By Cassy Sottile and Erica Quinones
The upcoming academic year has brought new faces to Washington College’s staffing in both academics and athletics. Some members are returning alumni and employees, while others are entirely new to campus, but each is excited to begin working with students.
In the athletics department, WC welcomed five staff members including Assistant Athletic Trainer Matt An.
An oversees the athletic training department to ensure the safety of WC athletes. He said that he plans on incorporating everything he has learned about athletic training’s inner workings, methods, and techniques to transform the College’s training program into his own.
While he knows it will be challenging to place himself within a previously existing program, he highly regards the coaching staff and believes they will cooperate to improve the training program.
He has already begun this transformation through a partnership between his department and the Department of Strength and Conditioning. Together, An said, they are “making active recovery a point of emphasis” to help student athletes recover faster and play better.
Both the men’s and women’s swimming team received a new coach; Mark Hill.
Hill has worked at both an Olympic and Division I level. He coached Olympic swimmers during the 2012 games and helped lead the University of Michigan’s men’s swimming team to the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship.
While WC is a smaller school than University of Michigan, Hill said that he is “literally excited for every day” at WC.
“I personally felt like I got lost in a larger college environment. I worked at WC as an assistant in 2000. My best friends were the other coaches. At larger campuses, I didn’t really have that connection to other coaches. I’m really looking forward to diving in and making those relationships,” Hill said.
Hill’s stress on the importance of relationships within the athletics department was not isolated to coaches. While he said that improving times and winning swim meets are important, establishing a culture of working hard should be his priority.
“What does it mean to swim at WC to you? I want to know what they think it means if someone from the outside wanted to join this club. Do they even know what that is,” Hill said. “We have a lot of space for growth — we’re sixth in the conference right now — and there’s not a lot of pressure to win tomorrow. So, we have time to improve.”
Hill is not the only staff member returning to WC. Assistant Sports Performance Coach Clare Ingersoll is back shortly after her graduation.
Ingersoll, class of 2019, was the winner of the 2019 Iron Goose Award for her career in field hockey. As an assistant coach, Ingersoll said that she feels like she is given “an opportunity to give back to my favorite place and to the WC athletes.”
In her position, she designs training programs for teams and runs group weightlifting. While she said she is excited to work with students, she also faces the challenge of transitioning “from student-athlete to coach.”
While the athletics department generally gained many new people, the Shoremen Baseball program was joined by two new Assistant Coaches, Brent Treml and Lou Sheppard.
Treml will be working with infielders, hitters, and baserunners during the fall and spring seasons, and recruiting during the summer.
“My primary goals are for Washington College to win the Centennial Conference Baseball title, for players to reach their potential individually, and for the players to have a memorable experience that they will take with them for the rest of their lives,” Treml said.
Sheppard also said he wants to ensure each member of Shoremen’s baseball develops as a player and a person.
“We hope that the four years that Shoremen players are with us and at WC prepares them for their next forty years,” Sheppard said.
In its academic departments, WC welcomes five new assistant and visiting professors.
One such professor is Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Sarah Arradondo.
Dr. Arradondo graduated from the University of Mississippi where she finished her doctorate in quantum mechanics last May. She said she was attracted to chemistry and quantum mechanics because of chemistry’s “practical mathematic applications” and how the study of electrons applies to “nearly every area of science.”
“Physical chemistry and quantum mechanics allow me to be a lifelong learner as well as promote and support more individuals to pursue careers in the sciences,” Dr. Arradondo said.
Her time at “Ole Miss” gave her more than just a degree. During her doctorate program, Dr. Arradondo taught general chemistry laboratories, made classroom assignments for undergraduates, and taught students how to use required equipment. In the realm of research, she helped prepare students for presentations, edited thesis drafts, and served as their primary contact on projects.
While she has experience in the classroom, Dr. Arradondo is also bringing her out-of-class work to WC.
Dr. Arradondo is a founding member of a Women in STEM group at the University of Mississippi. She hopes to bring this legacy to WC by starting a Women in STEM organization on campus.
“We held a variety of events [at the University of Mississippi] in order to build a network of individuals that were able to empower and support women in STEM,” Dr. Arradondo said. “These events include professional development workshops, dinners where local women would speak about the journey and struggles, as well as social events focusing on various communication skills between students, faculty, staff, and area professionals.”
Staff turnover will continue in next week’s issue.