TFMS Performs “Lost Girl”

By Angelie Roche

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

On Nov. 17-20, the SMCM Theater, Film and Media Studies (TFMS) department presented Kimberly Belflower’s “Lost Girl,” a show about Wendy Darling years after her return from Neverland. As Wendy faces pressures from her family and friends to move on, she recounts her experiences with Peter Pan, continuously searching for him in the hope that he will return. The advertisement on InsideSMCM called the play “a moving meditation on memory, grief and the power of stories to harm and to heal.” 

The show was an immersive experience from start to finish; the doors did not open until right before it began. As the audience eagerly waited outside the theater in Montgomery Hall, director Amy Steiger introduced the play and spoke briefly about the importance of TFMS’s return to live theater. 

Erika Berry, a senior TFMS major at SMCM, played Wendy. She has performed in two other SMCM theater productions as well as several student-led productions during her time here, but this is her first since the pandemic. Berry prepared a lot for Wendy’s character, who she says represents a young woman growing up in a society that promotes the idea that “you will just find the person for you [without] putting in the work.” She appreciated that Wendy was a creative person who struggled against that expectation, illustrating the challenges many girls face. To get into character, she thought about how to make her “real” and engage the audience, going beyond the lines to create a relatable character. 

Masks were an added challenge, Berry says. Because of this, the actors dedicated a lot of time and energy to body language and indicating emotions with eyes. They also utilized an intimacy choreographer to determine how to coordinate romantic scenes without traditional kisses. In the show, some of the most memorable scenes were those between Wendy and Slightly (played by Chloe Colvin), the Lost Boy who had a romantic interest in her but recognized she was not yet ready to move on from Peter. “Chloe is a good friend of mine, too, and it was easy to create that chemistry because I felt safe with them on stage,” explained Berry. 

Sarah Grzyb, a sophomore environmental studies major, played the part of Nina, a curious young reporter who is later revealed to be another of Peter’s previous love interests. She shared Berry’s sentiment that the cast was close-knit; additionally, she said that director Amy Steiger “really valued everyone’s input and creative ideas during the production,” allowing the cast to shape their own characters in meaningful ways. The show made her realize the true importance of live theater, albeit with masks, and she hopes to be a part of more TFMS productions in the future. 

Because there were no real pauses or breaks in the narrative, the one and a half hour show kept the audience at the edge of their seats throughout. Because of this, though, Wendy was onstage during the entire production. Berry called this experience tiring but rewarding, and her ongoing presence made the final scene– in which she finally closes the window and exits the nursery– so breathtaking. The boxes which were also onstage for much of the production represented unpacking, as Wendy quite literally “unpacks” her feelings to the audience; at the end, though, she re-packs a box and leaves, signifying that she understands the importance of her experience and will take it with her as she moves into a new chapter of her life. 

“Lost Girl” transcends the simple story of Peter Pan, bringing fantastical elements into the very real-world context of a young girl grappling with her first heartbreak. When Wendy finally sees Peter again in the second-to-last scene, the tension is familiar to everyone who has lost touch with someone who was once important to them– meeting him again, Wendy realizes that he was not what she had been missing after all. The takeaway message, Berry says, is that “the real people we should cherish are the ones who stay.”

Pet Feature: Charmander

By Madeline Kenerly

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

Meet Charmander, the fun-loving bearded dragon! Charmander currently resides in LQ and is loving college life. One of Charmander’s favorite activities is to climb up on elevated surfaces and then make the big jump off and back to the ground. Other than death-defying stunts, Charmander likes to get some midday beauty sleep under the warmth of her basking light and get all the pets and attention she deserves. Charmander also loves to eat. I mean who doesn’t right? Veggies, strawberries and, of course, bugs are all a part of a bearded dragon’s heart-healthy diet. Many times, you can find Charmander sitting in her windowsill watching the world go by.  So if you ever find yourself walking in LQ keep your eyes peeled for Charmander.

Creative Writing in the Community Class Holds Book Swap Event

By Annilee Hampton

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

A book swap took place outside of the library on Nov. 16, 17 and 18, inviting SMCM students to give new homes to unwanted books.

The book swap was organized as part of Professor Crystal Oliver’s Writing the Word in the World: Creative Writing in the Community class, which centers around literary citizenship and what it means to write with the purpose of serving the surrounding community. It was one of four projects that students worked on throughout the semester, with the other projects including From Pen to People, an open mic that took place at St. Inie’s Coffee in Lexington Park on Nov. 5; a creative writing podcast consisting of interviews with writers from the SMCM community; and the development of the Lucille Clifton Lounge, a space for writers to create and share their work in Montgomery Hall.

“Originally this started out as a book swap treasure hunt,” student Catherine Wasilko said when asked what drew her towards the idea of the event. The other students that worked on the book swap were Taylor Byrd, Maya Miller and Irene Ragan. “We wanted to expand on this idea and add more activities. Eventually, we decided to have several activities that involved reading and writing!” 

The book swap consisted of many different activities, including a poster on which community members could leave a message or drawing on a post-it note, scavenger hunts around campus for hidden books and an activity called “Read Me When.” Wasilko cites this activity as her favorite at the event. “This was the activity I helped to complete,” she said. “I wrapped books in paper and marked what mood they had. On the first day, I prepped 19 books and they were taken within the hour! People were very excited as they did not know what book they would receive, but they were happy to know what book they ended up getting. Jennifer Cognard-Black came by and said, “‘It’s like a blind date with a book.’ I thought that was the best way to describe the activity in a clever way.”

In addition, the book swap offered giveaways of journals and pencils. Wasilko stated that this truly allowed the event to embody the idea of creative writing in the community. “We wanted people to be inspired in writing their own stories,” she said regarding the giveaways. The aforementioned poster where passersby left notes was also an important part of the community aspect of the event. “I think this allowed people to share a bit of kindness with the community,” said Wasilko. 

Setting up the event took most of the semester, and was not without its challenges. “I think I can speak for everyone when I say the hardest thing was finding a location,” said Wasilko. “We’ve had to contact several people, and most of the time, no one responded.” However, despite these initial setbacks, the event was a success, with many members of the SMCM community walking away with a new book in their hands.

Applications for the St. Mary’s Washington Program are now open

By: Lily Riesett

The Washington Program, a faculty-lead professional development program for students interested in political science, now has its applications open for the 2021-2022 season. This program gives students the opportunity to apply to political science internships in Washington D.C. with the help of political science faculty Professors Fehrs and Shafqat, a Washington Program Student Intern, and graduates of St. Mary’s who now hold positions in political fields.
The biggest aspect of the Washington Program is the internship placement that all program participants are assisted with. If chosen to be a member of the program, all spring semester participants will be applying to internships related to what they want to go into professionally. These include non-profit positions, internships on The Hill and think tank openings. The professors and Washington Program Intern revise resumes and cover letters before every application is submitted. Some of these potential positions even include a small stipend or hourly pay.

Once placed in an internship, participants can fully commit to the Washington Program and register for the class portion of it. This is an eight credit course taken during the first and last week of the summer semester. This class is about six  hours a day and focuses on policy in D.C. While it might be long, it helps participants to understand how politics play out in our nation’s capital before they go to their internship site. This course is also a great opportunity to bond with fellow program participants and professors. The final week of the class includes a presentation of research on a piece of policy relating to your internship.
Students also have many opportunities to get to know alumni who now hold predominate policy-related positions. Each participant is paired with a mentor who graduated from St. Mary’s and the Washington Program. They meet one-on-one with participants to advise them on their internship positions, review resumes and to make connections. There is also a summer speaker series where alumni come to speak to students. Politicians such as Mayor Brandon Scott of Baltimore and Council Member Robert White of D.C. have led talks on their experiences in politics after college. 

Emily Rudo, class of 2023, interned for the Potomac Group during the summer of 2021 with the Washington Program. When asked about her favorite part about the program, she said “Some of my favorite parts include interning in a field I knew very little about, so I was exposed to a lot of new information and skills –especially since I worked one-on-one with the Founder/CEO. Also, I get to edit and write reports for the firm created for The Nature Conservancy. Lastly, Potomac Group was unable to find an effective way to track information and clients, so I developed a system that they can use –and as far as I know they still do!”

Applications for the Washington Program are now open through January of 2022. Application materials can be found at

Reach out to Washington Program Intern Lily Riesett at with any questions. 

Pride Garden paves way for LGBTQ+ acceptance and agricultural sustainability

By: Hannah Yale

In the aftermath of the successful Call Us By Our Names sit-in for LGBTQ+ student rights, members of the SMCM community are continuing to make progress for queer issues on campus. One such project that has just recently broken ground is the Pride Garden at the Kate Chandler Farm. This new initiative paves the way for progress in both LGBTQ+ acceptance and agricultural sustainability at St. Mary’s.

Environmental studies professor Dr. Barry Ross Muchnick– who openly supported and attended the sit-in during October– told The Point News that he is “impressed and inspired by the resolve and resilience our LGBTQ+ folx” and said that the sit-in “open[ed] channels of communication across campus [and] demonstrated what self-advocacy and collective courage look like.”

At the sit-in at Calvert Hall, Muchnick told protesters about the new Pride Garden at the campus farm that aims to celebrate queer culture and express solidarity with SMCM’s LGBTQ+ community.

The Pride Garden opened this fall after being developed by the Kate Farm and LGBTQ+ student groups like STARS (St. Mary’s Triangle and Rainbow Society) and Transgenda. The Pride Garden is growing rainbow colored produce to sell to the Great Room to support sustainable food practices on campus. The coordinators of the Pride Garden also have plans to launch an online store of Pride Garden merchandise in the near future to help fund other LQBTQ+ awareness projects on campus. 

“The Kate Chandler Campus Community Farm is a safe and inclusive space to grow food, awareness and community,” Muchnick said. The Kate Farm is located just south of SMCM campus on Point Lookout Rd.– about a 10 minute walk from the Campus Center. 

There are many ways for students and faculty to get involved with the Pride Garden and other Kate Farm initiatives. Campus community members can email Dr. Muchnick at to sign up to volunteer at the Pride Garden, join a Pride Garden coordination email list, or to receive notification when the Pride Garden online store launches. 

Muchnick also recommended that students can learn more about how sustainable agriculture supports inclusion, diversity and equity by enrolling in ENST 391: Field Study in Sustainable Agriculture, next semester.

As the school year progresses, look for “Grown with Pride” signs on dishes and produce in the Great Room, and make sure to visit the Pride Garden to cultivate community, sustainability and LGBTQ+ celebration.

Lunchtime Lecture by Dr. Celia Rabinovitch: “Through Her Own Eyes”

By: Charlotte Mayer

On Wednesday, Nov. 3, Dr. Celia Rabinovitch gave a lecture called “Through Her Own Eyes – Surrealist Women Artists In Their Own Words.” The lecture took place from 12 to 1 p.m. over Zoom. Dr. Rabinovitch looked at the intertwining artistic biographies of surrealist women artists such as Frida Kahlo, Luchita Hurtado, Meret Oppenheim, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington.

Dr. Celia Rabinovitch is an artist and writer “whose paintings of mood and luminous atmosphere evoke the uncanny,” says InsideSMCM. She has written two books: “Duchamp’s Pipe: A Chess Romance” and “Surrealism and the Sacred: Power, Eros and the Occult in Modern Art.” Her art has been shown in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. She earned an MFA in painting at the University of Wisconsin,and a Ph.D. in history of religions and art at McGill University in Montreal.

Rabinovitch realized there were many women artists not covered in our history, so she conducted a series of interviews consisting of audios and videotapes starting in 2007. These artists’ take on the art world was different from that of more renowned male artists. 

These women artists, including Frida Kahlo, Luchita Hurtado, Meret Oppenheim, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, challenged the view of women in surrealism as exotic objects or muses. Many of these women actually knew each other and were friends. 

While researching, Rabinovitch found that it is much more interesting to look at actual archives and form your own opinions rather than reading a book someone else has written. With books, you are only getting the author’s point of view, but Rabinovitch is “an independent thinker.” 

One of the more well-known artists Rabinovitch discussed was Frida Kahlo, who once said: “I am not surrealist, I never painted dreams. I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint always whatever passes through my head, without any other consideration.”

Male surrealist artists often “employed the image of woman as an emblem of the unconscious, rooted in the ground, an example of repetition compulsion, and as a vehicle for psychological projections,” according to the presentation. They also referred to the women artists of the movement as “femme-enfant, the child-woman, and saw them not as equals but as muses.”

Meret Oppenheim was a surrealist artist who produced sculptures, paintings, drawings, jewelry, and more. “She constantly challenged society’s rigid definition of male and female and encouraged her audience to tread the fine line between reality and dreams,” said Dr. Rabinovitch in her presentation. 

Another artist, Leanora Carrington, began studies in art at the age of 19 when she took painting lessons in London. She once said, “I don’t have time to be anyone’s muse… I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.” Leonora Carrington was friends with Remedios Varo, a surrealist artist who worked in Spain, France and Mexico. Dr. Rabinovitch shared many of Varo’s paintings, which are haunting and dreamlike. 

Overall, this lecture was captivating and brought the words of many surrealist women artists to light. Said Dorothea Tanning: “Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.”

Writing and Speaking Center Hiring New Peer Tutors

By: Charlotte Mayer

Fall 2021 Peer Tutor Applications are now open for SMCM’s Writing and Speaking Center. The center is a place where “writers and speakers come together to talk about the craft of communication,” according to the SMCM website. It is located on the first floor of the library overlooking St. John’s Pond, and is now accepting walk-ins as well as appointments–either in-person or via Zoom.

To be a peer tutor, students must complete a two-credit training course in the spring before beginning work in fall 2022. Tutors “staff regular tutoring hours and help other students with writing assignments and presentations,” says SMCM’s website. The position also features “flexible hours, great work experience” and “perks” such as “private study room access, optional activity nights, snack and beverage station use” and more. 

Applications are due Friday, Oct. 29, at 5:00 p.m. After the application window closes, selected applicants will be contacted for interviews. These interviews will likely take place during early November, according to the center’s recruitment website. They plan to hire as many as four new tutors. 

According to the SMCM website, if you have “something to write or present and you haven’t started yet, a peer tutor can help you brainstorm, plan, and begin” and “if you’ve already started, a tutor can look over your draft and coach you through the revision process.”

Laik Meadows, a sophomore at SMCM, said “I’ve only had meetings with them via Zoom last year. They were all for the most part really warm and inviting and super flexible. They always helped with the coherency of my papers.” 

Another SMCM student who would prefer to remain anonymous said “I find that it’s minor help at best — you can receive much of the same feedback from a friend in 30 minutes or less.”

“While the peer tutors love to help other students with their assignments,” says SMCM’s website, “their help does have some limitations.” For example, they cannot “assist with course content or study skills” says a handout linked on the SMCM website. They also cannot “create an outline, proofread, or complete other steps for a student.” Decisions surrounding the assignment must be made by the student.

In addition to writing tutorials, the center “offers tutoring and other services related to oral expression.” Speaking and writing “have very similar processes,” according to SMCM’s website, “so the tutoring for speaking is very similar to the tutoring for writing.”

Angelie Roche, a peer tutor and sophomore at SMCM said: “Of my three on-campus jobs, working at the Writing Center is by far my favorite! I love all my fellow tutors and the Writing Center staff, and there are lots of perks such as flexible hours and free snacks!” It is their first semester as a peer tutor. 

“To someone applying, I’d say you have to be serious and dedicated about writing and helping others,” said Angelie. “You can be in any major but be prepared to take a semester-long training course and really dive deep into writing! But by the end, even if you don’t decide to be a tutor, you’ll have learned valuable writing skills that will last a lifetime.”

Dr. Ben Click, Director of the Writing and Speaking Center, said “The center looks for students who are strong writers themselves, but equally (and perhaps more important) these students should have the appropriate demeanor. They should be kind, have good listening skills, and be willing to help their peers. They should be open to learning about how to help others with their writing.”

The training course required to become a peer tutor is “a two-credit practicum that teaches students both how to tutor writing and also provides writing instruction as well,” said Dr. Click. “Our tutors are all strong writers, but not all strong writers know why they write well.” This course “teaches them how to recognize the skills they possess that make them good writers. This is essential knowledge in working with other writers.” 

To people who are thinking of applying, Dr. Click says “Please make sure you are applying because you want to help others with their writing, not because you need the money or think the job will look good on your resume (both of those things are byproducts of being a peer tutor in writing who is hired in the center).” He adds that “students who are hired learn to become even stronger writers.”
You can learn more at or the peer tutor recruitment site. The application, a Google Form, is also linked there. Contact Assistant Director Mandy Taylor at with any questions.

Anthropology Toolkit Class Conducts Library Ethnography

By: Maggie Warnick

If you frequent the library, you may have noticed someone walking around making notes on a clipboard or have had someone stop you on your way in or out to ask you some questions. This phenomenon is a result of the library ethnography project being conducted by Anthropology department chair and Professor Bill Roberts and his Anthropology Toolkit course. 

The project is the second iteration of an ethnography begun in fall of 2015. Students, working in collaboration with the St. Mary’s library faculty used a variety of methods to determine how students used the library and what could make their library experience better. Some of the trends seen in student responses led to real change in the library, including the creation of the quiet study room on the second floor and the study space next to the circulation desk. 

The current project involves many of the methods as the initial project, including student focus groups, faculty surveys and instantaneous behavior sampling–making rounds of the library and taking note of how many people are in an area and what they are doing at the time of sampling. However, much has changed since 2015, leading to some changes in methodology. For example, in 2015, when instantaneous behavior sampling was conducted, any time a student was on their phone it was marked down as a leisure activity. In 2021 it is hard to be certain what a student is using their phone for–they could just as easily use their phone for entertainment as for school work, as Katherine Ryner, Associate Director of the Library and Head of Collections Support Services pointed out. 

Students in the Toolkit class began very generally, discussing ideas with their peers and reporting back with stories about the library that could potentially inform the project. “In these stories some themes begin to emerge,” stated Roberts. “Anthropological research is like a funnel; you start very broadly and narrow it down.” From there, they were able to build on this research to develop questions for surveying students as they entered or left the library. “It’s one of those things where at the beginning of the conversation it is hard to get it going, [the topic is] sort of mundane,” said junior Maggie Murdoch. 

The project is a long-term one, with the ninth meeting of the semester dedicated to the project having occurred on September 29. The overall goals are to determine what students use the library for, what they like or dislike about it and what they feel the library could do to better suit their needs. Based on these goals, the library can decide what changes they are able to make and how to best allocate resources. An unintended result is that the Toolkit students themselves are becoming better acquainted with the library. “It made me have to explore the library,” said sophomore Erin Hurley, “especially after COVID, I mostly only went to study rooms.” As a smaller goal, the library is having a bit of an identity crisis, according to Ryner. It was formerly known as the LAMC–library archives and media center–but the media center and archives are no longer in the same building. Therefore, suggestions for new slogans to rebrand the library are welcome!

SMCM Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By: Lily Riesett

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, dedicated to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence, encourage healthy relationships and to show solidarity to violence survivors. St. Mary’s in tandem with the Title IX Office has made it a priority to make sure this month is recognized by the campus community. 

Title IX Fellow Colette Nortman is one of the people in charge of planning and celebrating DVAM at St. Mary’s. “Nationally, we know that one in two trans and non-binary folks, one in three women, and nearly one in three men will experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime,” said Nortman. “In general, dating violence is an issue everywhere, including on college campuses like ours. On our campus, dating violence was the most frequent issue reported to the Title IX Office for the past three fall semesters in a row. While this may seem daunting, an uptick in the reporting of this issue can be a good thing since that means more people are able to recognize that they’ve experienced dating violence.”

This issue has been something Nortman and the rest of the Title IX Office has become very passionate about. “That’s why DVAM and our healthy relationship prevention activities are so important,” she says. “If folks recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship, they’re more likely to reach out for help if they have concerns about their own relationships. Being able to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship is also important because it improves our ability to intervene as active bystanders to help other members of our community. Additionally, our activities will help our community learn about cultivating healthy relationship behaviors in order to prevent dating violence from happening in the first place.”

The Title IX Office has planned many events to make students aware of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The school is celebrating “Purple Day” on Thursday, Oct. 21 to show solidarity with domestic violence survivors. Students are encouraged to wear purple, use the Title IX Office’s Snapchat filter and make epsom salt sachets at the campus center. Sports teams have also been asked to practice wearing purple in support of the event. The Title IX Office will be on the campus center patio all day with information on DVAM.

The Office has other events planned as well. From the 20 of October through the 22, students are being encouraged to run or walk a mile in honor of domestic violence survivors and post about it on their social media. This can be done by yourself or as a group, making this a perfect opportunity for sports teams to get involved. On Oct. 13, 20 and 27, the Title IX fellows will be tabling outside the campus center with information on Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well as free swag. 

To make a report of domestic violence or any other type of sexual violence, contact the Title IX Office by emailing Michael Dunn ( or Helen Ann Lawless (; walk into Lucille Clifton House where the Title IX Office is located; or make an anonymous report online. You can also make a report to a mandatory reporter, like a faculty member or an RA, and they will relay that information to the Title IX Office. Finally, if there is an emergency or an immediate threat to someone’s safety, you are encouraged to call Public Safety (240-895-4195) or 911. 

Office of International Education Holds Virtual Study Abroad Fair

By: Charlotte Mayer

SMCM’s Office of International Education hosted a Virtual Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, Sept. 23. This event included “lightning round sessions with special guests joining live from around the world,” according to InsideSMCM. Students were able to join at different times throughout the day to ask specific questions to the school’s program partners, using the Zoom link posted on InsideSMCM.

Guests were from places such as Australia, Ireland, England, Slovenia, Spain, France, Bangkok, Thailand, Italy, Costa Rica, Cuba, Morocco, Ecuador and more. 

Annilee Hampton, a sophomore at SMCM, visited the sessions for James Cook University in Australia and University College Dublin in Ireland.“I enjoyed that one a lot,” she said about James Cook University’s session. “It had good information. It made me a lot more enthusiastic about study abroad.” She is planning on studying abroad in Spring 2023. “Either Australia, Ireland, or England,” she says. Her two majors are English and Theater, Film, and Media Studies. 

SMCM sophomore Melissa LaCross did not go to the Study Abroad Fair because she had class during the session she wanted to attend. Despite this, she says “I can’t wait to travel abroad my junior year!” 

Not everyone shares this enthusiasm. When asked if he would like to study abroad, SMCM sophomore Rob Kearns said: “Not really. Change stresses me out and I’d miss my friends.”

Drew Seitzman, another sophomore, says “It’s hard to schedule study abroad for STEM majors because a certain amount of classes have to be upper division and on campus.” 

Aurora Margarita-Goldkamp, the Director of International Education at SMCM, says “I’ll be honest; the pandemic has severely impacted study abroad in the past year and a half, and it has been tough! However, health and safety is our absolute top priority and we have to limit risk for our students, as study abroad is a very independent experience. We have been carefully assessing several factors to make a decision to gradually reopen our programs for Fall 21, Spring 22, and beyond.” 

“We analyze programs for their level of support on-site, COVID-19 rates and local risk mitigation, host country entry requirements and if borders will be open for students in time, the level of academic need for students, and more, before supporting student applications to specific programs.”

“Though we are opening up slowly for study abroad again,” she says, “we acknowledge that the pandemic will still impact study abroad in the near future and any applicants for Spring 22 especially will need to do their own research about their destination, and make their own decisions about their risk tolerance for studying abroad during a pandemic.” 

The Office of International Education is available to help students research their program options. They can make an appointment with the Office through their website. 

“We encourage students to keep their eyes on the Department of State Travel Level Advisories, the CDC and WHO information about traveling abroad, to make sure they are vaccinated, and advise them to purchase their own travel insurance (which is on top of the SMCM international health insurance we enroll all study abroad students in during semester programs).”

She adds that “passports are taking 16 weeks to process” and that “passports, and often student visas, are needed for semester-long study abroad. Students applying for Spring (and summer) programs will need to make sure they have an active passport in hand.”

The application deadline for Spring 2022 is October 15. For more information on programs and policies, visit the SMCM website or email with any questions.