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President's Newsletter

Frederick Community College
January 2020
A Message From the President

Each year, we kick off our spring semester with the Spring Convocation and Celebration of Excellence, which will take place later this month. This is a wonderful event where we gather as a College community to celebrate outstanding accomplishments and service, introduce new employees, and honor new emeritus and distinguished status.

This year, we have the honor of celebrating more than 60 employees receiving years of service awards, which are given out for every five years of service to our College. FCC would not be the center of academic and professional opportunity that it is without the expertise and dedication of our faculty, staff, and administrators. We thank these employees for their ongoing passion and commitment to FCC and our students.

We are excited to officially welcome a strong group of new employees who we know will make a positive impact on FCC and help us continue to fulfill our mission of serving students. 

We are honored to recognize these former faculty and staff members who will be granted emeritus or distinguished status during the event:

Emeritus Status:
Joanna Gannon
Jurgen Hilke
Jane Menker (posthumously)
Dave Moreland
Donna Sowers
Distinguished Status:
Catherine Galeano
James Concannon
Awards given out at Spring Convocation will recognize employees for excellence and achievement, innovative ideas or programs that have led to positive change for FCC, strengthening the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and values of FCC, and contributions that have bettered the College community. 

We look forward to sharing the names of those award winners in our e-news next month.

We thank all our employees for their valuable contributions to FCC. We now look ahead to a collaborative and innovative 2020.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Burmaster
President, Frederick Community College

FCC Alumni Spotlight - Judy Whims-McGraw

Judy Whims-McGraw started at FCC in the fall of 1996 after graduating from nearby Governor Thomas Johnson High School. While at FCC, she played on both the basketball and volleyball teams and worked for the City of Frederick as an outreach worker at Frederick Community Action Agency, which operates a transitional shelter, soup kitchen, and food bank.

She earned her associate degree in human services with a specialization in adult and family traumas from FCC in 1998. Whims-McGraw continued her education at Shepherd University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, specializing in health and physical education. She later completed her master’s degree in school counseling from the University of West Alabama.

Upon graduating from Shepherd University, Whims-McGraw was immediately hired by Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), where she has been employed since.  She taught health and physical education at Crestwood Middle School for six years and at Oakdale High School for nine years. This year, she started her first year as a school counselor at Oakdale.

You played on both the basketball and volleyball teams while at FCC. What did you enjoy most about your time as a student athlete and what did it teach you?
Being a part of the athletics department at FCC was a great experience for me and aided in my success as a student. From both an athletic and academic standpoint, FCC had a family atmosphere where I felt very supported. There were a lot of lessons I learned as a student athlete like time management, leadership, teamwork, and discipline. All of these are skills you need in order to be successful later in life. I’m very thankful that my first experience in higher education at FCC was as positive as it was.

As a high school counselor, why do you think having a strong community college like FCC benefits the community?
I think the needs of students coming out of high school now are so diverse and FCC has the ability to meet any of those needs. Some students need the additional academic support, while others benefit most from the financial advantages of FCC. I encourage all my students to look at FCC because of the many opportunities available. It is a fantastic option with so many different program and certification areas, including at the Monroe Center, and it seems to always be growing.

Application Period Opens for FCC STEM Scholars Program

The application period is now open for the Frederick Community College (FCC) STEM Scholars Program, which provides students who have academic talent and financial need with additional support while they pursue their STEM-related academic and career goals. 

The STEM Scholars Program is designed to serve students with little or no prior college-level experience. The competitive scholarship program offers participants up to $13,000 in financial aid, as well as the training and mentoring needed to be successful in their STEM programs. It prepares students to transition to the next stage of their educational and career pathways.
The program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for this grant, which will give hardworking students the chance to excel in STEM programs and reach their full potential,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster. “It will prepare our students for success in their careers and we believe this comprehensive support will have a lasting impact."
The program will consist of three cohorts of ten students each, starting in the Fall 2020, Fall 2021, and Fall 2022 semesters.
Applications are accepted at any point prior to the start of the fall semester, provided space is available. For best consideration, applications are due by March 15 for the following fall semester.

To see eligibility requirements and additional information, click here

Gail and Joyce Guyton Support Nursing Students Through Scholarship

Gail and Joyce Guyton recently amended the Joyce Guyton Nursing Scholarship endowment with an additional gift and a commitment to fund two full scholarships for FCC nursing students.

This scholarship was originally established by Gail in 2010 to honor his wife Joyce for her exemplary nursing career. The newly-amended endowment will provide $8,800 annually in scholarships to cover tuition and fees for two nursing students. The Guytons hope these nursing students will support healthcare in Frederick County.

We are grateful to Gail and Joyce Guyton for continuing their commitment to nursing excellence in Frederick County.

Howard Burns Will Hold Moving Mountains Talk on Jan. 15

Howard Burns, a well-known jazz musician who directs the FCC Jazz Ensemble, will speak at FCC at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 as part of the Moving Mountains Speaker Series.

During his talk, titled “Keeping the Music Going,” Burns will discuss his upbringing and musical education, and discuss the importance of always giving your best effort.

The event is the third of the 2019-2020 Moving Mountains series. The monthly 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.

Moving Mountains speaker sessions are free and open to the public and take place in the JBK Theater, located inside the Visual & Performing Arts Center on the main campus. No registration is required to attend. Teens and young adults who attend and sign in for three of the six sessions in an academic year are eligible to receive a certificate of leadership and participation.

Other upcoming speakers for the 2019-2020 season include:
  • February 19 – Ryan Morse, owner of Crucible Performance and personal trainer
  • March 18 – James Hatch, FCC Cybersecurity and Computer Science Program Manager
For more information, click here. If you have questions, contact Mike Pritchard at or 301-846-2417.

FCC Student Publication Named Most Outstanding Community College Literary-Art Magazine

The Frederick Community College literary arts magazine was named the 2019 Most Outstanding Community College Literary-Art Magazine by the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA).
The magazine, Tuscarora Review, also received a First Place with Special Merit Award.

The 2019 issue was the 39th edition of the Tuscarora Review, which features a variety of literature and visual art in the form of essay, creative non-fiction, one-act play, short story, poetry, feature/interview, photography, painting, drawing, illustration, and mixed media.
“Every year, the editorial board and production staff strive to put together a top-notch publication that showcases all of the talented writers and artists here at Frederick Community College,” said Ramón Jones, faculty advisor for the magazine and an assistant professor of English. “Being recognized as Most Outstanding Community College Literary-Art Magazine, among hundreds of other magazines across the country, is truly an honor and reflective of all of the time, energy, and dedication our faculty, staff, and, especially students put into the magazine.”

Each year, the magazine is put together by students with assistance from Jones and other faculty and staff members.
The 2019 issue was created by:
Kayla Swain and Draven Vasquez
Associate Editors:
Bryce Kelley and Kat Reyes
Design and Layout:
Trey Howard

Faculty Advisor:
Ramón Jones, Assistant Professor of English
Lisa Sheirer, Professor and Program Manager, Computer Graphics and Photography
Production Staff:
Cheryl Peterson, Academic Office Manager, English Department
To read the Tuscarora Review, click here. Hard copies can also be found around the main campus.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Tuscarora Review, you can contact Ramón Jones at

New Rotaract Club Established at FCC

A new Rotaract Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, was established at FCC last month. This is a leadership, professional, and community service organization.
As a service club, members of the FCC Rotaract Club plan to actively support service opportunities at FCC and in the Frederick community, including the “Bikes for the World” initiative, which provides bikes to those who need them for transportation in locations like Africa, Central America, and the South Pacific. The club will be supporting the longtime work of Shane Sellers, FCC assistant professor of art, who teams up with the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek every year for this effort.
We thank FCC students who have already taken leadership roles in the FCC Rotaract Club, including Audrey Kacur, who serves as club president, and Shivam Patel, who is the club vice president. We are grateful to student James Pugh who helped in the creation of the club. We also thank Deborah Powell, FCC Executive Director for the Office of Institutional Advancement and the FCC Foundation, for serving as club advisor. 

We look forward to supporting the FCC Rotaract Club and seeing the important service contributions club members make to our community. 

For more information on clubs and organizations or service opportunities at FCC, contact the Center for Student Engagement at 301-624-2745.

Pictured above from left to right: FCC Executive Director for the Office of Institutional Advancement and the FCC Foundation Deborah Powell; FCC Rotaract Club Vice President Shivam Patel; FCC Rotaract Club President Audrey Kacur; and FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster.


Dr. Kelly Trigger Interviewed for Frederick News-Post Article on Education Trends

Dr. Kelly Trigger, FCC Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning, was interviewed for a Frederick News-Post article about education trends to watch in 2020.

Dr. Trigger shared her perspective on technology and blended learning, saying in part:

“Instantaneous access to information is no substitute for critical thinking. Navigating the Information Age requires enhanced digital and information literacy to assist us with identifying accurate and reliable information.”

The article also included interviews from Dr. Terry Alban, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent; FCPS Board of Education President Brad Young, and FCPS Board Member Michael Bunitsky.

To read the article, titled, “Learning in the next decade: Education trends to watch in 2020,” click here.

FCC Visual Arts Department Celebrates Student Work

The FCC Visual Arts Department held its Fall Visual Arts Exhibition last month to showcase student art work and award prizes.

The show featured artwork completed in studio art classes during the fall semester, including Drawing, Ceramics, Foundation of Studio Art and Color Theory, Watercolor, Illustration, and Computer Graphics. Students in each class voted on and selected three pieces of art to display that best represented the class as a whole.

Submissions were displayed in the halls of the Visual & Performing Arts Center and judged by Dave Moreland, former FCC professor of art history.

FCC has held student art showcases since the 1970s to give students the real-life experience of exhibiting their work to the public.

We thank Wendell Poindexter, Arts Center Director, for giving our students the opportunity to showcase their talents through this show each semester.

The top award, Judge’s Choice, was given to Ravi Patel, who won for his drawing titled “Dangerous Mind.”

Congratulations to all these winners from the 2019 Fall Visual Arts Exhibition, who won monetary prizes:

Judge’s Choice – Ravi Patel, Drawing, “Dangerous Mind”

First place: Viv Michael – “Practice”
Second place: Viv Michael – “Still Life”
Third place: Julianna Rivera – “Overwhelming Dysphoric”

First place: Josh Peters, “The Green Face”
Second place: Carl Zukus, “Untitled”
Third place: Lauryn Lovewell, “Wonder”

Foundations of Studio Art and Color Theory
First place: Jesus Hernandez, “Blue Face”
Second place: Michelle Rouch, “Fox Hunt”
Third place: Shiki Fox, “Disaster in Chief”

First place: Jordan Darling, “Scrim”
Second place: Megan McIntosh, “Apple Blossoms”
Third place: Jean Peterson, “Two Roses”

First place: Xavier Gallaher, “Word Project: Contained”
Second place: Joshua Boards, “Celebrity Portrait: Travis Scott”
Third place: Leah Senio, “Beast Project”

Computer Graphics
First place: Heather Milburn, “Animals are not Objects”
Second place: Samuel Rogot, “Opioid Epidemic Poster”
Third place: Gracie Szabo, “Plastic Bag”

Elizabeth DeRose Highlighted by Visit Frederick

Visit Frederick recently featured a Q&A with Elizabeth DeRose, program manager for the FCC Hospitality, Culinary, and Tourism Institute (HCTI), as part of its focus on women entrepreneurs in Frederick.

In the Q&A, Elizabeth discusses the success of 200 Monroe, an open-kitchen restaurant where students prepare gourmet food to serve to the public, the HCTI program, and how she left a career in finance to follow her passion for food.

To read the article, click here
Spring classes are now enrolling with various start dates throughout the semester.
Browse courses here >>
7932 Opossumtown Pike
Frederick, MD 21702
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7932 Opossumtown Pike • Frederick, MD 21702

Frederick Community College prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, creed, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, genetic information, marital status, mental or physical disability, national origin, race, religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its activities, admissions, educational programs, and employment.
Frederick Community College makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities for College-sponsored events and programs. If you have accommodation needs or questions, please call 301-846-2408. To request a sign language interpreter, please visit If you have interpreting related questions, please email Sign language interpreters will not be automatically provided for College-sponsored events without a request for services. To guarantee accommodations, requests must be made at least five workdays in advance of a scheduled event. If your request pertains to accessible transportation for a College-sponsored trip, please submit your request at least 21 calendar days in advance. Requests made less than 21 calendar days in advance may not be able to be guaranteed.
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