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Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

Dublin 1

A few of our students took the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin this past semester. They shared an amazing experience together. Kaitlyn Heintzelman, Caroline Walsh, and Katherine Stohlman shared some thoughts about their time together in more.

Ellen Miner, French Major / History and English Minors

Ellen MinerEllen’s presentation was titled “Marie Antoinette Queen of France: Portrayal in Film vs. Historical Reality.” The project compared three films about Marie Antoinette, the queen of France from 1774 to 1793. These films are titled Marie Antoinette, Reine de France (1956), Marie Antoinette (2006), and Les Adieux à La Reine (2012). Each film portrays Marie Antoinette from a somewhat different perspective, and the purpose of the project was to see which film is most historically accurate. While some may know a few things about the French queen, there is much more to Marie Antoinette than a young Austrian girl thrust into the expensive, expectation-filled, aristocratic world of the French Monarchy.

Claudia Morales, Double Major in International Studies and French

Claudia MoralesClaudia’s presentation was titled “Redefining the Frenchman: National Identity and its Effects on Policy and Immigration in the 1930’s and 1960’s.” French politics has seen a consistent rise in nativist rhetoric, nationalistic solutions, and populist agenda. Though immigration has drastically changed the demographics of France since the beginning of the 20th century, their national identity has never grown to incorporate its immigrant populations. Claudia’s research examined the repercussions of this self-perceived identity on French policy and North African immigration in the 1930s and 1960s. She submits that this paradigm sets into motion a cycle of unproductive and short-sighted immigration policies. This project shed light on the social implications of an unchanging national identity and the negative effect it has on policy. The project also highlighted the potential for political development in other countries if a country like France could reassess what it means to be French.

Kathryn Tombs, Double Major in Theology and Spanish

Kathryn’s project was titled “La frontera: Exploring Divisions within Our Borders through the Lens of Contemporary Theater and Catholic Responses to the Hispanic Immigrant in the U.S. Today.” The project analyzed an original play that Kathryn wrote based on conversations with a Hispanic kitchen staff. It is inspired by her past experiences as a waitress. She compared her play with two other contemporary theatrical works that also reflect the Latino immigrant experience in the U.S. The goal of the project was not to resolve the many problems stemming from the current U.S. immigration crisis, but rather to discuss the challenges pertinent to the Latino immigrant experience and how to respond to those challenges with various statements issued on behalf of the Church.


November 9 and 10, Dr. Amanda Beal and Dr. Jamie Gianoutsos had the distinct pleasure of taking ten Mount female students to the Training Ms. President (TMP) workshop at Hood College. These students were chosen for their intelligence, civic mindedness, and leadership qualities, with the hope that they might one day consider running for public office. Our students joined 30 other students from Hood College, Washington College, and Goucher College for the workshop.

“It was so empowering to see women setting aside partisan biases to build one another up and address the issues we all face as women.” –Hannah Opdenaker C’18

TMP6The Training Ms. President program seeks to address the gender gap in elected representation. Research suggests that the role model effect can aid in decreasing the ambition gap – i.e., connecting these young women with female politicos and politicians increases the likelihood that they will run for an elected position. Training Ms. President was launched in 2015 by universities and colleges affiliated with the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA).

“The experience was incredibly valuable because it gave me the opportunity to network with media correspondents, political consultants, and state and local politicians in a bipartisan environment.”   -Alexandra Johnson C’18

During the Thursday evening presentation, the students heard a keynote address from Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, who encouraged them to identify an issue and begin “seizing their power” through advocacy and political involvement. During the Friday event, the students heard from two panels of politicos, journalists, and elected officials about the process of campaigning, working with the media, and getting involved in politics.

“The women who had spoken to us had a great wealth of knowledge. They talked about hardships they faced as women and gave us tips on how to navigate those challenges and be successful.” –Sara Wright C’18TMP5

Next year, for the first time, Mount St. Mary’s University will host the Training Ms. President workshop. We will welcome 40-50 undergraduate women, 7 female politicians, and 6 politicos to campus to continue our work to diminish the ambition gap for women in politics by encouraging our best-suited female students to run for public office.

“Truth be told, the United States needs more empathetic and compassionate leaders. It also needs politicians with more diverse backgrounds, and women are able to offer all of this.” –Courtney Twigg C’17

TMP3“Women are deemed legally equal, but in reality we still face hardships based on our gender. Truly, the only way we can overcome those hardships is to band together and take the world by storm.” –Abigail Cottrill C’18


Jessica Huhn

Jessica Huhn, C'17, presented at the regional undergraduate literature conference hosted by Shepherd University's Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. The conference drew approximately 25 participants from 11 colleges and universities. This year’s conference was focused on addressing themes of shifting identities, negotiating new worlds, and facing prejudices.

Shepard UniversityJessica’s presented a public reading of her paper, “Dream on Monkey Mountain: Straddling vs. Syncretism in the Quest for Liberation and Identity.” In her paper, she utilizes Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain to illustrate the individual and social struggle for identity in a multicultural society. In particular, Walcott’s work references Caribbean people with the combination of African and white European cultures, which included violent colonialism and nativist reactions. Jessica writes, “Walcott maintains that Caribbean people of color must not buy into the aggressive dichotomy of colonialism and black nativism…For true liberation and establishment of identity, such people must syncretically blend elements of African and white civilization.”

SigmataudeltaJessica graduated in May 2017 with a B.A. in English, and minors in Education and Latin. She is a member of the Mount’s Alpha Phi Iota Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. Jessica hopes that more Sigma Tau Delta members will take advantage of the opportunity to attend the conference, and to submit their works for next year’s call for papers.


Philip Green

Philip Greene is an attorney, writer, and cocktail historian. He graduated from the Mount in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He minored in English, Business and American Studies. 

Greene attended law school at Loyola University New Orleans, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1986.  After a stint with a suburban Maryland law firm, in 1988 he joined the General Counsel’s Office with the U.S. Department of Commerce.  He eventually was promoted to Senior Counsel for Internet Technology, providing trademark, copyright and Internet counsel agency-wide.  In 2007, while telecommuting part-time for Commerce, he served as Internet New Zealand’s Senior Research Fellow in Cyberlaw, and taught a masters and honors course in Internet law at Victoria University School of Law, Wellington, New Zealand.  He also wrote several law journal articles on trademark and Internet law.  His wife and three daughters enjoyed their time in New Zealand and Australasia immensely.

Since 2009, Greene is the Trademark and Internet Counsel for the U.S. Marine Corps, based at the Pentagon.  He provides legal counsel to the USMC’s robust Trademark Licensing Office, and oversees a portfolio of nearly 500 trademark registrations.  He’s presented at legal conferences across the country, notably the International Trademark Association and the American Bar Association.

Philip Green 2In his personal life, Greene co-founded the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans in 2004, and has written and presented extensively on food and drink around the world.  His first book, To Have and Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion (Penguin Perigee), received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Garden & Gun, Kirkus Reviews,, and many others, and remains a best seller in several categories (a second edition was released in 2015).  His second book, The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail (2016, Sterling Epicure) has also done well.  Phil is also a contributing author for the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, edited by David Wondrich, and to be published in 2018, and is a contributing columnist for The Daily Beast.  Greene just completed his third book, A Drinkable Feast: A 1920s Paris Cocktail Companion, to be published by Penguin Random House in 2018.

Greene is also on the Board of Directors of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, and the Museum of the American Cocktail’s Founders Board, both based in New Orleans.  He also serves on the Mount’s College of Liberal Arts Advisory Board, and the House Committee of the National Press Club, of which he is a member.

Green AnotherHis sideline interests are easily traced to his time at the Mount.  His love of history was nurtured by the Mount’s excellent History Department, and he began his writing career at the Mountain Echo, where he was News and Features editor from 1982-83.  He and his wife Elise have lived in Northwest D.C. since 1993, where they raised their three daughters.  Hannah, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, now lives and works in New York.  Madeleine is a senior at Northwestern (Medill School of Journalism), and Olivia is a sophomore at the New England Conservatory (singer-songwriter) in Boston.


Christopher Bellitto

The Fall 2017 Ducharme Lecture with Dr. Christopher Bellitto, Professor of History at Kean University, was a success! His Lecture was titled Luther and Church Reform: Catholic Perspectives. Dr. Bellitto introduced us to the scope and progress of dialogue between Protestants and Catholics over the past five hundred years – this year being the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. He described the progress as being one of movement, from diatribe to dialogue. “Reconciled diversity” was a phrase coined by the Lutheran Theologian Oscar Cullman, and borrowed later by Pope Francis. This was a key theme in Dr. Bellitto’s lecture. By focusing on what Catholics and Protestants share in common, they can engender more productive dialogue. This of course has broader implications for intergroup dialogue. As diverse groups – be they political, religious, or social – become willing to listen to those with different perspectives, they have the opportunity to heal old wounds, understand their own distinctiveness in new ways, and build bridges toward greater collaboration.

Chris BellittoView the whole lecture on our livestream page @ Fall 2017 Ducharme Lecture Livestream. And check out some more photos of the event on our facebook page @ Mount St. Mary's University - College of Liberal Arts.

Andrea Solis

In this final blog of our New Faulty Series, we welcome Dr. Andrea Solis. Dr. Solis is by no means new to Mount St. Mary's University. She has worked in the School of Natural Science & Mathematics for the past fourteen years. She taught chemistry labs and general sciences, as well as serving as a lab manager. While Dr. Solis has taught Spanish for twelve years here at the Mount, this year she transferred to the CLA to work full time for the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures.

Dr. Solis completed her undergraduate degree at UAZ (Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico), and her graduate degrees at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). She taught Spanish at Penn State, and Literature at UAZ. Some of her specializations include Hispanic Literature and Latin-American Culture. Dr. Solis is looking forward to continuing to teach Spanish at the beginner and advanced levels. She also looks forward to continuing to advise and support the students involved in the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL)

Dr. Solis enjoys music, walking, hiking, and conversations with friends. In addition to supporting the SOL, she also volunteers at the Mother Seton Day in the Science Department, where she helps middle school students with science experiments.

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