Community Briefs 06/12/2015

Academic honors

Logan Duncan

Wor-Wic Community College student Logan Duncan of Berlin was recently named to the All-Maryland Academic Team, a competition sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society that recognizes academic excellence and community service of two-year college students. Duncan was one of 17 students in Maryland to make the First Team.

An honors student with a 4.0 grade point average, Duncan is taking the prerequisite courses she needs to enter Wor-Wic’s nursing program. After completing her degree at Wor-Wic, she plans to transfer to Salisbury University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Dean’s List

Taylor Tobak of Berlin, a senior music major at York College of Pennsylvania, has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2015 semester.

To be eligible for this honor, a student must be registered for at least 12 academic credit hours and earn a semester GPA of 3.50 or higher.


Caitlin Whalan

Caitlin Elizabeth Whalan graduated with her juris doctorate degree on May 17 from William and Mary Law School, in Williamsburg, Va.

Prior to completing her studies at William and Mary Law School, she attended, and graduated magna cum laude, from Furman University in Greenville S.C. with a bachelor of arts in Music and Communication Studies.

While at Furman University, Whalan was a member of the National Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Beta Sigma National Honor Society, Phi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and Lambda Phi Etta National Communication Association’s Office Honor Society.

Whalan, known locally for the beauty of her voice, continued to share her gift while pursuing her law degree at William and Mary. She sang with The William and Mary Botetourt Chamber Singers and Law Cappella, serving as president of the former the past year.

At the commencement exercises, Caitlin was recognized, “…for special and outstanding service to the law school community.” She was also recognized for her service as the law school representative on the Graduate Council and as that organization’s representative to the William and Mary Student Government. She also received an award for her public service.

She is relocating to Charlotte, N.C., where she will study for the North Carolina bar examination. Following the bar examination, she will join the Individual Advocacy Team pursuant to a post-graduate fellowship provided by the Council for Children’s Rights.

A graduate of Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, Whalan is the daughter of Judith Ann Whalan, of Cape Isle of Wight and the late Richard Mayo.

Excellence in physics

Jon Rothermel, son of Bob and Amy Rothermel of Ocean City, received the Excellence in Physics Award at Salisbury University.

The award is given to seniors who have demonstrated a high level of general academic achievement and excellence in engineering.

Rothermel is a senior majoring in physics. He is a member of SU’s Society of Physics Students and a 2011 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School.


Erin Hagar

Worcester Preparatory School alumna Erin Hagar ’92 is the author of a new book, “Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures,” published by DuoPress, 2015.

The biography targets children ages 8-13 as it presents the famous chef via a fresh, new approach, delicious ingredients and exceptional taste.

Hagar’s prose in the book has been called “sparkling” and “full of rich sensations.” Combining her words with the art of Joanna Gorham, Hagar hopes to encourage upper elementary and middle school children to delight in the fascinating life of Julia Child.

Hagar graduated from University of Delaware, Phi Beta Kappa, and holds Master’s degrees from American University and John Hopkins University. While at Hopkins, she helped faculty members with adapting course materials for online access.


Meritorious Award

Megan Burak, daughter of Jim and Diana Burak of Berlin, received the Art Department Meritorious Award at Salisbury University.

The Art Department Meritorious Award is presented to an art student in honor of their abilities in the field. Students must submit a portfolio of their work along with a written statement emphasizing outstanding achievement.

Burak is a senior majoring in art. She is a 2011 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School.

New board member

Marnie Oursler

The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation announces the appointment of Marnie Oursler to its Board of Directors.

Oursler is the founder and president of Marnie Custom Homes, which builds community by giving back: whether by using locally-sourced materials, helping students get hands-on learning opportunities, or supporting arts education for underprivileged kids.

Oursler has been nationally recognized as Professional Builder Magazine’s “40 Under 40” and was awarded 2015 Best of Design by

Additionally, she received one of the world’s most distinguished business honors, the Gold Stevie® Award as Entrepreneur of the Year for Women in Business.

A graduate of the Cross Continent MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Oursler is a guest lecturer at the University of Maryland’s Graduate School of Architecture and a frequent public speaker on topics including design, women and business.

The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was established in 2007 to honor Josh Freeman, the former Chair of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, after his untimely death in December of 2006.

Best All Around

Stephen Decatur High School senior Jake Gaddis was named the Best All Around student during the Senior Awards Banquet on May 18.

Gaddis is the National Honor Society president, a two-sport athlete and he served as the Worcester County Student Page for the Maryland General Assembly this year.

Gaddis will attend Virginia Tech this fall.


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