Frostburg State University to Celebrate 151st Commencement Ceremony

Dec 6, 2017 10:00 AM

Frostburg State University will celebrate student achievements of its fall 2017 graduating class with the 151st Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 19. The ceremony for the colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences will take place in the Harold J. Cordts Physical Education Center’s Main Arena at 2 p.m.

FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk will address the graduating class and confer degrees. This year’s commencement speakers are Christina Grove, from the College of Business; Rashaan Rhoden, from the College of Education; and Selena Burke, from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Grove, of Hagerstown, Md., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in small business and entrepreneurship. She is a student of FSU’s program at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. While balancing a full-time position at BB&T Bank and raising two young children, Grove combined her studies with membership in USMH’s Business Club and the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. Her professors said they admire her eagerness to learn and engage during lectures and team activities. Grove’s business plan for Neema Maternity, a consignment boutique, impressed the business professionals attending the USMH business plan pitching presentation. She is also an active supporter of humanitarian programs in her community, including volunteering for Girls Inc. of Washington County and Soroptimist International of Hagerstown, as well as preparing and distributing Perseverance Packages to homeless women in the region.

Rhoden, of Cambridge, Md., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks management, having achieved the Dean’s List multiple times His professors applaud his empathy and ability to inspire others. As president of FSU’s Recreation Society, Rhoden drove his student organization to become more active. He helped organize the city of Frostburg’s Block Party and its Halloween Party, and he served as program manager for FSU’s annual “Be Like Bob!” fundraiser. On Alternative Spring Break, Rhoden worked with New Jersey schoolchildren at Newark’s Boys and Girls Club. Rhoden interned with the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks and the FSU Office of Student Activities and Greek Life. He is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity – where he was former philanthropy chair – the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association and the Lion’s Club International. He was also marketing and events coordinator for Late @ Lane and served as an academic skills mentor to first- and second-year students.

Burke, of Severn, Md., will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the dual majors of English and ethnobotany. Beyond her classwork, Burke undertook an advanced undergraduate research project using a technique called “genome walking” to locate mutated genes that prevent plants from producing anthocyanins, molecules that offer sun protection and serve as antioxidants. Burke has served as a research assistant for several other research projects, undertaken multiple ethnobotanical field experiences and is a member of the Botanical Society of America. She was selected for a prestigious undergraduate research experience this summer at the University of California, Riverside, where she screened barley varieties for genetic differences. Burke has regularly appeared on the Dean’s List at FSU, and she plans to pursue a doctorate, examining the flow of genetic materials between agricultural crops and their wild relatives.

Provost Dr. Elizabeth Throop; Dr. Sudhir Singh, interim dean of the College of Business; Dr. Boyce Williams, interim dean of the College of Education; and Dr. Joseph Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will present candidates for degrees.

Tickets are required to attend. For more information about commencement, visit

The ceremony will also be streamed live online. For the livestream link, visit on the day of commencement. An overflow viewing area showing the livestreamed broadcast will be available in the Lane University Center Loft near Starbucks. No tickets are required at this location.

FSU has a special geofilter for commencement. Open Snapchat to find the geofilter, and send commencement Snaps to or @FrostburgState. Share your best Commencement photos of your favorite moments on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by tagging them with the hashtag #FrostburgGRAD.

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.