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Students are welcomed, faculty members honored during WMC convocation


Western Maryland College welcomed more than 490 new students and honored several faculty members at its Aug. 25 convocation, the official start of the fall semester.

After the ceremony, students were invited to join the WMC community by ringing the Old Main bell. In four years, the college president will ring them out as graduates of the class of 2004.

Honored faculty members were: Thomas Deveny, professor of foreign languages; Steven "Bo" Eckard, lecturer in music; Francis "Skip" Fennell, professor of education; Volker Franke, assistant professor of political science; Mary Hawkins Hackman, graduate program lecturer; Henry Reiff, associate professor of education and associate dean of academic affairs; Herbert Smith, professor and chairman of political science; McCay Vernon, professor of psychology emeritus; Brian Wladkowski, assistant professor of chemistry; and Thomas Zirpoli Jr., Laurence J. Adams Distinguished Chair in Special Education and professor of education.

Eckard received the Faculty Creativity Award for his efforts in building the jazz program from three to 35 students in a few years. The popular program has two jazz ensembles and is home to the nation's second electric bass ensemble.

Eckard composes and arranges nearly all of the music and has more than 100 titles to his credit.

Deveny, Fennell, Franke, Hackman and Zirpoli received Faculty Book Awards.

Deveny, an expert on Spanish cinema who won a Scholarly Publications Award last year, published two books in the past year, "Contemporary Spanish Film from Fiction" and "The South and Bene." The former book examines the manner in which Spanish fiction has influenced Spanish films, and the latter is a translation of a book that is part of the European Women Writers Series.

Winner of a top national award for mathematics teachers last year, Fennell was part of a team that produced "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics."

He also co-wrote "Connect to NCTM Standards 2000: Making the Standards Work at Grade 4."

Franke's new book, "Preparing for Peace: Military Identity, Value Orientations, and Professional Military Education," explores military preparedness and other post-Cold War issues through the social, political and professional attitudes and values of the U.S. Army's cadets at West Point.

Hackman, who teaches in the school library media program, was honored for "Library Information Skills and the High School English Program."

Zirpoli, who also heads Target Community and Educational Services Inc., has written "Behavior Management: Applications for Teachers."

Reiff, Smith, Vernon and Wladkowski received Scholarly Publications Awards.

Reiff has published five journal articles, two book chapters and a newspaper editorial during the past three years. The focus of his work has been on enabling students with learning disabilities to better succeed in an academic climate.

A frequent commentator on local, regional and national politics, Smith has written 10 articles for SunSpot, the Web site of The Sun, on the 2000 elections.

Although he retired in 1991 after 22 years at WMC, Vernon keeps busy writing articles on fair treatment for the deaf by the medical and legal professions. His most recent work has appeared in "Behavioral Science and the Law," "The Florida Defender" and the "Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness."

Wladkowski has written five articles during the past three years on structural changes of molecules during specific chemical reactions.

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