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Feb. 24: Delaplaine Foundation grants fund campus initiatives

Friday, February 24, 2017

FREDERICK, Md.—Hood College was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from Delaplaine Foundation, Inc. to develop a media center for communication arts students, which will offer video production facilities with a studio and control room. Part of a three-phase project, this initial contribution will offer students preparation for today’s world of web videos and podcasts.

Elizabeth Atwood, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, began exploring the idea of a media lab during a Center for Teaching and Learning fellowship last year. She visited area colleges and recognized the need for a contemporary facility on Hood’s campus.

“As we envision it, the media lab will give our students the chance to deliver newscasts from an anchor desk that mimics that of a real TV newsroom and conduct interviews on a set in front of the cameras,” she said. “This experience, along with the courses we already offer in media writing, video production, photography and multimedia storytelling, will help better prepare our students for jobs in today’s media world.”

According to Donna Bertazonni, professor of journalism, the lab will be designed to help communication arts students hone their feature writing and interviewing skills.

“We haven’t had this kind of a facility before, and it’s one of the things prospective students are looking for,” she said. “We really need to bring the program up a level to attract the students we want and prepare them for communications positions in the 21st century.”

Delaplaine Foundation, Inc. has also supported Hood’s summer reading clinic for the past five years, granting $11,250 this year. The clinic is an internship site for graduate students in the Master of Science in Reading Specialization program, and it offers three- and six-week clinics for K-12 students.

The grants have funded software, iPads, textbooks and other materials for the students. Local school administrators and reading specialists have noted that students who attend the clinic make significant gains in their reading ability. Clinicians find it essential as part of their training to become reading specialists.

In addition to academic materials, the Delaplaine funding has allowed Hood to give back to community partners by offering scholarships to children who attend the Maryland School for the Deaf, the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick, and English Language Learners who attend Waverly Elementary School.

“Data has been analyzed, and the children who have attended the clinic have made significant progress in literacy skills thanks, in a large part, to the generosity of Delaplaine Foundation, Inc.,” said Ellen Koitz, associate professor of education and director of clinic.

Marlene Grossnickle Young, president of Delaplaine Foundation, Inc. and member of the Board of Trustees at Hood College, annually visits the clinic and supports the work to improve literacy in Frederick County.

“The summer reading clinic is a unique program that benefits children and graduate students,” she said. “We are thrilled to be able to support Hood College and help provide students with hands-on learning opportunities.”