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Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

Jessica Whitmore

Jessica Whitmore, C'16, is a member of our Mount community who has pursued excellence in all that she has applied herself to: in academics, athletics, and serving our university in the Mount Archives.  

Jessica graduated from the Mount with a History and German. As an undergrad, she was a member of the George H. Miles Honors Society, participated in the study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria, and was a captain of the Track & Field team. On the track, Jessica was the 2014 NEC Champion in the 60m dash, an event in which she still holds the school record. Also in 2014, she began to intern in the Mount Archives, a role that would become her career.

Since graduating, Jessica has earned her M.S. in Information and Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Concordia University Chicago. This Fall, Jessica gave a lecture at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Jessica currently serves the Mount community as Interim Library Director and University Archivist. In December of 2017, Jessica helped to secure a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help preserve our library’s significant historical and cultural collections. Jessica credits her Mount education with her ability to take on these exciting challenges.

Congratulations Jessica on your accomplishments, and thank you for your service to our Mount community!

Dublin 1

A few of our students took the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin this past semester. They shared an amazing experience together. Kaitlyn Heintzelman, Caroline Walsh, and Katherine Stohlman shared some thoughts about their time together in Dublin:

“What stood out to me was not just the places I got to visit–though they were life-altering–but the people I experienced these precious moments with. These were my fellow Mount students, most of whom I had never even met before. They suddenly became my home and they became my strength when we got lost in Edinburgh, or when we were stranded in Pisa for 24 hours. They were my support when I traveled across the length of Ireland three times because I was determined to climb Croagh Patrick, even though the weather would not permit us to share in my joy when I finally accomplished it.

Kate HEveryone in Dublin had a laugh every time Professor Egan came to class with a new story about meeting someone in Dublin who was in some way connected to Mount St. Mary’s University. The last thing any of us ever expected was to find a connection between our Mount home and Ireland. But as Professor Egan reminded us incessantly, ‘Mounties are everywhere.’ And although Dublin touched each one of us in unimaginable ways, we also left our lasting Mount-mark on Dublin. Much to my surprise, being fearless in Dublin was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.” –Kaitlyn Heintzleman

“Studying abroad is unlike any other experience I have encountered at the Mount. The opportunity to immerse oneself completely in a different culture for a span of several months is an extremely unique opportunity. By making the decision to study abroad, you open yourself up to countless new experiences and gain a deep appreciation for cultures besides your own. With trips such as mine to Ireland, you’re given the opportunity to not only familiarize yourself with where you are staying, but to broaden your horizons even more, by traveling all over.

Dublin Walsh 1Studying abroad in Ireland was the most enriching experience I have ever had. I urge anyone with the slightest inclination to take the leap of faith and study abroad as well. In doing so, you will push yourself outside of your comfort zone and experience the beauty of other parts of the world. Studying abroad also gives you a whole new family of Mount students and faculty with which you share amazing experiences in another country. From ferry trips to the Aran Islands, to jumping in a bog, the bond you form with those around you, who also recognize the beauty of the culture you are experiencing, is extremely special.” –Caroline Walsh

“Living and studying in Dublin was a very different experience than living and studying on campus at the Mount. Gone were the dorms in the rural setting; we lived in apartments right in the city. We only had class three days a week, and we walked nearly a half hour to get there. Lunch was often eaten in restaurants with friends. And weekends were spent on trips to other parts of Ireland or Europe. Looking back, it sounds like an exciting, glamorous way to live. It was! This is thanks to the unique study abroad program at the Mount and the help of our wonderful trip leader, Prof. Egan. This past semester was as exciting and full of opportunities as it was due to Prof. Egan’s support and encouragement.

Dublin 6Because of the way the studying abroad program at the Mount is structured, it gave us the freedom and time to travel, live in apartments in the heart of downtown, and experience as much culture as we could. By offering a set of core classes related to Irish history and literature, the Mount helped bring Irish culture to life. The knowledge we learned in the classroom became immediate and relevant as we explored Ireland. The faculty at the Mount did everything they could to make this semester amazing and ensure no one would fall off the track toward graduation in the process. I learned and experienced so much this semester, not least of which was that Mount St. Mary’s University truly does function like a loving, helpful community.” –Katherine Stohlman

Find out more about the Mount's Study Abroad Program here:

Dublin 9

Ellen Miner, French Major / History and English Minors

Ellen MinerEllen’s presentation was titled “Marie Antoinette Queen of France: Portrayal in Film vs. Historical Reality.” The project compared three films about Marie Antoinette, the queen of France from 1774 to 1793. These films are titled Marie Antoinette, Reine de France (1956), Marie Antoinette (2006), and Les Adieux à La Reine (2012). Each film portrays Marie Antoinette from a somewhat different perspective, and the purpose of the project was to see which film is most historically accurate. While some may know a few things about the French queen, there is much more to Marie Antoinette than a young Austrian girl thrust into the expensive, expectation-filled, aristocratic world of the French Monarchy.

Claudia Morales, Double Major in International Studies and French

Claudia MoralesClaudia’s presentation was titled “Redefining the Frenchman: National Identity and its Effects on Policy and Immigration in the 1930’s and 1960’s.” French politics has seen a consistent rise in nativist rhetoric, nationalistic solutions, and populist agenda. Though immigration has drastically changed the demographics of France since the beginning of the 20th century, their national identity has never grown to incorporate its immigrant populations. Claudia’s research examined the repercussions of this self-perceived identity on French policy and North African immigration in the 1930s and 1960s. She submits that this paradigm sets into motion a cycle of unproductive and short-sighted immigration policies. This project shed light on the social implications of an unchanging national identity and the negative effect it has on policy. The project also highlighted the potential for political development in other countries if a country like France could reassess what it means to be French.

Kathryn Tombs, Double Major in Theology and Spanish

Kathryn’s project was titled “La frontera: Exploring Divisions within Our Borders through the Lens of Contemporary Theater and Catholic Responses to the Hispanic Immigrant in the U.S. Today.” The project analyzed an original play that Kathryn wrote based on conversations with a Hispanic kitchen staff. It is inspired by her past experiences as a waitress. She compared her play with two other contemporary theatrical works that also reflect the Latino immigrant experience in the U.S. The goal of the project was not to resolve the many problems stemming from the current U.S. immigration crisis, but rather to discuss the challenges pertinent to the Latino immigrant experience and how to respond to those challenges with various statements issued on behalf of the Church.


November 9 and 10, Dr. Amanda Beal and Dr. Jamie Gianoutsos had the distinct pleasure of taking ten Mount female students to the Training Ms. President (TMP) workshop at Hood College. These students were chosen for their intelligence, civic mindedness, and leadership qualities, with the hope that they might one day consider running for public office. Our students joined 30 other students from Hood College, Washington College, and Goucher College for the workshop.

“It was so empowering to see women setting aside partisan biases to build one another up and address the issues we all face as women.” –Hannah Opdenaker C’18

TMP6The Training Ms. President program seeks to address the gender gap in elected representation. Research suggests that the role model effect can aid in decreasing the ambition gap – i.e., connecting these young women with female politicos and politicians increases the likelihood that they will run for an elected position. Training Ms. President was launched in 2015 by universities and colleges affiliated with the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA).

“The experience was incredibly valuable because it gave me the opportunity to network with media correspondents, political consultants, and state and local politicians in a bipartisan environment.”   -Alexandra Johnson C’18

During the Thursday evening presentation, the students heard a keynote address from Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, who encouraged them to identify an issue and begin “seizing their power” through advocacy and political involvement. During the Friday event, the students heard from two panels of politicos, journalists, and elected officials about the process of campaigning, working with the media, and getting involved in politics.

“The women who had spoken to us had a great wealth of knowledge. They talked about hardships they faced as women and gave us tips on how to navigate those challenges and be successful.” –Sara Wright C’18TMP5

Next year, for the first time, Mount St. Mary’s University will host the Training Ms. President workshop. We will welcome 40-50 undergraduate women, 7 female politicians, and 6 politicos to campus to continue our work to diminish the ambition gap for women in politics by encouraging our best-suited female students to run for public office.

“Truth be told, the United States needs more empathetic and compassionate leaders. It also needs politicians with more diverse backgrounds, and women are able to offer all of this.” –Courtney Twigg C’17

TMP3“Women are deemed legally equal, but in reality we still face hardships based on our gender. Truly, the only way we can overcome those hardships is to band together and take the world by storm.” –Abigail Cottrill C’18


Jessica Huhn

Jessica Huhn, C'17, presented at the regional undergraduate literature conference hosted by Shepherd University's Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. The conference drew approximately 25 participants from 11 colleges and universities. This year’s conference was focused on addressing themes of shifting identities, negotiating new worlds, and facing prejudices.

Shepard UniversityJessica’s presented a public reading of her paper, “Dream on Monkey Mountain: Straddling vs. Syncretism in the Quest for Liberation and Identity.” In her paper, she utilizes Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain to illustrate the individual and social struggle for identity in a multicultural society. In particular, Walcott’s work references Caribbean people with the combination of African and white European cultures, which included violent colonialism and nativist reactions. Jessica writes, “Walcott maintains that Caribbean people of color must not buy into the aggressive dichotomy of colonialism and black nativism…For true liberation and establishment of identity, such people must syncretically blend elements of African and white civilization.”

SigmataudeltaJessica graduated in May 2017 with a B.A. in English, and minors in Education and Latin. She is a member of the Mount’s Alpha Phi Iota Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. Jessica hopes that more Sigma Tau Delta members will take advantage of the opportunity to attend the conference, and to submit their works for next year’s call for papers.


Philip Green

Philip Greene is an attorney, writer, and cocktail historian. He graduated from the Mount in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He minored in English, Business and American Studies. 

Greene attended law school at Loyola University New Orleans, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1986.  After a stint with a suburban Maryland law firm, in 1988 he joined the General Counsel’s Office with the U.S. Department of Commerce.  He eventually was promoted to Senior Counsel for Internet Technology, providing trademark, copyright and Internet counsel agency-wide.  In 2007, while telecommuting part-time for Commerce, he served as Internet New Zealand’s Senior Research Fellow in Cyberlaw, and taught a masters and honors course in Internet law at Victoria University School of Law, Wellington, New Zealand.  He also wrote several law journal articles on trademark and Internet law.  His wife and three daughters enjoyed their time in New Zealand and Australasia immensely.

Since 2009, Greene is the Trademark and Internet Counsel for the U.S. Marine Corps, based at the Pentagon.  He provides legal counsel to the USMC’s robust Trademark Licensing Office, and oversees a portfolio of nearly 500 trademark registrations.  He’s presented at legal conferences across the country, notably the International Trademark Association and the American Bar Association.

Philip Green 2In his personal life, Greene co-founded the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans in 2004, and has written and presented extensively on food and drink around the world.  His first book, To Have and Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion (Penguin Perigee), received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Garden & Gun, Kirkus Reviews,, and many others, and remains a best seller in several categories (a second edition was released in 2015).  His second book, The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail (2016, Sterling Epicure) has also done well.  Phil is also a contributing author for the Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, edited by David Wondrich, and to be published in 2018, and is a contributing columnist for The Daily Beast.  Greene just completed his third book, A Drinkable Feast: A 1920s Paris Cocktail Companion, to be published by Penguin Random House in 2018.

Greene is also on the Board of Directors of the National Food & Beverage Foundation, and the Museum of the American Cocktail’s Founders Board, both based in New Orleans.  He also serves on the Mount’s College of Liberal Arts Advisory Board, and the House Committee of the National Press Club, of which he is a member.

Green AnotherHis sideline interests are easily traced to his time at the Mount.  His love of history was nurtured by the Mount’s excellent History Department, and he began his writing career at the Mountain Echo, where he was News and Features editor from 1982-83.  He and his wife Elise have lived in Northwest D.C. since 1993, where they raised their three daughters.  Hannah, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, now lives and works in New York.  Madeleine is a senior at Northwestern (Medill School of Journalism), and Olivia is a sophomore at the New England Conservatory (singer-songwriter) in Boston.


Christopher Bellitto

The Fall 2017 Ducharme Lecture with Dr. Christopher Bellitto, Professor of History at Kean University, was a success! His Lecture was titled Luther and Church Reform: Catholic Perspectives. Dr. Bellitto introduced us to the scope and progress of dialogue between Protestants and Catholics over the past five hundred years – this year being the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. He described the progress as being one of movement, from diatribe to dialogue. “Reconciled diversity” was a phrase coined by the Lutheran Theologian Oscar Cullman, and borrowed later by Pope Francis. This was a key theme in Dr. Bellitto’s lecture. By focusing on what Catholics and Protestants share in common, they can engender more productive dialogue. This of course has broader implications for intergroup dialogue. As diverse groups – be they political, religious, or social – become willing to listen to those with different perspectives, they have the opportunity to heal old wounds, understand their own distinctiveness in new ways, and build bridges toward greater collaboration.

Chris BellittoView the whole lecture on our livestream page @ Fall 2017 Ducharme Lecture Livestream. And check out some more photos of the event on our facebook page @ Mount St. Mary's University - College of Liberal Arts.

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