President's Newsletter

Frederick Community College
January 2017 

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A Message From the President

Happy New Year! 2017 will be a great year building on the many successes of 2016.

At FCC, we will remember 2016 for many reasons. In June, we received reaffirmation of our accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. We were proud to meet all 14 standards and have our accreditation reaffirmed with no conditions. We thank the Commission for recognizing the quality of our institution and for holding us to the highest standards. 

We opened our beautiful new Learning Commons in January of 2016. This flexible research and learning environment provides our students with the support services, study spaces, and technology needed to succeed.

Another highlight of the year was when our Cybersecurity Degree Program was named the 2016 Career and Technology Education Outstanding Postsecondary Program of Excellence by the Maryland State Department of Education. In November, we received word that we are one of three Maryland community colleges that will benefit from a $5.6 million America's Promise grant to offer tuition-free training and support services to students seeking employment in the information technology and cybersecurity fields. This will help us continue to grow our cybersecurity offerings and ensure our community has access to critical training in this field. 

We know all our community partners and supporters also had many significant accomplishments during 2016. We are excited to continue our commitment to our community in 2017 and look forward to working with our many partners as the year progresses. 

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Burmaster
President, Frederick Community College

LaRocca Named MD JUCO Co-Coach of the Year

In just his first season at the helm of the FCC men's soccer program, Head Coach John LaRocca has been named the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MD JUCO) Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Joe Fiedler of CCBC Essex. 

LaRocca led FCC to their best season in school history. The Cougars ended their record-setting 2016 season at 14-4-1 overall, including an 11-1 record in conference play. The team finished the regular season tied for the best record in the conference and advanced to the NJCAA Region XX DI Championship before losing 1-0 to CCBC Essex. 

We congratulate Coach LaRocca on this honor and a wonderful season. 

Firsts for Men's Soccer Program in 2016

  • MD JUCO Co-Conference Champions
  • Held opponents to average of just 1.09 goals- Ranked #1 in MD JUCO
  • Earned 14 wins on the season  
  • Registered 11 victories in a row
  • Recorded undefeated home record at 8-0-1

In other athletics news, the men's and women's basketball teams will host CCBC Dundalk for a conference match-up on Saturday. The women's game will tip off at 1 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. start time for the men's game. Go Cougars!

For more news on our athletic teams, click here


Highlighting the FCC Internship Program

Each semester, dozens of FCC students gain work experience and academic credit through an internship. In the last year, students have interned for organizations such as AstraZeneca/Medimmune, Maryland School for the Deaf, Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management, the U.S. Coast Guard, and WHAG-TV. 

Read below to hear first-hand from one student who completed her internship last month.

Student: Heather Gardner, 42, Paralegal Studies graduate
Internship Site: Russell & Heffner, LLC

What experience did you gain from this internship?

I learned valuable skills that I will continue to use in my career. On a daily basis, I had the opportunity to interact with clients and attorneys. I gained experience drafting a variety of legal documents, assisted the attorney in preparing bankruptcy filings, scheduling, and going to the courthouse to file cases, and with many other activities.

How will your internship help in your future career goals?

I now work full-time at Russell & Heffner, LLC as a paralegal. The internship helped me acclimate to the job and the career field. Learning the necessary skills at FCC prepared me for this career and being able to put them into practice on the job was very rewarding.

What are your post-FCC plans? 

I am pursuing my B.A. in Legal Studies at the University of Maryland. I will stay with Russell & Heffner as a paralegal and plan to continue to grow as a legal professional. 

Interested in serving as an internship site?

If you are a business leader interested in serving as an internship site for an FCC student, contact Internship Coordinator Kristi Waters at or 301-624-2724. 

For more information about the internship program, click here


Moving Mountains Speaker Event Will Feature MSP Helicopter Pilot

Kristine Yaroschuk, a Maryland State Police (MSP) helicopter pilot, will be the featured speaker at the Frederick Community College Moving Mountains speaker series on Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The series features inspiring professionals who share their life experiences and encourage teens and young adults to set the bar high in all areas of their lives.
The sessions are free and open to the public and will take place in the JBK Theater, located inside the Visual & Performing Arts Center on campus.

Yaroschuk has been a civilian pilot with MSP for the last nine years, and was the only female pilot until last year. Based at Trooper 3 in Frederick, Yaroschuk flies medics to a variety of different scenes and situations. She gets dispatched to help trauma victims, assist in search and rescue operations, perform disaster assessment, collect evidence, and support the MSP in other ways.

Prior to her role with the MSP, she was a pilot for Era Group Inc. in the Gulf of Mexico, where she flew employees to and from oil platforms and rigs.

Yaroschuk didn’t know she wanted to become a pilot until her early 30s. She had held numerous other jobs including as a dog trainer, coffee shop manager, caterer, waiter, and facilitator for organizational development workshops.

Yaroschuk credits an experience she had while living in Los Angeles with giving her the motivation to make a career change. After taking up paragliding, she witnessed a handful of accidents that resulted in serious injuries. During one accident, she had to call 911 from a mountain to help an injured paraglider.

“As I was providing ground support to the injured person, I saw the helicopter approach, felt the air from the blades, and watched as the EMT was lowered down,” Yaroschuk said. “That’s when I realized what I was supposed to do in life.”

After that experience, she immediately started researching jobs and training opportunities for pilots and quickly changed the course of her professional life. Her favorite aspect of her career now is the ability to help people.

In addition to Yaroschuk, upcoming speakers include:

• February 15 - Jason Lee, business owner and community leader
• March 21 - Amelia Draper, NBC4-Washington Meteorologist
• April 12 - Mia Russell, financial expert and educator with University of Maryland Extension
• May 17 - Maurice Arenas, studio musician, performer, and TrueFire artist.
For more information about the series, contact Mike Pritchard at or 301.846.2417.

Photo credit: Sass Magazine/Jessica Patterson Photography

Experience FCC

Discover our Theatre Program

Watch the commercial!

Carlos Diaz

Learn about our Music program, one of the many arts and sciences programs available at FCC. 

Learn More.

Kristen Ellis
CEWD Business and Technology

Kristen opened her own business after completing a "Start Your Own Business" course at FCC.

“As a small business start-up, I am so grateful for the classes offered at FCC through the Continuing Education program," Kristen said.

Browse business and other courses.

Information Nights for High School Seniors

We are hosting two upcoming informational nights to give high school seniors and their parents or guardians the chance to learn about the many exciting opportunities and programs available at FCC. 

Join us on Jan. 19 or Feb. 28 to meet FCC faculty and staff and learn about the enrollment process, student services, financial aid, academic programs, counseling and advising, career and transfer programs, our Honors College, and more.

A table fair will start at 6 p.m. and break-out sessions and presentations will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on both evenings.

Space is limited. To register, click here. For more information, call 301-624-2716. 

Free Workshop for Aspiring Entrepreneurs 

FCC is teaming up with the Entrepreneur Council of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce to offer a free four-hour workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs on Jan. 25. 

The Intentional Entrepreneur Workshop, led by CycleFit Owner Brett Kraimer, will guide participants through a process of consideration, exploration, and planning. Workshop facilitators and materials will provide the tools aspiring entrepreneurs need to examine both the practical and emotional aspects of owning a business.

During the interactive workshop, participants will assess their entrepreneurial interest, identify personal and professional goals, and explore the action steps necessary to become a business owner.   

The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to noon at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, located at 8420-B Gas House Pike in Frederick. Click here to register.  

For more information, contact FCC Business Program Manager Kathi Groover at or 301.846.2682.


Frederick Community College
7932 Opossumtown Pike
Frederick, MD 21702


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