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Neve Levinson - page 2

Neve Levinson has 17 articles published.

Neve Levinson is a sophomore Spanish major hailing from Seattle, Washington. She enjoys playing frisbee, reading the news, and learning about cephalopods. She spent this past summer as a nature specialist at an overnight camp, and as a result thoroughly enjoys never being inside. As the News Editor of The Quindecim for the year, she intends to document and address the many changes taking place on campus. What other pieces of news need to be covered? Want to write about it? (Or just tell her about it?) Email Neve at

President Bowen Announces Departure


On October 19, the Goucher student body received an email from the chair of the Board of Trustees, Ruth Shapiro Lenrow, class of 1974. In the email, Lenrow informed the student body of President Bowen’s decision “that he will be leaving his post on June 30, 2019.” Lenrow also included a hyperlink to Bowen’s own announcement as part of her statement, which was posted to the Goucher website the same day. Bowen cites his main reason for leaving as an opportunity to “focus on [research, scholarship, and music] and particularly to spend more time finishing my next book, which is largely about the work we have done together at Goucher.” Also included in Lenrow’s message was the assurance that “[t]he Board of Trustees will be establishing a Presidential search committee in short order and we will share additional information about that process soon.”

In response to the news, Bryan Coker, Vice President and Dean of Students, held an open meeting in Pinkard to explain the general process for hiring a new president at a college or university. During the meeting, which The Quindecim livestreamed and shared to all the class Facebook pages, Dean Coker asserted that “[t]he responsibility, universally, about a Board of Trustees, is that they hire and fire presidents.”

Dean Coker also explained the process of forming a search committee and the role of the members of that committee during the meeting. He also made note that presidential search committees tend to hire a search firm, “which is essentially a recruiter,” according to Coker. The search firm would visit campus to conduct a listening campaign and most likely release a survey to the student body asking for feedback regarding what qualities students look for in the college’s next president. From there, the search committee would typically produce a position profile, shared with individuals potentially interested in filling the position, with all the data gathered from their conversations with faculty, staff, and students.

After that, candidates would submit cover letters, resumes, and a list of confidential references. The search committee, consisting of faculty, staff, and students, as appointed (usually) by the Board of Trustees, would have confidential access to the applications submitted, and would then conduct brief interviews with their top 8-10 candidates, often at or near an airport. At this point, the search firm would check in with references listed and not listed by the candidate  in order to gauge the candidate’s potential for working at Goucher. After another round of interviews, the search committee often brings their top one or two candidates to campus so that they get a feel for the college in-person. Coker emphasized repeatedly throughout the meeting that the hiring process for a president is almost universally not public.

Sam Anderson, acting President of Goucher Student Government, emphasized during the meeting with Coker that “if [the Board of Trustees] decide[s] to do the search now, in what would be a kind of rushed amount of time for a presidential search, they would put together a search committee which would hopefully feature more than one student, so that that one student doesn’t feel siloed within the bigger committee, and so that more students have the opportunity for input, and then it would also include members of the faculty, alumni, staff, and then trustees. It will be mostly trustees.”

The Baltimore Sun reported on January 19, 2017 that President Bowen had signed an extension to his contract through June 2022. In an article published online the same day, the Baltimore Business Journal also noted that representatives of the college “said Bowen has declined to accept any salary increases since he arrived at the Towson college and has continued that request in the new deal.” On March 22, 2017, a Goucher press release announced Bowen’s contract renewal.

December 5th Faculty Meeting


The faculty meeting on December 5th was conducted during Common Hour in Merrick.

Update on hate crime proceedings:

The Baltimore County State’s Attorney has filed five charges against former student Fynn Arthur in relation to the two hate crimes perpetrated on campus in November. This information was also addressed in an email to the student body from Dean Coker on Thursday, December 6th.

Additionally, a group of faculty has formed to create a protocol for how the Goucher community addresses campus-wide crises. During the meeting, professors Seble Dawit and Ann Duncan emphasized a large need to debrief and strategize next steps in this process. One suggestion mentioned includes a monthly all-campus gathering or assembly. More information on this matter will be provided in January.

Presidential Search Update:

Professors Phong Le, Jamie Mullaney, and Gillian Starkey are the three faculty members serving on the committee. While they made it clear that they would like to share information about the presidential search process, committee members have signed a confidentiality agreement which prevents them from disclosing much information. Professor Le, however, did note that they will be conducting a listening session from 2-3pm on Friday, December 7th in the faculty lounge. The committee will meet next on the morning of Tuesday, December 11th.

Provisional Approval of December Graduates:

Andy Westfall announced that there are 39 candidates to receive their Bachelor’s of Arts at the end of the semester. The motion to approve the candidates for receiving their diploma was approved. Candidates must still pass all required coursework before graduating.

Unfinished business: “Will we continue the work of the 2017-2018 Ad Hoc Governance Committee?”

The committee in question proposed a vision for redesigning the way that the faculty organizes itself. It released its findings at the end of last semester. During this meeting, the issues of representation, communication, and faculty members having a voice in their legislative processes were raised as key reasons for the ad hoc committee to exist in the first place.

The next step of this process is to draft legislation that changes the current processes as they exist right now. The committee’s timeline is to begin writing in Spring 2019, continue into Fall 2019, and conduct listening sessions during Spring 2020, with a final proposal of the legislation prepared by the faculty meeting in April 2020. Of the three members of this committee, at least one of them will be a tenured faculty member.

One of the biggest issues raised in the meeting was whether the vision proposed by the previous ad hoc committee must dictate the legislation written by the future committee in question. To address this, Dr. Friedman-Wheeler proposed an amendment that grants flexibility to the committee’s task. The proposed vision does not have to dictate future drafted legislation. A paper vote was conducted and the motion passed.

Two Majors Proposed:

One program was proposed by members of the Center for Data, Mathematical, and Computational Sciences. Called “Integrative Data Analytics,” this proposed major combines statistics, computer science, and data analysis to create an interdisciplinary major that can work with a number of other programs, including Peace Studies, Economics, and Public Health.

The second proposed program creates majors housed within the Center for Contemporary and Creative Writing. The two majors are Professional Writing and Creative Writing. Both use an interdisciplinary model to build on existing courses offered by current faculty.

Both proposed programs are budget neutral and are based on internally collected data that suggests that retention rates within these areas are high due to lack of competition from other liberal arts schools and interest from current students on campus.

Approval of the programs will be determined during the faculty meeting on Monday, December 10th.

Interview with David Heffer About Recent Hate Crime


The following is the transcript of an email interview between Neve Levinson and David Heffer, the Director of Public Safety. The responses were received after the publication deadline for the previous article about the most recent hate crime on campus.

NHL: What is the procedure for reporting hate crimes, both to Public Safety and to relevant state enforcement agencies?

We ask that all crimes be reported to the Office of Public Safety at  410-337-6111 or the Baltimore County Police Department at 911. An officer will be sent to the location of the crime and perform various types of follow up including threat mitigation, ifapplicable, and investgatory procedures.  

NHL: When was the graffiti removed?

DH: The graffiti was removed immediately after the Baltimore County Police Department processed the scene for evidence.

NHL: What measures are Public Safety and BCPD taking (as per protocol and otherwise) to investigate the incident as well as supporting affected students and communities?

DH: The Office of Public Safety is working with the dean of Students office as well as Residential life to assist in supporting the students directly impacted by the crime. The Offie of Public Safety is working closely with County Police and other outside partners in order to conduct as thorough an investigation as possible.  

NHL: What is the procedure for notifying the entire campus of incidents related to hate?

DH: We typically notify the campus via email and/or through the e2campus notification system. We also report those crimes to the Department of Education and the crimes are recorded in our Annual Security Report.

NHL: Is there any known connection between this event and previous hate crimes on campus?

DH: We believe at this time that the graffiti hate crimes in previous years are likely related to this crime.

Hate Crime on Campus

Protest sign posted on doors to Mary Fisher during student demonstration on Friday, November 16th. Photo by Rob Ferrell.

On November 14 at 8:56 a.m., Javaunte Neumann, ‘20, posted a screenshot of a Snapchat he received from a friend to the Class of 2020 Facebook page. The Snapchat was captioned, “Cops knocked on my door. Someone wrote on the first stall of the bathroom, ‘I’m gonna kill all n********’ and listed my room number and two other numbers on my floor, damn this school is great.”

At 10:17 a.m. the same day, the Goucher student body received an email entitled “Report of Hate Crime on Campus.” The message, signed by Bryan F. Coker, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean of Students; Nicole J. Johnson, Interim Associate Dean of Students/CREI; and David Heffer, Director of Public Safety, gave the basic story of what happened: early in the morning, a student found “threatening anti-Black graffiti” that targeted students on the first floor of Jeffrey, where the graffiti was found. The Baltimore County Police were called right away, and began an active investigation into the hate crime.

In an interview with the Quindecim, Neumann and Brandon Julot, ‘20 asserted that Goucher’s administration had not done enough to handle the situation. It was “not just a racial slur, it was a threat on our lives,” said Neumann, adding that the black community is “fed up.” Julot added also that the graffiti was a “clear threat [that] should be taken seriously,” in a way that simply stating as “threatening anti-Black graffitti” did not denote. Neumann also mentioned that during his first year on campus, a noose had been drawn on his door, and that he had several friends who had been similarly targeted, and not received more information on the case after an initial follow-up with the Office of Public Safety.

When asked about how Goucher could hold its community accountable to responding to hate crimes and changing its cultural narrative, Julot and Neumann both identified that the Center for Race, Equity, and Identity (CREI) needs a space that is more accessible and no longer what Neumann argues is a “marginalized area” on the fourth floor of the Athenaeum. Both Julot and Neumann also indicated interest in forming coalitions between the black community on campus and other marginalized communities, particularly trans and Muslim communities, who have been targeted by hate crimes in previous semesters.

Later during the afternoon of November 14, Residents of Jeffrey House received an email from Lindy Bobbitt, Director of Residential Life. Beyond naming the hate crime and offering support, Bobbitt made it clear that is is her job to ensure that students feel safe in their housing.

A few hours later, in a brief email to the student government, Goucher Student Government made the following statement: “Goucher Student Government was very disturbed and concerned by the anti-black hate crime that was discovered this morning in the first floor of [Heubeck] Jeffrey. Goucher’s campus should feel safe for black students. Acts of hate such as this one will not be tolerated here, and should not be tolerated anywhere. Goucher Student Government is prepared to offer resources in any way we can as time moves forward. Please expect future updates from Goucher Student Government in the coming days.”

The Office of Communications sent a message to the college community, signed by President Bowen, on November 15 at 10:50 a.m. Bowen noted that the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) was alerted of the graffiti “immediately,” and that the first priority was the safety of the students affected. “An incident such as this has repercussions across our campus. Once we were confident that the targeted students were secure, and that we could share information which would not impede the investigation, we issued a statement to the campus at 10:15 am, and to parents shortly after that. We will continue to provide support services for targeted students and others who desire support. Our other top priority will be supporting the police investigation and ensuring that we do not compromise those efforts.”

In an update sent out on Friday, November 16 at 1:41p.m., Dean Coker modified the language used to refer to the hate crime. In this message, he described the nature of the crime as having an “undeniably pervasive message in the graffiti was anti-Black and clearly targeted at specific Black students, by even sharing room numbers where they reside.”

Coker also noted in the email that “there was also a backwards swastika” included in the graffiti, corroborating a piece published at 7:05 p.m. on November 14 by the Baltimore Sun. Goucher Hillel, along with faculty from the Center for Psychology and the Center for Geographies of Justice sent out specific condemnations of the hate crime via email as well.

For information relating to the demonstration organized by Umoja on Friday, November 16th, read publications written by the Goucher Eye.

The Baltimore Sun, a news organization working to record and track hate crimes as a part of ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” database, has aggregated its information received through “a public information request” from police reports. Of the 692 incidents aggregated by the Sun, eight of them list the victim as “Goucher College.” Of these eight reports of hate crimes on campus, four were anti-transgender, three were anti-Black, and one was anti-Muslim.

As defined in the college’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, “A Hate Crime is a criminal offense that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. Bias is a preformed negative attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin.” The Report presents the following information for hate crimes on campus during the years 2015-2017: one in 2015, two in 2016, and ten in 2017. It is unclear why one anti-transgender and one anti-black hate crime were not included on the Baltimore Sun’s website.

*Online edit: David Heffer’s reply for comment is posted in a separate column, as his responses came after the print publication deadline.*

Lounging with the CEO’s Career Mentors While Writing Resumes and Cover Letters


Every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m., the Career Education Office’s two Career Mentors transform the couches by the laptop kiosk on the third floor of the Athenaeum into a dedicated work space for students to come work on specific career-minded tasks. Called the Resume and Cover Letter Lounge, it is run almost exclusively by the CEO’s own Career Mentors: Elizabeth Tran, ‘19 and Alex Steitz, ‘21.

Tran explained to me that this Lounge space has been in the works since last fall, when the CEO (formerly the Career Development Office) organized student focus groups asking questions such as “What are you coming to the office looking for, and what suggestions do you have for improving the office?” Tran continued by mentioning that lots of students requested an “approachable” space outside the standard 9-5 work day where they could workshop their resumes and cover letters. This formed the basis of the Lounge as a weekly space.

By starting the Lounge at 6 p.m., Tran hopes that students who have classes all day and have limited time to designate for career searching can come get suggestions on their resumes and cover letters at a time that works for them.

Steitz echoed this idea, emphasizing that “[s]tudents can bring drafts of their resumes and cover letters. If they don’t have a draft and want to start from scratch, that’s okay! It’s helpful if they can bring a laptop.”

Jenn Leard, the Associate Director of Career Advising & Student Engagement in the CEO, also added that “the Lounge provides a low-key space for students to create, workshop, and get real-time feedback on their resume and cover letter materials. The Lounge also, as we have heard from multiple students who have already attended, provides accountability and support.”

When asked about his goal for the Lounge, Steitz replied, “My goal is for students to have stronger resumes and cover letters after coming to the Lounge. More importantly, we’re working to teach students skills, build their confidence, and give them a greater understanding of what makes an effective resume/cover letter. I want to prepare students to continue to strengthen their applications in the future when we aren’t there.”

Photo Credit:

Part of this, Tran suggested, could involve expanding the types of writing that the Lounge will focus on in the future. This gets a little bit tricky, Tran points out, because they don’t want to create overlap between what what the Career Mentors do and what Career Counselors at the CEO do. Steitz enforced this idea by emphasizing that “[w]e can’t help with personal statements. Students who need help with that can make appointments in Goucher Recruit to meet with a Career Counselor.” Tran also mentioned that if a student comes to the Lounge looking for help with finding an internship or any other CEO-related question, the Career Mentors are more than happy to give them resources or point them towards a specific Career Counselor.

Steitz ended by saying, “So many students express being terrified of applying for jobs, internships, and graduate school. If that’s you, it’s okay! It can be scary! But hopefully we can make it less scary by showing you that you’re not alone in those feelings and we can give you tools to overcome that. No one is born knowing this stuff; it takes time, so don’t feel bad if the process seems daunting and unfamiliar. We’re excited to help you learn!”

Want to stay involved with the CEO or the HUB (which includes the Offices of International Studies and Community-Based Learning)? Tran suggested checking out any of the following events:

  • Tuesday: Tea Time from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday: Coffee Chats from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Open Studios from 2-4 p.m.


See you there!

New Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Daniela Beall


How do I exist within the systems around me? How is my environment influenced by economic factors, weather patterns, systems for managing waste, and the moods of the people around me? How can I work with others to make our shared environments more equitable? How do I even engage with these questions on a philosophical level, much less in a way that creates a tangible impact on Goucher’s campus and the world beyond?

Daniela Beall, Goucher’s sustainability coordinator, is an invaluable resource for students grappling with some of these huge questions. After working on sustainability initiatives as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Towson University, she brings an incredible level of energy to her new position on campus. When I asked about what she views as her role on campus, she responded in part that, “there are a few ways of looking at it. One is providing leadership for sustainability initiatives, being an advisor to student groups and helping support student initiatives… and then a large part [of my role] is to be a connector”. By serving as a person who knows about all the types of sustainability initiatives happening in all niches of campus, she can put different individuals or groups in touch with one another so that they can, as she put it, “build power together and build on each other’s work instead of recreating the wheel”. Beyond just connecting people who come to her directly, she also plans on communicating with the campus population as a whole regarding larger-scale initiatives.

When asked about ideas or projects that she would not consider in her purview, Beall told me that she “[sees] sustainability as really broad. I consider myself a generalist, I know a little bit about a lot of things, and trying to see the systems and ways they are interconnected. I am a big fan of collaboration and partnership”. If a student comes to her wanting to talk about equity through a sustainability lens, for instance, she wants to “talk to folks in CREI and to faculty members and bring their specialties and their resources to the table as well,” and if she isn’t the best resource for the situation, she can still connect students to other people on campus who might be more able to help them out.

What is a project that you want to bring to Goucher that will allow us to build more sustainable systems on campus? This can relate to waste management or energy conservation, as is traditionally considered when thinking about sustainability, or it can relate to any other idea that is able to last a long time and improve our ecosystem. One long-standing sustainability initiative that Daniela highlighted that allows students to enact projects like this is the Goucher Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council (GESAC). GESAC is the governing body that awards financing for sustainability projects from the Green Fund. Daniela is “more than happy to be a resource” in this process, and encourages any student who wants to work through this process to come talk to her. There are also a number of student groups dedicated to sustainability, such as the Food Recovery Network, Goucher Green Coalition, Eco Team, Trail Maintenance Club, Plant-based Nutrition, Bee Club, the CBL Environmental Justice Partnership, and many others.

Photo Credit: LinkedIn (via a quick Google search)

Want to learn more about sustainability? Beall recommends reading the United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals,” posted on the door of her office, which is located in Hoffberger 116. You can contact Beall through the Gopher app, via email (, or by phone (410-337-3035).

“How U Been?”The Exploration HUB is Open and Ready to Connect with You!


Want to know what all the HUBbub is about on campus? Let’s start with a small slice of it. On the first floor of Van Meter (up the stairs to the left of the former Van) is the new Exploration HUB. It’s got new fancy couches, a positive atmosphere, and (coming soon) a 70-inch TV.

What is the HUB?

The HUB is a central location for all three offices on campus that deal directly with experiential learning:

  • The Office of Community Based Learning (CBL) works to connect students with organizations within the greater Baltimore area with the intention of working with communities (instead of for them) in order to achieve the group’s stated goals. There are also CBL courses offered in the academic catalogue that formally teach CBL pedagogy. Student Leaders for Civic Action (SLCAs) serve as student stewards for specific programs, and are supported by staff that work for the CBL Office itself. As Zanabou Njie, an SLCA from the class of 2020 told me, she expects the HUB to serve as a central area for people to get experiential learning on campus. She also hopes that it will bring more attention to CBL, a theme I heard from each person I talked to at the HUB’s recent open house.
  • The Career Education Center (CEO, formerly the CDO). Alex Steitz, class of 2021, told me, “[c]areer Mentors [Elizabeth Tran and I] primarily help students with résumés and cover letters in order to support them on their path to career and internship success. I assist students in navigating and utilizing the many fantastic resources the CEO has to offer regarding careers, networking, personal branding, major/curriculum advisement, events, professional experience, and more. I also help with the CEO’s social media. Follow @TheGoucherHub on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!”
  • The Office of International Studies (OIS) has all the information you need about studying abroad. As listed on their website, they offer required Study Abroad 101 sessions for semester long study abroad programs at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Interested in an Intensive Course Abroad? These programs, open to anyone currently enrolled in classes (hey there, first years!), have a required 101 session at 1:30 p.m. on Mondays and 4 p.m. on Thursdays. The application deadline for Summer 2019 ICAs is November 5th.

Why does the HUB make sense from an educational perspective?

Traci Martin, the Director of the CEO, described the HUB as a “student-friendly space” that brings together these three offices in such a way as to allow students to make connections between various experiential learning opportunities. It’s a space where “ideas come together,” according to Martin.

Lindsay Johnson, the Associate Director of Community-Based Learning and Community Service Programs, told me that her goal is to allow the HUB to “deepen some connections for student engagement in experiential learning.” The HUB came directly out a combination of student complaints regarding the isolation of the three offices and a collective desire to follow best practices both for CBL and career exploration. Instead of looking at students through a reduced lens of how they engage with one particular office on campus, the HUB allows its 16 full-time staff members and 25+ student workers to recognize individuals as the complete people they are, while also tracking their experiences throughout their time at Goucher. As Johnson describes it, the first two years for a student are all about asking questions: what programs are good fits for you? What would you like to get out of a CBL or internship or study abroad experience? What would you like to study, and where can those studies take you in the world? By the third and fourth year, the goal is for the HUB to interact with students as they collectively work to connect all the pieces of their collegiate experience into one cohesive whole. This includes spaces to reflect both before and after studying abroad.

Credit: Flyer created by the HUB

Jenn Leard, the Associate Director of Career Advising & Student Engagement at the CEO, suggested that the HUB can be a place for storytelling, where students can share both the positive and challenging aspects of each of their experiences through each of the three offices. She described the HUB as a place for students to process their experiences and figure out how to move forward, while still “pausing to think.”

What to go to at the HUB:

Every Monday through Thursday, between 2-4 p.m., the HUB will be hosting drop-in advising hours. Walk in, talk to someone at the particular office you need advice on, and take off when you’re ready.

Every Friday, between 2-4 p.m., the HUB will be hosting Open Studios, a series of what Lindsay Johnson named “self-exploratory” activities (see photo).

Starting at the end of September, the CEO will reboot its legendary Friday Coffee Chats. These are casual conversations with alumnae where students can ask about where their life has taken them post-Goucher. Stay tuned for updates on when this series will start.

In Short

For those of you who skip to the end of articles, the HUB is an awesome space that just opened on the first floor of Van Meter. Bringing together the CEO, OIS, and Office of CBL, the HUB serves as a means of removing barriers that prevent students from getting off campus and experiencing the world beyond. Built directly out of student feedback and best practices, the HUB is an open space fostered with the intention of learning from one another outside of the classroom as a means of creating a better world together.

NOTE: The headline of this article was suggested by Zanabou Njie of The Office of Community Based Learning.

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