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President's Newsletter

Frederick Community College
April 2020
A Message From the President

This last month has been a difficult and unprecedented time for us all. We thank our entire College community for the great work being done in response to the COVID-19 health emergency.  Most of us are doing things we never thought we could do. Our vulnerability is transforming into courage as we join together and rise to the challenges. Everyone is acting in the best interest of our students, employees, their families, and our communities.
For the last month, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and taking recommendations and direction from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, the Frederick County Health Department, the Maryland Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We have taken action to do our part in trying to reduce the spread of this virus and protect the health of our entire community.
On March 12, 2020, State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced the closure of all K-12 schools for two weeks starting on March 16. That same day, we announced our decision to transition all learning to online and alternative methods beginning on March 16. Starting on March 17, most of our College employees began teleworking.
On March 23, Governor Hogan announced an executive order closing all non-essential businesses along with additional actions aimed at slowing the spread of this virus. That day, we made the decision to extend the remote instruction and operations plan currently in place through the end of the Spring Semester, May 20, 2020.

One of my greatest joys as the President of FCC is awarding our students their diplomas at the Commencement ceremony. It is with great sadness that we have to reschedule the May 21, 2020 Commencement ceremony for a later date when we are confident of the safety and well-being of our graduates and their guests. The new date of Commencement will be determined by mid-April.
The rescheduling of the Commencement ceremony will not affect students graduating, receiving degrees and certificates, and transferring to other institutions.
This is a difficult and uncertain time for us all. We thank all our faculty, staff, and administrators for their transitioning to this new teaching and working environment while continuing to prioritize student need and student success. We are grateful to our students for working with us during these challenging times.

We urge everyone to continue to take precautions, especially social distancing per Governor Hogan’s directive, and as recommended by the Frederick County Health Department, the Maryland State Health Department, and the CDC. We are keeping our students and employees updated through College email and our website,
In addition to our College community, we thank everyone in Frederick County who has been doing their part to keep us all safe. We especially thank Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, Health Officer at the Frederick County Health Department, for her leadership during this crisis.  
We are fortunate to be a part of this incredible community and wish you all the best over the next weeks and months.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Burmaster
President, Frederick Community College

New Student Guide Webpage Available to Help During Remote Instruction

We know our students are dealing with a lot of challenges right now. Our faculty and staff are doing all they can to respond to the changing needs of our students in this new learning and student service environment.

Not only are faculty teaching online, staff continue to offer support to students remotely. This includes referral for crisis outreach and personal problems, academic advising, financial guidance, and helping a student feel supported from within the College environment.

Additionally, a Student Guide webpage has been created that provides a variety of important student information in one place. This webpage includes email addresses and phone numbers of departments offering support services remotely, a list of FAQs for both credit and continuing education students, online library and tutoring services, community resources, and more.

Click here to visit the Student Guide webpage. 

FCC Holding 7th Annual Business Plan Contest Sponsored by M&T Bank

The seventh annual FCC Business Plan Contest will still go on as scheduled for April 28, 2020, though the contest will be moved to an online format.

The Business Plan Contest, sponsored by M&T Bank, gives students the opportunity to present a business plan to a panel of judges and compete for scholarships.  

“We are grateful to M&T Bank and the FCC Business Plan Contest Committee for working together and finding a creative way to hold this contest given the current COVID-19 situation,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster. “This is a wonderful event each year that brings together our College and business community and we are glad the tradition can continue.”

The deadline to complete an online application has been extended to Friday, April 3. Students must then provide the full written business plan electronically by Friday, April 17.

The contest judges, made up of local business experts, will review all business plan submissions and select three finalists. Those finalists will be notified by April 24.

On April 28, finalists will present their plans to the judges via Skype.

The judges will determine the first, second, and third place winners, who will receive scholarships from M&T Bank that can be used at FCC or to further their education at another college or university.

First place - $2,500 scholarship
Second place - $1,500 scholarship
Third place - $1,000 scholarship
Individuals and teams of two students can enter. Teams will split scholarship awards equally.

For complete contest rules and more information, click here. If you have additional questions about the contest, please contact Doree Lynn Miles at


FCC Honors College Students Earn Recognition, Awards at State Conference

Students in the FCC Honors College recently participated in the annual Maryland Collegiate Honors Council conference that showcases honors student projects from across the state and recognizes exemplary student achievements.  FCC students garnered half of the conference awards as well as a statewide recognition.

Highlights from the conference include:

FCC student selected as one of three nominees for the Portz Award
Delight Nweneka was one of three nominees for this award that recognizes an outstanding honors student in Maryland (two-year college category).  Delight is from Nigeria and is a STEM major who aspires to develop biogenetic solutions for health problems such as malaria.  She is a community and College leader involved in numerous FCC clubs. Delight will present her Honors World Religions project at the Northeast Regional Honors Council conference in April, and graduate from FCC and the Honors College this year.

Two FCC students receive Best Poster awards
Liam Duckworth and Gabrielle (Gabby) Miller received awards for their conference posters, which outlined the findings of their honors projects. Gabby researched the antimicrobial properties of essential oils, while Liam’s project examined music through poetry.

Three students win awards for their proposals
Morgan Harris, Mary-Ellen King, and Jennifer Page received awards for their project proposals. Morgan examined the life of Wendell Scott, one of the first African-American drivers in NASCAR; Mary-Ellen presented on refugees of color from Saint-Domingue to Baltimore in the late 1700s; and Jennifer looked at polar art.
Thirteen students receive recognition for outstanding presentations:
Cole Bromfield, "What Is the Solution to the Minimum Wage Debate?"
Kyle Donk, "An Economic Perspective on the USNWT's Fight for Equal Pay"
Liam Duckworth, "Music through Poetry"
Morgan Harris, "Drive and Determination: The Story of Wendell Scott"
Mary-Ellen King, "Refugees of Color from Saint-Domingue in Baltimore, 1793"
Gabrielle Miller, "Antimicrobial Properties of Essential Oils"
Jennifer Page, "Polar Art"
Allison Pick, "Silence: An Artful Form of Communication"
Abigayle Rexroth, "Straws Are Not the Problem: Macroplastics and Marine Debris"
Melanie Rojas, "Mental Health and Family Separation: Investing in Alternatives to Detention Centers"
Emma Wachter, "Integrating Music into the Math Curriculum of Elementary School-Aged Children: Effectiveness, Benefits, and Concerns"
Kaitlin Wachter, "A Stroke to Sociability: The Effects of Pediatric Stroke on a Child's Social Function"
Lucy Yagodich, "Modeling Sound Waves with Fourier Series"

Frederick News-Post Highlights FCC Pitcher

The Frederick News-Post recently ran an article about FCC pitcher Riley Grant, who had a dominant, 16-strikeout performance in a shutout win last month.
To read the article, click here.


Frederick Health Seeking Donations

We thank our health care programs, the Construction & Applied Technologies Institute (CATI), and the Hospitality, Culinary & Tourism Institute (HCTI) for donating much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and a ventilator to Frederick Health to help with their COVID-19 response.

Frederick Health is seeking donations of additional PPE and other medical items as well as food and beverage items.  

To see more information about needed items and donation procedures, click here. Monetary donations can be made to the hospital by clicking here

Stay Engaged With FCC 

For the latest information on remote instruction and operations at FCC during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our Coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage here. You will find up-to-date announcements, as well as archived information and communication dating back to February.

To ensure all our College members receive information on this ongoing situation, we have been sending regular updates to students and employees. Students receive information through their FCC email and the FCC alert and are encouraged to check our website and social media pages. Employees receive information through the same communication platforms, and have access to our Intranet that also provides updates.

We ask our students to stay engaged with their faculty by using Blackboard and stay engaged with College services by reading our weekly student NewsBlast that is sent via College email.

Click here to view our most recent NewsBlast that provides a variety of information on virtual access to College services and resources, as well as direct phone numbers and email addresses to help students connect with faculty or staff members to help with any issues.

We thank all our students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other members of our College community for working together during this time.

FCC Receives United Way Grant Funded by the Delaplaine Foundation

FCC is grateful to receive a United Way of Frederick County grant from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund in collaboration with community philanthropists.

We thank the Delaplaine Foundation, Inc. and Marlene B. Young for funding this $5,000 grant that will provide critical assistance to our students through the Student Success Fund. This fund assists students in danger of dropping out of classes due to unanticipated emergencies. More information on the Student Success Fund can be found by clicking here

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund is being used to support nonprofits who directly help those adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Programmatic impacts may include, but are not limited to, emergency shelter, financial stability programs, transportation needs, prescriptions and medical supplies, food and food supplies for seniors, and suicide prevention and other mental health services. 

To ensure maximum impact, the funding partners, including the United Way of Frederick County, the Ausherman Family Foundation, the Community Foundation of Frederick County, the Delaplaine Foundation, Inc., the Helen J. Serini Foundation, the Women's Giving Circle and others, are banding together to ensure that dollars are distributed appropriately throughout the community. 

If you would like to contribute to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Campaign, click here.


Rotary Club of Carroll Creek Provides Grant to Benefit FCC Adult Students

The FCC program Project Forward Step recently received a Rotary Club of Carroll Creek (RCCC) Community Grant.
The Project Forward Step program is run by the FCC Office of Adult Services. It assists returning adult students with special services for single parents, single pregnant women, and non-traditional age adults who meet low income requirements, are out of work, or are homeless.
The $1,500 grant will help students in the Project Forward Step program pay for tuition, books, childcare, and transportation as they work toward their academic and career goals at FCC. 
Project Forward Step is one of 22 organizations that received a Rotary Club of Carroll Creek Community Grant this year. We thank the RCCC for the critical assistance it provides our entire community and for this support that will make a significant impact on FCC students.
“We are grateful to be among the many important community organizations chosen for an RCCC grant for the coming year,” said Janice Brown, Director for the FCC Office of Adult Services. “In addition to work, family obligations, and school demands, the FCC students who will benefit from this scholarship also face concerns about how to cover the expenses related to their education. The RCCC scholarship will relieve that concern so students can focus on doing well in their classes.” 

FCC Alumni Spotlight - Carmen Kaarid

Each month, we highlight an FCC alumna or alumnus in this e-news. This month, we are featuring Frederick Community College graduate and former Commencement speaker, Carmen Kaarid. 

After graduating from Urbana High School in 2012, Carmen Kaarid headed to the University of Maryland, but soon found it wasn’t the right fit for her due to its size and other academic factors. She transferred to FCC in 2014, and quickly found the environment more suited to her needs.

Carmen graduated from FCC in 2016 with her Associate of Arts in General Studies. She was one of only two students chosen to serve as a student Commencement speaker that spring. After FCC, she transferred to UMBC-Shady Grove, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 2018. Carmen then attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she earned her Master of Social Work in 2019.

Carmen soon found a job at the University of Maryland, College Park at Shady Grove, helping transfer students in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program.  She has recently transitioned into a new job, working as a legislative aide for the Montgomery County Council.

What did you notice about the FCC environment when you transferred here?
The first thing I noticed was the smaller class size, which I felt more comfortable in. I was able to learn and understand material better. I was more comfortable asking questions. The professors knew who I was because I wasn’t just one of many faces in a big lecture hall. The professors all seemed to really care about students and the progress we were making. There was also a supportive, helpful atmosphere throughout the whole College, whether I had questions about transferring, counseling, student life, or tuition. That atmosphere is hard to find, and something I miss.

What did you gain from your time at FCC?
Looking back, FCC gave me a chance to start over. After my first attempt at college, I wasn’t feeling the best about myself. At FCC, I was able to rediscover myself and find my path. I gained confidence in myself. The academics at FCC set the tone for my next two educational institutions. I don’t think I would have ended up where I am without my time at FCC.

In your first job after graduate school, you helped transfer students as they enrolled in the University of Maryland at The Universities of Shady Grove. Was it interesting to help transfer students after being a transfer student yourself?
It felt like I had come full circle, helping students who were in the same situation I had been a few years before. Transfer students are unique and have so many strengths. They each come with different situations and goals. When I worked with students from community colleges, I was able to understand their experience. I’ve seen firsthand the many benefits of a community college, and feel like it’s a great place for anyone to start. It’s a place where you can find your passion and figure out your path. Community colleges are such an important asset.

If you know of an FCC alumna or alumnus who would be good to highlight, email Christy Eichelberger at 

FCC Application Period Opens for FCC Foundation Fall Semester Scholarships

The application window for fall semester scholarships from the FCC Foundation opened on April 1, 2020. Information about specific scholarships can be found on the Foundation website here. Students can apply now until June 30.

AmeriCorps VISTA Reflects on Time at FCC

Since July 2019, Arth Sharma has served FCC as an AmeriCorps VISTA sponsored by Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic (CCMA), a non-profit member association for higher education institutions that promotes public service and civic engagement programs.

In that time, Arth has helped the College with a number of initiatives that serve populations both in FCC and in the community.

One project he is especially proud of is the development of peer mentoring workshops that connect current FCC students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program with English Language Learner (ELL) students at Frederick High School.

“Some students don’t consider college an option for them,” Arth said. “These workshops let high school students hear from current FCC students who are just a few years older than them, and maybe have similar experiences or backgrounds as them and who are doing well in college. It can help them think about their futures.”

Another project Arth led was connecting the FCC Spanish Club with the Asian American Center of Frederick (AACF) for a community project. Arth knew the Spanish Club was looking for service project opportunities when he heard that the AACF was in need of Spanish speakers to translate some of their informational material from English to Spanish.

“Many people don’t know that the AACF serve Spanish speakers, but they do,” Arth said. “Being able to connect the Spanish Club with them for this project was great because the FCC students were really passionate about the work, and it filled a community need for the AACF.”

Arth started the VISTA program after graduating last year from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He will complete his time at FCC in July 2020, and plans to attend medical school in the fall.

He said his experiences at FCC have opened up his eyes to helping underserved communities, a focus he wants to continue in medical school and his future career.
Registration for summer and fall classes begins April 20. 
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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