Convocation Honors Staff, Faculty, Alumni and Community Members


The George Washington Birthday Convocation was held Friday, Feb. 24, honoring staff, faculty, alumni, and community members whose dedicated efforts have benefited the Washington College and Chestertown communities.

President Mike Sosulski presents a Joseph L. Holt Distinguished Service Award to Lisa Moody, associate director of the center for career development.

President Mike Sosulski presents a Joseph l. holt Distinguished Service Award to Lisa Moody, assistant director of the Center for Career Development. The George Washington Birthday Convocation was held Friday, Feb. 24, honoring staff, faculty, alumni, and community members whose dedicated efforts have benefited the Washington College and Chestertown communities. 

After the invocation and the national anthem, President Mike Sosulski opened the ceremony by remarking on the quality and values that all of this year’s honorees shared, values he connected to Washington College at large.

“There is such a wonderful spirit around this community, and one way that I most often see that reflected back is through service to others,” Sosulski said. “We’re fortunate to study, to work, and to learn in an environment that places a high value on that community, and kindness, as well, and also looking always for ways to make this campus and this world a better place.”

The first award presented during the ceremony was the Cromwell Award for Innovation in Teaching, which went to Dylan Poulsen, associate professor of mathematics and chair of the department of mathematics and computer science. Poulsen has been researching and implementing an alternative approach to assessment in his classes known as specifications-based grading, which aims to create a more supportive, inclusive, and collaborative space for all students to pursue mathematical inquiry.

The Joseph L. Holt Distinguished Service Award was awarded to one faculty member and four members of the staff this year: Aaron Lampman, professor of anthropology and dean of student achievement and success; Lisa Moody, associate director of the center for career development; Liz Seidel, director of the Past is Present Archaeology Lab; Amy Sine, director of residential life; and Sharon Sledge, chief academic technology officer.  

The Alumni Service Award was given to Eleanor Shriver Magee ’93, and two members of the community were recognized with President’s Medals: W.W. “Buck” Duncan, president of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, and Rosemary Ramsey Granillo, director of the Kent County Local Management Board.  

Stephen T. Golding ’72, chair of the Board of Visitors and Governors, congratulated all of the honorees on behalf of the Board.

"This event is always cause for celebration and restoring the in-person version of convocation certainly puts an exclamation point on this afternoon,” Golding said. “Today's award winners represent a sampling of how the college stood strong, despite the never-ending challenges presented over these last few years. In the face of these challenges, this community found ways to rise to the occasion and even change for the better. That was no accident. It was due to the people that make up the very heart of Washington College.”

Tori Murden McClure receives the hood for her honorary Doctor of LawsMarshal Richard DeProspo (left) and President Mike Sosulski (right) help adjust tori murden mcclure's new hood in recognition of the honorary doctor of laws degree conferred by Washington College.

Keynote speaker Tori Murden McClure, president of Spalding University, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of women and female student-athletes and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Title IX legislation. She had visited with student athletes earlier in the day and in her convocation address touched on some of her accomplishments, including rowing across the Atlantic alone and skiing across Antarctica to the South Pole, then closed with advice that would be good for anyone, student, staff or faculty.

"If you think rowing across the ocean is difficult, try being the interim chair of the Board of Governors of the NCAA football season 2020. There are a whole bunch of commissioners really unhappy about this woman leading a Division III school deciding on whether they were gonna have football or not.” McClure ended with a bit of advice, “Do not believe everything you think, or as Socrates said, ‘All I know is that I know nothing.’”

The Convocation itself also honored faculty and staff beyond the award winners, acknowledging those who reached milestone years of service. Provost Michael Harvey read their names and asked them to stand to be congratulated.

“Forty-six faculty and staff are being recognized this year for reaching milestone anniversaries,” Harvey said. “If we add up the years of service between them, we are celebrating a combined 530 years of Washington College know-how, heart, and passion for this place and the students who come here.”  

Learn more about McClure in this story or watch her speech and the rest of convocation on YouTube. Read more about the teaching innovations for which Dylan Poulsen was honored on The Catalyst, the Cromwell Center for Teaching and Learning blog.