President's Newsletter

Frederick Community College
February 2017 

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A Message From the President

We recently kicked off the Spring 2017 semester with our Spring Convocation and Celebration of Excellence. Each year, this event gives us the opportunity to come together and introduce new employees, award former employees with Emeritus or Distinguished Status, and recognize current employees with excellence and years of service awards.

The Laughlin Award is given to one recipient in each employee category to recognize excellence. Congratulations to these winners:
Distinguished Administrator: Mike Pritchard
Distinguished Faculty: Dr. Andy Yao
Distinguished Adjunct Faculty: Elizabeth (Bette) Kistler
Distinguished Support Personnel: Jennifer Ward

The Rewards and Recognition Program Award is presented to up to four people in each employee category for outstanding service to the profession. Congratulations to these winners:
Administrators: Marcia Dean, Kathryn Manwiller, Rachel Nachlas, and Jeanni Winston-Muir
Faculty: Dr. Kathy Brooks, Dr. Gregory Coldren, Amy Lee, and Dr. Julie Shattuck
Support Personnel: Jacqueline Gadomski-Gibbons, Jack Jenkins, Tonya Lewis, and Cheryl Schnebly

The Dr. Carol Eaton Innovation Award is presented to employees who made positive changes that benefitted students. This year, that award went to faculty in the Developmental English program - Robin Abell, Joe Healey, Amy Lee, Jennifer Moore, Shemica Sheppard, and Christine Rai. Faculty integrated reading, writing, and academic literacy to enable students in developmental English to enroll in English 101 earlier, which saves them time and money.

The Dr. Patricia Stanley Excellence and Leadership Award recognizes students and employees who have displayed outstanding service and leadership to the College community. This year, the student award went to SGA President John-Paul LeGare and the employee award went to these team members in the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management: Stephen Carter, Diana Culp, Lauren Dods, Valerie Fox, Kathy Francis, Julie Hoyle, Sam Lombardo, Rich McClellan, and Carla Milan. These dedicated employees have created new courses and curriculum through local and regional grants, served thousands of students in all parts of the country, and created special programs and workshops to train first responders and professionals in the field.

Last year, I instituted a new award, which is now called the President’s Award. This award recognizes individuals and teams that collaborate on a project or initiative for the betterment of students.  This year’s honorees are the outstanding employees who implemented our new Required Orientation, Advising, and Registration Program. Congratulations to Dr. Chad Adero, Jane Beatty, Lisa Freel, Marcia Dean, Alissa Hart, Jerry Haynes, Jennifer Moxley, Jennifer Moore, Jeanni Winston-Muir, Elizabeth Nichols, Marsha Mason-Sowell, and Deirdre Weilminster.

We also recognized those employees celebrating a work anniversary milestone. Dr. John Sheldon – who has been teaching at FCC for 40 years - received a well-deserved standing ovation for the significant impact he has had on our College and students.

We thank all our dedicated employees for helping us meet the needs of each of our students and community members.
Best wishes,

Elizabeth Burmaster
President, Frederick Community College

New FCC Trustee Appointed

Thomas ("Tom") E. Lynch, III, principal at Miles & Stockbridge, has been appointed to the Frederick Community College Board of Trustees by Gov. Larry Hogan.

Lynch will serve the remainder of the term left vacant when former Trustee Timothy Wesolek moved out of state. Lynch’s term will run until July 2020. 

“I am thrilled to become a part of the team at FCC, joining a group of remarkable and committed colleagues,” Lynch said. “Through my years of involvement with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, I became increasingly cognizant of the importance of enhancing the dialogue and collaboration between business and education. FCC plays a critical role in the education equation for this region, not only for our high school graduates but also for those pursuing a second or additional career or simply pursuing an interest in life-long education.”  

Lynch has been a partner and then principal of Miles & Stockbridge for more than 30 years. He has represented industry, businesses, financial institutions, non-profits, and individuals on a wide range of matters, including general business counseling, litigation, litigation avoidance, environmental litigation, and counseling. He also has been involved for years as a neutral in dispute resolution, including serving as a mediator and arbitrator.

Lynch is also known for his broad knowledge and experience on ethics issues. He has participated as a member of the Maryland State Bar Ethics Committee since 1990 and serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of the Maryland Professionalism Center, Inc., a board appointed by the Maryland Court of Appeals. Lynch has served on the Board of Directors for both the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and the Frederick County YMCA. He is a current member of the Board of the Community Foundation of Frederick County.

Lynch lives in Frederick with his wife Karlys Kline. Both are involved in a wide range of community-building activities.


Creative Arts Magazine Wins First Place Award

The FCC creative arts magazine has won a first place award from the American Scholastic Press Association for its 2016 issue. It is the fourth year in a row that the magazine has received a first-place prize.

The 2016 issue was the 36th edition of the Tuscarora Review, which features poetry, fiction, photography, paintings, drawings, and mixed media artwork created and submitted by stude
nts, faculty, staff, and alumni. 

“This award is a reflection of the talented and dedicated students, faculty, and staff here at FCC,” said Ramon Jones, faculty advisor for the magazine and assistant professor of English. “It shows why the Tuscarora Review is an important—and necessary—outlet for creativity for the College and our community.”

Each year, the magazine is put together by students with assistance from Professor Jones and other faculty and staff members.

The 2016 issue was created by:

Ryan Slicer (editor)
Steven James
Paul Stark

Faculty and Staff:
Ramon Jones (faculty advisor)
Cheryl Peterson (production)
Wendell Poindexter (layout)
Lisa Sheirer (design, production, and photography)
Brady Wilks (photography)

Congratulations to all those who were involved with the creation of this award-winning magazine.


FCC Partners with MSDE to Offer Online Courses at State Juvenile Services Center

FCC is now partnering with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to offer online courses to eligible individuals at one of Maryland’s Juvenile Services facilities. 

The program, “Building Bridges Toward College Success,” has been started with students at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville. FCC is the only community college in the state to have this partnership. 

The program offers individuals at the Victor Cullen Center a pathway to further their education. 

“Education is the great equalizer and students need to have access to rigorous coursework to help them achieve their long-term goals,” said Elizabeth Duffy, director of dual enrollment. 

Students who have completed their high school requirements and have proven an ability to do college-level work are eligible.  

“By providing new academic opportunities, we keep students engaged in learning and focused on the future,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “The new program at Victor Cullen is designed as a launch pad for these students.”

Some students have already started their coursework, and more will join as they become eligible.

The partnership is part of the Juvenile Services Education (JSE) program within MSDE, which provides educational services for youths detained and committed by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Students receive core instruction in mathematics, English language arts, social studies, and science.  Career Technology Education courses are also offered, and GED preparation programs are provided.  JSE serves approximately 550 youth on a daily basis.

To see media coverage of the program, click here



Best-Selling Author Bill Bryson to Visit FCC as Part of Frederick Reads

Best-selling author Bill Bryson will visit Frederick Community College in March to discuss his writings, answer questions, and participate in a book signing as part of Frederick Reads.

Bryson is known for his humorous books on travel, the English language, history, and science. He will speak on Monday, March 6 at 11 a.m. in the JBK Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Bryson rose to popularity in the United Kingdom with the 1995 publication of “Notes from a Small Island,” a travel book that takes readers on an exploration of Great Britain. The book was later adapted for television. He received further widespread recognition for “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” a 2003 book widely acclaimed for successfully communicating complex scientific topics to the general public. The idea for the book came to Bryson when, according to a New York Times article, he peered out of the window while on a plane and realized he didn’t know the first thing about the only planet he was ever going to live on. Another travel book, “A Walk in the Woods,” chronicles his experience hiking the Appalachian Trail with an old friend and was adapted into a 2015 movie starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson.

The author’s most recent book, “The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island,” was named the 2016 Best Travel Book by National Geographic. It picks up where “Notes from a Small Island” left off, and follows his travels around Great Britain to see what has changed in the twenty years between the two books.

Bryson’s visit is part of Frederick Reads, a partnership among Frederick County Public Libraries and numerous local organizations including FCC that brings notable authors to Frederick to foster a love of reading.

During his visit to Frederick, Bryson will hold another free event at the Weinberg Center for the Arts on Sunday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Bryson’s books will be on sale during the FCC event.

The Foundation:

FCC Receives Significant Estate Gift in Memory of Former Trustee Dixie Miller

FCC has received a generous estate gift in memory of Dixie Miller, a longtime student advocate and former FCC trustee.

The gift was left by her husband, Richard Miller, who passed away in Nov. 2015. It will go toward student scholarships and student success funds.

Dixie Miller, who passed away in 2014, was an FCC graduate and served on the Board of Trustees from 1999-2004 and 2008-2013. She served as Board Chair from 2011-2012. She also worked as an academic administrator at Hood College for 22 years.

Miller had a passion for higher education. She was a tireless champion for FCC and its faculty, staff, and students and strongly advocated for adult students in particular.

Her impact on our College is still visible today, and we are honored that her husband Richard made it possible for her to continue her support of FCC and its students.

The Clyde and Margaret Peet Scholarship for Student Athletes

From left to right: Sandy Smith, Barbara Peet, and President Elizabeth Burmaster.

FCC and the Frederick Community College Foundation, Inc. thank Barbara Peet and her husband, Robert Gaitan, who rewrote the Clyde and Margaret Peet Scholarship for Student Athletes.

The scholarship is named in honor of Barbara's parents who were passionate about FCC athletics and created the fund in 2003. It is now available to use when recruiting athletes interested in any of the nine FCC athletic programs - men’s baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and soccer and women’s basketball, lacrosse, soccer, softball and volleyball. To be eligible, an applicant must be enrolled full-time (12 or more credits) and have financial need based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Barbara Peet is pictured above with President Elizabeth Burmaster and Sandy Smith, a former FCC employee who became friends with the Peets through their shared support of FCC athletics. 

“The Peets spent many hours attending games and rooting for their favorite players,” Sandy Smith said.


FCC Baseball Ranked 15th in National Preseason Poll

For the 15th straight season, the FCC baseball team will open the season ranked in the top 20 of teams nationally. The recently released 2017 NJCAA baseball preseason rankings put FCC in the 15th spot. Adding one more #15 to the equation is Head Coach Rodney Bennett who is entering his 15th year at the helm with an impressive overall record of 533-215.

"It's always an honor to be recognized as one of the top teams in the nation and we certainly don't take it for granted," said Bennett. "I'm extremely proud to know so many quality student-athletes have decided to continue their academic and athletic dreams here at Frederick Community College and this group will carry on a tradition of excellence."

The Cougars kick off the 2017 campaign on February 11th when they travel to Bryant & Stratton College (VA) to take on the Bobcats for a doubleheader.

See the team schedule and roster here

Experience FCC

Discover our Institute for Learning in Retirement Program

Watch the commercial!

Matthew Aquino & Godfrey Ssenyonga
Bioprocessing Technology

Learn about our Bioprocessing Technology program, one of the many career programs available at FCC. 

Learn More.

Elizabeth Smith
Human Services

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

Learn More.

Moving Mountains with Jason Lee

Jason Lee, a local business owner and FCC alumnus, will be the featured speaker at the Frederick Community College Moving Mountains speaker series on Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The monthly series features inspiring professionals who share life experiences and encourage teens and young adults to set the bar high in all areas of their lives.

Lee, owner of Lee Building Maintenance, will discuss the importance of finding mentors and connecting with community organizations, especially for students who don't have a strong support system at home. 

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.

For more information, click here. 

Pro Bono Day Offers Community Members Free Legal Assistance

FCC held Pro Bono Day last month, when more than 100 community members received free legal assistance on a variety of issues.

This event is held each semester and is sponsored by FCC, the Community Foundation of Frederick County, the Bar Association of Frederick County Pro Bono Committee, and Maryland Legal Aid.

During Pro Bono Day, 30 attorneys offered free one-on-one legal advice to anyone with civil legal problems including criminal record expungement, family law, landlord-tenant issues, wills and advance directives, bankruptcy, workers compensation, foreclosures, business law, employment, real estate, social security disability, government benefits, serious traffic and MVA issues, and more.

Gordon M. Cooley, Commissioner of Financial Regulations, and his staff spoke to attendees about the financial service industries regulated by the state. Attorneys Joanna Shapiro and Lorraine Prete conducted a seminar on “Family Law for the People.”

A group of 16 FCC paralegal students – led by Dr. Tracy Parker, FCC Professor of Law – assisted in the event by gathering information from clients, helping with form completion, and conducting legal research.

"As a member of the Paralegal Student Association, I am incredibly proud of our students and all their efforts that make this day possible,” said student Henri Guimiot. “It was an exciting opportunity for us to put what we learn in the classrooms to use."

We thank all the legal professionals, our students, and others who helped provide this important service to so many of our community members.  

FCC Hosts Russian Scholars and Students  

FCC hosted three Russian scholars from Saint Petersburg State University.

Dr. Nina Eduardovna Adamova and Professor Vladimir Nikolayevich Baryshnikov each presented a lecture during an event which was open to the public and intended to give the College and its community the chance to interact with Russian scholars and learn from their perspectives. Dr. Irina Pervova taught during the FCC J-Term.  

A group of Russian students visited the U.S. from Jan. 7 until Jan. 21. During their visit, they spent time at FCC and took tours of Frederick County, Baltimore, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. Students also learned about social issues in the U.S. and stayed with host families in the Frederick area.

The FCC connection with Saint Petersburg State University has grown over the last 12 years, and also includes a trip to Russia for FCC students, led by Dr. Marshall Botkin.

FCC also works with Kuban State University, another leading university in Russia, to strengthen exchange programs and other collaborative learning opportunities.


Frederick Community College
7932 Opossumtown Pike
Frederick, MD 21702


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