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President's Newsletter

  Frederick Community College
September 2020
A Message From the President

Anyone who has worked in the restaurant or hotel industry in Frederick County could likely tell you about the generosity, expertise, and legacy of Pete Plamondon Sr.

Pete was well known throughout Frederick County and beyond through his Plamondon Companies, which own the Roy Rogers restaurant brand and 49 restaurants and 13 hotels in the mid-Atlantic region.

Pete passed away on August 16, 2020. In addition to his important business standing in our community, Pete was a longtime supporter of FCC and played a critical role in the growth of our hospitality and culinary programs.

In 1999, the Plamondon Companies, founded by Pete Plamondon Sr., made a donation to the College that enabled FCC to launch our Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program (which is now the Hospitality, Culinary, and Tourism Institute). He provided ongoing guidance and support to the College, as well as a direct link to industry and employer feedback.

In 2010, FCC opened the Monroe Center, which houses many College continuing education and workforce programs. Under Pete’s guidance, the Plamondon Companies again played a critical part in this major College project and supported the renovation of the previous warehouse space into an innovative facility, including a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and equipment.

In addition to his significant support of our culinary and hospitality programs, Pete also supported students by providing scholarships through the FCC Foundation. Since 2009, the Plamondon Companies have endowed two annual scholarships. The James Triantis Memorial Scholarship honors their longtime business associate and friend, while the Barbara Anne David Pacifico Memorial Hospitality Scholarship honors a treasured former Plamondon Companies employee.

The Plamondon Companies received the Frederick Community College Foundation Eagle Award in 2014. This is the highest award given by the FCC Foundation and recognizes unique and innovative support for FCC students and programs. In 2017, The Plamondon Companies were named the Business Donor of the Year during the FCC President’s Business Appreciation Awards. These annual awards recognize business and non-profit partners for their commitment, contributions, and support of the College mission and its students.

The growth of the hospitality and culinary programs at FCC would not have been possible without Pete's generosity and knowledge. His vision for educating the next leaders in the industries that he loved has and will continue to benefit countless students in Frederick County.

FCC is forever grateful to Pete Plamondon Sr. and his family for the significant role they play in the success of our College and our community. We are thinking of his family during this time. We know Pete’s legacy lives on in our students and our College, as well as his many other professional and philanthropic endeavors.

The Frederick News-Post ran an article about Pete’s life and legacy. To read it, click here.


Best wishes,

Elizabeth Burmaster
President, Frederick Community College

Message about our Fall ILR and Lifelong Learning Courses

Dear ILR and Lifelong Learning Students,

We miss being able to come together for lively discussions, fun explorations, and above all, meaningful connections with one another, but the health and safety of our students and instructors is our top priority.

Our more than 60 fall ILR and Lifelong Learning courses will all be offered entirely online. We are committed to ensuring our students still have access to unique and stimulating learning experiences through our many courses. We are here to help you with any questions along the way.

If you’re interested in taking an ILR or Lifelong Learning course this semester, but have questions about how an online course will work, you can register for one of our free 30-minute tutorial sessions. During the online session, you’ll be connected with one of our staff members, as well as other curious students, to help familiarize you with the online platform and work out any issues before deciding to register for an online course.

As always, our courses this semester have a little bit of something for everyone with courses including How to Use Your DNA Matches for Your Genealogy Research; The Art of Art Interpretation; The Cloud - Removing the Mystery; Lincoln, Indians, and the West; and more.

All of our courses offer the chance to connect and engage with others from the safety of your own home. We are excited for another semester of enriching courses, and we look forward to the day we can all be together again. In the meantime, we hope you continue learning – while staying safe and healthy.

For more information about our courses, click here

Video Message from President Burmaster

There is still time to donate to our 25th Annual FCC Scholarship Golf Event, which is being held virtually this year. To watch a video message about the golf event from FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster, click here

This event raises money to provide deserving students, including student athletes, scholarships that make their education possible. Donations can be made before September 14, 2020 by clicking here.

We thank these organizations and individuals who have already pledged their support:

Presenting Sponsor
The William Cross Foundation

Annual Tuition Sponsor
Matan Companies, LLLP.

Semester Tuition Sponsors
FCB Bank, A Division of ACNB Bank
George Littrell, III, Vice President & Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Tracey and Bud McPherson
Philip Sewell
Nelson Zahler

Class Sponsor
Bushey Feight Morin (BFM) Architects
Colonial Jewelers
Frederick Health Hospital
Gary Fearnow

Semester Book Sponsor
Michele R Mills, CPA
Class Book Sponsors
Frederick Mutual Insurance Company
All-Shred Mobile Document Destruction
Thomas, Bennett & Hunter, Inc., Ready Mixed Concrete, “The Right Mix”


FCC Literary Arts Magazine Releases its 40th Edition


The award-winning Frederick Community College literary arts magazine has released its 40th edition.

The Tuscarora Review features poetry, fiction, photography, paintings, drawings, and mixed media artwork created and submitted by FCC students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Last year, the magazine was named the 2019 Most Outstanding Community College Literary-Art Magazine by the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA). It has also received a first place award from ASPA for six straight years.

“This year's edition posed a unique challenge as the coronavirus pandemic forced us to work remotely,” said faculty advisor Ramón Jones. “Through a colossal group effort we were able to complete the magazine and we hope that the College and community are as proud of the finished product as we are. Art is so very important during times such as these and we are thankful for everyone who contributed to this very special edition of the Tuscarora Review.” 

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

"Mind of the Musician," by Maddie Starcher

The 2020 issue was created by:


Karly McQuay

Marcus Pearson

Associate Editors:

Jaqueline Alvarez-Hernandez

Hannah Cerrito

Justin Friday

Design and Layout:

Olive Radonich

LJ Teske

Alex Ward

Faculty Advisor:

Ramón Jones, Assistant Professor, English


Cookie Redding, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design 

Production Staff:

Cheryl Peterson, Academic Office Manager, English Department

To read the Tuscarora Reviewclick here.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Tuscarora Review, you can contact Ramón Jones at

Top image is by LJ Teske

FCC Student Clubs and Organizations 

Some clubs and organizations are interested in meeting virtually. Please continue to check your MyFCC email for announcements and updates. You can also join clubs by visiting their Blackboard page. Visit the “Community Resources” tab on Blackboard after you log in to find club pages. If you have any questions, contact Jen Moxley at

PASS Program Celebrates its 10th Class with Completion Ceremony

The Partnership to Achieving Student Success (PASS) program at FCC marked the end of its summer session with a virtual completion ceremony last month to celebrate 28 students who are a part of the program.

The PASS program, which is celebrating its 10th year, works to reduce the number of students in developmental courses. It provides recent high school graduates who have tested into at least one developmental course or those who want transitional support services the chance to work closely with faculty and staff during their transition into college.

The program begins with a three-week summer session that started in late July. During the summer session, students worked on their reading, writing, and math skills and participated in workshops on career exploration, managing test anxiety, organizational skills, and test taking skills. At the end of the session, students were able to retake placement tests and register for the fall semester.

This was the first year that the program was done entirely online. It was a challenge that the students met, Chianti Blackmon, Director for Multicultural Student Services, told them during the virtual completion ceremony.

“This was uncharted territory,” she said. “You all stuck with it. You showed up, you were present, and you did what you needed to do. I have no doubt that you have the tools to be successful in your first year at FCC. We are here for you – you’re family now.”

The virtual completion ceremony, led by Eugene Smith, Assistant Director for Multicultural Student Services, included words of encouragement from faculty and staff members who were part of the program, advice from a PASS program alumna, and a video slideshow featuring photos of PASS students.

“You took the chance on yourself to take three weeks out of your summer to get ready for your first year of college,” Eugene Smith told the students. “I can only imagine the good this will do for your first year and beyond. Know that we are a resource for you. We are here to serve you and to make sure you are excelling in everything you do.”

After this summer program, participants will continue to meet with their PASS advisor to develop goals, track their progress in classes, and discuss any issues they are having as a new college student. They will also participate in continuing workshops. In January, the Office of Multicultural Student Services will offer a PASS winter bridge program that will focus on career planning and academic support.

We thank these faculty, staff, and students who played an important part in this year’s PASS program:

Chianti Blackmon
Eugene Smith
Ivania Amador
Darrin Berkley
Mary Guzman
Amy Lee
Marsha Mason-Sowell
Rebecca Montgomery
Jennifer Moxley
Brian Penko
Anne Scholl-Fiedler
Shemica Sheppard
Courtney Sloan
Megan Henry
Julia Portillo (Student)
Hernajen Tundag (Student)

Fall Semester Kicks Off

The FCC fall semester has begun, and many classes started the week of August 22. Fall courses are still enrolling with various start dates throughout the semester. You can browse courses by clicking here.

We are excited to rise to new challenges and remain committed to offering the best learning experience for our new and returning students.

FCC fall classes will be delivered primarily online to maintain public safety. Face to face instruction and student interactions will only be conducted when it is necessary, required, and feasible to do so in a safe environment. Classes will be offered in online, structured remote, and hybrid learning formats. Comprehensive student resources remain available remotely to deliver College services to students.

As always, we are here to serve our students as they navigate college and work toward their academic and career goals. Students are encouraged to reach out for help and can contact or call 301.846.2469 if they have questions or need assistance.

We hope all our students, faculty, administrators, and staff have a productive and rewarding semester.

The Passing of Dr. Rodgers, Longtime FCC Professor and Administrator

We are sad to share the news that Reverend Dr. Billy Wilson Rodgers, longtime FCC professor and administrator, passed away on August 22.

Dr. Rodgers had a significant impact on students, faculty, administrators, and staff during his 25-year career at FCC. He is remembered fondly by many current and former employees who were fortunate to call him a colleague and a friend. His legacy lives on through his countless contributions to FCC and the lessons he passed on to those who knew him.

Dr. Rodgers started as a professor of humanities at FCC in 1970 and retired in 1995 as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. He received the Dr. Henry P. & M. Page Laughlin Distinguished Administrator award in 1998. Dr. Rodgers was granted Emeritus status upon his retirement.

Dr. Rodgers was a man of many talents and many interests. He was born in Oklahoma, where he served in the National Guard and attended Oklahoma State University prior to moving to California. He held an associate degree from Los Angeles City College and both a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in history from California State University at Los Angeles.

Dr. Rodgers later received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and earned a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Over the years, he also studied at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of the Andes, Harvard University, Kenyon College, and the University of Maryland.

Before coming to FCC, he taught at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Caribbean in Puerto Rico, and the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Rodgers published various articles and book reviews over the years. In 1993, he published a book in Spanish on the Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Dr. Rodgers was an active church member at churches in both Point of Rocks, Maryland and Florida. Upon retirement, he became a competitive swimmer in various master's programs, where he was ranked nationally and competed in world master’s championships.

His beloved daughter, Rachel Rodgers Nachlas, serves as the FCC Director of Veteran and Military Services.

We are keeping Rachel and her entire family in our thoughts.

Interment will be private. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Point of Rocks, Maryland, for Outreach Projects.

FCC Receives Grant to Help Child Care Workers Earn a College Degree

FCC has been awarded a grant from the Maryland State Department of Education Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund (CCCPDF) for the 11th year in a row. The $59,381 grant will pay for tuition, fees, and books for FCC students working in the child care field.

“We are proud of our students who work in the child care field and provide a critical service to families in our community,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster. “We thank the Maryland State Department of Education for this funding that helps our students get the experience so they can provide the best learning environment for the young children in their care.”
The funding helps students who are enrolled in the early childhood or elementary education degree programs at FCC and who work in a licensed child care center or licensed home daycare.

Over the last decade, this grant has helped approximately 150 students work toward their degree at FCC.
“This grant has made a college degree possible for many students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it,” said Delaine Welch, FCC early childhood education program manager. “Having a college degree opens doors for child care providers, and gives them more opportunities to advance in their career and earn more for themselves and their families.”
For more information on this grant, contact Delaine Welch at
For more information on the early childhood or elementary education degree programs at FCC, click here.

FCC Alumni Spotlight - Ashley Burns

Each month, we highlight an FCC alumna or alumnus in this e-news. This month, we are featuring FCC graduate Ashley Burns.

Ashley Burns started at FCC in 2010 as a dual enrollment student so she could earn college credits while in high school. Originally, she studied culinary arts but later switched to general studies, earning her associate degree in 2013. She then transferred to Towson University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in mass communication with a track in strategic public relations and integrated communications. Ashley is currently employed by the National Institutes of Health as a retail coordinator for the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in business from University of Maryland Global Campus.

What did you gain from your time at FCC? Are there any lessons or skills you learned while at FCC that you use in your professional life today?
When I went to FCC, I started in the culinary arts program. One of the requirements for the degree was an elective, so I decided to take a public relations course. I loved the public relations class so much that I ended up dropping my culinary major. With the wide range of classes that I had to take, I learned a lot. I took classes from accounting to art classes, and those classes still help me to this day.

Why do you think it is important that Frederick has a strong community college like FCC?
I think this is important because going straight to a four-year college is very expensive. I always valued that I was able to get my core classes completed at FCC before I transferred to a four-year school. Also, I have always admired when adults have gone back to school later in life. I think that having something local, affordable, and close to home is a great resource to have.

What do you enjoy about your work now?
The main thing that I enjoy about my work now is that it is always a challenge. It is something that I have never done before. I come from a long background as a line cook. I also enjoy being around some of the brilliant scientists who work at the NIH.

Convocation Welcomes New Students and Parents

FCC held its annual New Student and Parent Convocation virtually on August 21. Each year, this event provides helpful information as students prepare for their time at FCC.  

This year, students learned about important resources and services, academic programs and transfer and career options, tips for college success, and ways to get involved and stay connected. Parents had the chance to hear about parent rights and responsibilities, counseling and advising services, financial aid, student employment, and College safety and security. Participants also had the opportunity to hear from program managers, department chairs, academic advisors, and representatives from our support services.

During a live panel, current students shared tips and best practices for making the most of the first year at FCC and faculty and staff provided personal and professional insight on the FCC experience.

The event was led by the Office of Student Engagement, which found creative ways to add energy and excitement to the virtual format. The more than 300 people who participated had the chance to answer polls on questions such as “what is your greatest hope for your first year at FCC?” and compete at College-related trivia.  

We are grateful to our wonderful Student Engagement team for finding new ways to hold this important event. We thank:

  • Shelby Carmon
  • Kristi Mills
  • Jennifer Moxley
  • Jeanni Winston-Muir

We also thank these College leaders for making this convocation a success:

  • Chad Adero
  • Audrey Averill
  • Chianti Blackmon
  • Dr. Molly Carlson
  • Dr. Nora Clark
  • Caroline Cole
  • Angela Cochran
  • Lily Fitzherbert
  • Lisa Freel
  • Dr. Tony Hawkins
  • Jerry Haynes
  • Brittany Jolly
  • Kate Kramer-Jefferson
  • Wilbert Lleses
  • Jennifer Moxley
  • Anne Scholl-Fiedler
  • Dr. Brian Stipelman
  • Robin Shusko
  • Carolyn Tunney
  • Bryan Valko
  • Deirdre Weilminster
  • Jeanni Winston-Muir
  • Dina Yagodich
  • Laurie Younkins
  • The more than 70 faculty and staff who offered Academic Program Orientations and Support Service sessions and Printing Services for supporting the program

FCC Signs New Agreements to Benefit Biotechnology and Nursing Students 

FCC has signed new agreements with both Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) and Shepherd University that guarantee admission for FCC students in specific programs.

“We have ongoing relationships with many colleges and universities to ensure our students who wish to transfer to a four-year school after FCC have options that save them time and money,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster. “These two new agreements are for in-demand fields and are wonderful opportunities for our students. We thank all those who worked together to make them possible.”

The agreement with HU grants graduates of the FCC biotechnology program who have a satisfactory grade point average admission to the HU Biotechnology Bachelor of Science program.

“We are thrilled to partner with Frederick Community College to provide a pathway for FCC graduates to continue their education in our Biotechnology program,” said Dr. Eric Darr, Harrisburg University President. “The agreement provides students the opportunity of planning a total bachelor’s degree program with HU as they graduate from FCC.”

FCC students transferring into the HU biotechnology undergraduate program will enjoy the same benefits as current HU students and will be provided equal opportunities in applying for financial aid and in the award and distribution of funds. FCC students transferring to HU will also receive consideration for campus housing on the same basis as current HU students.

Under the agreement with Shepherd, FCC students who earn an associate of applied science in nursing, have a grade point average of 2.7 or better, and who have not matriculated at any other institution of higher education will be guaranteed transfer admission to Shepherd to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

“The need for nurses and other healthcare professionals is more critical than ever,” said Scott Beard, Shepherd provost. “This new agreement creates a pathway for registered nurses to complete their B.S.N. degree and allows them to be employed or to keep employment in larger healthcare settings like magnet hospitals. Nursing is one of our largest enrolled programs at Shepherd, and these transfer agreements allow us to continue to help students throughout the region attain their professional goals and for us to continue to serve the greater good.”

For more information about transfer opportunities for FCC students, click here.

Registration for fall classes is open. 
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.
Copyright © 2020 Frederick Community College, All rights reserved.

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