October 2022

It's been a busy start to the Fall Semester at FCC! I've had so much fun attending many College and community events over the last few weeks. I'm quickly learning there is always something going on at FCC and in Frederick - I love it! I'm sharing some highlights of my past month below...and looking forward to making many more memories as the semester continues on. 

Getting to experience the 14th Annual Latino Festival of Frederick, MD!
FCC had the chance to host this lively celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month. The event honored the rich cultural traditions and contributions of Latinos. It showcased music, art, crafts, food, dances, games, and more. Thanks to all who made this fun and special event possible, and kudos to Francisco Ayala, Member of the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and the delightful mime pictured with me.

Welcoming our newest FCC Hall of Fame Class!
We recently held the FCC Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony to recognize the Class of 2022. It was a wonderful night of celebrating the very best of our former student-athletes and catching up with them. Congratulations to our deserving inductees listed below...and a big shout out to our Department of Athletics and FCC Foundation for their hard work coordinating this occasion. 

  • Darrick Bowens (Men's Basketball) – 1987-1989                        
  • Don Boyd (Men's Basketball and Baseball) – 1979-80, 1984-85               
  • Alex Buccilli (Baseball) – 2009-2010                        
  • Keith Collins (Men's Soccer) – player 1987-1988, Assistant Coach 1993-1994, Head Coach 1995-2001                     
  • Dan Dierdorff (Baseball) – 2010-2011                       
  • Matt Morton (Golf) – 1993-1994                             
  • Neal Pitt (Men's Basketball) – 2006-2008
  • Danielle Thomas (Women's Basketball) – 2000-2001
  • Judy Whims-McGraw (Women's Basketball and Volleyball) – 1996-1998   

Welcoming an incredible author to FCC!
It was an honor for FCC to be one of only six statewide sites selected to host a One Maryland One Book event featuring bestselling author Naima Coster (pictured center). I'm grateful to Frederick County Public Libraries and Maryland Humanities for bringing this event to FCC. Dr. Andrea Dardello, FCC Acting Senior Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of English (pictured left), led an enlightening Q&A with Naima. I think it's safe to say anyone who wasn't already a huge fan of Naima's before the event, is now. She was incredible! 

Until we connect again in November, enjoy the rest of the month!

All my best, 

Dr. Annesa Payne Cheek
President of Frederick Community College

Celebrating FCC Adult Learners
at Graduation Ceremony 

We held a special celebration to recognize nearly 150 students who had earned their GED or completed an English as a Second Language program through FCC Adult Education offerings.  

The Adult Education Graduation Ceremony included greetings from FCC Board of Trustees Chair Carolyn Kimberlin as well as speeches from three of our incredible students: Jason White, a GED graduate; and Ivette Camacho and Tonny Chacón, ESL completers.

During his speech, Jason shared this appreciation for his classmates and instructors for believing in him. 

“I did not think I was smart enough to walk across this stage," Jason said. "But everyone at FCC thought I was, even my classmates. With the help of my FCC teachers and my classmates, we worked together on each subject, each problem, one piece at a time – until we got it right. At the end of each class, I would share with my classmates that we were three hours closer to our goal. We didn't know how long it would take, but we just knew we were three hours closer.”

Jennifer Szabo, FCC Director of Adult Education and ESOL, shared that like many adult learners who are balancing family, work, and school obligations, a lot of our Adult Education students are also confronting personal challenges that led to their gap in education.

“These students are resilient, determined, and brave,” Jennifer shared. “The ‘victory’ may be a GED, but it represents much more than that.”

Not only does this accomplishment represent a huge victory for our students, it is also a victory for their entire families.

“It was wonderful to see multiple generations come together in support of their loved one, and seeing children celebrate the accomplishment of their parent,” Jennifer said. “What a beautiful moment to witness so much love and pride and success that will carry on for generations.”

I am grateful to everyone at FCC who makes our Adult Education programs possible, and I am inspired by our adult students. Congratulations to all!

FCC Employees and Students
Support United Way Day of Action

A team of FCC students and staff participated in the United Way Day of Action on October 7.

The team assisted the Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (COIPP) in making blankets to be included in care packages they provide clients.

I thank these outstanding individuals from FCC for taking the time to help in this project, and I'm grateful to the United Way of Frederick County for all it does to serve and support our community members.

  • Elizabeth DeRose
  • Debie Hock
  • Nana Intsiful
  • Sandra Marshall
  • Jennifer Moxley
  • Natalie Ogiba
  • Aaron Tenga
  • Jeanni Winston-Muir

Honors Students from FCC and Hood
Team Up to Clean Up Waterway

A group of 18 FCC honors students teamed up with Hood College honors students for an annual service project to clean up a waterway in Rock Creek. This year, the team removed a total of 1,300 pounds of trash that filled a dumpster provided by The City of Frederick. Afterwards, they were treated to lunch as a small way to thank them for their incredible efforts. What a commendable way for them to spend a Saturday!

FCC Employees and Students
Compete in 72 Film Fest

A team of employees and students represented FCC well at the 72 Film Fest, an annual time-based film competition in Frederick where teams have 72 hours to make a movie based on a specific theme. 

As part of the competition, employees Charles Pham, Jason Santelli, Karen Santelli, and Melissa Sly created a short film featuring Micah Forrest, former film student and current employee, and Joey Galletti, current student, as the two main characters.

Their entry was nominated for four awards: Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Pro, and Best of the Fest.  At the end of the night, they took home the prize for Best Cinematography. A big congratulations goes to the entire team!

FCC Math Professor Featured by the Mathematical Association of America

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) recently featured Dina Yagodich, FCC Professor of Mathematics, in its monthly spotlight. 

The spotlight outlines Professor Yagodich’s path to teaching math at FCC, which included earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and working in air/ground communications for airline companies before transitioning into higher education. After teaching as an adjunct for eight years at Montgomery College, Professor Yagodich came to FCC in 2012 and has taught just about every math course we offer since then. 

In the MAA spotlight, Professor Yagodich answers questions on the best advice she has received, what advice she would give to someone who wants to be a math educator, and more.

When asked “Who inspires you and why?” Professor Yagodich talked about her FCC colleagues, saying:

“This will sound corny, but my fellow math faculty at the community college I teach are inspirational. They love what they do - even when things get frustrating - because they care deeply about our students. We aren’t afraid to change - whether it’s rethinking how we approach developmental math or integrating Open Educational Resources (lower-cost materials) in our classes. Our decisions revolve around the impact on students. I’m proud to work in the mathematics department at Frederick Community College.”

We love having Professor Yagodich teaching at FCC and are glad she received this nationwide attention.

You can read the entire spotlight on Professor Yagodich on the MAA website.

Join us Saturday, November 5
for a Celebration of the Arts

We are excited to host a faculty art exhibit, music recital, theater production, and award ceremony – all in one night!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 5 and join us for what is sure to be a vibrant celebration of the arts at FCC.

More information can be found on the Eventbrite page. Please share this with anyone in our community who may be interested!

New FCC Biotech Program
Offers Training to High School Students 

FCC is piloting a new biotech internship program that provides hands-on experience for high school juniors and seniors.
The program was developed through a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Innovation Grant and is in collaboration with the work-based learning program at Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS).
Students attend a three-hour class at FCC every day for the fall semester for a rare opportunity to gain hands-on skills through cutting-edge research. In addition to research and lab skills, students are being introduced to other aspects of the biotech field including new advances, regulatory and ethical aspects, and knowledge of the local workforce.
The 13 students who make up the program represent six different FCPS high schools. One student is home-schooled.
Now six weeks into the program, the students are starting to work on research projects and have divided themselves into three different groups, each one studying a main branch of biotech: regenerative medicine, bioinformatics, and bioremediation. Thinking about high school students studying these high-level topics is exciting!
I’m grateful to all those at FCC who have made this unique learning partnership possible, including Dr. Savita Prabhakar, Dr. Sandy McCombe Waller, Dr. Molly Carlson, Dr. Kathi Groover, and Danielle Manley. I also thank our FCPS partners Eric Bokinsky and Dr. Kristine Pearl, as well as the work-based learning coordinators, for the opportunities they provide students. 

FCC Partners with City and County
to Launch Free Food Business Entrepreneurship Program

FCC has partnered with The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development to offer a free Food Business Entrepreneurship Program that kicked off this month. 

The program covers various concepts in entrepreneurship and food service management and prepares participants to plan, start, and operate a food service business. Instructors from the FCC Hospitality, Culinary, and Tourism Institute will cover topics such as front and back of house operations, financial management, marketing and sales, regulatory requirements, sanitation and food safety, kitchen skills, and more.

Forty applicants were selected to participate in the inaugural program, which will meet weekly now until April. All class costs are covered by The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

The program will culminate in a pitch competition, where participants can showcase their new business concepts to local industry and financial community partners for the opportunity to win monetary awards and/or customized mentorships.
We are thrilled to launch this exciting new program and we thank The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development for financially supporting it so that participants can get this training free of charge. 

The first class of the program was highlighted on DC NewsChannel 25. Reporter Mikayla Newton interviewed Elizabeth DeRose, Program Manager for the FCC Hospitality, Culinary, and Tourism Institute (HCTI), and Ririka Evans, a personal chef and student in the program who is looking for ways to grow her business.
Plans are underway to offer a second running of this program in 2023 based on demonstrated interest. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to fill out the Food Business Entrepreneurship Program Interest Form.

FCC Invites You Out for Dinner...
Don't Miss Out!

Speaking of our Hospitality, Culinary, and Tourism Institute (HCTI), have you heard that our student-run restaurant, 200 Monroe, is open and offering gourmet dinner service to the public on Thursday evenings?

I have heard rave reviews from everyone I've talked to about 200 Monroe - as well as what I read on OpenTable! - so I can't wait to try it. 
The three-course dinner menu includes a starter, entrée, dessert, and beverage, for an all-inclusive price between $38 and $42.

Entree options include Idaho rainbow trout, boeuf bourguignon, chicken cordon bleu, or paccheri pasta. And if that decision isn't hard'll have to decide between home-made donuts, Smith Island cake, warm seasonal fruit crisp, or vanilla bean crème brûlée for dessert. Hmmm...I may have to become a regular to try it all!

You can make reservations to dine-in or order take-out. Don't forget - it's open every Thursday from now until December 8, with the exception of November 24.

Bon appétit!

FCC & The Arc Hold Event to Promote Workplace Inclusion of Individuals
with Developmental Disabilities

FCC and The Arc of Frederick County recently held a free event for local businesses to help promote inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in the workplace.  

The Frederick County Employment Summit provided attendees with the opportunity to network with area service providers and local businesses, learn about models of successful inclusion in the workplace, understand how to employ and support individuals with developmental disabilities, connect with local resources that support individuals with developmental disabilities, and more. 

It was an important event and one that I hope will grow in the years to come. 

As I shared during my welcome remarks at this event, a 2014 study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, found that individuals with different abilities are "an underutilized population of potential employees proven to be a positive influence on co-workers, customers, the community, and a company’s bottom line.” That’s not just a win-win. That is a solution that prioritizes the very essence of our shared humanity, ensures for the prosperity of Frederick County overall, and allows individuals to live the life they choose to lead.

It was an honor to have Rick Weldon, President and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce (pictured above, left), provide remarks on the importance of this topic. Specifically, he discussed how much self-worth individuals feel when they're employed and valued, something that had many of us nodding our heads in agreement. 

I thank all those who made this inaugural summit possible, including Heather Hinkle, Chuck LoSchiavo, and Caitlin Brandenburg from FCC and Aaron Stephens and Shauna Mulcahy from The Arc of Frederick County. I also thank Tom Lynch, Vice Chair of the FCC Board of Trustees (pictured above, right), for supporting this event.

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