Greetings from the College of Liberal Arts! As many of you know, I began work in the Dean’s office on July 1 and hope to build on the strong foundation laid by Deans Josh Hochschild and Fr. Jim Donohue. I am grateful for the generous support of the Mount community. Always committed to the good of the Mount, CLA faculty members have been renewed and re-energized by President Trainor’s arrival and by the revision and implementation of numerous initiatives, all designed to engage our students more fully. I am fortunate to be teaching in our First-Year Symposium program, led by History professor Dr. Greg Murry, and am hearing about and observing great things from the entering Class of 2020!
There are so many things going on that I’m finding it difficult to decide what to include in this brief greeting. Once again this past summer, the Mount sent several students to Cambridge University in England, and five of the six young scholars, Anne O’Neill, Kayla Morrow, Brigid Flay, Jessica Huhn and Samantha Solis, are from the College of Liberal Arts. In the spring, Dr. Paige Hochschild guided 16 students through a stimulating semester in Florence. In addition to the two summer study-abroad trips you’ll read about in this newsletter, Dr. Diana Rodriguez-Lozano led students on a very successful study-abroad and service trip to Costa Rica. With singular energy and on their own initiative, English and Music major Bari Boyd and English and History major Kara Van Dyke founded a new campus publication, Moorings, and handsomely produced its first issue. This new journal nicely compliments the existing theology and philosophy journal, Tolle Lege, by publishing the best student essays from our other humanities disciplines.
Our current students and recent graduates are applying their Mount Spirit to the greater good! In this issue you’ll hear from International Studies major Josh McCowen, who spent the summer in Nepal, teaching and working as a photojournalist. You’ll also learn about the good work of Katie Price, a 2015 English major, and Sarah George, a 2012 Philosophy and English major.
Working with faculty members from the Philosophy and Political Science Departments as well as the Bolte School of Business, Dr. Amanda Beal recently designed a new Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) major. This interdisciplinary major has produced many influential leaders in Europe, and the Mount is in the vanguard of bringing it to the U.S. Amanda has also been researching and applying for grants to fund a summer PPE institute that will bring promising high school students to campus.
I wish I had more space to tout the many achievements of our distinguished CLA faculty! I’ll content myself with selected highlights. Drs. Maureen Oakley from Political Science, Michelle Patterson from History, and David Cloutier from Theology published scholarly books. Drs. Susann Samples, Sarah Scott, Dave Wehner, and Teresa Rupp have returned from very productive sabbaticals, and Drs. Christine Blackshaw and Tom Bligh begin sabbaticals this semester. In his realm of creative writing, Dr. Bligh received the Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and Lighted Corners, the student literary magazine he advises, received the Gold Circle Award from Columbia Scholastic Press. Sr. Anne Higgins, D.C., published Life Lists, her eighth volume of poetry.
After serving almost ten years as the Mount’s chief academic officer, Dr. David Rehm was promoted to University Professor and returns to the Philosophy Department and the classroom. Theology Department Chair, Fr. Jim Donohue, received the endowed Knott Professorship for Theology, and Dr. Josh Hochschild received the Kline Professorship in Philosophy. In July, Professor Andrew Rosenfeld, Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, prepared and conducted performances of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte while serving as musical director for the International Opera Project in Berlin. Dr. Steven White, History Department Chair, was invited to serve as a judge for the Marraro Prizes, awarded each year for the best American monographs in the field of Italian history. University Professor Carol Hinds received the 2016 McElroy Award for her service to Catholic education, and Dr. Michael Towle, Chair of the Political Science Department, contributed to U.S. News and World Report’s “Debate Club” about the presidential election. The list goes on!
Clare Tauriello, the director of Career Services, is working to establish a number of “Career Pathways” to connect students with alumni in specific professional fields, and she’s anxious to build pathways for CLA students specifically. Please contact one of us if you believe you can help with this important initiative.
One of my goals as dean is to highlight the abundant talents of our Visual and Performing Arts’ students and faculty. Please help me by coming back to campus to appreciate the fantastic work Dr. Kurt Blaugher does with Mount Theater, as he directs Ellen McLaughlin’s retelling of the classic tale of the House of Atreus, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Thursday through Saturday, November 17-19 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Thanks for your interest in the College of Liberal Arts. Please let me know if I can provide more information about our students, faculty, and programs. Mount pride—wear it!