Martha Church Endowment Prize 2023
David Gurzick, M.S.'03, Ph.D. continues to strengthen the bond between Hood and the Frederick community. While he is involved in many areas of intersection between the College and Community, his board service with FITCI and his role in developing the Data Driven Frederick are the most prominent. His service to the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc (FITCI) stands as a testament to his commitment to fostering technological innovation within our community. For the past six years, he has offered his expertise to FITCI, a non-profit corporation aimed at fostering commercially viable tech-based businesses. This past year, Professor Gurzick played a vital role in supporting FITCI's expansion into its new Biotech center at 321 The Edge, further solidifying his impact in strengthening our ties with the regional business and technology ecosystem. Data Driven Frederick, an initiative conceived and directed by Dr. Gurzick, is another sterling example of his efforts in building bridges between Hood College and our community. Data Driven Frederick's broad network encompasses nearly every major philanthropic and non-profit organization in the city and county. This pioneering center leverages data to empower our community organizations, fostering a symbiotic relationship that enhances our curriculum and provides real-world experiences for our faculty and students. Under Professor Gurzick's guidance, Data Driven Frederick helped the City of Frederick secure a place in the prestigious Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy. This achievement underscores his commitment to establishing meaningful partnerships that have a lasting impact on the community.
Dr. Henry P. and Page Laughlin Faculty Award 2023
Michelle Gricus, Ph.D. has been instrumental in many areas of the college, including her leadership of the Social Work program. However, Dr. Gricus’s most significant contribution over the past academic year has been helping to create the new Heart, Mind, and Hands Core Curriculum which was approved by the faculty in April 2023. Michelle’s vision of a new Core Curriculum packed with high-impact practices that also honors Hood’s mission and values is a testament to her creativity and innovative thinking. In addition to the central role she has played and continues to play in Core Curriculum revision, Dr. Gricus, while serving on the High Impact Practice Task Force, led the effort to bring SPIRES to our campus. This showcase of faculty, staff, and student scholarship continues to flourish each April. As a thought leader on campus, Michelle values collaboration and collegiality and works with both faculty and staff on a consistent basis to ensure that all members of our campus community feel that their voice is heard and valued. Dr. Gricus shows a deep and abiding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that she does, both in the classroom and externally.
Dr. Henry P. and Page Laughlin Staff Awards 2023
Kerri Eyler, P'21 was nominated by three peers for being an incredible point person and making it possible last academic year for the school of behavioral & health sciences to inhabit 700 Toll House. Her incredible organizational skills made the process appear completely seamless to an outside observer, expertly setting up classroom and office spaces, directing movers and opening the new site in time for spring semester courses to begin. Kerri worked over and above her regular duties including taking on the part of Property Manager, managing everything from budgeting to purchasing furniture and handling last minute changes, as well as working closely with the CFO to ensure that our faculty and staff had all they needed for success. She was able to see needs before others did and think outside the box to resolve issues.
Tanith Fowler Corsi plays a key role in a lot of activities on campus, and she leads an incredible team by example; always willing to go the extra mile, always kind and responsive. Tanith is very innovative, looking for ways to not only recruit and retain students, but to provide them a meaningful experience while they're here. She manages a mentor program, which helps students feel a sense of home away from home. In her spare time, Tanith created and chaired the inaugural “Hood College military committee” that serves veterans and active-duty military; has served as team leader for the Hood-Frederick Health Resource Garden which donates produce to Frederick citizens in need, organizes free yoga sessions for the College as part of employee wellness program, and participated in Leadership Frederick this past year.
Payton Mills '19 was nominated by several peers and one student for her leadership and hard work. Payton has done an amazing job of streamlining events and keeping them logistically top notch. Her care ensures prospective students, parents, and friends have an engaging and meaningful campus visit and form a good first impression of Hood. Payton has taken over one of the College’s social media accounts and developed a creative vision, a welcoming voice, and engaging content, adding over 600 followers to a previously abandoned account. Her work has grown a previously underutilized recruitment tool, and Hood's online community is better for it.
Emily Vanderwoude has loyally, knowledgeably, and tirelessly promoted Hood College to the Board of Associates and the Frederick Community. Some of her noteworthy accomplishments include:
- More than $21,000 Professional Development Grants awarded to Hood faculty for FY2022/2023; and
- Overseeing the Hood College Board of Associates 50th Anniversary Endowed Fund for Hood Student Scholarships from which approximately $17,000 was awarded for the past fiscal year.
Emily worked extremely hard to become a Certified Fund Raising professional in 2021, furthering her fundraising credentials and improving her job performance and skills as a fundraiser. Emily also received the “Emerging Leader of Impact” award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, representing Hood College.
Mary Ann Kerins Humanitarian Award 2023
Katie Huy embodies the essence and spirit of Mary Ann Kerins. Katie has led mediation sessions between students using a restorative justice framework that honors the dignity of each student while challenging them to be civil through mutual respect and understanding. She is said to provide engaging learning opportunities in their Honors 102 class. Katie also has been an active advocate for the Campus Cupboard by incorporating the concept of food insecurity into their classes and promoting donation drives.
Additionally, Katie actively and consistently demonstrates a commitment to advocacy, equality, diversity and respect. This past spring, she co-led the alternative spring break program that provided students with service experiences that allowed them to give back to the community, practice sustainable living and understand the care and compassion required to do environmental justice work. Katie has worked to make these experiences accessible and affordable for all students.