2017 Outstanding Student Ali Barrett w Orlikoff

Ali Barrett receiving the Outstanding Student Award by President Orlikoff. Photo by PSC Communications

Ali Barrett was named the 2017 Outstanding Student of the Year at the annual Scholars’ Wall and Recognition Day Ceremony.

The nominees for the prestigious E. William Noland Outstanding Student Award were Samuel Aloi, Samantha Hesse, Breanna Nestor, Nickolas Imes, Ali Barrett, Sarah Whiteman and Hannah Dickson.

Barrett, Dickson and Whiteman were chosen by a faculty committee to be honored on the Scholar’s Wall after reviewing their resumes and conducting an interview with each individual.

All three will share in the achievement of having their names engraved on the Duke Anthony Whitmore and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Academic Achievement Wall (Scholars’ Wall).

The wall was planned to honor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Ph.D., who attended PSC and now serves as chair of Harvard’s Department of African American Studies.

Gates planned to become a physician while attending PSC. His teacher, Tony “Duke” Whitmore, changed his life by introducing the world of language and literature to Gates.

Whitmore died before the wall could be complete, so Gates honored him by adding his professor’s name beside his for the wall.

The committee also chooses a former faculty member to be honored. Kenneth F. Haines was honored this year. He dedicated 44 years of service at PSC, teaching foreign languages.

R. Ivan Pinnell, class of 1963, was chosen as the Alumni Honoree. He earned his associate degree in journalism from PSC in 1963. As a student he served as a reporter and was a member editorial board for the “Pasquino”.


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Potomac State College students are getting ahead in their careers by completing internships and engaging in real-world work experience.

Dalton Minnigh, marketing sophomore, is interning through the Allegany County Historical Society. Minnigh writes press releases, creates flyers and plans events held at the Gordon-Roberts House in Cumberland, Maryland.

“This experience has given me so much already by showing me that I have to remain organized, focused, take initiative when necessary and not be afraid to brainstorm new ideas,” Minnigh said.

Candi Fitzwater is a fourth-year business student. To help complete her major, she is a teaching assistant for Mr. Stone to earn credit in an upper division elective. Fitzwater helps grade tests, makes copies, takes notes and goes over homework problems with the class.

“Being a TA has shown me that everyone learns differently and at a different speed; you have to try different methods so everyone can understand,” Fitzwater said.

Kyley Foster, elementary education sophomore, has completed the 60 internship hours to get into Education 200. She also spent three weeks with a fifth grade class and another six months with kindergarten at Keyser Primary School. Foster worked one-on-one with students, helped grade papers, answered questions and taught brief lessons. These internships have helped Foster decide that teaching is the right path for her.

“I definitely think internships are an excellent way to help with a career,” Foster said.

Cody Brazil is a freshman journalism major and hopes to either be an investigative reporter or a public relations representative.

Brazil was able to learn about different strategies and techniques in the classroom, but it wasn’t until he landed a job at Keyser’s newspaper, “The Mineral Daily News-Tribune,” that he realized the importance of applying these skills.

Brazil wanted to appear professional, so he did not check the spelling of names on his first story. When he turned in his article, someone’s name had been misspelled. “Luckily, it happened at a small job I do on the side for the experience. An opportunity that I feel everyone should be able to have. I implore you all to go out and find opportunities to make mistakes,” Brazil said.

Alyssa Murray is also a freshman journalism major and hopes to become a photojournalist. The biggest lesson she learned while working for the Keyser paper was the importance of deadlines.

“If you work really hard on a story, but you turn it in late, it doesn’t matter. Your work won’t be seen because they won’t run it,” Murray said.

Amber Butcher, journalism professor, encourages her students to complete two to four internships before graduating.

Student Involvement Varies Due to Different Reasons

Club activity on campus varies due to numerous reasons. There are 26 student organizations at PSC. Some of the organizations hold events on campus, while others meet regularly and keep their activities within the club. However some other clubs are not as active due to lack of membership.

When asked if she was involved in any clubs on campus, sophomore Angela Keeney said, “No, but I need to be. Between homework, class and work, I don’t have much free time.” Keeney has 13 credit hours, and spends her spare time in the library studying or doing homework. When that is done she visits with friends if she has time.

SGA President Nick Imes believes that our campus needs more enthusiasm and large events to get students excited about being involved. However, sometimes being excited isn’t the issue.

Timothy Woodson, a full-time sophomore who works a job with varying hours, said he would be interested in clubs if there were more that attracted his interest, such as an anime (Japanese cartoons) club.

Other students have more flexible schedules, so they can find time join clubs and participate in activities.

SGA president Nick Imes said he has been involved in many activities within a number of clubs here on campus. Imes is currently helping the Social Justice Club to host oxefam (a demonstration to show how the world works based on your economic status.)

Andrew Day is a full-time, third-year student, resident assistant, SGA member, vice president of the Geeks and Gamers Club and also chair of the Humans Vs. Zombies game. Day said he is involved because he likes to help students see what good things there are on campus. With this being his third year, Day has a flexible schedule that allows him to be involved.

“I wish more students would be involved because that would make better experiences for everyone,” Day said.

Several clubs have been very active this year.

The Circle K Club started off the 2016-2017 year with a few community service and fundraising projects. Club advisor Jay Badenhoop said the club has had some setbacks so they have been conducting business through email.

The Black Student Alliance meets every other Tuesday. The club held Keyser’s Got Talent in the fall and took a trip to D.C Capitol Hill on March 31, 3017. They also went to the D.C. Museum of African American History. The club held activities for Black History Month including a movie night and a trivia game.

The Criminal Justice Club has 12-15 active members that participate in activities and show up to meetings. This year they have helped with the food pantry, painted for the Burlington school and assisted CASA in promoting Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Campus and Community Involvement travelled to Rainelle, WV to work with the Appalachian Service Project to help rebuild and/or repair flood damaged homes from last summer’s storm.

Check out the audio interview about the Queen 2 Queen club below:

Spring Break Spots to Keep You and Your Wallet Happy


By Alyssa Murray, staff writer

Spring Break (March 4-11 this academic year) is always highly anticipated and majorly expensive. Finding a fun spot to relax and enjoy yourself while also staying on a budget is not exactly the easiest thing to do. It may seem long away now, but it will be here before you know it.

College kids are typically on the strictest budgets but have the most energy to go out and have fun. So, how can we find the perfect place? This list is your new bible. Find the ideal destination for you and your friends to visit this Spring Break to relax (or not relax whatsoever) all while not breaking the bank.

The drive may take a while, but just pack your best friends into your car (Don’t forget the aux cord.) and the time will pass before you even know it. Get planning ASAP. The sooner you book hotels, the cheaper it will be.


Atlantic City, New Jersey


  1. Atlantic City, New Jersey.

This bustling ocean-side city is only about a five-hour drive from Keyser and offers tons of things to do, no matter the time of day. Spend hours surfing, shopping, enjoying the world-famous Boardwalk, fishing, etc. Don’t miss Steel Pier, a 1,000-foot pier offering plenty of amusement rides and games. It may still be a little cold part of the time you’re in town so bring warmer clothes just in case. But don’t worry, even if it’s too cold to swim, you’ll still find endless amounts of things to do no matter the temperature. Plus, if you are 21, enjoy the casinos the city has to offer.

Your best bet for cheap-yet-decent hotels would be to stay somewhere a little outside of the main drag. You’ll still be close to the attractions but won’t be spending hundreds per night. Expect to spend around $700 total for decent lodging for the entire week. It may seem like a lot but split with just four other friends and you only need to contribute $140.


Washington, D.C.

  1. Washington, D.C.

If the beach isn’t exactly how you’d like to spend your week of freedom, D.C. may be the spot for you. It’s not as rowdy as the packed beach cities will be and will still offer fun attractions and things to do in our nation’s capital. You won’t be bored in this town that is only two hours and 45 minutes from Keyser.

Obviously, the museums must be mentioned. Be sure to check out the Museum of Natural History and the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Botanical Gardens and the National Zoo are also great places to spend the day. Catch a concert at the Fillmore or the Verizon Center, visit the iconic Washington Monument, try to see the president outside of the White House, or check out the countless art galleries scattered in the city. The Renwick Gallery and the Zenith Gallery are must-sees. You might even get to see the famous Cherry Blossoms. The greatest part? Almost all of these attractions are free.

Lodging won’t be too expensive if you stay in a city right outside of DC and catch the metro in. You can find places for about $650 per week, only $158 for you if you bring three more friends.



Pigeon Forge, Tennessee


  1. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Bad news first: This Smokey Mountain city is seven hours away from Keyser. Good news: it’s worth the drive. Are you a thrill-seeker? Yes? Keep reading. Pigeon Forge has almost everything you can imagine to get your adrenaline pumping, all tucked away in Tennessee mountains. You can bungee jump, race go-karts, try the alpine coaster, indoor skydive, zip line, the list goes on and on.

Be surrounded by the beautiful Smokey Mountains and have a blast. Lodging here can be extremely cheap if you enjoy camping. Tent camp for as little as $24 a night or upgrade to a cabin for only $58 per night so you can save your money for the tons of attractions.

UPDATE (November 30, 2016):  This area is currently experiencing wild fires. Call in advance to see what attractions are open.


New York, New York


  1. New York, New York

I know what you’re thinking: “Wasn’t this supposed to be a list of places we can afford?” But, hear me out. New sites like Airbnb.com make staying in NYC actually affordable on a budget for pretty much the first time ever. If you’re willing to share most of the apartment with the owners while still having your own private room, this trip is completely doable.

Although obviously a little pricier than the other places, you can find an amazing spot to stay for as little as $800 for the whole week. Split that with just three of your friends and you pay $200 to stay in NYC for an entire week. Start saving now so you can stroll Central Park, visit the top of the Empire State Building, and of course see Times Square and its Naked Cowboy.

This would be a trip you’d never forget. Just imagine the Instagram pictures you’ll snap of the sparkling city lights at night. And it’s only five hours from Keyser. Time to get packing.


Panama City Beach, Floria



       5.  Panama City Beach, Florida

This is the mecca of spring break destinations. Yes, it’s far away, a little over 14 hours away to be exact. But let’s face it: it’s worth it. Make a road trip out of it, take turns driving, create a road trip playlist, and hit the road. Leave early Saturday morning around 6 a.m. and you’ll be there by 9 p.m. Yeah, a whole day of driving isn’t necessarily the most fun thing, but it’s worth it for a week in the warm weather and Florida sun.

Prepare to do lots of partying and be social. You’ll have the opportunity to meet thousands of other college kids from around the world in town for the same reason you are. Mingle, swim in the Gulf of Mexico, go clubbing at night, shop at the hundreds of stores, or enjoy a day at the waterpark. I guarantee you’ll not be bored for a single minute in this city during Spring Break.

Budget about $550-$600 to stay for a week in a condo. The more friends you bring, the less money you’ll spend. Go on, invite everyone.


These five different spots offer different activities.  Enjoy a week at the beach, in the woods, adventuring, thrill-seeking, or shopping in the city. Get planning now, start saving your money, invite all your friends and get excited for spring break. It will be here before you know it!


PSC Professor Tom Sydow is Guest Chef at the 2nd Annual Wycktoberfest

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Imagine walking into a local eatery and finding out that your English professor is the guest chef, serving a packed house and having to turn people away!

Tom Sydow, Potomac State College English professor, served as guest chef for the 2nd Annual Wyctoberfest at the Candlewyck Inn and Restaurant.

Sydow, along with Candlewyck’s chefs Fred Engle and Ernie Walker, served delicious German cuisine.


The featured menu consisted of several delectable dishes including jaegerschnitzel (veal) with jaegerwyck sauce, (a blend of bacon, mushrooms, and onions), riesling (highly aromatic white wine from Germany), sour cream and thyme.

Another dish was chicken paprikash in a red pepper, mushroom and paprika sauce on spaetzle (a German egg noodle).

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the local area Relay for Life, in memory of Chef Thomas Vieli.

“I have many fond memories of cooking with Chef Thomas and learned valuable cooking tips from him,” said Sydow.

“I’m also thrilled that Fred and Sharon (Engle) have invited me back to serve as a guest chef again this year.”

Many PSC staff and faculty attended the event including Dr. Jennifer Orlikoff, Ruth Upton and Virginia Kline.

Sydow said that “Fred and Ernie could not get enough thanks” for helping with Wycktoberfest.

Sydow’s first jobs in the food industry were at a Tasty Freeze and as a bus boy at a restaurant.

His cooking skills are self-taught. He learned his skills by trying many different spices and seasonings to create a twist on a variety of scrumptious dishes.

These days, one of his favorite dishes to cook is chicken thighs marinated in Schwartziber (a dark lager made in Germany with a hint of chocolate or coffee flavors) and molasses.

He also enjoys preparing cassoulets, a hearty French stew that is made with an array of beans and different meats.

Vegetarian dishes are not among Sydow’s favorite to make, as he said, “I just don’t get tofu.”

He teaches a community class called Grapes and Grains with a fellow professor, Donna Ballard. They brew several different types of beer and wine.

In past years, Sydow and Ballard teamed up with Vieli to prepare an Oktoberfest banquet for their students.

The banquet featured authentic German cuisine with beer and wine.

Sydow teaches a variety of writing, literature, pop culture and humanities classes at PSC as well as his unique classes of fly fishing and beer brewing and wine making.

North Pole Experience aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

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Students and families have a wonderful opportunity to travel the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to enjoy the North Pole Experience.

Guests may join the train as it departs from Cumberland, Maryland. The North Pole Experience begins Nov. 18 through Dec. 18. Excursions aboard the WMSR will depart from downtown Cumberland at 13 Canal St., starting Fridays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. Cost is $45 for adults/seniors and $40 for students. This adventure is 21 miles from Potomac State College.

Guests will be treated with Christmas music and a story, and they will meet with Santa Claus while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies.

For any needed information about WMSR’s North Pole Experience or any of their other many exciting activities, please call 240-920-6273 or Email: trainmaster@wmsr.com


Hunting and Fishing Information for Out-of-State College Students


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Any full-time, out-of-state college students may apply for a fishing or hunting license as a resident of West Virginia. Students will pay in-state fees and will be entitled to state resident privileges. Licenses can be purchased at Keyser Walmart, Knobley Farms Sports Shop located on Rt. 50 or the Mineral County Clerk’s office. Students may also purchase licenses online at www.wvfish.com. For more information, contact the Hunting and Fishing License Unit at 304-558-2758.

For a full listing of great fishing spots, check out http://www.fishingworks.com/west-virginia/mineral-wv/.