FCC and Frederick Community Invited to Meet Presidential Candidates the Week of April 21


We encourage our students, employees and community members to meet presidential finalists Elizabeth Burmaster, James Mabry, and Christopher Reber the week of April 21. We encourage you to attend our open forums to meet the candidates and ask questions. The dates, times and locations for the forums are below.

Monday, April 21 (Candidate James Mabry) 10:15-11:15 a.m. Open Campus Community Forum (Visual and Performing Arts Center, JBK Theater) 3:30-4:30 p.m. Open Campus Community Forum (Conference Center, E124 A/B)

Wednesday, April 23 (Candidate Elizabeth Burmaster) 10:15-11:15 a.m. Open Campus Community Forum (Classroom Student Center, H202/203) 3:30-4:30 p.m. Open Campus Community Forum (Classroom Student Center, H202/203)

Thursday, April 24 (Candidate Christopher Reber) 10:15-11:15 a.m. Open Campus Community Forum (Visual and Performing Arts Center, JBK Theater) 3:30-4:30 p.m. Open Campus Community Forum Visual and Performing Arts Center, JBK Theater)

The Frederick Community College board of trustees has invited three presidential finalists to interview and meet with the campus community next week as it searches for the next campus leader. A 13-member search committee and consultants from R.H. Perry & Associates screened more than 60 applicants, interviewing a dozen semifinalists before sharing their recommendations with the college trustees at a recent meeting.

Candidates will visit the campus the week of April 21 and include Elizabeth Burmaster, president of Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wis.; James Mabry, vice president of Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz.; and Christopher Reber, executive dean of Venango College of Clarion University in Oil City, Pa.

“We are excited to invite these outstanding finalists to the campus as each brings an impressive array of talents and credentials,” said David Bufter, chair of the search committee and vice chair of the trustees. “We expected a robust applicant pool. Frederick Community College is one of the best community colleges in Maryland and the region, and its programs and employees have been recognized nationally. The college has widespread community support and is in a healthy marketplace. It was apparent during the semifinal interviews that candidates recognized that FCC was a community asset and were extremely grateful to be considered.”

The candidates will meet with students, employees, the trustees and members of the community over a two-day period. Campus and local community members will have the opportunity to attend open forum sessions between 10:15-11:15 a.m. or 3:30-4:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, for Mabry, Wednesday, April 23 for Burmaster, and Thursday, April 24 for Reber (locations will be posted on the college’s website by Thursday). In addition, local business and community leaders will be invited to meet with the candidates at a separate breakfast.

The trustees are expected to select the new president as quickly as possible after the interviews are completed, and he or she will assume office by July 1, 2014. Current President Doug Browning will retire June 30, 2014, and then serve as a consultant to aid in the leadership transition.

Elizabeth Burmaster
Elizabeth Burmaster

Elizabeth Burmaster serves as president of Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wis. Since 2009, she has overseen the development and implementation of the college’s strategic plan --Nicolet 2020 -- as well as the reorganization of academic and student support services to align with goals of student persistence, retention, and success. In addition to securing and implementing state and federal grants related to workforce and economic development, Burmaster has provided leadership of dual enrollment/transcripted credit and pre-college opportunities at Nicolet College for secondary students, among other achievements.

From 2001 to 2009 Burmaster served as the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, completing two terms in office. She has long been an advocate of student success in public education. As an elementary school principal, Burmaster opened a magnet school to enhance racial diversity and academic achievement through arts education. Additionally, she worked for nearly a decade as principal of a 2,000 student urban high school and led curriculum, behavioral, and teaching reforms to close the achievement gap.

Burmaster has been active in educational organizations at local, state, and national levels. She served for eight years on the University of Wisconsin board of regents and the Wisconsin Technical College System Board. She also served for eight years on the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and the Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board. Furthermore, she has served as president-elect, president, and past president of the national Council of Chief State School Officers.

A graduate of Thomas Johnson High School, Burmaster is also the product of a Frederick Community College education. She took courses at FCC before graduating from high school and describes Frederick to be “at the core of who I am and what I have contributed as a public education teacher, principal, president of Nicolet College, and as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

She holds honorary doctorates from Edgewood College in Madison, Wis., and Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. Burmaster earned her Master of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as 45 post-master’s credits from the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of Music with Honors in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

James Mabry
James Mabry

James Mabry serves as vice president of Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz. Prior to that post he was dean of academic affairs at Palm Beach Community College in South Campus, Fla.

He additionally served for four years as dean of Academic Affairs at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he was also an assistant professor of history and taught history and economics. Mabry began his career as a high school social studies teacher in New York City, and he taught in public high schools there for three years.

He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Columbia University and a Master of Science degree from The London School of Economics. Mabry earned his associate degree from the University of Maryland Overseas Division and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University’s School of General Studies. He is from a small village outside of Rochester, N.Y.

After graduating from high school, he attended college in Ohio on a swimming scholarship, but took a break after five quarters and considers it one of the best decisions he ever made. Over the next six years he worked, traveled by motorcycle through Europe and North Africa, and worked for the Air Force in Germany.

Mabry lived in New York, Tokyo, London and Florida before moving to Arizona, where he is active in the Mesa, Arizona community and serves on the Mesa Arts Center Foundation Executive Board and the Chair Academy Practitioners Board. He is co-president of the Columbia Club of Phoenix.

Christopher Reber
Christopher Reber

Chris Reber currently serves as executive dean of Venango College of Clarion University in Oil City, Pa. Reber is the 
college’s chief executive and academic officer and a member of Clarion University’s cabinet. Under his leadership the 
college has achieved record-breaking enrollments and developed a variety of new programs that address community and regional needs, supported by a growing network of partnerships with business, industrial, health care and educational organizations.

Reber has led two strategic planning processes for Venango College involving a wide range of university and community constituencies. He and his colleagues have raised more than $12 million in private support for the college that funded scholarships, programs and apartment-style student housing. Additionally, Reber has worked closely with community organizations to implement workforce, economic development and quality-of-life initiatives and create a vision and plan for future community directions.

His career includes 18 years at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he served on the senior management team in several positions including Penn State Erie’s equivalent of two vice presidencies: chief Development, University Relations, and Alumni Relations officer; and chief Student Affairs officer.

Reber oversaw one of the largest capital campaigns in Erie’s history, a $50 million endowment campaign that supported every part of the college. As Penn State Erie’s dean of Student Affairs, Reber developed a speaker series that won two national awards, organized and chaired the college’s Diversity and Educational Equity Committee, and led the development of standards for Student Affairs at all university locations.

Reber holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin from Dickinson College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa; a master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Bowling Green State University, where he was named “Graduate Student of the Year;” and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds a post-graduate certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

He serves on a variety of local and regional boards and is a member of many community organizations.