Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege hon­ors Pride of the Peake

Record Observer - - News - By CHRIS POLK cpolk@star­dem.com

WYE MILLS — Two new stars at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege were hon­ored Thurs­day, May 11, in the Pride of the Peake cer­e­mony, a spe­cial evening of din­ner and awards in the col­lege’s Caro­line Col­lege Cen­ter.

Jenny Rhodes and Dr. Ruth Ann Jones are Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege alumni who have served the com­mu­nity in fields that are near and dear to those on the Eastern Shore — agri­cul­ture and health care.

Pride of the Peake was es­tab­lished to rec­og­nize those in­di­vid­u­als who not only made a dif­fer­ence to Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege but also in the lo­cal com­mu­nity. It’s sort of an un­of­fi­cial hall of fame, not to be con­fused with Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege’s ath­letic hall of fame.

The agri­cul­ture ma­jor at the col­lege is a fairly re­cent thing, and it has taken many hands to shape it. A pair of the those hands be­long to Rhodes.

Rhodes’ pen­chant for com­mu­nity ser­vice be­gan at an early age, when she was in 4-H and in farm bu­reau ac­tiv­i­ties.

Af­ter she at­tended Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, Rhodes went on to earn a bach­e­lor’s and master’s de­grees from the Univer­sity of Mary­land Eas­ton Shore.

These days, she is se­nior agent and ex­ten­sion ed­u­ca­tor for agri­cul­ture and nat­u­ral re­sources in Queen Anne’s County, and she teaches at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

A Queen Anne’s County na­tive, she helps run her fam­ily farm, and owns grain and poul­try oper­a­tions.

When Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege be­gan to de­velop its agri­cul­ture pro­gram, Rhodes was in­valu­able, said Ni­cole Fiorellino, who co­or­di­nates the pro­gram and is an in­struc­tor.

Fiorellino said Rhodes acted as a sound­ing board and gave ideas for ac­tiv­i­ties and ob­jec­tives.

Rhodes was able to con­nect Fiorellino with farm­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and po­ten­tial guest speak­ers.

Jones also was in­ducted into Pride of the Peake. Jones is one of the orig­i­nal grad­u­ates of the Mac­queen Gibbs Wil­lis School of Nurs­ing, which is now the Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege MGW School of Nurs­ing.

Af­ter nurs­ing school, Jones earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Wes­ley Col­lege, a master’s de­gree from Catholic Univer­sity of Amer­ica and a doc­tor­ate from Wilm­ing­ton Univer­sity.

These days, she is se­nior vice pres­i­dent for Pa­tient Care Ser­vices and chief nurs­ing of­fi­cer with Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health. She is also a mem­ber of the ad­vi­sory board for the nurs­ing school.

Jones was praised for be­ing a “won­der­ful ad­vo­cate” for Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege’s health pro­fes­sions pro­grams.

Among her fa­vorite ac­com­plish­ments, she helped set up com­mu­nity ser­vice hours in health care cen­ters for stu­dents and served as an ad­vi­sor and men­tor for nurses who wished to go back to school and get more ad­vanced de­grees.

She has served on the Tal­bot Mul­ti­cul­tural Com­mit­tee, Tal­bot Part­ner­ship, the Ch­e­sa­peake Nurs­ing Ad­vi­sory Board, Tal­bot County Pub­lic Schools’ health ad­vi­sory board, a pe­di­atric asthma and di­a­betes day camp, and var­i­ous com­mu­nity agen­cies.

Her work in the field of health care spans 43 years.

Be­sides be­ing grad­u­ates of Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, both Jones and Rhodes also have Ch­e­sa­peake grad­u­ates in their im­me­di­ate fam­i­lies.

They both said com­mu­nity ser­vice had en­riched their lives above and be­yond what it did for oth­ers.

“I have gained per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion and pride through the com­mu­nity work, in know­ing I have helped oth­ers. This has en­riched me be­yond be­lief,” Jones said.

“It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that com­mu­nity ser­vice can fit into any stage of your life,” Rhodes said. “Our level of in­volve­ment may have to ad­just as we change or face life chal­lenges, but there is al­ways some­thing we can do to make a dif­fer­ence,” Rhodes said.

Pride of the Peake is spon­sored by the Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege Alumni and Friends As­so­ci­a­tion.

As of Thurs­day evening, more than $60,000 had been raised for the Alumni Schol­ar­ship Fund.

A new fea­ture of Pride of the Peake is that the re­cip­i­ents will have a schol­ar­ship named af­ter them.

The Ruth Ann Jones En­dowed Schol­ar­ship will be awarded to any stu­dent who is a res­i­dent of Caro­line, Dorch­ester, Kent, Queen Anne’s or Tal­bot coun­ties, and is en­rolled in a health pro­fes­sion pro­gram, such as reg­is­tered nurse, EMT, cer­ti­fied nurs­ing as­sis­tant, sur­gi­cal tech­ni­cian or ra­di­o­logic tech­ni­cian.

The Jenny Rhodes En­dowed Schol­ar­ship will be awarded to any Eastern Shore res­i­dent who is en­rolled in the Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege Agri­cul­ture Pro­gram.

A short video about each hon­oree was part of Thurs­day evening’s fes­tiv­i­ties. Com­ments dur­ing the evening in­cluded those by col­lege pres­i­dent Dr. Bar­bara Viniar, Ann Ryan, Dr. Ni­cole Fiorellino and Crys­tel Fa­rina.

State Sen. Ade­laide Eckardt, R-37B-Mid-Shore, made pre­sen­ta­tions to the hon­orees. Also present was Denise Love­lady from the of­fice of U.S. Rep. Andy Har­ris, R-1st-Md., and Kim Kra­tovil from the of­fice of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.

Peake-level spon­sors for this year’s Pride of the Peake are Allen Harim, Mon­taire Farms, Per­due and Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health. Gold level spon­sors are Carm­pusWorks and Dixon Valve.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Pride of the Peake or to do­nate to one of the schol­ar­ship funds, con­tact Direc­tor of Ad­vance­ment El­iz­a­beth Devlin at ede­vlin@ch­e­sa­peake.edu.

Mar­cie Al­varado Mol­loy con­trib­uted to this story.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ chrisp_s­tar­dem. Email me at cpolk@star­dem.com.

Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege’s Caro­line Cen­ter was packed for the Pride of the Peake event on Thurs­day, May 11.

PHO­TOS BY CHRIS POLK

Jenny Rhodes speaks dur­ing the Pride of the Peake event at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege Thurs­day evening.

Dr. Ruth Ann Jones speaks dur­ing the Pride of the Peake event at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege Thurs­day evening.

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