Dr. P Offers Advice to Students and Shares Personal Experience

By Martha Berkheimer News Editor

Scott Pincikowski, Ph.D. is a German professor and the study abroad coordinator here at Hood College. The students who have taken his German class know all too well what an amazing professor he is, and how much he genuinely cares about his students. What students may not know is how interesting he is outside of the classroom. Pincikowski grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, where he developed a passion for the German language during middle school. From then, his passion only grew stronger as he later got his undergraduate degree in German and international studies at the University of Wisconsin Parkside, then his masters in German at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and his Ph.D. at Penn State. Though he may seem more on the studious side, Pincikowski is a very adventurous person. What some students may not know about Pincikowski is that in his free time he enjoys playing rock music on his guitar, walking his dog, Lucas, and camping. He has even backpacked across the Grand Canyon in three and a half days. Pincikowski’s love of adventure goes as far back as college, when he went on a study abroad to Egypt. During that trip his group went out on a sail boat ride starting in Aswan. It was supposed to end in Luxor, but the captain abruptly kicked his group off the boat, telling them that if they walk down a nearby road someone would eventually pick them up. Pincikowski reflects on the experience as teaching him that “You kind of have to roll with things.” While Pincikowski’s life outside of the classroom is fascinating, he believes that being a professor has also shaped his outlook on life. “I think teaching is a transformative thing,” said Pincikowski. “Teaching has taught me, hopefully students will realize this too, that having a degree you actually realize how little you know, there’s always something to learn.” Some advice Pincikowski would give to new or struggling students would be “Kindness, of course be kind to others but also be kind to yourself.” Pincikowski emphasizes the importance of being true to yourself and he stresses that students should not compare themselves to others. While keeping that in mind, he also highlights the importance of being curious and learning to advocate for yourself. “One great thing about the Hood Community is that we encourage questions,” said Pincikowski. “Professors are here to help you succeed, don’t be anxious or afraid to approach them.”

Number of Blood Donations Dropping at Hood Students Urged to Consider Benefits of Donation Before Skipping Blood Drives

By Elizabeth Cavin Staff Reporter

Imagine this: Nine months pregnant with your second child and recently released from bed-rest, you receive an urgent call that your unborn-child’s great-grandmother has recently been rushed to the hospital. Her aorta ruptured behind her heart and she’s now in emergency open-heart surgery. All you can think is: This is it, she’s going to bleed to death, we are going to lose her. The family is losing its matriarch, your husband is losing his beloved grandmother and your unborn child will never have the chance to know this amazingly lovable woman, her great-grandmother. That’s what happened to Melanie Eyler in November 1992. During the surgery, Eyler knew 67-year-old Dorothy (Dot) Fincham would need a lot of blood to stay alive and avidly hoped enough was available. Blood can be donated all over the country, including Hood College, where Eyler regularly donates blood as an advisor to the Hood Ionic Society, Hood’s official blood drive coordinator and administrative assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. Historically, “the Hood College Ionic Society has partnered with the American Red Cross to host campus blood drives going back to at least the 1990’s,” said Eyler via email. Hood College, overall, has hosted approximately 61 drives in the last 20 years, recruiting a total of 1,760+ donors from such, according to Eyler and her statistics from the American Red Cross (ARC) website. However, Eyler’s statistics also show there’s been a steady average decrease in units of Hood blood collected in the past four years. In the February 6, 2014 blood drive a total of 65 units were successfully collected. Since then, the average number has kept dropping. In January 2017, there were 43 units. In April 2017 and February 2018, 19 units each. And this last April, only seven units were collected.  But why are fewer people donating? What is the blood used for anyway? What are the risks, if any, with donating life-saving blood? And what happens when someone donates life-saving blood? Blood donations are not only used in surgeries, but also to help cancer patients during chemotherapy treatment, sickle cell patients, and newborns, according to the ARC website. Because of blood’s many uses, the need for donations (especially with Type O negative blood) are in constant demand according to the ARC website. In fact, “every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood” and “less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood.” There are benefits specifically for the blood donors (not just the blood recipients). For example, the ARC website says donors receive infectious disease testing. Donors get this service because “all donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.” Another benefit on the website comes from the fact “the number one reason donors say they give blood is because they ‘want to help others,’” because knowing one donation can save up to three lives can be a benefit in itself. So what can interested donors actually expect? In short, Eyler said all “potential donors are screened prior to every donation…they must read through pre-donation materials and answer health history questions, and their temperature, blood pressure and iron level are checked.” She also said, “anyone considering donating, especially if they have never donated before and/or are nervous about the process, should access the American Red Cross website” in order to be as prepared as possible. Interested donors should also note Hood’s upcoming blood drive dates. Eyler wrote “the Hood College Ionic Society will once again partner with the American Red Cross to host three more blood drives on campus this [school] year:” Nov. 26, 2018, Feb. 16, 2019 and April 16, 2019. All three drives are scheduled during the day, from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Whitaker. Did Dot survive her openheart surgery though? When Eyler finally got to see Dot again, she was lying completely unresponsive in the intensive care unit (ICU); looking so pale, so lifeless…so unlike her normally happy, humorous self. However, a few days later, Eyler was relieved to see Dot doing better; smiling, fully sitting up and eating an orange Jell-O. Dot was able to live another five and a half years as well as get to know her sixth great grandchild, due to the 14 units of donated blood she received during her surgery. In fact, the day Dot was released from the Washington Hospital Center, Nov. 12, 1992, was the same day Eyler gave birth and Dot got to hold newborn Erica Eyler. With that miraculous gift in mind, Eyler concluded with this reminder: “we can train medical professionals, we can develop medications, we can design and build machines, but blood cannot be manufactured. It is only accessible when individuals are willing to donate it.”

Flu Shots Recommended For Protection During Upcoming Flu Season Months

By Laura Spencer Editor-in-Chief

Thinking of skipping the flu shot this year? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.” Last year the flu proved to be especially deadly. Beloved bartender Colleen Magrann Morin of Frederick had flu symptoms for over a week before being transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH) for related symptoms. Morin died at only 41 years old at FMH. “You can get very sick with the flu. You can get high fevers, a lot of body aches, and it makes you feel generally miserable.” said Teresa Cevallos, director of wellness at Hood College. “If people have any kind of underlying respiratory problems or conditions, or any kind of immunosuppressive diseases, or any kind of other illnesses, then the severity of the disease can be a lot worse; and sometimes
healthy people can die of the influenza just because of the virulency and the way that the disease takes on a person.” A fear that doctors will incorrectly predict the specific strain of the flu that will be most common in the upcoming months should not deter you from getting the shot. “Yes, the wrong strand can be in the shot,” said Lajeune Richardson, a certified nursing assistant at Shady Grove Hospital. “Just because the shot is not attacking the strand that is most popular in that year doesn’t mean that the other strands of the flu just magically disappeared. The other strands are still out there being picked up by people and spread around.” The flu vaccine is researched and updated each year because the flu viruses are constantly changing. The FDA makes the final judgment about viruses for flu vaccines to be sold in the U.S. The vaccines are typically grown inside of chicken eggs. Some influenza viruses grow poorly in eggs making it difficult to obtain candidate vaccine viruses, according to the CDC. “Having the flu shot is better than not getting the flu shot regardless of what type of strain it is. [Doctors] try to get as close as possible when they predict the strain that the flu will be so you’ll have protection against it, it’s just what degree of protection,” said Cevallos. It takes about two weeks after the vaccine is administered for the antibodies that protect against the flu to develop in the body, according to the CDC. “Prevention, prevention, prevention,” said Cevallos. “It’s the best way to stay healthy.” The reported short-term effects of the influenza vaccine should not raise any concern. “People do feel sick, or a little tired, or out of sorts [after receiving their flu shot,]” said Cevallos. “The degree of not feeling well is a lot less than getting the actual disease so if you feel a little bad after getting the shot then that’s not as bad as getting the actual disease or getting the flu.” Feeling tired and aching after receiving the flu vaccine is very common. It is a small price to pay to stay protected for the rest of the flu season. “It helps you for yourself but it also helps from passing the organism and the disease onto anyone else,” said Cevallos. “It controls not only keeping yourself healthy, but also keeping your community healthy.” When spreading the flu is in question, people who are in good health would need to be aware that they could spread the flu to someone who cannot fight off the virus very well. Extra preventative measures are advised during flu season. Washing your hands, carrying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for times when you cannot get to a sink, and using disinfectant wipes on surfaces that you touch are a few steps that WebMD recommends to avoid contact with flu germs. “I have personally seen many sick children whose parents always regret not getting them vaccinated from the flu when they have to miss work and stay with their child in the hospital,” said Richardson. The Associated Press reported that flu cases have been confirmed in every county in Delaware as of mid-Sept, and one person has been hospitalized. The CDC recommends that people get their influenza vaccine by the end of October. This allows enough time to ensure that people are protected against the flu before the typical peak-season time for the flu. “Children go back to school at this time and many sicknesses spread including the flu,” said Richardson. “So vaccinating your child around this time can increase their chances of not catching the flu from their classmates.” Cevallos recommends the new health services location to students at Hood College. The new facility is a partnership between Hood College and Frederick Regional Health System (FRHS), it is located at 501 W 7th St. in Frederick, M.d. “[FRHS] accepts most insurances but not all of them,” said Cevallos. “If students do not have insurance, or if their insurance is not accepted, the price of the shot is 23 dollars.” Students can walk into the FRHS facility any time to get the flu vaccine. “There are people who don’t get vaccinated and don’t get sick, but there are also people who don’t get vaccinated and end up getting really sick,” said Richardson. “So ultimately it depends on how safe and protected you want yourself and your children to be.”

Transgender Author to Speak at Hood College

By Laura Spencer Editor-in-Chief

A transgender author and activist will visit Hood College on Oct. 9 to discuss the issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community. Meredith Russo’s talk “Building a Revolution Through Dreams: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Representation,” will be presented at Hood College at 7 p.m. in the Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall. Russo’s debut novel was released in 2016, titled “If I Was Your Girl.” Russo received multiple awards, including the Stonewall Book Award in the young adult category. The Stonewall Book Award recognizes exceptional merit relating to the LGBT experience. Russo was additionally honored with the Walter Dean Myers Diversity award and the Lambda Literacy Award. The Lambda Literacy Award is presented to people who have created work that explore LGBT themes. Russo is native to Chattanooga, Tennessee and earned degrees from the University of Tennessee in creative writing and women’s studies. Russo is popular on social media, with thousands of followers. She discusses topics such as gender, politics, and writing using social media platforms. Russo joined a livestream chat with the Washington Post, where she said she just wants a book where good things happen to a transgender person. Russo discusses ideas involving not fitting in. “I think a big part of it is finding your tribe, which is a lot easier now than it used to be.,” said Russo in the Washington Post livestream chat. Russo is currently a contributor for the New York Times, Radical Hope, Meet Cute, and (Don’t) Call Me Crazy. Russo’s second novel, titled “Birthday,” is scheduled to be released in May 2019. Russo is noted for being one of only a few transgender women speaking about contemporary transgender issues and creating transgender art. Transgender issues can include bullying, assaults, health care needs, and lack of visibility in certain communities among many others. For more information about Russo’s talk at Hood College, please contact Aaron Angello at angello@hood.edu.

Crime Reported on Campus

By Kaelyn Mata Staff Reporter

Several incidents have been reported on Hood College’s campus since late Aug. However, the campus is still relatively safe. Not only are crimes at Hood reported, but also crimes from the areas surrounding campus. A list of reported crime can be found at the information desk at the Whitaker Campus Center. Theft (2 incidents) Vehicle Damage (1 incident) Damage to Property (3 incidents) Suspicious Person (1 incident) Harassment (2 incidents) A total of nine incidents and five different types of crimes were reported since Aug. All campus safety questions and concerns should be addressed to members of the Department of Campus Safety. The Department of Campus Safety operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

CARE Project to Host Domestic Violence Awareness Discussion

By Laura Spencer Editor-in-Chief

October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a new project at Hood College aims to work closely with students in order to increase awareness and overcome difficulties surrounding domestic violence. “CARE stands for Campus Awareness Response Education, and it focuses on relationship violence, dating violence, and stalking as it pertains to the Hood College community,” said Nina Carr, CARE project coordinator at Hood. “The project focuses on improving the response to these types of things and how we respond on campus and as a community.” The CARE project is still growing and developing on campus. However, Carr is fiercely dedicated to bringing more attention to these sensitive topics, as well as connecting individuals with any other resources that may help them. “When we talk about domestic violence awareness it’s really pinpointing a relationship between two intimate partners. They don’t have to be marital partners, they don’t even have to have a label on the relationship, but there’s a degree of some type of intimacy,” said Carr. “So if you’re not sure whether something is abuse or not, or maybe it’s unhealthy, not abusive but an unhealthy behavior, there are people that you can talk to confidentially on campus. There are people you can talk to if you wanted to make a report, or you can even reach out to local community resources like Heartly House , which is a confidential resource; their hotline runs 24/7.” Heartly House is local to Frederick County and provides services to domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and child abuse survivors. The Heartly House location is not disclosed to the general public in order toensure a safe and confidential place for people to stay when they need it. The number for their 24-hour hotline is 301-662-8800. Everyone is encouraged to learn to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. The CARE project will be setting up a banner on campus accompanied by sticky notes for individuals to label healthy behaviors on one side and unhealthy behaviors on the other so that members of the Hood community can identify what is or is not acceptable. “There’s still a notion that it’s solely physical violence, but very much so it can be emotional, mental abuse, certainly verbal abuse as well,” said Carr. “Whether it’s isolating somebody socially, whether it’s intimidating them, threatening them, maybe getting in the way of the positive things that their partner has going in their life, maybe it’s preventing you from studying, going to classes, destroying your books, a number of different things.” Students can get involved with the CARE project to help create an inclusive program that can better address student needs as it continues to develop. Students do not have to have been personally affected by domestic violence to participate. “This project really wants to come about this in an approachable way because either people are unfamiliar with the topic and so they don’t want to get involved, or maybe they have experiences, or maybe they are concerned that they’re on the other side of that behavior, maybe they’ve done things that are unhealthy and they want to avoid that discomfort,” said Carr. Members of the Hood community can expect to see more activity from the CARE project as it grows and establishes the best ways to reach individuals on campus. “One of which will be starting a social media platform, probably an Instagram, around this topic where information about healthy relationships, consent, tips for how to do something or say something if you see something problematic going on, also light approaches to this information because it can be a very heavy topic and we know that a lot of people have experienced things like this before they even come to college,” said Carr. Carr urges people to contact her by email at carrn@hood. edu or stop by her office in Alumnae Hall with any questions.

Students Praise Newly Updated Hood Website

By Elena Rowe Social Media Manager

To get inspiration for the site, the team looked at other college websites and “we wanted it to feel like Hood… Lots of images are one of the biggest changes especially the flyover of campus. We have a beautiful campus… We wanted to showcase it,” said Ward. Students generally have had positive feedback for the website. “I love it! It looks fresh and easy to navigate,” said Carrie Ritchie, class of 2020. “The old website was a little confusing because the graphics were bland and seemed disorganized. The heavy use of pictures gives a better visual of campus activities and information.” Some other quirks to the website include Ward’s dog, Bernie, and a story page titled Students in our NeighborHood where students can be featured on the website by filling out a questionnaire on www.Hood.edu/neighborhood. The questionnaire can help prospective students get a more personal insight into the lives of our current students. “The Hood website is really nice and professional looking, it is very interactive,” said Kaitlin Campos, class of 2021. The website is going to continue to be successful by the stories of alumni, current students and faculty that will showcase and tell the beauty and wonders of Hood College for years to come. Jon O’Tang, class of 2021 said, “Although it was at first hard to get used to, it is more modernized and appealing to students.”