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FSU in the News

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)
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)

Smart growth: Universities prepare a new generation of job creators

At Frostburg State University, much of the programming that helps future job creators and seekers is based on the school’s competency model – a series of core competencies identified that the university believes students need to become leaders. The school’s interdisciplinary minor in Leadership Studies builds off those competencies, which, in turn produces strong leaders and good citizens.

“You need to be a good communicator, have good group communication skills, interpersonal skills and sensitivity about the global world as a community,” says Elesha L. Ruminski, Ph.D., coordinator of Leadership Studies. Students review case studies and their own experiences, while working on a small group project that explores a problem tied to social change. Students can also pursue various pathways – from working with student organizations to other campus extra curricular groups.

(Baltimore Sun Education Section, Nov. 17, 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 drinkingWithin 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 AmericaFrostburg 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)

Experiential learning: Curriculum beyond the classroom
A new wave of educational philosophy is crashing down on students and teachers, drenching them with innovation and releasing them out into the world. The secret of their success? As President Jonathan Gibralter, Ph.D., of Frostburg State University says, “In order to comprehend the world you live in, it’s really important to experience it.”
(The Baltimore Sun Education Section, July 7, 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. regentsThe 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