By: Michael Bruckler, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Lisa Scheer, Steven Muller Distinguished Professor of the Arts, Presents Finding Form: A Sculptor’s Story

St. Mary’s City, MD- St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Lisa Scheer, professor of art and Steven Muller Distinguished Professor of the Arts, will present Finding Form: A Sculptor’s Story, on Monday, Feb. 24, 4:45 p.m. in Cole Cinema, Campus Center. The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

Scheer’s one-and-only Steven Muller Distinguished Professor of the Arts Lecture will be of particular significance as Scheer is retiring after nearly 40 years of teaching at the College. In her lecture, she will address both the inspirational and the pragmatic in her art-making practice by sharing insights into, and examples of, her sources and process.

Scheer has been a member of St. Mary’s College art faculty since 1981. She is a Washington, D.C.-based artist who is widely known for both her public and private sculptures. She has exhibited her work at many distinguished Washington area institutions including one-person exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection, the American Institute of Architecture, and the Kreeger Museum.  She has received several national grants and awards, including a Pollock Krasner Foundation Fellowship, two NEA fellowships, and a Maryland Arts Council Fellowship. Her gallery affiliations have included the Nancy Drysdale Gallery, and Hemphill Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. She maintains a studio in the Mt. Vernon Square neighborhood of Washington, D.C. where she works in frequent collaboration with her artist husband, Hugh McKay.

Scheer creates sculptures that are abstract yet infused with subtle suggestions of imagery and narrative. Her love of expressive architectural environments has led her to create large-scale sculptural installations and public sculptures that directly integrate into surrounding architecture and landscape features. The dominant aspect of Scheer’s sculpture practice since 2005 has been the creation of public commissions. Her projects include works created for the Reagan National Airport, the Eastern District Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York; the BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Petworth Metro Station in Washington, D.C. She has also completed many commissions in partnership with private developers that enliven public streetscapes and building interiors including works located at the Park Van Ness Center in Washington, D.C., the Clarendon Center, in Arlington, Virginia; and Tysons Park Place II, in McLean, Virginia.

Professor and Chair of Educational Studies Angela Johnson Awarded NSF Collaborative Research Grant

Angela C. Johnson, professor of educational studies, was recently awarded a $103,473 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of her project titled: “Centering Women of Color in STEM: Data-Driven Opportunities for Inclusion.” The two-year grant began September 2019 and will fund a continuation of Johnson’s collaborative research with Apriel Hodari of Eureka Scientific, Inc. to identify and share what helps women of color thrive in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Johnson and Hodari have worked over the past two years with SMCM undergraduate students Rose Young ’20 and Elizabeth Mulvey ’20 to conduct and analyze interviews with faculty, staff, and students at SMCM and two United Kingdom institutions. The researchers compiled these fine-scale qualitative data from the interviews along with broad-scale quantitative data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) in collaboration with Eleanor Sayre, associate professor of physics at Kansas State University. They then identified major themes to provide guidance for organizations committed to creating better, more inclusive, environments for women of color in physics, math, computer sciences and other typical STEM fields. Results thus far include surprising patterns about institutions where women of color study STEM fields, and have been shared at conferences in Washington D.C. and London, England. Results will also be shared at the winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in January 2020.

This recent award will allow the investigators to:

  • expand their dataset to additional STEM disciplines using data from IPEDS
  • develop a public online portal for the final database and study user analytics to improve the portal’s utility
  • identify institutions were higher than typical numbers or percentages of women of color graduate in each discipline and work with these institutions to serve as models or case studies for others
  • present research findings from the database and make STEM professionals aware of the portal.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1933383. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Your Vote Needed for Alumnus Willem van Waay ’97: Rolex Yachtsman of the Year!

Each year, the top-performing sailors in the United States are shortlisted for US Sailing’s annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. This year, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Alumnus Willem van Waay ’97 has been named a finalist for the 2019 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.   

Voting for the finalists takes place online at through the end of January and the St. Mary’s College community is encouraged to vote for one of their own! The winners will be announced on February 6, in San Diego, California, aboard the USS Midway Museum as part the Sailing Leadership Forum, organized by US Sailing.

According to the US Sailing website, “The determination of this year’s awards represents a wide range of accomplished sailors at different stages of their respective careers and from various disciplines in the sport. All six of these finalists represent their own unique pathway to the top of the sport and have each mastered their craft with a dedicated focus on precision and performance on the grandest stage.”

Van Waay, from Coronado, California, proved his wide array of skillsets for several teams across many events and various classes, highlighted by a win at the J/24 World Championship in Miami with skipper Keith Whittemore aboard Furio. According to US Sailing, “Van Waay and crew outlasted the fleet of 79 to claim the first-place prize by 16 points through 10 races. They won two races, including two of the last three of the regatta, and posted six top-five finishes.”

St. Mary’s College has had two previous winners of the Rolex Women’s Sailor of the Year: Kathy (Kipp) Chapin in 1985 and Danielle (Brennan) Myrdal ’98 in 1994.

The full announcement from US Sailing can be found here:

Review of David Froom’s music

Eine kleine Kleinmusik: Violoncelletude by composer and Professor of Music David Froom “gurgled with restless energy, proceeding from a tremolo to more complicated interplay of notes, the bow of cellist Rachel Young bouncing across the strings.” This comment was part of a glowing review of the 21st Century Consort’s December 21 program in Washington D.C. by former Washington Post critic Charles T. Downey.

The full review can be found here: 

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...