THUMBS UP: We’re glad to see Carroll County getting involved in the early stages of Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccination process in the person of Dr. Michael Winters of Mount Airy, who on Monday became one of the first Marylanders from a medical system, and one of the first emergency medical physicians, to receive a vaccine for the coronavirus. Winters was among five University of Maryland Medical System front-line health care workers who received the Pfizer vaccine. UMMS received one tray of 975 vaccine doses and last week was in the process of allocating them across the system. “I am really happy to be opening this chapter during our fight against COVID,” Winters told us, adding that he is also glad to represent those in emergency medicine. Carroll County citizens seem divided on whether to get the vaccine, but perhaps knowing that Winters supports the decision to do so will help people make a choice. “Anyone who asks, I would wholeheartedly endorse it,” he told us. “It’s really the best way to bring COVID-19 to an end.” Then, on Friday, Carroll Hospital started administering vaccines to its front-line health care workers. Dr. Mark Olszyk, the hospital’s chief medical officer, was first up at 7 a.m. and told us he wanted to be an example to the rest of his staff by getting the vaccine. “I personally think it’s a safe vaccine,” he told us.
THUMBS UP: Carroll County had representation in a ceremony steeped in history and tradition when Westminster resident Corynne B. Courpas traveled to the Maryland State House in Annapolis for the state’s Electoral College voting process. Courpas, the electoral voter for Congressional District 8, got the chance to be one of 10 who formally cast their vote for the president-elect and vice president-elect ahead of the nation’s new administration. She’s also the first woman from Carroll to receive this honor, and just the third in recent memory to hail from the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee. Courpas took part in last Monday’s ceremony, which gathered the state’s 10 electoral votes for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. After taking an oath, the electors cast their votes aloud before writing them and having them certified and sealed. Gov. Larry Hogan told the group Maryland is just one of six states that has participated in every Electoral College vote, starting in 1789. “The building and surroundings have so much significance here in Maryland,” Courpas told us. “I doubt that they have that in too many other places.”
THUMBS UP: Congratulations are in order for Julia Jasken, 48, who this past week was officially named the 10th president at McDaniel College. Jasken started on the Hill as an English professor in 2003, and after that she served as college vice president and provost before her promotion. The McDaniel College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Jasken after a several-month search for a new president. A search committee recommended Jasken to the board. She starts in her new role June 1, and will be succeeding outgoing president Roger Casey. “I think that one of the things I had the pleasure to do is work on and lead many of our institution’s initiatives,” she told us. “So, for me, I think having such a deep knowledge of the institution is really helpful in the role of the president.” Jasken is set to be just the second female president in McDaniel’s 153-year history. Most recently, led the Return to the Hill committee that prepared McDaniel for students returning to college during the pandemic. “I never actually thought about leaving,” she told us. “It just always felt like home. I love the sense of community on campus.”