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FSU in the News

Working with FSU Students was a Positive Experience

Letter to the Editor, Andrea De Palatis

Four students from Dr. Carol Gaumer’s marketing plans development class at Frostburg State University recently contacted me and asked if my business, Spectrum Design Services, could be the subject of a marketing plan project. I would like to share this positive experience.

Anna D’Angostino, Trevor Flynn, Jerel Womack and Keaton Zimmerman did an excellent job asking relevant questions and pulling together information to support their recommendations for my business. They were interested and engaged in the project and the group appeared to work together well. My time with them was a pleasure.

Their proposal will have a positive impact on my future business plans. Several points in their document and presentation will be implemented in the near future...

(Cumberland Times-News, May 17, 2016)

John O’Rorke with a Civics Refresher

Our 2016 election cycle has raised a lot of questions about the process of electing a presidential candidate. I thought it was time for some facts, so I consulted Dr. John O’Rorke. He has been a professor of Political Science at Frostburg State University for the past 25 years. We had a very FUN, engaging and fact filled interview about how our election cycle works and why your vote is always important...

(RecordTalkListen, May 8, 2016)

Smokey Bear Pays Visit to Frostburg State Staff

Smokey Bear recently visited Frostburg State University to present Barbara Ornstein, professor of education, with a plaque awarded to the Educational Professions Department for its contributions to fire prevention and the Smokey Bear program.

For the past 25 years, more than 3,000 early childhood, elementary and elementary/middle school teacher candidates have received environmental education training through the Project Learning Tree program...

(Cumberland Times-News, April 18, 2016)

Thirty-seven Frostburg State students will be engaged in New Jersey

Thirty-seven Frostburg State University students will be among those headed for spring break next week, but their destination includes homes, hope and hammers rather than beaches, bikinis and beers.

Under the guidance of Patrick O'Brien, the university's director of civic engagement, the baker's three-dozen students will be in a bus on the way to Wall Township, N.J., where they will continue repairing homes that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Some of them, such as Justin Smith, Brandy Fender and Gabrielle Atwell, have been there before. They've done that.

Fender, from St. Mary's County, will be making a third trip to the Jersey Shore where the group will put up dry wall, paint and do whatever else is needed to make homes inhabitable once more.

"It's great to be able to work with the people in that community, to see them appreciate what's being done," Fender said.

(Cumberland Times-News, Mar. 11, 2016)

Road salt putting human, aquatic lives on a collision course

Nationwide, 10 times as much salt goes on the road as is used to season all processed foods. But as with food, too much salt in freshwater is harmful. It’s a growing problem that threatens efforts to protect stream health in the Chesapeake watershed, and even in the Bay itself. ...

Although chloride levels peak during spring runoff — when salinity was sometimes a quarter that of seawater — they remained high much of the rest of the year, Kaushal reported. In spring, summer and fall, they were as much as 100 times greater than concentrations found in forest or agricultural watersheds without roads, where chloride concentrations typically range 3–8 mg/l.

The impact is less pronounced in rural areas, but a salt signal can still be seen around heavily salted roads. About a decade ago, Richard Raesly, a biology professor at Frostburg State University, and his students monitored salinity levels near Interstate 68 in Western Maryland. They consistently found elevated chloride levels downstream of the expressway, peaking as much as 16 times greater than upstream concentrations at one of the sites.

(Bay Journal, Mar. 3, 2016)

Want to land an interview? Job expert tells 3 things your résumé should say

Employers have high expectations when it comes to filling their vacant positions. Meanwhile many confident job seekers say, “If I could just get the interview, I could get the job.”

Landing that interview, though, is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly when most employers use applicant tracking systems to filter thousands of résumés quickly for job specific requirements.

If you are lucky enough to get through this first filter, you have a very good chance of having your résumé reviewed by a corporate recruiter and making it to the hiring manager's inbox.

So what happens when your résumé gets reviewed?

In collaboration with Dr. Kenneth Levitt of Frostburg University School of Business, The WorkPlace Group examined 19 distinct résumé characteristics. Rather than speculate about what might drive interview decisions, this study based its conclusions on actual interview decisions made by hiring managers.

(NY Daily News, Mar. 3, 2016)

Why College Kids are Sobering Up and Enjoying Partying Without the Booze

College and drinking: two concepts so closely linked that many students can’t conceive of one without the other. However, it may be surprising to learn that binge drinking among college students has dropped 13% over the past decade. While it would be foolish to pretend that binge drinking isn’t still prevalent on many American campuses, this is a very significant (and fortunate) decrease.

So what’s behind the fall in binge drinking students? What’s the reality of being a sober scholar, and can college be just as fun without drinking? ...

Frostburg State University is one college actively fighting against the domination of drinking culture, and the results are certainly encouraging. When FSU president Jonathan Gibralter joined the college in 2006, over half the students said they binged on alcohol at least once every two weeks. There was a culture of 24-hour beer pong tournaments, dime beer nights, and even a “drink of the week” section in the student paper. Today, bi-weekly binge drinking at FSU has dropped dramatically thanks to a series of strict measures imposed by Gibralter. So what exactly were these methods?

(Teen Vogue, Feb. 2, 2016)

Partnering Student Affairs and Academic Affairs: Collaboration for a Common Cause

by Patrick O'Brien, Director, Office of Civic Engagement at Frostburg State University

The value of successful collaboration between Student and Academic Affairs is often validated in the academic and personal success of our students. In a true partnership between faculty and student affairs professional’s mutually-beneficial outcomes arise that not only promote student learning but create effective working relationships that strengthen the integrity of our programs and services.

At Frostburg State University the Office of Civic Engagement (Student Affairs) and the J. Glenn Beall Institute for Public Affairs (Academic Affairs) have joined forces with the common goal of engaging students in the democratic process. By coming together these two programs have been able to pool resources and expertise from their respective arenas to promote the exploration of the political process; launch collaborative programming and stimulate student engagement.  Efforts to cast a wider net to engage students in programming, voting, and the democratic process has proved quite successful. Through this partnership, these two programs have collaborative produced programs including a Social Change Retreat, a Series of Town Hall Meetings, and a student trip to the State capitol.

(NASPA Research & Policy Institute, Jan. 25, 2016)

The weirder, the better: Professor hoping to collect stories of all things odd from Western Maryland

It began as a childhood interest in books about all things strange.

“This has been one of my hobbies for a long time,” Andy Duncan said. “When I was a kid, I was fascinated with crap paperbacks about Bigfoot, flying saucers, the Bermuda Triangle, things like that. And I never really got over that fascination.” ...

Duncan, who spent 10 of his adult years living in Alabama and has been on the staff at Frostburg since 2008, is putting out a public call for what he refers to as “Western Maryland weirdness.”

“As an ongoing research project, I hope to compile an exhaustive list. Whether it’s factual, fanciful or in dispute, I’d like to know about anything in Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties that might qualify as unusual, unexpected, anomalous, paranormal or legendary,” he said.

(Herald Mail Media, Jan. 18, 2016)

A community collaboration gives Frostburg State University art students a chance to market their work.

"(Students) put together full proposals to the town of Frostburg of what they would want as their fee, the material cost and the labor cost," said Jamison Odone, an assistant professor of illustration at the university.

The ideas are then presented to Frostburg's mayor and city council for approval.

"I didn't guarantee anything, but I said we will certainly propose it to the right people and (students) were allotted a certain amount of funding for (projects)," said Odone. "The town of Frostburg certainly came through and funded three of the projects." 

The three approved projects include a mural painting on a billboard on Broadway, literature themed banners on the Frostburg library and robots applied to brick walls on three different Main Street businesses.

(Cumberland Times-News, Dec. 27, 2015)

Partners in pot: Maryland marijuana businesses seek novel collaborations

At least two Maryland state universities are jumping at the chance to work with marijuana growers to research the medicinal application and cultivation of cannabis. A tiny Western Maryland town says it would happily accept a 5 percent share of profits from a company that hopes to operate there. ...

Maryland universities would be among the first in the nation to partner with marijuana businesses for research purposes, industry veterans say. ...

Any research conducted at Frostburg would be contingent on Peak Harvest getting a license to grow and would have strings attached. Cannabis wouldn’t be allowed on campus grounds, nor could the university bring specialized equipment to Peak Harvest facilities. Students would not be allowed to do internships for academic credit.

“We are trying to navigate some very muddy water,” said Joseph Hoffman, dean of Frostburg’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

(Washington Post, Dec. 26, 2015)

Frostburg, UMES researchers seeking roles in budding Maryland medical marijuana industry

Even though Maryland is following the lead of 23 other states in setting up a medical marijuana industry, the collective experience of those states has translated to relatively little understanding of how the dozens of active substances within the plant affect health. ...

Research is limited because the federal government classifies the drug in the same category as heroin and ecstasy, and restricts the cultivation of marijuana plants. Scientists need federal approval before launching studies that bring pot into labs and face oversight to ensure the drug doesn't end up in the hands of felons.

With marijuana plants on track to sprout in Maryland in the new year, companies vying for licenses and at least two state universities plan to expand on that knowledge here. Researchers at Frostburg State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore want to know how and why marijuana eases nausea or prevents seizures, whether it is any more effective than standard medical treatments and what side effects it can cause. ...

Researchers at Frostburg are unsure of what sort of research they might be able to do. Joseph Hoffman, dean the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and administrator of its Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies, said faculty and students may be limited to analysis of data that Peak Harvest would share.

"We know what we can't do, and that's almost anything," Hoffman said.

(Baltimore Sun, Dec. 25, 2015)

These Are the Colleges That Have Diversified the Most

The protests that erupted on college campuses across the country this fall targeted a range of issues, but underlying many of them was concern over a lack of diversity among students and faculty. At the University of Missouri and Yale—where the most high-profile demonstrations began—data from the federal Department of Education backs up student complaints: the percentage of some minority groups trails national averages.

Yet many other schools are ahead of the curve in terms of diversity, TIME found in an analysis of undergraduates at degree-granting nonprofit private and public universities. To compare schools, TIME looked at the percentage of students at each institution who were not part of the school’s largest racial group, and how that changed from 1990 to 2014.

Frostburg State University is ranked #23 in the nation in terms of increased diversity over this time period.

(TIME, Dec. 18, 2015)

Frostburg State University explores partnership with Peak Harvest Health on medical marijuana research

A Maryland university is dipping its toe into the world of medical marijuana research.

Frostburg State University said it plans to partner on research with Peak Harvest Health, a company started by D.C.-area businessmen that aims to become the first grower of medical marijuana in Maryland.

The university is one of the only institutions in the U.S. to offer a major in ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between people and plants. The school also wants to explore workforce development opportunities with Peak Harvest to the extent it is permitted by federal law, officials said. ...

Like other universities around Maryland wary of conducting medical marijuana research as state law changes, Frostburg State officials were careful to note they would strictly comply with all state and federal laws. For instance, no Frostburg State research would be allowed to occur directly on the plant unless federal law changes to permit it, said Joseph Hoffman, the dean of Frostburg State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and administrator of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies.

(Washington Business Journal, Dec. 9, 2015)

University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret

On Potomac Highlands Today, Amanda Mangan talks with University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret about his recent visit to Frostburg State University, its greater role within USM, and the future of public higher education in Maryland.

(WKLP 1390 AM, Nov. 20, 2015)

The Vision Within – Marda Loop Justice Film Festival

Director Michael Snyder is interviewed on CJSW 90.9 FM’s show, “Road to Nowhere” about his film, The Vision Within. The film chronicles Frostburg State University students from the President’s Leadership Circle as they journey into the Amazon rainforest to meet an ancient culture that has lived the same way for thousands of years. The Vision Within is making its Canadian premiere during the 2015 Marda Loop Justice Film Festival.

(CJSW 90.9 FM, Nov. 17, 2015)

Allegany County Opportunity Scholarships Helping Students Keep Debt Down

County scholarship recipients shared their collegiate success stories during a meeting of the Allegany County Commission last week.

“This scholarship allows me to fulfill my potential at Frostburg State University," said Nick DeMichele, a junior at FSU. "This lightens my burden in a time where student debt is a frightening epidemic." ...

County commissioners established the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship last year. It's funded by revenue generated from the Rocky Gap Casino Resort and available to county residents attending FSU or Allegany College of Maryland who have lived in the county for at least three years.

Since the scholarship program went into effect, about $400,000 in awards have made it into the hands of area students. The funds are administered by the nonprofit foundations at ACM and FSU.

(Cumberland Times-News, Nov. 9, 2015)

Frostburg First’s New Main Street Manager

Frostburg State University alumna and Frostburg-native Jessica Palumbo, the town’s new main street manager, joins RecordTalkListen to talk about the partnership between the City of Frostburg and FSU, and all the exciting new events coming up in town.

(RecordTalkListen, Nov. 8, 2015)

Rooke Aids in Frostburg State's Planetarium Productions

The universe is now coming into focus through Frostburg State University’s Observatory, where stunning images from the rooftop observatory are now being projected on the FSU Planetarium and Multimedia Learning Center’s dome screen during shows.

The Observatory, located on the roof of the Gira Center for Communications and Information Technology, features a robotically mounted 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with attachable cameras to capture deep space images and planets in amazing detail.

“Its large aperture allows you to view very faint objects,” said Dr. Jason Speights, associate director of the FSU Planetarium and MLC. “At the same time, it’s capable of high magnification, so the planets can be seen in great detail.”

( Whig, Nov. 5, 2015)

Harry Potter Goes to University

Just in time for Halloween, a Frostburg (Md.) State University adjunct professor is using her outside-the-box thinking to conjure up some deep thinking in her sociology course.

Hagerstown native Mandy Vandivier is teaching “The Sociology of Harry Potter,” based on the hugely popular book and movie series by British author J.K. Rowling. The fantasy novels tell the story of young Harry, who discovers he is a wizard, although he lives within the ordinary world of people known as Muggles.

(Herald Mail Media, Oct. 30, 2015)

FSU opens its first Veteran's Center

For the first time, Frostburg State University has a center dedicated to their veteran students.

FSU’s Veterans Service Coordinator, Danielle Dabrowski, said she's been working with the university since October of last year and ever since, has been working to get a full-service veteran center.

“It’s a one stop shop for any issue they may have with their benefits, navigating the campus policy and procedures. If there's a question, we answer it," Dabrowski said.

Dabrowski said the center's first full-service day was Aug. 31, 2015, which was just in time for the university's 24 percent military student population increase from last year.

(, Oct. 12, 2015)

The feeling you get when your team finally succeeds

Dr. Paul Bernhardt, an Associate Psychology Professor with Frostburg State University in Maryland, says for many fans, their favourite team is an “emblem of who I am and where I’m from.”

In that light, Bernhardt said cheering for a winning team symbolizes a connection to success. When our team wins, Burnhardt says we’re more likely to wear their colours and boast of their achievements.

“When our team’s winning we say ‘we won,’ but when they’re losing we say ‘they’re losers,’” Bernhardt said.

  (, Oct. 9, 2015)

A Performance Review May Be Good for Your Marriage

Getting your annual performance review from your boss can be awkward and irritating. Can you imagine getting one from your spouse?

A growing number of marriage therapists and relationship researchers recommend that spouses and romantic partners complete periodic performance reviews. ...

Rebecca Chory, a professor at Frostburg State University’s business school, in Maryland, who studies reactions to negative feedback, has identified six strategies for giving an effective performance review.

(Wall Street Journal, Oct. 5, 2015)

Book Review: Clash By Night

The job of the music writer is to convey the emotions of a performance by describing it in evocative ways. ...

Enter Clash by Night, an anthology of “low-fi poetry” dedicated to the English band’s 1979 classic London Calling. In the book, forty contributors cover each of the album’s 19 tracks—and it feels just right. ...

It will be interesting to see which albums come next in the series. In the below interview, editors Gerry LaFemina and Gregg Wilhelm mention Exile on Main Street, the Rolling Stones’ opus, Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, and the Pogues as possibilities.

(Owl and Bear, Aug 8, 2015)

Good use for it: Revenue from casino helps fund scholarships

Casinos such as the one at Rocky Gap State?Park have their supporters and detractors.

One thing in their favor is that young people who otherwise might be unable to attend college are able to do so through scholarships.

Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University have been able to award several hundred scholarships because of casino revenue. ...

FSU awarded 104 scholarships in the 2014-15 school year and has given out another 163 scholarships for the coming school year.

(Cumberland Times-News, July 28, 2015)

Frostburg State University gets $200,000 to develop new geochemistry lab

In today's changing economy, the energy and environmental sectors are becoming more critical to its success.

And now, thanks to a new grant, students at Frostburg State University will get a leg up on the competition. The school is receiving $100,000 in federal funding to develop a new geochemistry laboratory on campus, as well as another $100,000 from state sources of funding.

(, May 20, 2015)

FSU Names Building to Honor Catherine Gira

Frostburg State University’s newest academic building is now known as the Catherine R. Gira Center for Communications and Information Technology, following an unveiling ceremony Sunday. The naming honors Gira’s 15 years of service to FSU and her distinguished career in higher education.

(Cumberland Times-News, May 4, 2015)

Campus Drinking: How a Party School Sobered Up

When Jonathan Gibralter became its president, Frostburg State University was known as a school for those who'd rather party than study, a place of 24-hour beer pong tournaments and dime beer nights. Weekends began at noon Thursdays and ended, more than once, in tragedy. ...

Which is why, on a recent Thursday night, the calm here was striking. ... In a nation increasingly concerned about college alcohol abuse and its attendant mayhem — sexual assault, hazing, vandalism — this school has become an unlikely model of how to address a problem that seemed to defy solution.

(USA Today, May 3, 2015)

Maryland Children's Literature Festival Building Lifelong Readers

On April 24 and 25, the small university town of Frostburg, Md., located in the state’s western mountains, hosted 268 educators, librarians and university students during its 33rd annual Spring Festival of Children’s Literature. Four featured authors and illustrators – Scott Campbell, Brian Floca, Deborah Hopkinson, and Matt Phelan – presented programs to an avid audience, who also attended professional development workshops, purchased autographed books, and participated in a silent auction. ...

“We estimate that we reached approximately 2,500 children over this past week,” said Dr. William Bingham, founder of the Children’s Literature Centre (CLC), which organizes the Festival.

(Publishers Weekly, April 30, 2015)

10 Questions College Financial Aid Advisers Wish Parents Would Ask

As college financial aid award letters roll in, families should ask questions in order to gauge the cost of attendance, prepare for financial hurdles and score more financial aid. ...

Do my taxes need to be submitted before I complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid?

"I don't care what your neighbor told you, you can file the FAFSA without having your taxes completed. A lot of parents don't understand that and they miss school deadlines and miss out on potential financial aid. You can use last year's taxes or your W-2. Actually, the FAFSA has an answer that says, 'Will File,' letting everyone know that you're doing this to meet a deadline," Angela Hovatter, director of financial aid at Frostburg State University, told U.S. News.

(US News & World Report, April 29, 2015)

Frostburg State University Named Top Green School

For the third year in a row, Frostburg State University is featured in the Princeton's Review Guide to 353 Green Colleges for the 2015 school year.

(, April 19, 2015)

Q&A with Gregg Wilhelm

Gregg Wilhelm, founder of Baltimore's CityLit Project, and Gerry LaFemina, author and associate professor at Frostburg State College, thought they were on to something when they brainstormed an idea for a poetry anthology based on the punk band The Clash's album London Calling. Wilhelm talks to us about the process, and why the album still resonates.

(Baltimore Magazine, April 17, 2015)

FSU Food Service Provider Joins School's Sustainable Living Effort

Chartwells, the company managing food service at Frostburg State University, has joined the college’s sustainable living efforts by recycling unwanted food into compost for Frostburg Grows, FSU’s greenhouse operation.

FSU hired Chartwells last May to take over cafeteria and food service operations from Aramark, the university’s former dining service provider. Chartwells subsequently created a partnership with FSU’s six-greenhouse food growing operation called Frostburg Grows. In addition to purchasing vegetables and herbs from Frostburg Grows, Chartwells converts discarded food left by students and staff eating at the Chesapeake Dining Hall and converts it to compost.

(Cumberland Times-News, April 2, 2015)

Open Game

Pennsylvania trappers might take river otters for the first time in more than 60 years if the state Game Commission gives final approval this spring. ...

The plan credits Thomas Serfass with leading the effort to return otters to rivers where they died out.

Serfass, who grew up hunting and fishing in Northeastern Pennsylvania, was an undergraduate student at East Stroudsburg University when he started reintroducing otters to their former territories in 1982.

Now a professor at Frostburg State University in Maryland, Serfass believes otters can survive the proposed trapping season, but he pointed to cultural implications of resumed trapping.

(Standard Speaker, Mar. 1, 2015)

Why haven’t efforts worked to stop dangerous drinking at college?

More than 1,800 students die each year in the U.S. from alcohol-related incidents, and nearly 100,000 sexual assaults have been reported that were linked to intoxication. How do we address the dark consequences of excessive drinking on college campuses? Gwen Ifill talks to Jonathan Gibralter of Frostburg State University and Beth McMurtrie of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
(PBS NewsHour, Dec. 12, 2014)
Community college students juggle a lot of responsibilities. Most work at least part time, many have families to care for and homework doesn't do itself. ...

Students with associate degrees have already proven they are not just ready for college, but committed to it, says Wray Blair, associate provost for enrollment management at Frostburg State University in Maryland.

"Community college graduates are often some of our strongest students," he says. "These students succeed and retain at a very high rate and are often positive campus role models."

(US News & World Report/Yahoo! News, Nov. 28, 2014)

Here's what to know about repaying student loans as a graduate student. ...
"The challenge for graduate students who went straight to graduate from undergraduate, I think, is sticker shock," says Angela Hovatter, director of financial aid at Frostburg State University in Maryland.
(US News & World Report/Yahoo! News, Nov. 12, 2014)
By Jonathan Gibralter
Tonight, as families of high school students across the country sit down to eat dinner, talk will likely turn to college applications. For those in the midst of the process, the conversation will almost definitely touch on affordability. And for those still a year or two out from college, the conversation may turn to whether or not the entire undertaking is even worth it.
These topics are directly related. As an industry, higher education cannot hope to put to rest questions about value until we accept — and address — the challenges we face on affordability.
(The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 23, 2014)
By Jonathan Gibralter

It's that time of year again. Students are back in class, off-campus house parties are being held adjacent to university property and tailgating before Saturday football games across the country is considered a must-attend social event. It's also when colleges and universities welcome parents and siblings to campus for Family Weekend festivities -- and from my perspective the timing couldn't be better.

We're still in the earliest weeks of the fall semester, during which new students are most acutely at risk for alcohol-related injury, death and other incidents. Freed from parental supervision for the first time, freshmen are immersed in an environment where alcohol is all-too-frequently available. Still, though physically distant, parents remain the biggest role models in their students' lives and have a special responsibility to join educators in keeping students safe.

(The Huffington Post, Huff Post College, Sept. 30, 2014)


It's early Friday night, and Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi is just starting the late shift. At a white clapboard house he jumps out of his SUV to chat with four students on the front steps.

"S'up guys!" he calls out, assuring them he just wants to chat. All are underage but one, and that one tells Pirolozzi he's got a string of alcohol violations from past years. Pirolozzi banters a bit. He tells them to "call anytime," and reminds them not to walk around the street with open containers. ...

"The thing that's so striking to me is that many universities perceive [binge drinking] as an intractable problem and that there's nothing they can do," says Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University.

(NPR, "All Things Considered," Sept. 16, 2014)

By Jonathan Gibralter

Two sure signs that fall is upon us -- classes are back in session at Frostburg State University and Apple has announced its new slate of products for their consumers. I'm reminded of the overlap of these seemingly disparate items as I walk across campus and observe that the world of technology has created a world of distractions from what college and life have to offer.

On the first day of classes, it was hard for me to find any students on the sidewalks without headphones in their ears, looking down at the small screens in front of them. In our academic buildings, students had their phones plugged into recharging stations seeking a brief back-up charge to get them through their day. Everyplace I looked, without exception, students were plugged in, multi-tasking and distracted from the opportunities and people surrounding them.

Frostburg is not unusual in this regard. ...

(The Huffington Post, Huff Post College, Sept. 12, 2014)


Attention, parents of college students.

Say your kid has a problem with a roommate. Maybe one “borrowed” his favorite t-shirt. Maybe your daughter’s roommate leaves old, stinky Chinese take out in the mini-fridge. Perhaps your child is so upset about this he texts you five times a day to complain.

Here’s the thing: Don’t call the college president to ask him to handle the situation. (Yes, that happens.)

Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, has had parents call him at his office to talk about a squabble their child is having with a roommate. “Don’t you trust your child to deal with this on his own?” he asks. “Rather than telling a son or daughter to talk to a [resident assistant] or [resident director], parents will immediately call my office. And that I consider to be a little over the top.”

(The Washington Post, Sept. 2, 2014)

A dangerous drink

As I listened to the conversation in the Maryland Senate regarding the bill to ban extremely high alcohol content beverages (SB-75), one argument said a ban would fail, and we should instead focus on educating our students. Well, incoming freshmen at Frostburg State University don't wait long before their education on the dangers of high-risk drinking begins. I start talking about it at the very first summer orientation session, and we keep telling parents and students about high-risk drinking and its consequences throughout.

(The Baltimore Sun, Feb. 11, 2014, commentary by President Jonathan Gibralter)

The American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment: Not the End but Rather a New Way of Thinking

For those who think that the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment has run its course, I believe you are viewing this from the wrong perspective. I say that because a heartfelt commitment to reducing carbon emissions is not an end, but rather the means of creating a new beginning. The core principles of the climate commitment are about much more than carbon footprints and the use of coal and oil. It is about taking greater care of the resources we have, including our own human resources, and embracing those things that we perceive to be infinite.

(Presidential Perspectives: A Higher Education Thought Leadership Series. 2013-2014 Series: Elevating Sustainability Through Academic Leadership. Chapter 6)

We Are Not Hypnotized

... I teach face-to-face, online, and blended sections of composition at a small rural state university and I see strengths and limitations in all three approaches. My online classes look nothing like Kohler’s panoptic nightmare. Or, at least, I hope they do not -- now that I think of it, perhaps students calling me Big Brother isn’t a term of endearment after all.

(Commentary by faculty member John Raucci Jr., Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 26, 2013)

Campus Health Centers Expand Services

When the demands of college life became overwhelming for Frostburg State University student Jennifer Cruz in fall 2012, she paid a visit to her Maryland campus health center complaining of chest pains. Though she met with a doctor who was able to check her heart, Cruz’s condition was unable to be confirmed. Cruz and the doctor discussed options that could help reduce her stress.

The following spring, Cruz decided to visit the school’s wellness center. Through the wellness program, she learned how to balance her residence hall supervisor job, 18-credit course load, independent study and mounting personal responsibilities, which consisted of her involvement with several campus organizations, including the Student Communications Studies Association (SCSA), Anti-Bullying Club, Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and PACDEI (President’s Advisory Council in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion).

(Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Nov. 6, 2013)

Keeping College Drinking from Becoming Abusive

College is a time of firsts—often, it’s the first time teenagers are living away from home, with freedom to set their own schedules. And for some students, those new experiences include the first time drinking alcohol.  

To find out exactly how big a role drinking plays in college life in Maryland—and what harm it’s causing—10 college presidents joined forces with public health experts.  They’ve formed the Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Practices, which has released a report on the status of college drinking in Maryland.

(Interview with Associate Dean of Student Jeffrey Graham, Maryland Morning, WYPR, Nov. 4, 2013)

Greenhouses at Frostburg State offer sustainable living lessons

Reaching the end of its first full year of operation, the Frostburg State University greenhouse complex known as Frostburg Grows continues to educate students and visitors on sustainable living as well as generating a high volume of produce and native tree seedlings.

Situated on a 5-acre tract of reclaimed mineland along state Route 36 south of the FSU?campus, Frostburg Grows holds three large greenhouse facilities that are maintained through a series of solar panels and rain water capturing systems.

(Cumberland Times-News, Oct. 27, 2013)

Frostburg State University Convocation Address Sets the Stage for a Whole New World

The Lane University Center Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall was brimming with excitement on Friday afternoon as Dr. Jonathan Gibralter gave the 2013 Convocation Address. The powerful address focused on “Rolling out the Future” as it outlined advances that Frostburg State University has recently accomplished and the goals it has set for the future. A major part of this new future is the university’s new marketing tagline, “One University, A World of Experiences” which is represented in all aspects of Frostburg State Universities current goals.

(Appalachian Independent, Sept. 28, 2013)

FSU debuts new marketing plan, slogan

Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, rolled out a new marketing plan on Friday during his annual address on the state of the university held in the campus Lane Center.

A crowd estimated at more than 300, which included university staff, government officials, education professionals and students, were introduced to the new slogan for FSU?which is: One University. A World of Experiences.

(Cumberland Times-News, Sept. 27, 2013)

EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE:Summer program takes Frostburg State students to China

Three Frostburg State University students, including Christopher Evanoff of Ridgeley, W.Va., spent more than a week overseas this summer as part of a program that promotes the cultural and economic sharing of ideas between the United States and China.

“It was an eye-opener,” said Evanoff, who is getting his master’s in business administration at FSU.

(Cumberland Times-News, Sept. 3, 2013)

Making strides: Gibralter, FSU cutting high-risk drinking

Frostburg State University President Jonathan Gibralter is continuing to tout his school’s success in reducing incidents of high-risk drinking among its students. The latest exposure came Sunday when The Washington Post Sunday magazine detailed how the effort is paying off.

Gibralter, who earlier this year was named co-chairman of a national organization dedicated to fighting high-risk drinking by students, told the Post magazine he is confident his effort is making strides. The number of FSU students who binge drink has fallen from 54 percent in 2006 to 41 percent last year.

(Cumberland Times-News, Sept. 3, 2013)

Schools try new strategies to battle college drinking

Within 30 minutes of new-student orientation kicking off at Frostburg State University on a Sunday morning in June, the school’s top leader had the microphone and was talking about alcohol. He warned the group sitting before him — mostly 18-year-olds with their parents — not to get caught up in the “college effect,” the idea presented in movies and on sitcoms that going to college means drinking.

“Beyond the tragedies, what concerns me most is the loss of human potential,” said President Jonathan C. Gibralter, who has led the public university in Western Maryland since 2006. He paused before continuing: “Please think about that this summer. Don’t let yourselves get caught up in that world of excessive, high-risk drinking and change the story of what is possible for you at Frostburg State University.”

(The Washington Post Magazine, Sept. 1, 2013) 

Trying to avoid the freshman 15? There’s a dorm for that.

At Maryland’s Frostburg State University, for example, it’s the bWell dorm, where 70 freshmen with an interest in wellness and fitness pursue that lifestyle. They attend the kinds of health-oriented programs that many schools now offer new students, but they also do P90X and Insanity workouts together, learn how to cook healthful meals, take a substance-free pledge and try to prevent one another from going on those midnight fast-food runs.

(, Aug. 28, 2013)


Frostburg State students, alumni, faculty get look at leadership in Latin America


Frostburg State University’s College of Business took another step toward globalizing its curriculum when it sent a group of students, alumni and faculty to Peru to experience leadership in an international setting July 24 through Aug. 3.

(Cumberland Times-News, Aug. 18, 2013)

Economic forum in China an eye-opener for Rockville, Germantown students

Two local Frostburg State University students recently attended an economic forum in China. Eric Paul, a business administration major from Rockville, and Jason Ascher, a political science major from Germantown, attended the APEC China CEO Forum in Beijing July 12-14.
(The Gazette, Aug. 7, 2013)

Defense Department grants University of Maryland University College $250M to educate troops

Frostburg State University will partner with UMUC to offer an undergraduate teacher education program for the first time.
(The Diamondback, July 25, 2013. Appeared in multiple outlets through The Associated Press.)

Still Talking: Frostburg, FSU keep open path to good relationship

Keeping the lines of communication open is one of the key factors in strengthening the relationship between Frostburg State University students and the Mountain City community. Because of that, it is heartening to know that the FSU Sustaining Campus and Community dialogue series will continue again this school year.
(Cumberland Times-News, July 21, 2013, editorial)

Does higher education mean lower joy on the job?

Tom Bowling, vice president for student affairs at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md., says colleges should encourage students to explore their talents and passions. "We don't take the time to understand who our students are and what they're bringing to the campus," he says. "Students can become very adept at meeting the expectations of others, and we reinforce that."
(USA Today, July 19, 2013)

So you wanna be in show business? Students, professors share what it takes

Maureen Groff, a rising freshman at Frostburg State University in Maryland, is a theater major on the acting track. “I also have skills and drawing and sewing so I think I’ll be able to support myself,” she says. “You just really need to build up yours skills so you’re not doing retail or waitressing between auditions and you can do what you love.”
(USA Today College, June 27, 2013)

College students hope Apple’s ‘game changers’ deliver

Cody Adkins, 19, says Apple hasn’t maintained its reputation as a tech leader in recent years. “Their devices have been a mere upgrade from the previous versions,” says the Frostburg State University sophomore.
(USA Today College, May 31, 2013)

FSU students help bring clean water to Ugandan villagers

Sheena Willison, a senior at Frostburg State University, recently traveled to Uganda as part of a group teaching lifesaving water purification techniques to outlying villagers.
(Cumberland Times-News, April 28, 2013)

Appalachian folklorist honored by U-Md. regents


The University System of Maryland Board of Regents is honoring a Frostburg State University folklorist for bringing Appalachian traditions to the public.

(ABC2 News via The Associated Press, April 12, 2013)

‘Now is the time’ for FSU center

In a continued effort to support leadership development, Frostburg State University introduced a model Thursday that may serve as the framework for the creation of a campus Leadership Center.
(Cumberland Times-News, March 8, 2013)

FSU Upholds Education Goals

(Cumberland Times-News, Feb. 9, 2013, commentary)

FSU to offer Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership

Frostburg State University will offer a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership through its programs at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, with the first group of students to begin studies this fall. This applied doctoral program is FSU's first, and the first offered to all eligible students at USMH.
(Martinsburg Journal, Feb. 2, 2013)

Frostburg State head leads alcohol awareness group

Frostburg State University President Jonathan Gibralter is leading a national panel on college alcohol abuse prevention. The university said Monday that Gibralter has been named co-chairman of the College Presidents Working Group of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
(Annapolis Capital-Maryland Gazette via The Associated Press, Jan. 29, 2013)

Breaking Down Roadblocks Through Course Redesign
(AASCU Public Purpose Magazine, Fall 2012, commentary)

Alcohol Abuse: Can underage drinking be curbed?
(CQ Researcher, June 8, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 21)

Myth: Student Drinking is an Intractable Problem
(American Council on Education's The Presidency Magazine, Spring 2012, commentary)

Veterans Deserve Executive Order Without Implementation Concerns
(The Huffington Post, May 21, 2012, commentary)

What campuses can do to fight high-risk drinking
Frostburg State has set an example that other schools can follow in light of publicity surrounding the Huguely-Love case

(The Baltimore Sun, Feb. 21, 2012, op-ed),0,2906682.story

Expand the Conversation
(Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 6, 2011, commentary)

Many are working hard to encourage responsible drinking

Universities fight public health problem: Binge drinking

A University Pulls Together for a Cinematic Labor of Love

The Wrong Idea on the Drinking Problem