Currently viewing the tag: "Mount Saint Mary's University (MSMU)"

Richard D. L. Fulton

Artist rendition of proposed Coad expansion.

Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) kicked off the planned expansion of the university’s construction of a 21,000-square-foot addition to the Mount’s Coad Science Building with a “beam-signing” ceremony on April 28.

The construction of the $10.75 million addition will commence as the spring semester ends, according to information provided by MSMU’s Marketing & Communications Team, with the objective that the project will be completed by the fall of 2024.

The “beam-signing” event was held to mark the official beginning of the $10.75 million project, and a fiberglass beam was made available for ceremonial event attendees to sign.  The beam will ultimately be displayed in a prominent location in the building once the expansion project is completed.

“The addition to Coad will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for the Mount’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs, enabling programmatic expansion consistent with STEM profession demands and helping the university continue to attract and retain outstanding faculty and students,” Mount President Timothy Trainor stated.

Christine McCauslin, dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, said, “We are fortunate to have experienced tremendous growth in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics over the last several years, thanks to the hard work of our students, faculty, and staff.”

McCauslin further stated, “I look forward to the road ahead as we build on our trajectory of success and gain recognition as a leading STEM educator, whose graduates are highly sought after, and prepared to make a positive impact on the world.”

Coad is a three-story, 50,100 square-foot building, which houses the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. The building, constructed in 1964, has outgrown the existing space and needs to be renovated for modern STEM pedagogical (educational)  practices, according to MSMU Marketing & Communications.

Stantec Architecture, based in Butler, Pennsylvania, designed the expansion plan.

Construction is being managed by JEM Group, LLC, based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

Specific goals for the expansion include a design that promotes circulation and spontaneous interaction; is flexible and adaptable; and provides natural light where STEM students and faculty in action can see, and be seen, according to the Mount.

The new classroom and lab spaces will be technology-rich, multi-use, flexible, and configurable for a variety of instructional formats and class sizes.

MSMU Marketing & Communications reported that the addition will include neuroscience, computational, and environmental research labs, as well as collaborative spaces, which will be constructed in the first phase of the project.

The second phase will include the buildout of the second and third levels of the expansion, which will include the creation of additional science labs, classrooms, and experiential research spaces. The work on the expansion will then be completed in a third phase, which will involve renovation of the existing space in the Coad Science Building.

The Coad expansion and renovation project is being funded by donations to the Our Mission, Our Moment, Our Mount Campaign, and a $2 million grant from the State of Maryland, in conjunction with donations made in support of the project through the Forward! Together as One campaign.

The Our Mission, Our Moment, Our Mount was created as a comprehensive campaign to invest at least $50 million to help address more immediate mission-critical priority needs.

The Forward! Together as One campaign was established to raise contributions for various Mount projects, ranging from sports assets to Seminary upgrades to National Shrine of the Grotto improvements.

A “lead donation” from George Delaplaine, Jr. will provide the collaborative space, to be called the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons. Other top-level donors to the expansion project are the Page Family Foundation, Trish and D.J. Monagle, Paula and Fred Neuer, and Christina Lee and Mark Sobus.

Christine McCauslin, dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, signs the commemorative beam.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Mount Saint Mary’s University’s (MSMU) Athletics Director Lynne Robinson (pictured right) will be retiring from that position as of August.

MSMU President Timothy Trainor said, “The entire Mount community is grateful to Lynne Phelan Robinson for her 15 years as director of Mount athletics and 42 years of tremendous service to the university,” further stating, “Her commitment to the success of student-athletes both on the playing fields and in the classroom has touched countless lives.”

President Trainor additionally commented that, following an impressive coaching career, “she entered sports administration to help lead the university’s move to Division-I in the Northeast Conference and is retiring after a successful transition to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.”

“I, as well as our entire community, will deeply miss Lynne and hope that we will continue to see her around campus and in the stands during her well-earned retirement years,” Trainor said.

According to Mount staff, “Robinson and the Mount have been intertwined for decades, as she is the daughter of the Mount’s legendary basketball coach, Jim Phelan,” adding, “Robinson, a lifelong resident of Emmitsburg, grew up in the shadow of the college, and ultimately attended the Mount, playing basketball under the guidance of The Reverend James Delaney and Fred Carter, as well as field hockey and tennis. She graduated magna cum laude in 1979 with a degree in Political Science.”

Throughout her 42-year career, Robinson has served Mount’s athletics program as a coach and an administrator, with the past 15 years as the university’s athletics director. Robinson was named director of athletics in 2007, and her tenure has seen the Mount increase its offering of varsity sports from 16 to 24, and its student-athlete population nearly doubled over a six-year span.

The Mount’s long-term commitment to student-athlete academic success has continued under Robinson’s tenure, as student-athletes have earned numerous academic accolades throughout the years. The Mount’s graduation success rate has attained, or exceeded, 90 percent over the past six years.

MSMU staff stated, “During this time, athletic development revenues of over $15 million have led to major facility upgrades and renovations to athletic venues. Robinson has enjoyed significant success as athletic director, with 23 conference championships and several NCAA tournament appearances.”

Her professional career began upon graduation, serving as coach for women’s cross country and track and field. Numerous conference champions and five All-Americans competed while Robinson was at the helm.

A cornerstone of Robinson’s leadership has been a commitment to student-athlete well-being, as she has championed the expansion of several key areas: sports medicine; strength and conditioning; academic support services; sports nutrition; the team Chaplaincy Program with the Mount Seminary; and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, according to the Mount. MSMU staff also reported that Robinson has served on numerous campus, conference, NACDA and NCAA committees, including having served as a NCAA peer reviewer in the Division-I Certification Program and the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Committee. She has served on the Athletics Advisory Committee since its inception in 1996, and she was actively involved in the Mount’s three successful NCAA certification reviews. In 2022, Robinson worked with President Trainor and the MSMU Board of Trustees to transition as a full member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the 2022-23 season and beyond. This followed a successful 33-year run in the Northeast Conference. Robinson further stated, “I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve Mount St. Mary’s University for my entire career,” adding, “Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for the many wonderful memories, experiences, and especially all the friends, alumni, and colleagues I have met along the way.” “To the Mount faculty, administration, staff, and the Mount Community, past and present, it has been a privilege and pleasure to work with all of you.” Robinson said, further noting, “I owe a special ‘thank you’ to President Tim Trainor and his wife Donna for their support and friendship. They have been tremendous advocates for Mount athletics and for the role of intercollegiate athletics at the Mount.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) launched its $50 million capital campaign. “Our Mission, Our Moment, Our Mount,” geared towards financing the School of Health Professions and investing in the Science, Technology Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and facilities.

Mount President Timothy Trainor stated, “Our mission calls us to help our students find the intersection of their passion and talents and then shape their path to leading a life of significance,” adding, “We’re evolving in ways that provide new pathways that emphasize the Mount way – ethical and creative decision-making, compassionate care, and respect for all people.”

“Together we can achieve our campaign goals that position the Mount for the next 100 years and serve our community,” he stated.

Bob Brennan, MSMU Vice President for University Advancement, stated, “We are deeply grateful for the commitment our donors have made to the Our Mount campaign to this point,“ further noting, “Alumni, federal and state government, foundations and other friends of the Mount believe in our mission, leadership and vision for the future. This campaign will build on our success and continue our growth in the coming years.”

Donna Klinger, Executive Director of Communications, reported, “A major portion has already been committed toward the $50 million goal. The campaign is among the most ambitious and impactful fundraising efforts in the university’s 215-year history.”

Regarding the School of Health Professions (which will also include a Center for Clinician Well-Being) aspect of the fundraiser, that school will be made transformational for students, the university and Frederick County by helping students answer the call to serve and helping to bring about changes to patient and provider care, according to Klinger. “The school will evolve to include master’s level nursing and other healthcare programs,” she stated. 

The Mount is partnering with the Daughters of Charity and that the Daughters have offered an “in-kind gift of a wing of St. Joseph Provincial House” for the School of Health, allowing the MSMU to “expand its footprint in Emmitsburg.’ Klinger said.  The Daughters of Charity will offer mentors and scholarships, while Care for America will teach students how to care for underserved patients.

“This element of the program dovetails with the missions of the Mount and the Daughters by seeking to graduate healthcare providers who possess the desire to provide equitable and compassionate care and the ability to thrive in difficult work environments,” the Executive Director of Communications stated.

The campaign also focuses on $20 million in improvements to the university’s STEM facilities, which the university has outgrown,” Klinger said, adding, “The Mount has experienced significant growth in science and technology programs and the funds will be used to create state-of-the-art labs and teaching spaces to meet the demands of future learners.”

The three-story, 50,100 square-foot Coad Science Building, built in 1964, serves the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. Planned facilities’ improvements will commence with a 21,000-square-foot addition to the existing space that will house neuroscience, computational, and research labs as well as collaborative learning spaces.

The second phase will build additional science labs, classrooms, and research spaces. The third phase will focus on the renovation of the existing space in Coad, she stated.

The new classroom and lab spaces will be technology-rich, multi-use, flexible, and configurable for a variety of instructional formats and class sizes. Specific goals for the building addition include a design that promotes circulation and spontaneous interaction; is flexible and adaptable; and provides natural light where STEM students and faculty in action can see and be seen.

The additional space will also allow for increased programs with local STEM industry partners.

A third focus of the campaign addresses the recent growth and success of the Mount’s athletic programs. The university has doubled the number of athletes in its NCAA Division-I program in just six years and netted 17 conference titles and nine NCAA tournament appearances in that same period.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Mount Saint Mary’s University’s (MSMU) Junior Mountaineers Program, a student-founded organization, is seeking to expand the roles it previously played in offering mentoring to individuals trapped in isolation, resulting from the recent COVID pandemic.

According to Michael Hershey, graduate assistant of MSMU’s College of Liberal Arts, the program is seeking to expand its scope of mentoring services and has recently added providing mentoring services to the Lincoln Elementary School in Frederick (not to be confused with the Lincoln Elementary School in Gettysburg).  The group is also seeking to expand the offering of their mentoring services to older students as well.

As an example of the success of the Junior Mountaineers Program, Hershey stated that, in Spring 2022, Lincoln Elementary students were given an MSMU campus tour, had lunch in the Patriot Dining Hall, and were specially invited to practice with the university’s men’s basketball team.

Joe Vince, MSMU professor and the club’s faculty advisor, stated, “We gave the students Junior Mountaineers t-shirts that were signed by the basketball team,” adding, “I remember how excited the kids were. One of the kids said, ‘I am never getting rid of this! These guys will be famous!’”  Vince noted that many kids might not find philosophy and political science all that interesting, “but playing basketball is a great place to start connecting with these kids and teaching them about dedication and responsibility.”

After that initial meeting between MSMU’s mentors and the Lincoln Elementary School students, “mentors now go to Lincoln Elementary to spend time after school or during school events with their mentees.  “Mounties meet at least once a week for 30 minutes on Zoom, or in-person with their elementary student, offering help with homework, teaching life skills. Such as time management, or just chatting as a supportive friend,” Hershey reported.

Sergeant Rebecca Corrado, of the Frederick Police Department, who serves as the resource officer for Lincoln Elementary, stated, “The students tell me first thing in the morning that their mentor is coming today, and the feeling of anticipation truly carries them through the day,” according to Hershey.

Junior Mountaineers Program was formed two years ago by a group of MSMU students who wanted to “bring their community together to combat the loneliness brought on by the pandemic, through a mentoring program,” Hershey reported, adding that the Junior Mountaineers Program prepares Mount students to be role models for elementary schoolers.

“The program, started as a juvenile mentoring program, (but now) is looking to expand to older students, and has expanded (MSMU participants) from a handful of Mount students volunteering with the program to include faculty, staff, and community members,” he stated. 

The program is managed by the MSMU Criminal Justice Student Association.

In fact, MSMU students who wish to participate in the mentoring program have to pass background checks.  “Mount students who apply to be a part of the program go through a background check conducted by the Frederick Police Department,” Hershey stated, adding, “Once they are cleared, they are assigned to a student at Lincoln Elementary in Frederick.”

Yelena Schmidt, president of the Criminal Justice Student Association, said she is “thrilled with the success of the program and the possibilities for the future,” Hershey reported, further noting that Schmidt has been a tutor for three years now and is a head-tutor this year. “She has thrived as a leader in the Junior Mountaineers.”

“Every student is very different. I mentored a couple of students over the years, and they have always loved hanging out with me and telling me about school. It was really nice just being their friend, and they really loved just having someone to listen to them,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt noted that mentorship opens young students’ eyes to the world of possibilities available at an institution like the Mount, as they interface with student-athletes; STEM, liberal arts, business and education majors; artists and musicians, and more.

Junior Mountaineers Program members and faculty.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Photos Courtesy of MSMU

Saxbys (also known as Saxbys Coffee) is preparing to open a student-run and staffed eatery in partnership with Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU), a café which is expected to be operational with the commencement of the Fall 2022 semester.

The café, which will open in the University’s recently remodeled Knott Academic Center, is being established as a part of Saxbys “Experiential Learning Platform (E.L.P.),” through which, the company states, “… young people are proving that they have what it takes to mold the business movement of the future. We call these our entrepreneurial proving grounds”

Saxbys’ café will also provide students with the opportunity to earn an income and enable them to put into practice what they are learning in business-related classes via the management of the eatery.

The student-run, staffed eatery will be the first Saxbys’ E.L.P. café launched by the Philadelphia-based Certified B corporation and coffee company in a private institution in Maryland.

Mount St. Mary’s President Timothy Trainor said, “The Saxbys partnership will enable students to put what they learn in classrooms into practice, honing their business, entrepreneurial, and team-building skills,” adding, “This experiential learning opportunity will complement existing leadership development programs on campus and our robust internship program to help ensure that students are well set up for life after graduation.” 

Saxbys also announced that Chloe Knill (MSMU’s Class of 2023; pictured right) has become the first student café executive officer CEO for the new student-managed and staffed café.  Knill, of Fairfield, will be working alongside Saxbys’ executives and will manage the operations of the campus café.

According to MSMU, Knill, currently finishing her junior year, is majoring in business, with a concentration in management. “As soon as she heard about the Saxbys SCEO opportunity during a presentation in her supply chain and operations management class, she immediately decided to apply,” the Mount stated, adding, “After multiple interviews, including one with Saxbys CEO Nick Bayer and several executive board members of the company, she learned that she had been chosen for the position.”

Knill stated, in an article written by Katherine Stohlman, writer and editor, Office of University Marketing & Communications, “I have never seen anything like this on a college campus,” adding, “I did have some prior leadership experience as SGA president [at the community college from which she transferred] … but the chance to helm an on-campus eatery as a student is one that’s hard to match.”

As SCEO, Knill will work directly with the Saxbys’ board and receive mentorship from Christina Green, an assistant professor in the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business. According to the Mount, in her six-month tenure as SCEO, Knill will be trained in the Saxbys’ “three pillars of team development, community leadership, and financial management.”

Stohlman reported, “She’ll guide her staff of fellow students, not only in the day-to-day operations of the café, but also in creating a fun and relaxing environment for Mounties,” … and looks forward to ensuring that the café becomes “the place to be for the students.” Krill emphasized the value of Saxbys, not just to business students, but to the wider campus community, and “will help make the Academic Center a place for gathering and connecting—and not simply for classes.”

The Knott Academic Center is currently undergoing an expansion and renovation that will bring technologically advanced collaborative spaces and a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory, as well as more classrooms and faculty offices, according to the Mount. In this prime location, “the café will be a busy cornerstone of campus life, providing the student leaders with a dynamic business that presents real-world challenges and opportunities.”

For more information on Saxbys’ Experiential Learning Platform, visit the company’s website at