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Frostburg State University to Celebrate 149th Commencement Ceremony

Frostburg State University to Celebrate 149th Commencement Ceremony
From left, Commencement speakers Carson Phillips, Gloria Murphy, Noah Ream and Mia McCaslin

Frostburg State University will celebrate student achievements of the fall 2016 graduating class with the 149th Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m. The ceremony for the colleges of Business, Education and Liberal Arts and Science will take place in the Main Arena of the Cordts Physical Education Center.

FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk will address the graduating class and confer degrees. Featured commencement speakers are Carson Phillips, College of Business; Gloria Murphy and Noah Ream, College of Education; and Mia McCaslin, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Greetings and congratulations will be provided by University System of Maryland Regent Thomas Slater.

Phillips, of LaVale, Md., will graduate with a major in business administration and a concentration in management. Ever-present on the dean’s list for her academic achievement, Phillips is the recipient of FSU’s 2016 “Outstanding Intern” award.

According to Dr. Michael Monahan, chair of the Department of Management, “Carson has an infectious, bubbly personality that allows her to see the best in people and situations. Her faculty have commented on her intelligence, perseverance and her love of learning.” While attending classes at FSU full time, Phillips has also worked more than 35 hours a week at Chick-fil-A and Fratelli’s restaurants. She served as an intern with the Walt Disney World College Program where she worked at Epcot’s Electric Umbrella restaurant and took college courses. She is a member of the business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma. Phillips is described as “the consummate team player for her respect and flexibility in working with others.”

Phillips possesses abundant self-discipline and strives for perfection, which is evidenced by all that she has done.

Murphy, of Catonsville, Md., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Parks Management, earning it with honors. Murphy recently completed an internship for Ocean City Parks and Recreation where she created a morning program for National Park and Recreation Month, handled donations and assisted recreation programmers with summer camps, among her many tasks.

She worked for a number of years in early childhood education before pursuing her degrees. Murphy also graduated from Community College of Baltimore County with an associate degree in recreation, parks and tourism. Murphy was president of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Club at CCBC.

“She is high energy, a genuine advocate of Parks and Recreation in the state of Maryland, recipient of the Dr. Willa Brooks Scholarship and an excellent public speaker,” said Dr. Maureen Dougherty, assistant professor of Recreation and Parks Management. “She has been the cheerleader for the program and all of the students.”

Ream, of Somerset, Pa., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle school education. Ream has interned in local schools, worked as a Sunday school teacher and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Ream believes that “the purpose of education is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to make sound decisions along their journey in life,” according to Dr. Kim Rotruck, Department of Educational Professions chair. He volunteers to help his peers and the community, including for Storybook Holiday and Pirates Ahoy. His mentors, supervisors and instructors say he is “a caring, humble and all-around excellent role model for students and his peers.”

Ream served as a member of the 1st Battalion 6th Marine Regiment and led Marines on two separate deployments in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009-2010. Upon returning home, Ream decided to pursue teaching. He is also a member of the Marine Corps Reserves Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines.

“Noah’s dedication to his studies is only equal to his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is the epitome of the Veterans Services motto – ‘Same Commitment, New Mission,’” said Danielle Dabrowski, director of FSU’s Veterans Services.

McCaslin, of Broken Bow, Neb., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in journalism. She is described by a faculty member as “a student who has taken her passion for truth and justice, combined with her love of words, to reach and inspire others through her journalistic writing.”

During her time at FSU, she excelled in the classroom and served as managing editor of The Bottom Line student newspaper for two years, where she played a key role in its transformation in tackling difficult, but vital, topics affecting students. She also founded The Odyssey Online, a weekly publication in Frostburg. Outside of the classroom, McCaslin interned at newspapers in West Virginia, Southern Maryland and Nebraska and was named a National Newspaper Association Foundation news fellow in 2015.

One of her professors said, “Frankly, I rely on Mia so often, in and out of the classroom, that I have come to view her less as a student than as a colleague.” McCaslin plans to attend graduate school and become an advocate for nonprofit agencies, with an eventual goal of entering the political arena.

Interim Provost Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi; Dr. Clarence Golden, dean of the College of Education; Dr. Sudhir Singh, interim dean of the College of Business; and Dr. Joseph Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will present candidates for degrees during commencement.

For more information about commencement, visit Tickets are required to attend. An overflow area with no tickets required will also be available in the Lane University Center lounge area by Starbucks.

The ceremony will be streamed live online and can be found at on the day of Commencement. Participants are encouraged to celebrate on social media by sharing photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #FrostburgGRAD, or send your snaps on Snapchat to @frostburgstate.

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 or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589