May 17, 2013
The Maryland State Department of Education has recognized Anne Arundel Community College’s partnership with Maryland Live! Casino and staff member Deborah Meyer-Mercado for her distinguished service through her work in preparing students for careers and further education.
Maryland Live! Casino was awarded the 2013 Career and Technology Education (CTE) Outstanding Postsecondary Business Partnerships Award of Excellence for its partnership with AACC to meet the growing industry needs for trained and motivated workers in the new casino industry in Maryland. As one example of the partnership, AACC’s Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism (HCAT) Institute adapted course curriculum in the “Purchasing and Cost Controls” class to allow students to work side by side with representatives of the casino culinary management team. Instead of using standard textbook examples, the students were able to develop, test and cost recipes from a variety of international cuisines, giving the students the opportunity to expand professional networks and learn and practice critical leadership skills they will need in their profession. Maryland Live! also established a $21,000 scholarship for HCAT to continue to make a difference for HCAT students.
Meyer-Mercado, director of sponsored programs at AACC, was awarded the 2013 Career and Technology Education (CTE) Outstanding Postsecondary Distinguished Service Award of Excellence. Meyer-Mercado, who was nominated by the MSDE, was part of a workgroup that developed a Transition Year State Plan and the Maryland CTE Five-Year Plan. She has worked since 2005 to improve Career and Technology Education programs, not only at AACC, but also at the state level, and facilitated a system-wide improvement of student information systems and reporting of CTE data at AACC, which was used as a model at other Maryland colleges.