Comedy Queen Comes to Todd Performing Arts Center

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Comedienne and master ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher brings her universal entertainment back to the Todd Performing Arts Center stage on Saturday, March 9.

Sylvia provides a comedy entertainment experience like no other.  She dazzles with lively characters, inanimate objects and voice illusions.  Back by popular demand, Sylvia will perform an all-ages show in TPAC.

Sylvia, who now makes her home in the Saratoga Springs, NY region, tours throughout the world with the Magic Trunk, a well- traveled box inhabited by a bunch of quick-witted puppets and inanimate objects that she comically brings to life through ventriloquism. Whether she stops at theaters, resorts, corporate events, family venues, the young and young at heart are treated to a show where, they can believe that a puppet can truly talk.

The show begins at 1 p.m., with a puppet-making workshop at 2 p.m. Join Sylvia and her zany puppets in the TPAC Lobby for a puppet making workshop after the show.  Children will walk away with their very own handmade sock puppet!

Show and puppet workshop tickets are $25.  Show-only tickets are $15.  For tickets and more information, please call the TPAC Box Office at 410-827-5867.

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 IAL Speaker Series Begins in March

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Sandy Morse

The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) at Chesapeake College launches the 2019 edition of the popular IAL Speakers Series on March 11.

The free lunchtime presentations on a variety of topics are open to members of the public. Bring lunch, enjoy the speaker and socialize.

“The IAL Speaker Series offers interesting and informative lectures on a wide variety of topics. Everyone is invited to bring a lunch, relax, and enjoy these insightful lectures,” said IAL Chairperson Kathy Leary.

The series kicks off with Sandy Morse on Monday, March 11 at 11:45 am when she presents “Community Activism” in Room 110 of the Higher Education Center. Ms. Morse will be sharing her experiences as a civic, social and political activist. She has worked and/or volunteered at the local, county, state, federal and international levels in the civic, educational, and political arenas with private, public and governmental groups and individuals.

Additional speakers will be featured on Mondays at 11:45 am this spring.

Allison Wood of Compass Regional Hospice presents “Hospice – Myths and Facts” on March 25.

Susan Schumaker from CASA of the Mid-Shore (CASA) will present “Advocating for Shore Children” on April 8

Corinne Vinopol, an international educator, presents “Enhancing Special Education Overseas” on April 22.

The IAL at Chesapeake College features lifelong learning classes, presentations and day trips. Designed for learners 50 and over, the classes cover a wide range of topics and are offered during the fall and spring semesters. Please see the latest list of courses at www.chesapeake.edu/ial.

A daytrip to Paul Reed Smith Guitars in Stevensville is scheduled for March 5, and a visit to the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover is schedule for May 18.

For more information about the Speaker Series or other IAL activities, please contact Lois Thomas at lthomas@chesapeakee.edu or 410-827-5810.

Industry Need Prompts Marine Tech Training at Chesapeake College

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Chesapeake College is establishing a marine technician lab on the Wye Mills Campus. Pictured here are Anthony Depasquale, Rob Marsh, Cliff Coppersmith, John McNally, and Tom Ellis.

In response to area employer demand, Chesapeake College is launching marine technician training designed to prepare students for careers in the marine service industry.

“With abundant waterways and marine industry heritage, the Eastern Shore needs technicians to support both commercial and recreational boating,” said President Cliff Coppersmith. “We’re committed to meeting the needs of area employers, and pleased that we could respond so quickly to provide marine technician training.”   

Local employers are already behind the training initiative. With a recent $10,000 donation from Rob Marsh of Wye River Marine in Chester, Chesapeake created a Marine Technician Lab and will offer a Yamaha Outboard Motor Certification class this winter.

“Wye River Marine is very excited about our new education partnership with Chesapeake College and Yamaha Outboard,” Marsh said. “The local marine industry is in desperate need of quality trained technicians. This new program will help provide a crucial first step to the area’s marine dealerships’ employment needs.”

Tom Ellis, Chesapeake’s Director of Skilled Trades, has been meeting with area employers to learn about workforce opportunities and training needs. After Marsh urged Chesapeake to develop a marine technician program, the college conducted a survey of local businesses in the marine industry.

“We had overwhelming response. Employers talked about a critical shortage of trained technicians and said they would absolutely hire students if we developed a program,” Ellis said. “The message was clear and things were lining up.  We had an industry need, a market standard curriculum from Yamaha, a generous donor willing to help us get started, and a great instructor ready to teach.”

The next step is enrolling students in the first course. The introductory class, Marine Outboard Engine Systems, begins on Feb. 19.  The two- month class provides a basic understanding of outboard motors and maintenance. No prior experience is required for the course. The course ends with a certification exam.

“The Yamaha Introduction to Outboard Service is designed for the entry-level technician. It will teach the basic skills needed to become a marine technician today. After completing this course and taking

the Yamaha ITOS certification test, students will have a Yamaha Outboard Certification to start their career,” said Anthony Depasquale, District Service Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation.

John McNally, U.S. Coast Guard Machinery Technician 2nd Class, has 16 years of marine experience and will be the course instructor.

Offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5- 8 pm on the Wye Mills campus, the class is open to students 16 years and older.  The next section will begin on June 4. Registration is now open for both course sections.

The donation from Wye River Marine funded creation of a Marine Technician Lab in the Manufacturing Training Center. The lab, includes four workstations, each with an outboard motor and full complement of tools.

Ellis said future courses could include advanced engine mechanics, electrical systems, diesel engines, marine HVAC and plumbing, and composites for hull repair.

For more information about the marine service or other skills trades training, please contact tellis@chesapeake.edu.  Learn more at www.chesapeake.edu/marine.

 

 

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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.

Celebrate the Holidays at Todd Performing Arts Center

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Take a break from the holiday rush and come experience the culture and traditions of the season in “Sleigh Ride Around the World” in the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College. This original musical revue full of high energy song and dance will be presented on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

For several years, Creative Productions at TPAC has taken audiences somewhere on a “sleigh ride.”  Travel with the Sleigh Ride Company as they explore traditions, dances, stories and melodies the world over. The audience will experience “an incredible journey” of holiday celebrations in this vibrant production.

The performers are from the Eastern Shore, Baltimore, and Virginia. Using elements of theatre, music and dance, it’s a magical show, about a magical time that defies cultural boundaries, and is a holiday tradition for many families. Make it a part of your tradition and bring the whole family on a “sleigh ride” around the world!

Show tickets are $20 adults and $15 children 10 and under.  For tickets, please call the box office at 410-827-5867 or email lzaragoza@chesapeake.edu.

Bryan Brothers Scholarship Boosts Workforce Training at Chesapeake College

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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.

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

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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 Names Amber McGinnis Interim Cambridge Center Director

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Chesapeake College President Dr. Clifford P. Coppersmith today announced that Cambridge resident Amber Tolley McGinnis will serve as Interim Director of the Cambridge Center effective August 16.

A college faculty member since 2008, McGinnis is an Assistant Professor of Communications and has been the Honors Program Director since 2015.

“As a community resident, Amber has a great appreciation for all that Dorchester County offers to its citizens and employers,” said Dr. Coppersmith. “With her strong communications background, she understands the importance of offering classes that meet the community’s needs and how to best market those programs to prospective students.”

He added that McGinnis’s tenure with the college, understanding of the school’s dual enrollment and credit programs, familiarity with faculty and staff, and knowledge of Dorchester County made her particularly well suited for this year-long appointment.

As Interim Director, McGinnis will facilitate a strategic planning process to address educational and workforce development pathways that are central to Dorchester’s economy including manufacturing, healthcare, tourism, and agriculture. She will also oversee plans for the Cambridge Center’s 40th anniversary in 2019.

A popular and well-regarded faculty member, McGinnis was awarded Chesapeake’s 2018-2020 Stuart M. Bounds Distinguished Teaching Chair for innovation in teaching and learning.

“I want to establish relationships critical to the Cambridge Center’s success and anticipate working closely with local educators, residents and the business community to strengthen the campus’ role as a center of both credit and workforce development partnerships,” McGinnis said. “I look forward to working on the strategic plan to help identify and build programs, partnerships and internships that strengthen our role and relationships.”

McGinnis, a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, said she will continue to oversee the college’s Honors Program from Cambridge and plans to teach one section of Communications 101(Fundamentals of Oral and Organizational Communications) at the Cambridge Center during the fall and spring semesters.

McGinnis is a graduate of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Towson University and a Masters of Arts in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore.

A Dorchester County native, McGinnis is married and has two children.

Prior to her tenure at Chesapeake, she was employed for seven years by Erickson Retirement Communities in Baltimore in a variety of positions culminating as Director of Advertising where she oversaw a $10 million strategic marketing and communications budget.

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

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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

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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.

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