FCC Student Awarded White House Internship
Callie M. Gorgol, a Frederick Community College (FCC) student pursuing an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Emergency Management, has been selected to participate in the White House Internship Program.
The White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program, designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthens the participant’s understanding of the Executive Office and prepares them for future public service opportunities.
Looking forward to her first day as a summer intern in the Administration Office of the Chief Logistics Officer for White House Continuity of Operations, Gorgol says she is “honored to be selected to perform the duties for this internship. This confirms what hard work and dedication can provide for anyone.”
During this prestigious opportunity, Gorgol plans to apply the skills and knowledge she is gaining at FCC to her role in the Office of Administration while garnering valuable insight into emergency management and continuity planning for all components within the Executive Office of the President (EOP).
Gorgol is excited to share her experiences when she returns to FCC this fall, adding, “I intend to use this learning experience to humbly benefit my fellow students so that they too will be inspired to do their best.”
The White House Internship Program is a public service leadership program whose mission is to make the “People’s House” accessible to future leaders from around the nation. About the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management (MACEM) at Frederick Community College MACEM provides educational opportunities, career training and innovative programming to emergency management professionals in every phase at every level in the industry. Contact MACEM/FCC at 240.629.7970 or MACEM@Frederick.edu. Learn more at www.Frederick.edu/EM.
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Students Gain Cultural Competence in Costa Rica
After leading students on a thought-provoking and thrilling trip to Costa Rica this past January, Professor Lora Diaz is now making plans for another course trip to the same location in January 2019.
The course, titled Global Scholar Experience in Costa Rica, will run January 4 through January 22, 2019. The group will travel between January 3 and January 12, 2019.
The Central American country – known for its stunning national parks and extraordinary biodiversity – is an ideal location for a global scholar experience, Diaz said.
"The diverse geography of Costa Rica gives us the opportunity for so many adventures,” Diaz said. “We zipline through jungle canopy, swim in volcanic hot springs, ride horseback through gorgeous mountains, visit a coffee plantation, and go whitewater rafting in brilliant waters – just to name a few."
Throughout the adventures, Diaz leads her students through discussions on different concepts of cultural competence, which develop their ability to interact and communicate effectively and respectfully with people of other cultures and nationalities. Students learn to listen, gain sensitivity to the verbal and nonverbal cues that people give, and how to be culturally responsive. Diaz said the trip helps students expand their world, appreciate different cultures, and learn that everyone perceives things with a different lens.
“Toward the end of the trip, the students were starting conversations and building off previously learned concepts while showing respect and appreciation for other perspectives as they discussed life in Costa Rica and shared from their own lives,” Diaz said. “It was a clear indication they were applying what we were learning and starting their journey of cultural responsiveness.”
FCC student Kaitlyn Scott was one of those students. She said the trip helped her become more culturally aware.
“Before I went on the trip, I had never been outside of the United States, so when I arrived in Costa Rica, I was surprised how different the lives of Costa Ricans were,” Scott said. “Despite this, the experience also allowed me to see how similar we are. I would recommend this experience due to the social involvement and the experiences available.”
After the 10-day trip, students return home and work on a final project, which can focus on any topic of Costa Rican culture that piqued their interest during their travels. Students on the previous trip delved into topics such as the country’s ecotourism industry, the vibrant colors of the culture and what they represent, and why the term “Pura Vida” – which means “pure life” – is such a commonly used term among Costa Ricans.
“I heard from several students during their final projects that they realized this isn’t a class that you walk away from and are done with,” Diaz said. “For them, it’s the beginning of this cultural awareness. It’s the beginning of a journey that they will continue. The skills they learn will help them be successful wherever they go.”
For more information about the January 2019 trip, visit www.explorica.com/Diaz-2239 or contact Lora Diaz at 301.846.2551.
FCC and Community Partners Offer Career Exploration Program for Middle Schoolers
Frederick Community College partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County and the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick to give middle school students the opportunity to explore careers through a six-week summer program.
The full-day program, which ran in July and August at FCC, exposed the students to two different areas of study each week. Students were immersed into culinary, coding, lyric writing and audio production, carpentry, architecture, gaming, and more. Classes were taught by FCC instructors.
Lisa McDonald, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County, said it was clear how much the students loved the program because of their excitement and engagement in each class.
“We focus on career development and exploration,” McDonald said. “[This program gave] opportunities to children who might not have the opportunities to come learn about culinary, coding, architecture, and a lot of fun things.”
Student Camari Wars said the culinary classes were his favorite because he learned to make new recipes he can share with his family.
Melanie Hoff, who led one of the culinary classes, said she was impressed with the creative dishes students came up with when given basic recipes and the chance to add their own style. During her class, the students learned to make homemade ricotta and carrot ravioli, roasted vegetable potpie, cinnamon sugar butternut squash, pizzas, and more.
During the culinary lab, Hoff said the students learned more than just cooking.
“They’re definitely learning teamwork,” Hoff said. “They have to work with different people every day and get along and they’re learning how to plan out a meal and use their critical thinking skills to do so.”
During an architecture class led by Sarah Malette, the students learned how to make a blueprint and size things to scale before building a model house of their own.
We thank the Boys and Girls Club, the Housing Authority, and the Ausherman Family Foundation for funding and supporting this program. We thank our FCC instructors for lending their expertise to the students.
FCC Helps Incoming Students Prepare for College
When asked if they were nervous for their first day of college, three incoming first-year students all gave the same answer: no.
The students – all recent high school graduates – said completing the Partnership to Student Success Program (PASS) helped them gain confidence, familiarize themselves with the FCC campus and services, make new friends, and overall, ease any nerves they had about their first day of college classes.
“This was a great opportunity to get my brain going before college starts,” said Cassidee Grunwald, a Linganore High School graduate. “It’s nice to feel like I already know a lot about the campus before classes even start.”
The PASS program, which was started in 2011, works to reduce the number of students in developmental courses by providing recent high school graduates who have tested into at least one developmental course the chance to work closely with faculty and staff during their transition into college. It is run by the Office of Multicultural Student Services and led by Director Chianti Blackmon and Assistant Director Persis Johnson.
The program starts with a two-week summer session during which students work on their reading, writing, and math skills and participate in workshops on career exploration and test taking skills. They also take part in team building projects that connect them to services on campus. At the end of the session, students are able to retake placement tests and register for the fall semester.
Throughout the year, participants will continue to meet with their PASS advisor monthly to develop goals, track their progress in classes, and discuss any issues they are having as a new college student. They will also participate in continuing workshops and are encouraged to become actively engaged with campus events and activities.
For Middletown resident Kaylee Shipley, the program helped her get ready for the academic rigors of college.
“The program was a way to find out what college assignments are like, and see that I could do them,” Kaylee said. “I also really enjoyed getting support and advice from faculty on how to be successful in college.”
Amy Lee, Associate Professor of English, is one of those faculty members and has been involved with the PASS program since its beginning. One of the students in the very first class now has his master’s degree, she said. Getting to work with these students each year inspires her.
“At the start of each class, I have students introduce themselves and state their academic and career goals,” Professor Lee said. “I am always left speechless since their diverse and noble answers remind me of the reason I am so invested in teaching at FCC—these remarkable students are the future. This year’s group is no exception—this is a special group of students.”
The Foundation generously provided these students with a scholarship to use for the fall semester. If they stay committed to the PASS program and earn good grades, they will also receive a spring semester scholarship.
Professor Lee said the program is successful each year because of the work ethic of the students and the staff and services at FCC that support them.
“The hard work, dedication, and passion from the Office of Multicultural Student Services as well as countless other administrators, faculty, staff members, and student workers involved in the program offer a glimpse into what makes our students successful at FCC and beyond,” she said.