Diplomats in Training: Frostburg State University Students Master Diplomacy in D.C. PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Thursday, 24 August 2017 19:59

ModelOAS 15Across the street from the Washington Monument, Frostburg State University student CJ Barnett struck up a conversation with anyone he could see in the sunlit grand hall of the Organization of American States’ main building.

The mammoth room quickly became an intimate affair as Barnett, from Elkton, Md., worked to get to know other students so he could persuade them to take his side in the discussions to come. To the strangers he met, Barnett wasn’t representing FSU. He was representing the nation of Colombia, leading the delegation in this real-world diplomatic exercise, the 2017 Washington Model Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly for Universities.

“Talking to the people is honestly my favorite part,” the political science major said. “I’ve enjoyed every second of meeting with people from all different backgrounds, all different cultures.”

Not every student is so at ease in large social settings, but even if they have the gift of gab, they had better be prepared to speak about policy, too.

“It was a stressful nightmare,” political science major Cameron Shanton said, smiling as he recalled his first year at the Model OAS. “Slowly, you get used to it. It’s like being thrown into a massive social situation. Anyone would be uncomfortable. You have to speak in front of everyone and convince them of your viewpoint,” said the Thurmont, Md., resident.

Those nightmares quickly turn into a dream week for students. Public speaking is just one of the lessons learned during the weeklong simulation, promoting democracy through diplomacy. It’s the hallmark experience of the FSU Political Science 435 course, Model Organization of American States.

“You do everything a diplomat would do,” said A’Lexus Blue, who earned her political science degree in May. “That’s meeting with other members, talking about bilateral agreements, multilateral agreements.” The Accokeek, Md., resident said time was also required to discuss  United Nations documents and merge them.

The OAS, headquartered in the nation’s capital, is the world’s longest-running regional political union, promoting democracy and defending human rights among member nations in the Western Hemisphere. The event is coordinated with the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas and provides a simulated environment for college students to conduct diplomatic negotiations, as well as handle a surprise crisis scenario announced during opening day.

Barnett, Blue and Shanton were joined by students Jessica Johnson Clay of Cockeysville, Md.; Omar Taylor of Salisbury, Md., who also graduated in May; and Will Woodcock of Columbia, Md.

A Mental and Social Exercise

Being book smart will serve students well at the Washington Model OAS General Assembly. That knowledge has to be expressed in a friendly and strategic way at a dais or in one-on-one chats called unmoderated caucuses. The students had their own topics of concentration in committees that deal with democratization, poverty, human rights or drugs.

Political Science Professor Dr. Joan Serafin Andorfer has been the president of the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas since 2000, and serves as a co-organizer of the Model OAS. FSU has sent students to the Model OAS for more than 30 years. Andorfer has witnessed students blossom at the Model OAS, realizing their dreams by solving problems on their own.

“Our students see that they have talents that they didn’t realize they had, or talents they want to acquire,” Andorfer said. “They see there is a place in the world for them to make a difference. I try to teach that in the classroom, but until they actually experience it, they really don’t see how it can be so valuable.”

Before students arrive in OAS, they spend the semester learning about the history of the country they represent, researching modern-day policies of the country, preparing draft resolutions and learning how to conduct themselves in the meetings. It all can feel abstract until a student is faced with a microphone while surrounded by hundreds of peers, having to adjust strategy on the fly.

“Studying for Colombia and the various policies isn’t the hard part,” Barnett said. “The hard part is understanding how every single other state within the OAS is going to respond.”

“If you really have great ideas, you have to be able to communicate them in a language everybody can understand,” Andorfer said. “When they get here, they realize a misplaced comma can be diabolical to what they’re trying to achieve.”

A Global Perspective

FSU students in the class are seeing already how the course and trip will help them during their next steps.

Woodcock wants to attend law school and work for a nonprofit dedicated to protecting animals. He anticipates the Model OAS experience will help him bridge divides.

“It gives you a broader range of knowledge of where people come from, what they expect and what’s expected of them,” Woodcock said. “Hopefully, that will help me interact with people from different cultures.”

Taylor, a law and society major concentrating in criminal justice, found it reassuring that students from the real Colombia indicated that he was on the right track with his resolution for judicial reform on drug use by expanding rehabilitation. He’s feeling optimistic, as he wants to go into a career involving international politics.

“It helps that I have some expertise in diplomacy,” Taylor said.

In the end, FSU as Colombia’s resolution passed 18-9.

(To view a video of this experience, visit bit.ly/ModelOAS.)

The Model OAS experience is supported through Opportunity Grants, which are made possible through gifts to the FSU Foundation’s Annual Fund. To support experiences like this one, visit www.frostburg.edu/foundation/ways-to-give or call 301-687-4161.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

 
Main Street Books to Host Book Signing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fred Powell   
Thursday, 24 August 2017 19:52

lcc-cover-frontA book signing with Linda Sittig, author of Last Curtain Call, will be held at Main Street Books in downtown Frostburg on SaturdaySeptember 9from 1-3 pm.  

Sittig's novel is based on the actual 1894 western Allegany coal strike and chronicles a family's story of courage and determination, tragedy and enduring love.  Chapters are dedicated to individual miners of the George's Creek Valley, from Frostburg to Westernport.

Main Street Books is located at 2 E. Main St. .  For additional information call 301-689-5605 or e-mail  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Frostburg Seeks Volunteers for Historic District Commission PDF Print E-mail
Written by Laura McBride   
Thursday, 24 August 2017 19:47

The City of Frostburg is seeking volunteers to serve on the Historic District Commission.  Applicants must possess a demonstrated special interest, specific knowledge or professional or academic training in such fields as history, architecture, architectural history, planning, archeology, anthropology, curation, conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design, or related disciplines.  The Historic District Commission holds regular public meetings on the second Monday of every month and determines the appropriateness of proposed projects within the Historic District based on the Secretary of the Interior Guidelines for Rehabilitation and the City of Frostburg Register of Historic Places Guidelines.

Anyone interested in serving on the City of Frostburg’s Historic District Commission should submit a resume and letter of interest to the Community Development Program Coordinator, Laura McBride, City of Frostburg, 59 E. Main St., P.O. Box 440, Frostburg, MD 21532.  For more information please call 301-689-6000, ext. 107.

 
Major Environmental Groups Urge MDE to Investigate Full Risks of Pipeline PDF Print E-mail
Written by Denise Robbins   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 08:05

Alarmed with the Potential Detriment to the Environment, Coalition Calls for Assessment, Rejection of TransCanada’s Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project  

Baltimore, MD — On Tuesday August 8, a letter signed by 18 state and local environmental organizations was delivered to Secretary Ben Grumbles of the Maryland Department of the Environment. The signatories demand that MDE use its authority to conduct a thorough evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of TransCanada’s proposed Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project pipeline. The letter suggests that once MDE diligently carries out its obligation to Marylanders to examine the full impacts, the agency will see no other option than to reject the proposed pipeline project. The letter asserts that MDE will find rejecting the project will be the only way to protect the health of Maryland’s waterways and communities.

 

This four-mile pipeline would bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, and would travel through Maryland, just west of Hancock. The proposed path of the pipeline crosses directly under the C&O Canal and the Potomac River, the primary drinking water source for more than 6 million people.

 

What: Letter to Secretary Ben Grumbles Regarding TransCanada’s Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project - FERC Docket No. CP-17-80-000

Who: Signatories of the letter include:

 

  1. AMP Creeks Council

  2. Chesapeake Climate Action Network

  3. Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility

  4. Clean Water Action

  5. Earthworks

  6. Food & Water Watch

  7. Howard County Climate Action

  8. Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)

  9. Lower Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER® Association

  10. Maryland Conservation Council

  11. Maryland Environmental Health Network

  12. Maryland Sierra Club

  13. Nature Abounds

  14. Potomac Riverkeeper Network

  15. Savage River Watershed Association

  16. Upper Potomac Riverkeeper

  17. Waterkeepers Chesapeake

  18. We Are Cove Point

 

# # #

 

FULL LETTER ATTACHED. CONCLUSION BELOW:

 

We urge MDE not to rush through its review of this Project. Protection of Maryland’s streams, rivers, and wetlands is too important to place at risk. MDE must take the time needed to ensure it has all necessary information, review that information, give the public an opportunity to thoroughly review and comment on the information at a public hearing,

and then conduct a thorough and transparent analysis of the significant potential impacts of the Project on critical water crossings and all related upland and downstream activities.

 

Overwhelming scientific evidence, along with the recent § 401 certification denials for two proposed pipeline in New York State, confirm the inherent public health and environmental dangers with pipelines and associated infrastructure. This Project will likely have significant adverse impacts on water quality, aquatic habitat, and public health, especially

when considered together with the cumulative impacts of the proposed Mountaineer Gas pipeline in West Virginia. Yet Maryland will not gain any benefits from the pipeline’s construction and operation. If MDE cannot impose conditions adequate to minimize these impacts, it should consider denying the application. Given the recent concerns and

problems using HDD to construct pipelines in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the unique geologic features present in this Project, we are gravely concerned that no set of conditions will be adequate. We firmly believe that, once MDE conducts its required § 401 certification analysis in the proper, comprehensive manner dictated by the Clean Water Act, it will ultimately conclude that certification for this Project is not warranted.

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide input to MDE on this project. Please contact Phillip Musegaas, Vice President of Programs and Litigation at Potomac Riverkeeper Network if you have any questions regarding this letter. He can be reached by phone at 202-888-4929 or or e-mail, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
BestComputerScienceDegrees.com Lists FSU’s Online Master’s in Computer Science Among Best in the Cou PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 07:55

BestComputerScienceDegrees.com, an online resource for individuals interested in computer science degrees, recently ranked Frostburg State University’s online Master’s in Applied Computer Science fifth among the top 30 best online master’s in computer science degree programs for 2017.

FSU offers the degree in person and online.

In its description of FSU’s online Master’s in Applied Computer Science, BestComputerScienceDegrees.com noted the program is designed to prepare students for careers in various fields of IT and network security. Several specialization options allow students to tailor their degree toward specific career goals or personal interests. Specializations include database, data mining, data warehousing or generalist. Online courses are taught by the same professors who teach on campus and include database management systems, networking and data communications, and web development and programming. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Graduate tuition and fees are estimated at $8,702.

For its ranking, BestComputerScienceDegrees.com reviewed more than 70 accredited colleges and universities that offered online master’s in computer science or related degree programs like computer engineering or network technology. The original pool of schools was listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES College Navigator). BestComputerScienceDegrees.com looked at university or program rankings with major publications like Forbes magazine or U.S. News and World Report and selected institutions that had received regional, national or program rankings. The company then listed the schools in order of affordability.

For more information about BestComputerScienceDegrees.com’s best online master’s in computer science degrees, visit www.bestcomputersciencedegrees.com/top/online-masters-computer-science.

For information about FSU’s MS in Applied Computer Science, call the Office of Graduate Services at 301-687-7053, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or visit www.frostburg.edu/grad.

 
Frostburg Seeks Volunteers for Historic District Commission PDF Print E-mail
Written by Laura McBride   
Thursday, 24 August 2017 19:47

The City of Frostburg is seeking volunteers to serve on the Historic District Commission.  Applicants must possess a demonstrated special interest, specific knowledge or professional or academic training in such fields as history, architecture, architectural history, planning, archeology, anthropology, curation, conservation, landscape architecture, historic preservation, urban design, or related disciplines.  The Historic District Commission holds regular public meetings on the second Monday of every month and determines the appropriateness of proposed projects within the Historic District based on the Secretary of the Interior Guidelines for Rehabilitation and the City of Frostburg Register of Historic Places Guidelines.

Anyone interested in serving on the City of Frostburg’s Historic District Commission should submit a resume and letter of interest to the Community Development Program Coordinator, Laura McBride, City of Frostburg, 59 E. Main St., P.O. Box 440, Frostburg, MD 21532.  For more information please call 301-689-6000, ext. 107.

 
MCTA to Kick Off First Celtic Music Series With Bua PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Thursday, 24 August 2017 19:45

BUAFrostburg State University’s Mountain City Traditional Arts will present its first Celtic Music Series this fall, starting Sunday, Sept. 10, at 4:30 p.m. with the powerful ensemble Bua. All three events in the series will take place at 25 E. Main St. in Frostburg. The live entertainment is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $15.

Bua stands out among modern bands in the genre. An established group based in Chicago, Bua evokes the good times that are the core of Irish traditional music – precise, intense and straightforward. In their 2011 release, “Down the Green Fields,” the musicians explore the forgotten sounds from the heyday of Irish music in the City of Big Shoulders with a blend of enchantingly stark song arrangements and bold, pulsing dance tunes.

The other programs in the series will be folk singer Aoife Scott on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. and the trio Barrule on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, email MCTA at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 301-687-8040.

Dedicated to the education, sales, documentation and perpetuation of the traditional arts in the mountain region, MCTA is a program of FSU, supported in part by the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

 
Hot Glass Exhibition and Works of Neal Redmond in Allegany Arts Council's Galleries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Heidi Custer   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 08:02
adam waimonThe Allegany Arts Council is pleased to announce two new art exhibitions on display through August. The Saville Gallery hosts a juried Hot Glass Exhibition and Competition. This show focuses on the medium of glass which manipulated by heat. The open call for entry brought responses from across the U.S. and several accepted artists hail from the tri-state area-- Elizabeth Braun, WV; John Fansmith PA; Nicolas Nies, Sherry Selevan, and Nikki O’Neill of MD. Others hail from Arizona to Rhode Island; Stephen Bruckner, NY; Karen Crosser Alge, Matthew Paskiet, Michael Scupholm, and Noel Welch, all from OH; David Graeve, TX; Jennifer Hecker, NY; Steven Ramsey, NE; Georgia Ryan, AZ; Nadine Saylor, IL; and Adam Waimon, RI. The juror for the exhibition is Nancy Weisser. An outstanding educator and entrepreneur as well as a distinguished artist, Nancy owns and operates the successful Weisser Glass Studio in Kensington, MD. Beautiful works of many different techniques including Flameworking, Fusing, Blown, Cast, Carved, and Enameled are featured.
 
The Schwab Gallery showcases works of painter Neal Redmond of Hancock, MD. Former Revolutionary War re-enactor and period costume fabricator, Neal Redmond has reinvented himself after suffering two strokes. Going back to his training at the Maryland Institute College of Art in the 1970s and to his love of color, he works mainly with oil paints; creating landscapes, flowers and abstracts.
 
The Reception for both of these exhibitions is on Saturday, August 19, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at 9 N. Centre St, downtown Cumberland, MD. The public is invited to attend.
 
Photo: Golden Acorns, by Adam Waimon
 
Page 6 of 334
 
Webappindie.org

What's Happening?