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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Chesapeake College, Mid-Shore Pro Bono Fill Need with Legal Clinic

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Chesapeake College and Mid-Shore Pro Bono are continuing their collaboration to operate a legal clinic that serves college students and others from the five-county region who are unable to pay for attorney services on their own.

In the last year, Mid Shore Pro Bono and the Chesapeake College Paralegal Program have provided legal assistance to 60 citizens through the legal clinic on Chesapeake’s Wye Mills campus.

Local lawyers Edward Modell, Jimmy Persels and James Richardson volunteered to work with students from Chesapeake’s Paralegal program to assist individuals in the clinic. The free service provides access to advice on civil legal matters including bankruptcy, elder care, landlord-tenant disputes and other issues.

“The legal clinic, thanks to the dedication of volunteer attorneys, is serving our community and enhancing our paralegal program. The clinic fills a critical need for students and other area residents in need of legal assistance,” said Bridget Lowrie, J.D., Chesapeake College Assistant Professor Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies.  “This has also been a wonderful experience for our paralegal students who learn in a workplace environment before they begin their careers in private practices, prosecutors’ offices and non-profit legal agencies.”

Chesapeake student volunteers agree that the clinic provides experiential learning with real-world relevance.

“The legal clinic is a great experience for paralegal students. This is a great way for me to see firsthand a client seeking legal advice. This is also a good learning experience for me because it requires me to be organized in taking notes and preparing paperwork. This also allows me to experience different kinds of cases that may need legal help and what different rules apply to different situations,” said Amanda Dodge, a paralegal student who volunteered in the clinic.

Support for the legal clinic was provided by the Women & Girls Fund.

Individuals in need of legal services are encouraged to contact Mid-Shore Pro Bono in advance of clinic dates for initial evaluation and intake by calling 410-690-8128 or emailing info@midshoreprobono.org.  Qualified individuals will be given an appointment for the clinic.