Bryan Brothers Scholarship Boosts Workforce Training at Chesapeake College

Four Mid-Shore students are pursuing skilled trades training this year thanks to the William O. “Billy” Bryan Workforce Training  Scholarship at Chesapeake College.

“This gift helped us with our new initiative to expand scholarship opportunities for students in our noncredit workforce training programs,”said President Cliff Coppersmith. “The majority of our current scholarships are for students in credit programs that lead to associate’s degrees or transfer to a four-year college. There are few scholarship opportunities for students in workforce training such as our trades programs, since these programs do not qualify for federal financial aid.”

The Bryan Brothers Foundation, dedicated to “building dreams for youth” on the Eastern Shore, established the scholarship to help students meet their career goals.

“We wanted to help students who will go on to help the community,” Jason Bryan said. “My father was a student at Chesapeake. He passed in 2010 and we wanted to keep his legacy going with something that was important to him. Chesapeake was near and dear to his heart. Bryan and Sons need people who weld and have other trades skills. They don’t get financial aid, so this is a way to help these students and train workers who will help local businesses.”

Pictured L-R are: Director of Skilled Trades Tom Ellis, President Cliff Coppersmith, Nicholas Pritchett, Kim Mull, Kasey Mull, Jason Bryan, and Andrew Stenger.

Two of the 18-19 scholarship recipients are Nicholas Pritchett of Linkwood and Andrew Stenger of Rock Hall, both are in the welding program.

The student recipients say the scholarships are allowing them to improve their skills and pursue fulfilling careers.

“I’ve always been interested in welding, but I need the certification. These classes are helping me take a passion and turn it into a career,” said Stenger, who works full time at Long Cove Marina. Once certified in welding, Stenger hopes to continue his training in deep sea underwater welding.

Pritchett is also working in the field and says the scholarship is helping him meet career goals

“Thanks to this scholarship I’m able to learn something that I’ve wanted to do and get certification. I want to be a structural welder. I dropped out of high school and came here to get a GED. The staff encouraged me to go further,” he said. “Coming to Chesapeake is best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve gone from not wanting to be in school to loving school. I look forward to coming to class in the evenings.”

Chesapeake currently offers trades training in commercial truck driving, CAD, electrician, HVAC, and welding. More programs are in development.  For more information about Skilled Trades programs, please contact Tom Ellis at tellis@chesapeake.edu.

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 College Experiences Phishing Attack

A phishing attack targeting Chesapeake College has resulted in the unauthorized access of a limited number of employee email accounts.

Chesapeake President Dr. Clifford Coppersmith said the attack occurred between January 3, 2018 and April 27, 2018. Upon learning of the issue, the College immediately hired a team of external cyber security professionals to conduct an extensive forensic investigation and manual document review to determine the extent of the incident and provide notice as soon as possible.

Beginning this week, a total of 610 students, faculty, staff and prospective employees are receiving notification letters mailed to their last known address informing them that the email accounts contained some of their personal information and may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party.

Based on the investigation, there has been no evidence to date that any of the personal information has been misused, but the College is taking every precaution to notify and protect affected members of the campus community and improve internal controls, according to Coppersmith.

“We regret this incident occurred and have worked as quickly as possible with a team of experienced consultants to modify and improve our cyber security practices,” he said. “These measures will not only enhance the security and privacy of personal information to keep it in our possession but also reduce the likelihood of future attacks of this kind.”

Coppersmith said that only individuals who receive notification letters from the College over the next two weeks are affected by the phishing attack.

The letters detail what personal information has potentially been impacted and provide guidelines on steps the individuals can take to further protect their information. Individuals whose Social Security numbers and/or driver’s license numbers were possibly affected are being offered a complimentary, one-year membership to a credit monitoring service.

“We are not alone in facing this difficult issue,” Coppersmith said. “Unfortunately, academic institutions across the United States are cyber targets and have experienced similar attacks. It underscores the importance of taking information security seriously and exercising appropriate password protocols to protect your, and others’, personal information.”

Individuals with any questions should call Chesapeake’s dedicated and confidential toll-free response line at 877-877-2596. The response line is staffed with professionals familiar with the incident and knowledgeable on what can be done to protect against misuse of information. The response line is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time.

 

Area Golfers Hit the Links for Chesapeake’s Student-Athletes

Opportunities are available for golfers and tournament sponsorships for Chesapeake College’s Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, Oct. 15 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Resort in Cambridge.

Each year the tournament raises money for the General Athletic Scholarships Fund. More than 61 student-athletes are currently receiving Chesapeake College scholarships. This financial assistance allows students to pursue higher education as they continue to excel in the sports that they love.

“It means so much to have a scholarship. It’s helped me tremendously. This scholarship has given me a great opportunity to change my life and play soccer,” said men’s soccer team co-captain Cody Mesias, a freshman midfielder.

Chesapeake’s Skipjacks earn accolades for both their athletic and academic accomplishments. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 13 Skipjacks were on the Maryland JUCO All-Academic Team as student-athletes with a 3.8 Grade Point Average.  In May, 23 student-athletes graduated from Chesapeake, and 31 transferred to four-year institutions.

The tournament brings together supporters from across the five-county service area. Businesses, organizations and individuals are signing on as event sponsors.

“We are thrilled that so many community organizations and individuals have stepped up to sponsor this year’s tournament and show their support for our student-athletes,” said President Cliff Coppersmith. “We look forward to having our event at the Hyatt, where the director of golf, Abby Messick, is a Chesapeake College alumna.”

Hays Companies of Maryland is the Tournament Sponsor, while Barnes & Noble and Sodexo are Skipjack Sponsors.

Hole sponsors include: TriGas & Oil Inc./ Comfort Plus Services; Shore United Bank; Dixon Valve; Jim Vermilye, CFP, The SRVP Group – Baird; PKS & Company; and Bruce & Blenda Armistead.

This year’s tee sponsors include: Integrace Bayleigh Chase; Chesapeake Investment Planning; Miles and Stockbridge; Key One, Inc.; Jim Vermilye, CFP, The SRVP Group – Baird; The Whalen Company; TGM Group, LLC.; and Stuart & Gail Bounds.

The cost for entry is $175 per golfer or $600 per foursome. The price includes continental breakfast, lunch during play, and a post-round reception.

For more information or to register, please visit https://chesapeake.edu/golf2018

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 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.

Introducing Chesapeake College’s Sixth President Cliff Coppersmith

While Cliff Coppersmith has yet to move into his office in Wye Mills to begin his tenure as the sixth president of Chesapeake College, that didn’t stop the Spy from finding time with him for a quick chat on campus yesterday.

Dr. Coppersmith, who will officially assume his role in May, was in town briefly to meet with his future colleagues and pin down the logistics of moving from Montana, where he is currently serving as the dean and CEO of City College, the community college branch of Montana State University.

Coppersmith comes from a particularly unique background in community college teaching and administration, starting when he, himself, graduated as a young man from a community college in upper-state New York. Over the course of his career, he has spent nineteen years with the Pennsylvania College of Technology, a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University; and Utah State University – Eastern, formerly the College of Eastern Utah.

The Spy caught up with Dr. Coppersmith at Chesapeake College’s new Health Professions and Athletics Center to talk about his experiences in higher education, some of his priorities for Chesapeake College, and his excitement in returning to the East Coast to take on the vital task leading the Mid-Shore’s community college into a new decade of service.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Chesapeake College, please go here

Clifford Coppersmith to Become 6th President of Chesapeake College

The Chesapeake College Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Clifford P. Coppersmith to be the school’s sixth president. Dr. Coppersmith was chosen by a unanimous vote of the Trustees from a pool of 72 applicants in a nationwide search that was narrowed down to four finalists who visited the campus in late February.

Coppersmith, 55, is currently Dean of City College, an embedded community college within Montana State University Billings with 1,400 full and part-time students. He’s been the school’s chief executive officer in charge of academics, student affairs, finance and facilities since July 2015.

Dr. Clifford P. Coppersmith

Prior to City College, Coppersmith held several administrative and academic positions including over 19 years at two institutions: Pennsylvania College of Technology, a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University; and Utah State University – Eastern, formerly the College of Eastern Utah.

“Dr. Coppersmith’s background and experience were a great match for the qualifications and expectations established at the outset of our national search for a new president,” Chesapeake College Board of Trustees Chair Blenda Armistead said. “We were looking for someone with a proven track record in developing programs to address workforce needs in the community, and he brings that experience to the Mid-Shore. Dr. Coppersmith also understands and has extensive experience with the transfer mission of community colleges. As an individual who began his higher education in a community college in upstate New York, he is committed to ensuring that Chesapeake College will serve as a gateway to further education for all of our residents.”

Armistead noted Coppersmith’s ability to collaborate with public school leaders, local government, and business and industry partners to develop both credit and non-credit programs focused specifically on workforce needs. These have included programs in emergency management, nursing and allied health, computer science, metal and construction trades, diesel technology and automotive repair.

“Cliff has worked effectively with state and local government, and this was one of our priorities in our search for a new president,” she said.

“He understands the economic and social challenges in rural areas similar to the Shore. Moreover, the trustees are confident in his ability to strengthen the sense of community among all constituencies within the College, which was another expectation established for our new president.”

Community engagement will be among Coppersmith’s first priorities.

“Right off the bat, I want to establish those relationships and connections that are so critical to the success of the College,” he said. “I anticipate working closely with the members of the Board of Trustees, civic and public education leaders and the local business network to strengthen Chesapeake and its vital role in serving the five-county region as a center for higher education, cultural activities and economic development.”

Coppersmith met with the Board and participated in on-campus forums with students, faculty, staff and Mid-Shore community leaders last month.

“I had a great exchange with all those groups when I interviewed,” he said. “I was extremely impressed with the quality of the campus and its facilities and the engagement of the faculty and staff, and I considered my meeting with the students the highlight of the visit.”
Coppersmith and his wife Kathleen have strong personal connections to the region.

“Kathy and I are excited to return to a part of the world we love in which we’ve had many great experiences,” he said. “We were married in Kensington outside D.C.; spent the first night of our honeymoon in Chestertown; and for 11 years, the Chincoteague and Assateague Island seashores were our family’s favorite vacation spot. The Eastern Shore has been a special place for us for that reason and others.”

Born in the West Indies, Coppersmith said saltwater is in his blood. He looks forward to sailing, kayaking and canoeing on local waters and visiting the beach.

The Coppersmiths have three adult children – including two living in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – three grandchildren and close family members in Frederick and Northern Virginia.

A former commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard and an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, Coppersmith believes strongly in executing the mission of the College which is critical to his vision for Chesapeake.

“It comes from my military background,” he explained. “Almost everything I do on a daily basis is premised on serving the mission of the school and its students. I’ve been successful in figuring out what the strengths of an institution are, what its mission is, and then connecting that to the community I serve.”

His service background also includes 45 years in scouting with the Boy Scouts of America.

Coppersmith holds four academic degrees: A doctorate in history and anthropology from Oklahoma State University; a master’s in history from St. Bonaventure University in New York State; a bachelor’s in political science and Latin American studies from Brigham Young University in Utah; and an associate in social science from Jamestown Community College in New York State.

Chesapeake College Announces Four Finalists for President

The Chesapeake College Board of Trustees announced the selection of four finalists in its search for the school’s sixth president. Each candidate will be on campus to meet with faculty, staff, students and Mid-Shore community leaders in a series of forums over the next two weeks.

Following a four-month process that included public input on the qualifications, characteristics and values sought for the school’s new leader, the 14-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee chaired by the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees, Nash McMahan, submitted four finalists to the Board of Trustees:

Clifford Coppersmith

Dr. Clifford Coppersmith, Dean at City College, an embedded community college within Montana State

Keith Cotroneo

University, Billings Montana. He held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Pennsylvania College of Technology, a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University, Williamsport, PA; and College of Eastern Utah, Price, Utah.

Dr. Keith Cotroneo, President at Mountwest Community and Technical College, Huntington, West Virginia. He held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Quincy College, Quincy, Massachusetts; Broome Community College, Binghamton, New York; Treasure Valley Community College, Ontario, Oregon; and Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, Maryland.

 

Dr. Ted Lewis, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, Tennessee. He held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Lone Star College-CyFair, Cypress, Texas; and Collin County Community College, McKinney, Texas.

Dr. Lisa Rhine, Provost and Chief Operating Officer at Tidewater Community College Chesapeake

Lisa Rhine

Campus, Chesapeake, Virginia. She held prior administrative and academic affairs positions at: Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky; Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; and Sinclair Community College, also in Dayton.

“Under Nash McMahan’s leadership, the Search Committee evaluated 72 candidates and delivered its final choices a month ahead of schedule in response to the community’s desire for an expedited process,” said Blenda Armistead, Board of Trustees Chair. “From our faculty, staff and student representatives to volunteers from business and academia, it was a dedicated team that committed countless hours studying the community focus group and online survey results and reviewing applications from across the country.”

Armistead said the Search Committee interviewed seven candidates last week before making its final selections.
“It’s an exceptional group of finalists with considerable experience serving in administrative and academic affairs leadership positions at community colleges, technical schools and four-year institutions,” Armistead said.

The Board expects to make its final choice by mid-March and hopes to have a new president on campus by July 1.

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.