safe social distancing. Please use the floor markers to social distance while in line.
  • You will have the option to dine in Coblentz Dining Hall or to take food to-go.
  • There is also a separate grab & go station available in Coblentz Dining Hall to help speed up your service.
  • Drink cups, napkins, and silverware will all be served to you when you go through the serving line.
  •  All to-go containers will be held behind the line and given to you by a food server, and all condiments will be individually portioned and served to you.  
  • There will be no self-service options.

We will also offer a pre-order box breakfast or lunch!

  • Simply go to hood.campusdish.com and click on the link to place your breakfast or lunch order.
  • Pre-order meals will be picked up in the Coblentz basement Dreiling Seminar Room.
  • You will enter through the basement door to pick up your meal. This way you can get you breakfast or lunch in quick fashion.

You can watch this video to see how the Dining Hall is set up and will work.

The Blazer will also have directional signage for placing orders and picking up your meals. Please be aware of these new traffic patterns to keep everyone socially distanced. We are happy to let you know that the Blazer now has an online ordering app. Information on the App will be available at the Blazer and online.

One very important thing to note, and we will need your help with this, facial coverings must be worn at all times in Coblentz Dining Hall and in the Blazer, except when you are seated at a table eating or drinking. You will not be allowed into Coblentz or Blazer if you are not wearing a facial covering.

If you have a special dietary need or food allergies, I ask that you contact me as soon as possible so we can have a quick discussion. I want to be sure dining takes care of any requirements you may have.

This is a lot of information to take in. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at

bragel-john@aramark.com. There will be a manager or supervisor during each meal period to assist you in navigating these changes and to answer any questions to may have. Again, I want to thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as work through these changes together.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe semester!

John Bragel
Food Service Director

Dear Faculty & Staff, 

We are in the home stretch and the moment we have been planning for months is upon us. By now, all of you should have read the New Horizon Plan and should be using the #CampusClear app each day. Both of these are so important to our success this semester. Failure to comply with any protocols can result in disciplinary action. More important, it is critical that we serve as exemplary role models to our students.

For our undergraduates, local returning residential students can move items into their rooms on Monday; and then move in next weekend (August 15-16). New students will move in next Thursday and Friday. For the past few weeks, we have been communicating with our students coming from states where COVID cases are on the rise, ensuring that they are able to self-isolate at home before moving back to Hood, be tested and/or arrive on campus early to be tested and self-isolate. As of today, we are expecting approximately 700 residential students or 80% occupancy. 

So far, on-campus COVID-19 testing has targeted employees, all resident assistants and orientation assistants. As of today, we have no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus. Weekly random testing will begin the week of August 24. Those chosen for testing will be notified via email. If you would like to be tested before being chosen, email wellness@hood.edu

If you have not yet signed up to help out as part of the crew at the Welcome Tent, please do so now. There are many places we need your help to give a great big Hood Hello to our students and their families. We also still need volunteers for theBlazer Support Team, who will support (no contact) students in isolation or quarantine. If you are interested in joining the Blazer Support Team, please reach out to Jennie Bowker or Thomas Chatfield, the BST coordinators.

To minimize the spread of the virus on campus, it will be imperative for every office to keep track of visitors (both external and internal) who are in the office for 15 minutes or more, as well as the locations on campus that you visit and the people you interact with for 15 minutes or more. A sample visitor log can be found here  or you can make notes in your Outlook calendar.

A reminder that our virtual fall forum will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. I will give an update on the semester ahead and we will honor employees for their years of service and exemplary award winners.

For the past few weeks, we have held virtual town halls with students (new, residential, commuters and graduate). It has been gratifying to hear their excitement to return to the classroom, whether virtual or in person. They are ready to start the semester and be back together with their Hood family. Similarly, it has been so gratifying to see you back on campus, as well as some of our students.

A big thank you to all who helped deliver the Center for Teaching and Learning's (CTL's) Pandemic-Proof Pedagogy (P3) Conference for faculty this week. The sessions were dynamic and engaging. 

I want to extend a thank you to all who have contributed to the New Horizon Plan. We are ready for our students and to begin the semester because of your hard work and dedication. That said, we will continue to monitor our key metrics and will continue to make all decisions guided by our goals of minimizing the risk of COVID-19 to our community and providing a quality educational experience for all our students. 

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Students, 

We are in the home stretch of our preparations for reopening campus for the fall semester. By now, it is imperative that you have read the Welcome Home, Blazers website.

For those of you planning to return to campus, it is imperative that you have been social distancing and minimizing exposure to others. Also, please begin using the #CampusClear app each day so it is as much a habit as brushing your teeth before coming to campus. Your understanding and compliance with all listed protocols and policies are critical to the health and safety of our community; simply put, they are non-negotiable. I ask each of you to do the following. Over the next several days, think deeply about your ability to fully adhere to the Heart, Mind and Hands Pledge. If there is any doubt in your mind that you cannot do so, then you may want to reconsider being on campus. If we are not all fully committed and Hood Strong together, we will not be successful. I believe Hood can be a shining example of how the strength of our community and our willingness to sacrifice for each other enables us to learn, work and play together, even in the face of a pandemic. But that depends on each and every one of you. Also, we must all recognize that uncertainty and flexibility will continue to be part of our daily lives so patience and willingness to adapt to sudden changes are also important.

For the past few weeks, we have been communicating with residential students coming from states where COVID cases are on the rise, ensuring that they are able to self-isolate at home before moving back to Hood, be tested and/or arrive on campus early to be tested and self-isolate. Students from any states with a positivity rate above 10% must bring to campus proof of a negative test result that is less than 72 hours prior to arrival If this is not possible, please contact Dean White immediately to determine if you can be quarantined on campus until you’re the results from the test you take upon arrival are received or if you must delay your move in date. As of today, we are expecting approximately 700 residential students or 80% occupancy. Local returning residential students can move items into their rooms on Monday; and then move in next weekend (August 15-16). New students will move in next Thursday and Friday. 

So far, on-campus COVID-19 testing has targeted employees, all resident assistants and orientation assistants. As of today, we have no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus. Weekly random testing will begin the week of August 24. Those chosen for testing will be notified via email. If you would like to be tested even if not selected, email wellness@hood.edu

For all students – residential, commuter and graduate – we will have a Welcome Tent set up on the residential quad next Monday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Be sure to stop by, say hello to our faculty and staff, and pick up some swag. If you are unable to visit, the swag is available at the campus switchboard in Whitaker or in the Graduate School Office.

For the past few weeks, we have held virtual town halls with students (new, residential, commuters and graduate). It has been gratifying to hear your excitement to return to the classroom, whether virtual or in person. You had great questions and we’ve compiled those in this attachment

I am so excited to see you on campus next week. Continue to stay safe and make smart decisions. As always, send any questions to covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood Community,

Both uncertainty and flexibility are now part of our daily lives. And so, soon after I sent my message this morning regarding the testing plan, both Goucher College and St. John’s College announced that, based on the trends of COVID-19 in both Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, they have made the difficult decision to move their fall semester entirely online. 

Although the current situation in Frederick is very different than in surrounding regions, rest assured that we are constantly monitoring a set of both internal and regional metrics, including such indicators as positivity rates, availability of testing, sufficient PPE supplies, and more. I have asked public health experts at the county health department to review these metrics to ensure that they are appropriate determinants of our institutional decisions. Following their review, we will add these metrics to our COVID-19 website. At any point, should those metrics indicate a need to re-evaluate our current plan to reopen on-campus operations, we are prepared to respond accordingly.

As of now, we are excited to welcome employees back to campus on Monday, and our new and returning students soon thereafter. 

As always, please send questions to covidquestions@hood.edu.

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Undergraduate Students,

Since this pandemic started, I have reminded you that together we are stronger. That will continue to be true as we come together this semester. It is incumbent on all of us to do our part to keep each other as safe as possible. That includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, monitoring your symptoms daily and practicing social distancing. In addition, the College has developed a comprehensive testing plan, the details of which I would like to share with you now. This information can also be found on the Welcome Home website.

First and most important, the Hood College Health Center on 7th Street will provide testing for any member of our community who may have COVID-19 symptoms. In addition to accessible and timely symptomatic testing, we will also conduct surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. 

Hood College understands the critical role that surveillance testing can play in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Partnering with Frederick Health, the College will provide on-site, clinical testing for all members of the community who are asymptomatic throughout the semester, as follows:

Testing will begin the week of August 3 with residence life staff (including resident assistants), the student engagement team, campus safety and others with direct student contact.

All residential students will be tested upon arrival to campus during move-in. Students will receive a detailed email with testing details, which will occur before you pick up keys. If residential students have received a negative test result within 72 hours upon arriving to campus, they can send test results to wellness@hood.edu to be excused from this testing.

Beginning the week of August 24 and then weekly throughout the semester, 10 percent of the campus community (approximately 100 people) will be chosen randomly to be tested. The group will include every constituency of the on-campus population (faculty, staff, residential students, commuter students, graduate students, and bookstore, dining and facilities staff). You will be notified by email that you have been chosen to be tested. Testing is not an option and is one of the College’s COVID-19 behavioral protocols. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action. Students who are learning remotely will not be included in the random testing. 

Frederick Health will administer the tests following all COVID-19 protocols, wearing full PPE. The test will be nasal swabs, not the “brain tickler” type that has been generally used for COVID-19 testing. Any member of the community seeking asymptomatic testing may also be tested during any of the testing periods by emailing wellness@hood.edu to request an available time. 

Individuals will be notified of test results directly by Frederick Health within 48 hours. Upon a positive test result, you must follow the protocol outlined here, and contact Hood College Health Services and the dean of students. Residential students will be moved to a quarantine room (if going home is not an option) and will not be able to return to class until medically cleared. 

Campus is starting to come alive again. I’m looking forward to Welcome Week!

My continued well wishes to all of you and your families. If you have any questions, please use covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Graduate Students,

Since this pandemic started, I have reminded you that together we are stronger. That will continue to be true as we come together this semester. It is incumbent on all of us to do our part to keep each other as safe as possible. That includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, monitoring your symptoms daily and practicing social distancing. In addition, the College has developed a comprehensive testing plan, the details of which I would like to share with you now. This information can also be found on the Welcome Home website.

First and most important, the Hood College Health Center on 7th Street will provide testing for any member of our community who may have COVID-19 symptoms. In addition to accessible and timely symptomatic testing, we will also conduct surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. 

Hood College understands the critical role that surveillance testing can play in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Partnering with Frederick Health, the College will provide on-site, clinical testing for all members of the community who are asymptomatic throughout the semester, as follows: 

Testing will begin the week of August 3 with residence life staff (including resident assistants), the student engagement team, campus safety and others with direct student contact. All residential students will be tested upon arrival to campus during move-in. 

Beginning the week of August 24 and then weekly throughout the semester, 10 percent of the campus community (approximately 100 people) will be chosen randomly to be tested. The group will include every constituency of the on-campus population (faculty, staff, residential students, commuter students, graduate students, and bookstore, dining and facilities staff). You will be notified by email that you have been chosen to be tested. Testing is not an option and is one of the College’s COVID-19 behavioral protocols. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action. Students who are learning remotely will not be included in the random testing. 

Frederick Health will administer the tests following all COVID-19 protocols, wearing full PPE. The test will be nasal swabs, not the “brain tickler” type that has been generally used for COVID-19 testing. Any member of the community seeking asymptomatic testing may also be tested during any of the testing periods by emailing wellness@hood.edu to request an available time.

Individuals will be notified of test results directly by Frederick Health within 48 hours. Upon a positive test result, you must follow the protocol outlined here, and contact Hood College Health Services and the dean of the Graduate School

Campus is starting to come alive again. I’m looking forward to Welcome Week! 

My continued well wishes to all of you and your families. If you have any questions, please use covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Since this pandemic started, I have reminded you that together we are stronger. That will continue to be true as we come together this semester. It is incumbent on all of us to do our part to keep each other as safe as possible. That includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, monitoring your symptoms daily and practicing social distancing. In addition, the College has developed a comprehensive testing plan, the details of which I would like to share with you now. This information can also be found on the Welcome Home website.

First and most important, the Hood College Health Center on 7th Street will provide testing for any member of our community who may have COVID-19 symptoms. In addition to accessible and timely symptomatic testing, we will also conduct surveillance testing throughout the fall semester. 

Hood College understands the critical role that surveillance testing can play in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Partnering with Frederick Health, the College will provide on-site, clinical testing for all members of the community who are asymptomatic throughout the semester, as follows:

Testing will begin the week of August 3 with residence life staff (including resident assistants), the student engagement team, campus safety and others with direct student contact. All residential students will be tested upon arrival to campus during move-in.

Beginning the week of August 24 and then weekly throughout the semester, 10 percent of the campus community (approximately 100 people) will be chosen randomly to be tested. The group will include every constituency of the on-campus population (faculty, staff, residential students, commuter students, graduate students, and bookstore, dining and facilities staff). You will be notified by email that you have been chosen to be tested. Testing is not an option and is one of the College’s COVID-19 behavioral protocols. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action. Faculty and staff who are telecommuting will not be included in the random testing. 

Frederick Health will administer the tests following all COVID-19 protocols, wearing full PPE. The test will be nasal swabs, not the “brain tickler” type that has been generally used for COVID-19 testing. Any member of the community seeking asymptomatic testing may also be tested during any of the testing periods by emailing wellness@hood.edu to request an available time.

Individuals will be notified of test results directly by Frederick Health within 48 hours. Upon a positive test result, you must follow the protocol outlined here, and contact your health service provider, your supervisor and Meg Timmons. You must not return to campus until you have been medically cleared.

Informal contact tracing will begin on campus before the official tracing is done by the state health department. If you are interested in taking the free certification from Johns Hopkins University to serve as a College contact tracer, or have completed it, please email Teresa Cevallos at wellness@hood.edu

The New Horizon Plan is now on Hoodtranet, under Campus Announcements. This document is a working document and will be updated as the situation warrants. 

I’m looking forward to seeing those of you returning to campus on Monday. Campus is starting to come alive again. 

My continued well wishes to all of you and your families. If you have any questions, please use covidquestions@hood.edu

Sincerely,

Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
President

Dear Hood College student, 

The fall semester is almost here, and, as promised, I’m writing with an update on the teaching modalities of your fall classes. I’d like to share with you a video from Iqra Rafiq, one of our student members on the Academic/Curriculum Delivery Working Group, that explains the different types of classes you’ll see on your fall schedule in self-service.  

You’ll also find details on these different modalities in the information below. 

Beginning today, in Self-Service you will see your fall schedule which lists all of the classes for which you are registered. To access this information: 

  • Log in to Self Service 
  • Click the “Classes” tab 
  • Select “Schedule”, then “Student Schedule” 
  • Make sure you are in “Text” mode (not “Grid” mode) 

Your schedule may look something like this:

image.png

The listing of classes will show whether your class will be taught in HYBRID mode or ONLINE. If neither of these designations appears on your schedule, then your class will be taught in TRADITIONAL mode. 

You may notice a start and end time for some courses of 12:01 - 12:02 AM. Don't worry; you don't have to attend class at midnight!  This is simply a system default for all Online and Hybrid courses that indicates the asynchronous nature of the course. For some Traditional courses with TBA listed or showing the 12:01-12:02 AM meeting times, these are typically internships and/or independent study courses where the instructor will be working with individual students to identify a time for course meetings.

So what does TRADITIONAL, HYBRID and ONLINE mean?  

Traditional Courses 

Students will connect with the faculty member and other students in the class LIVE (or “synchronously”). You may participate in these live class sessions either in a classroom or remotely. Your professor may also be joining the class from a remote location. All of these options are feasible. The common feature is that all members of the class will be engaging synchronously on the day, time and classroom location posted on your schedule. And this synchronous, live engagement will occur for every class throughout the semester. 

It is unlikely that all students will be able to attend class at the same time due to physical-distancing requirements, but don’t worry – we’ll make sure you won’t miss anything if you’re participating remotely. 

All synchronous classes will also be recorded and available through the course Blackboard site for students who may need to engage the course material at a different time (or “asynchronously”), yet consistent with course expectations listed in the syllabus. If recording is not feasible due to technical challenges, then the instructor will provide all course materials and follow-up information via Blackboard to students who are unable to engage synchronously. 

Hybrid Courses 

More than half of the classes for the semester will occur live, in a classroom (as described above). These classes will occur on the day, time and in the classroom listed on your schedule. The remaining coursework will be offered asynchronously, and students may engage the course material on their own time, consistent with course expectations listed in the syllabus. 

As with traditional courses, all synchronous classes will also be recorded and available through the course Blackboard site. If recording is not feasible due to technical challenges, then the instructor will provide via Blackboard all course materials and follow-up information to students who are unable to engage synchronously. 

Online Courses 

The entire class will be offered online, and no live or synchronous components will be required. The professor will provide opportunities for individual or small group meetings virtually each week. Even though these courses are offered asynchronously, they still require the same amount of work and commitment as your other courses.  

Still have questions?  

Check out the attached infographic (Your Learning Options) that describes these different modalities.  And, be sure to check out Hood's Online Success Toolkit, which offers a variety of tips and resources to help you navigate some of the changes we will all experience this fall.  Of course, we welcome your questions at covidquestions@hood.edu.

Course modalities and room assignments may change, so please check Self Service immediately prior to the first day of class on August 17 for the most up-to-date information available.  Also, don’t forget to check the course Blackboard site for further information about course modality and expectations. 

If you are unable to come to campus this semester for health reasons and need connectivity or technology to engage with your classes, please contact Dean Schum (undergraduates) or Dean Boulton (graduate students) to explore your options.  

In closing, rest assured that your Hood family has been working hard to plan your return to campus this semester. Whether you will be in a classroom on campus physically distanced, or logging in remotely, we look forward to a successful fall semester with you! 

Best wishes,

Provost Ricker