August 28th, 2018
GC Foundation holds STEM campaign kick-off
Carissa Rodeheaver and Rosie Versteegen selected to co-chair $500K campaign
The Garrett College Foundation officially launched a campaign to raise $500,000 for STEM-related equipment and scholarships on Sunday evening at a kick-off event held at the Versteegen farm in McHenry.
The event included the announcement of campaign co-chairs and an update on pre-launch donations. First United Bank & Trust President Carissa Rodeheaver and Dr. Rosie Versteegen – who hosted Sunday's event along with her husband, Piet –will serve as co-chairs for the campaign.
"The addition of a state-of-the art STEM building to Garrett College is an exciting event for Garrett County," Carissa Rodeheaver stated. "I am honored to be part of this initiative as we create a better opportunity for students aspiring to a career in these fields. My hope is that students will start their education at Garrett College and will put their skills to work in a future career in Garrett County."
The initiative – officially called "The Campaign for Garrett: Realizing our Dream" – has already raised more than half of the $500,000 goal in advance of Sunday's launch.
"The outpouring of support for this initiative even before we officially launched it has been impressive," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. This is an aptly named campaign – our goal with the STEM campaign is to help deserving students achieve their dream of accessible, high-quality STEM educations while employing the most current equipment in the field.
"I'm confident Carissa and Rosie will provide the leadership we need to reach our ambitious campaign goal," added Midcap.
"Recognizing the importance of STEM education from both an overall and a personal standpoint, I am delighted to support the Garrett College Foundation in its effort to ensure this opportunity for our children," noted Dr. Rosie Versteegen.
The campaign, coincides with the opening of the college's new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Building, an $8.526 million expansion and renovation project funded equally by the county and the state. The facility – which includes classrooms, student spaces, faculty offices and laboratories for physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and robotics – will be featured in a public grand opening on Saturday, September 8th at 9 a.m.
"This fundraising endeavor is the most ambitious in Garrett College's history," stated Cherie Krug, executive director of the GC Foundation. "Campaign gifts are going into an endowment to be utilized by the College to help maintain the facility's state-of-the-art equipment and fund scholarships for students in STEM fields."
"As we all know, technology has a short lifespan," said Midcap. "And while public funding paid for most of our initial STEM equipment, we are trying to proactively plan to keep that equipment current as technology evolves. We also want to ensure financial need does not prevent deserving students from pursuing STEM education, which is why this campaign also has a scholarship component."
Krug said that major donors who have committed to investing in the STEM campaign will be publicly announced and recognized as part of the September 8th Grand Opening. More than a dozen major donors have already made naming gifts – including naming of rooms and student study spaces in the new facility – and more are anticipated as part of the public phase of the campaign.
In addition to announcing campaign co-chairs and recognizing pre-launch donors, the public launch included acknowledgement of those who participated in a campaign feasibility study as well as those who took part in campaign planning. The campaign grew out of a feasibility study by Teeter Associates (Greensburg, Pa.) that the GC Foundation commissioned.
Midcap praised Rodeheaver and Versteegen as "two individuals who bring a real passion for STEM and a commitment to education." Rodeheaver already serves as vice chair of the GC Foundation Board while Versteegen is a Foundation Board member.
Rodeheaver is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer for First United Bank & Trust, a publicly traded bank whose headquarters are in Oakland, Md. She is passionate about customizing financial solutions for customers throughout Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, having worked in the banking industry for over 26 years.
Rodeheaver is also an avid supporter of the financial industry through her involvement as chairman-elect for the Maryland Bankers Association, vice-chair for the American Bankers Association BankPac Committee, and member of the Maryland Bankers Association Council for Professional Women in Banking and Finance Advisory Council.
Locally, Rodeheaver serves on boards for the Garrett Development Corporation and Western Maryland Health Systems, and is a member of the Oak Grove Church of the Brethren. A certified public accountant, Rodeheaver earned a bachelor's of science degree in accounting from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Versteegen received her bachelor's of science and doctorate degrees in biochemistry from Glasgow University in Scotland. She held postdoctoral scholarships at Cambridge University in England and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), working in the area of disease research.
Following several years in NIH-sponsored cancer research programs, Versteegen joined Life Technologies and held various vice presidential roles, both technical and business oriented, including the GIBCO Manufacturing Facility, regulatory affairs, new business development and strategic planning.
During that time, Versteegen was responsible for the development of the first approved DNA-based diagnostic for the detection of HPV. In 2000, Versteegen became a founding partner of the Lifia Group, a consulting organization focused on helping life science and biotechnology companies grow through clearly enunciated, actionable strategic plans.
Since its inception in 2006, Versteegen has been the chief executive officer of the International Serum Industry Association, a global life science not-for-profit association. The mission of the association is to establish, promote and assure compliance with uncompromised standards of excellence and ethics in the business practices of the global animal serum and animal derived products supply industry.
"Carissa and Rosie are accomplished individuals who are well-known and well-respected in our community," said Midcap. "We couldn't ask for a better pair of co-chairs for this campaign."
For additional information on the STEM campaign or on giving to the endowment, persons may contact the Garrett College Foundation Office at 301-387-3100.