Chesapeake College: Dual Enrollment Now at Caroline Career and Tech Center

Chesapeake College has taken its popular Dual Enrollment program to the Caroline Career and Tech Center this year to expand the partnership and offer college courses to CTE students in Caroline County.

When CCTC counselor Brad Plutschak asked for a way to give CTE students an early college experience, Chesapeake offered up an IT class aimed at providing high school students college credits and industry knowledge.

Professor Lanka Elson, through her Computer Ethics class, teaches these aspiring IT professionals the technology and theories they need for their next steps.

Learn from administrators, the Chesapeake instructor and her students talk about how Dual Enrollment is career preparation and college experience.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Dual Enrollment program at Chesapeake College please go here. 

Top Grad is Pursuing American Dream through Education

Sofiah Ali’s immigrant journey began in the Philippines and is the reason behind her success.

Ms. Ali, a Stevensville resident, is a biology major and aspiring medical researcher. Tonight, she will be honored with the John T. Harrison Award, the highest student honor at Chesapeake College.

A first-generation college student, Ms. Ali will receive her associate’s degree along with 300 other graduates and will deliver her acceptance speech to them. President and CEO of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Ken Kozel will deliver the commencement address.

A 2016 graduate of Kent Island High School, Ms. Ali has a cumulative 4.0 Grade Point Average. Since enrolling at Chesapeake, she has been on the Dean’s List every semester.  As an Honors Program student, Ms. Ali completed four Honors Contract projects during her time at Chesapeake.

Ms. Ali, 20, was a semi-finalist for the prestigious national Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship this year and was a 2017 nominee for the NCHC Portz Award. She is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and participated in recruitment drive that significantly boosted membership.

This record of success if part of a long journey that began more than 15 years ago.

Parents Farzand and Aileen Ali, brought Ms. Ali and her sister Shavanah to Maryland as very young children. This is the only home that Ms. Ali has ever known.

“I don’t remember living in the Philippines, so the United States is what I know. I’ve always had a great sense of pride in my background and where I came from. But when I was younger, because of the influences of my peers, I felt the need to quickly assimilate with those around me,” Ms. Ali said. “I tried to hide something that was an integral part of my identity, I was embarrassed of who I was and the differences I had compared to everyone else. As a result, I began to feel detached from my parents and my culture because of who I was trying to be. Now that I’m older, I realize how silly that was. My differences are what sets me apart from those around me.”

Faculty and staff at Chesapeake say that Ms. Ali’s dedication and drive set her apart.

Ms. Ali works a full schedule at Ledo Pizza on Kent Island while she maintains her perfect GPA at Chesapeake. This semester, she is taking 21 credits. She also volunteers her time with Youthline Eastern Shore Crisis Center.

She was the first-place winner in the Spring 2017 Honors Poster Exhibition and earned a trip to the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Atlanta last fall.

On the honors trip, Ms. Ali had the opportunity to visit the Centers for Disease Control. Ms. Ali said she was inspired by both the history and mission of CDC. She hopes to conduct medical research in the future that can be used to improve lives around the globe.

Chesapeake faculty cited, among many attributes, Ms. Ali’s extraordinary work ethic when recommending her for the Harrison Award.

“My mother and father always wanted me to achieve the American Dream. Like millions of other immigrant parents, they left their home country to establish a new life—a better life—for my sister and me. They had sacrificed everything they’d ever known—their language, family, friends, and jobs—in hopes that the new life they sought out for us would open doors to opportunities they never had. From the moment I entered Pre-K until now, I made sure I worked hard in all of my endeavors so that everything they had to give up on would one day be worth it,” Ms. Ali said. “I felt the need to prove myself and work twice as hard. I was not going to hold myself back from living a life without purpose. The tears I once shed out of hopelessness have been replaced with hope and motivation for my life-long ambitions.”

In nominating his student for the Harrison Award, Phi Theta Kappa faculty advisor Jeremy Crowe described Ms. Ali as one of Chesapeake’s great assets.

“Sofiah is an excellent student, an excellent human being and she will bring prestige to this college as an alumna. She is the daughter of immigrants who instilled in Sofiah the importance of hard work, perseverance and kindness. Her Pakistani and Filipino heritage brings diversity to our campus, and you won’t meet a friendlier student Skipjack,” said Associate Professor Jeremy Crowe.

Ms. Ali said that she hopes her Commencement will be as rewarding for her parents as it is for her.

 “I’m eternally grateful for their decision and everything that they had to sacrifice. Although at times, the obstacles we would be presented with are enough to lose hope, I will never forget the things they had to give up on just for the sake of my sister and me. All of their blood, sweat, and tears will one day be exchanged for a better life when my sister and I will be able to one day take care of them the way they did for us,” she said.

Ms. Ali will pursue a bachelor’s degree this fall at either the University of Maryland or Tufts University. She plans to major in molecular biology with the goal of earning a doctorate and becoming a medical researcher.

Dear Girls Academy Founder Returns to Shore for Black History Month Luncheon

Girl advocate, best-selling author and Dear Girls Academy founder and CEO Simeaka Melton is returning to her native Queen Anne’s County as the featured speaker for the annual Black History Month luncheon organized by the Chesapeake College Multicultural Advisory Committee in partnership with the Frederick Douglass Honor Society.

The Feb. 3 event celebrates the 200th birthday anniversary of Douglass, the renowned social reformer and abolitionist from Talbot County.

A graduate of Queen Anne’s County High School, Melton started Dear Girls Academy as a mentoring and creative writing program for girls from diverse and at-risk backgrounds that helps young women achieve and demonstrate the courage, wisdom and strength needed to make good choices and dream big.

The organization runs the Dear Girls annual summit, overnight summer camp and bi-weekly leadership program in Northern Virginia. Dear Girls services — including public and charter school curriculums — are used in 19 states.

“We prepare and inspire girls to live life rising above expectations,” Melton said.

Her talk at the Black History Month event will focus on giving back and the concept of the “village community.”

Melton said she grew up with a village mentality in Grasonville and felt connected to everyone around her.

“We all have something to contribute to our communities at any age or stage in life,” she said.  “If children grow up seeing that and believing in it, then they’ll feel connected to a community throughout their lives.”

One of Melton’s favorite quotes about instilling the power of mentorship in youth comes from Frederick Douglass:  “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Harriette Lowery, a Chesapeake College program assistant, Frederick Douglass Honor Society member and Chair of Talbot County’s 200th Douglass anniversary celebration, said the luncheon and Melton’s talk is one of many upcoming activities to mark the achievements of the Eastern Shore’s native son.

“Our theme for the birthday anniversary is ‘Inspire, Celebrate and Educate.’  We want to inspire diverse audiences to serve, celebrate his birthday and educate on his legacy.”

The Black History Month luncheon will be held Saturday, Feb. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chesapeake College’s Caroline Center on the Wye Mills campus. Advance purchase online tickets for the event (including a buffet lunch) are $20 general admission or $10 for students and seniors. Children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased. For more information or to purchase tickets by phone, please call Michelle Hall at 410-827-5813.

All proceeds from the event benefit the J.C. Gibson Memorial Book Fund, which helps economically disadvantaged students buy books and supplies.

Public Invited to Black History Month Event at Chesapeake College

To celebrate Black History Month and raise money for a scholarship fund, the Chesapeake College Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) is hosting the 18th annual community luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 3 in the Chesapeake College Caroline College Center at 11:30 a.m. The event is open to members of the public.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the J.C. Gibson Scholarship Fund.  Each semester the committee awards Chesapeake students scholarship money to purchase textbooks.

This year’s theme is celebrating the 200th birthday and honoring the legacy of Frederick Douglass. Chesapeake is collaborating with The Frederick Douglass Honor Society to present the celebration.

The keynote speaker will be Simeaka Melton, a native of Queen Anne’s County and founder of Dear Girls Academy, Inc.

Tickets for the event (including a buffet lunch) are $20 general admission or $10 for students and seniors. Children under age 5 are free.  For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Michelle Hall at 410-827-5813 or visit http://www.chesapeake.edu/black-history-month-2018/about.

Chesapeake College Foundation Receives Largest Planned Gift

The Chesapeake College Foundation has received the largest planned gift in its history from the estate of Rev. William L. English, an Episcopal priest from Dorchester County.

As stipulated by the estate, an $892,000 endowment has been established to fund W.L. English Nursing Scholarships for Chesapeake students.  Preference is given to Dorchester County residents pursuing a nursing degree.

“We are honored to receive this extraordinary gift that makes it possible for students to attend Chesapeake College, earn a degree and pursue a rewarding career in nursing,” said Lucie Hughes, the college’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the school’s foundation.  “As one who ministered to others, Father English understood the power of compassionate care and appreciated the collaborative education and training provided by Chesapeake College and Shore Health to bring along our next generation of nursing professionals.”

(L to R) Nurse Bill Shertenlieb with Pat and Richard Gauen outside St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Father English’s former church in East New Market.

Rev. English was a patient at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester where the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nursing team treated him on several occasions in 2015.

According to Pat and Richard Gauen, close friends from East New Market, he often spoke of the excellent nursing care provided during those hospital stays.

“He said they treated him like a king, but they didn’t know he was going to make this donation,” Pat said.  “I never heard him complain that he received bad care in the hospital…not one time.”

Bill Shertenlieb, a registered nurse from Cambridge and graduate of the Chesapeake College nursing program, was one of Rev. English’s regular ICU caregivers.

“He was very easy to take care of and had the ability to bring out creativity and kindness in the care you delivered,” Schertenlieb said. “He made you happy to be a nurse.”

Nursing is a family profession in the Shertenlieb household. His wife Wendy also graduated from the Chesapeake program and became a nurse in 2013. While she was in school and caring for their children, Bill worked three nursing jobs to support the family.

“Father English and I discussed how hard it was, but I didn’t have the slightest clue about the donation,” he said. “I was stunned. Sometimes you get surprises like this…you don’t always know whose day you’ve made.”

Shertenlieb is now a critical care transport nurse with Shore Health Maryland Express Care. Wendy works for Coastal Hospice in Dorchester County.

Nursing care is a critical need in the Mid-Shore region according to Jon Longest, Chesapeake College Health Professions Chair.

Rev. William L. English

“We are in the midst of a significant nursing shortage in the United States that is even more pronounced in rural areas like the Eastern Shore,” Longest said.  “The English scholarship makes a nursing career more accessible to young adults and even older students who are making a career change or looking to advance within the profession.”

Hughes said the number of annual awards given by the English scholarship fund will depend on need and other financial aid students receive. Initial awards range from $350 to $2,000.  She estimates that as many as 25 students a year could receive grants in the future.

Students interested in the nursing scholarships should complete Chesapeake’s general scholarship application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Both are accessible at www.chesapeake.edu/financial-aid.

Donors interested in discussing a planned gift with the college can contact Hughes at 410-827-5879. Online donations can be made at www.chesapeake.edu/chesapeake-college-foundation.

Rev. English was born at Dorchester General Hospital in 1936 and graduated from Cambridge High School in 1954. He was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1965 by the Bishop of Easton and from 1965-1966, he was the rector for three Mid-Shore parishes:  St. Stephen’s, East New Market; St. Andrew’s, Hurlock; and the Chapel of the Epiphany, Preston.

Following 32 years of ministry on Staten Island in New York City, he retired to Cambridge where he lived in his childhood home on Radiance Drive until his death in 2015.

Eagles Experience brings classic, Cali rock to TPAC

Celebrate the 70s and the crest of the California rock sound when THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE comes to the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The show features the legendary band’s greatest hits including “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Take it Easy.”

With a one-to-one lineup that reflects the Eagles during their heyday in the late 1970s, the members of THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE each emulate their respective “Eagle”, playing the correct instrument and singing the songs as sung by their counterpart.  Every member of THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE is dedicated to presenting their part as accurately as possible, and will provide you with an ultimate “Eagles Experience” you will not soon forget.

THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE only plays songs written and recorded by the Eagles as a band, from their biggest hits to hidden gems. While there were many great songs by Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh as solo artists, the Eagles created more than enough musical material to fill an entire evening, and then some.

The show begins at 8 pm and tickets are $25. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the TPAC box office at 410-827-5867.

The Chesapeake Show at Chesapeake College

In the months of November and December, a talented group of artists from the Eastern Shore and Annapolis will present their original artwork at “The Chesapeake Show” in Chesapeake College’s Todd Performing Arts Center in Wye Mills, MD.

“The Chesapeake Show: A Traveling Exhibition of Select Artists” features fourteen local artists who express their love of our Chesapeake Bay region through their beautiful and diverse art. This group has exhibited throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis region, featuring original artwork from watercolors and acrylics to cut-paper and ribbon collages. Organized by Dave Murphy and Steve Bleinberger, other artists include Peggy Blades, Mary Bickford, Katherine Carney, Carolyn Councell, Ann Farley, Brenda Larson, Judi MacDonald, Nancy O’Brien, Paul Taylor, Carol Vaughn, Sean Wells, and Wende Woodham.

Come see scenes of our beautiful waterways, boats, marine animals, and more as you reminisce about times on and near the water. The Chesapeake Show is open for viewing during the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday — and can also be seen during special events in the Todd Performing Arts Center during these months.

During these same months, many of these artists will also have giclees of their work exhibited at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. A giclee is a high-quality reproduction of an artist’s original piece of artwork, making artists’ work available in an additional way that can be more affordable. The artwork is available to purchase onsite from the Museum, and will make wonderful & meaningful holiday gifts. The Annapolis Maritime Museum is open from 11 am to 3 pm Wednesday through Sunday, and they are located at 723 Second Street in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis.

Area High School Students Take Advantage of Chesapeake College Dual Enrollment for College Credit

Natasha Panduwawala and Devon Tyler are two of the hundreds of Mid-Shore high school students taking college courses this year through Chesapeake College’s Dual Enrollment program.

Panduwawala, a junior, has already earned nine transferable college credits through dual enrollment classes taught at Easton High School. She enjoys the subjects and academic challenge presented by a college curriculum and plans to take additional courses this spring.

“It’s great to be able to have this college experience in high school and study topics like psychology,” she said.

Natasha Panduwawala

Tyler, a senior at North Dorchester High School, is taking College Algebra, Introduction to Business and Introduction to Music classes on weekdays at Chesapeake’s Cambridge Center. By graduation, he hopes to transfer 18 credits to the college he’ll be attending.

“This will definitely help me when I go to college,” he said. “I will know what the schedule is like, and I will have experience managing my time.  I also like having time in between my classes at the Cambridge Center.  I have a 10a.m. and a 1p.m. class, so I stay there to study and do my homework.”

Spring Semester registration for Chesapeake College dual enrollment courses begins this month.  Typically, students take the classes during their junior and senior years and must be at least 16 years old.

Devon Tyler

For the current Fall Semester, 336 Mid Shore high school students are taking dual enrollment classes and registration is up 56 percent, a record for the college.

The highest increase is in Dorchester County (+182%) from students attending three area high schools:  Cambridge-South Dorchester, North Dorchester and Open Bible Academy.

Large increases in dual enrollment have also been seen among high school students in Caroline (+27%), Kent (+57%), Queen Anne’s (+68%) and Talbot (+32%) counties.

The jump is attributed to the strong relationships formed between the college and area schools.

“We are excited by the results because we’ve worked very hard as an institution to renew and strengthen partnerships with our high schools,” said David Harper, Chesapeake College Dean for Faculty and Teaching.

Students with a 3.0 grade point average or above and at least a C in Algebra II can take core college courses in English and math. Dual enrollment classes in communications, history, psychology and other subjects require a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Dual enrollment is great deal, according to Harper.

A three-credit dual enrollment course at Chesapeake College costs $405 compared to $900 to $1,000 for a similar course at a public institution in Maryland.

Students who earn George B. Todd and Roberta B. Holt enrollment grants can lower their course fees even more.  Income-eligible students can also apply for Maryland PT grants and those in the Free and Reduced Meals program (FARM) will have 100 percent of tuition covered for their first four classes.

“Many students don’t realize that they can take dual enrollment classes inexpensively and are guaranteed to transfer those credits to all state public institutions, including the University of Maryland College Park and Salisbury University,” Harper said. “With careful planning, seniors can graduate having earned a diploma and completed their first semester of college.”

Recent graduates have also transferred to private institutions including McDaniel College in Westminster, Boston College and Delaware Valley University.

“The savings are a plus,” Panduwawala said, “and I’m sure that will mean a lot when we’re looking at tuition bills in the future.”

Information and grant applications for Dual Enrollment are available at www.chesapeake.edu/dual-enrollment. Application can also be made through high school guidance counselors.

Informational meetings are being held at area high schools throughout the month as well as on-site testing and registration sessions.

About Chesapeake College

Founded in 1965 as Maryland’s first regional community college, Chesapeake serves five Eastern Shore counties – Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot. With more than 130,000 alumnae, Chesapeake has 2,300 students and almost 10,000 people enrolled in continuing education programs.

Chesapeake to Honor Two Women at 2017 Pride of the Peake

Jenny Rhodes and Dr. Ruth Ann Jones, both Chesapeake College advocates with decades of community service, will be honored as the 2017 Pride of the Peake: Honoring Scholarship through Service recipients on Thursday, May 11.

Ms. Rhodes is the Senior Agent and Extension Educator for Agriculture/Natural Resources in Queen Anne’s County. She is also a tenured educator with the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  A Queen Anne’s County native, Ms. Rhodes assisted in developing and promoting Chesapeake’s new agriculture program.

Dr. Ruth Ann Jones and Jenny Rhodes

Dr. Jones is Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. She graduated from the Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing and is a member of the advisory board for the Chesapeake College MGW School of Nursing. Dr. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesley College, a master’s degree from Catholic University of America, and a doctorate from Wilmington University.

In a new feature for the annual Pride of the Peake event, a scholarship will be created in each honoree’s name. The Jenny Rhodes Endowed Scholarship and The Ruth Ann Jones Endowed Scholarship will be available to local students.

“There is no better way to honor these individuals than by raising funds for scholarships in their names,” said Chesapeake College President Barbara A. Viniar. “Scholarship recipients will eventually give back to our community and carry on our honorees’ tradition of service.”

For tickets, sponsorship information or to donate to a scholarship, please contact Director of Advancement Elizabeth Devlin at edevlin@chesapeake.edu

Chesapeake College Hosts Second Saturday Event

Celebrate Second Saturday on Saturday, April 8 with an art show opening in the Leggett Gallery at the Chesapeake College Cambridge Center from 5-6:30 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

This month, the gallery features works by photographers of The Baywater Camera Club.

The Baywater Camera Club (BCC) was formed a few years ago, when a group of Cambridge photo enthusiasts saw the need for a local club to serve the needs of photographers at all skill levels.  Monthly the club brings together in a relaxed local setting people who want to learn more about or just talk about photography.  The club meets the second Wednesday of the month at the Dorchester Center for the Arts.  All meetings are open to members, potential members and the general public.  The meetings feature discussions and presentations of photography related topics.  This is followed by the popular show-tell-and critique sessions where club members bring in their photo shoots focused around the topic of the month. The club is small, new and is still finding its way, but it offers a good local opportunity to learn more about the hobby of photography.  The photographers featured in this exhibit are: Ron Berman, Lynne Browne, Craig Caldwell, Pam Montell Decraecke, Jean S. Del Sordo, Steve Del Sordo, Bill McDonnell, Kathryn Mc Knight, Terry Melius, Wendy Rue, Fran Saunders and Dee Terry.

Refreshments for the opening reception will be provided by The Wine Bar. For more information, please contact Marcie Molloy at 410-827-5825 or mamolloy@chesapeake.edu.