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Jack Rudden Meteorology Carroll Community College

Jack Rudden, now wrapping up his second year at Carroll, graduates this May with an Associate degree in Arts & Sciences, after which he plans to transfer to Mississippi State University to continue studying his longtime passion: Meteorology.

Jack sat down with News & Stories to talk about his experiences and aspirations.

N&S: How did you become interested in weather and meteorology?

Jack: It was my fifth-grade graduation. We had a really nasty storm come through. I knew nothing about the weather at that point. It delayed our graduation by about an hour because they had to evacuate everybody. I woke up and walked outside, and the sky was green, which I’d never seen before. And I was like, this can’t be good; the sky is normally blue. If it’s green, probably something’s wrong. It was probably that severe storm that sparked my interest in meteorology. As a little kid, I used to be terrified of storms, and now I live for them. I love stormy days!

Foots Forecast Members Severe Weather Conference Carroll Community College
Jack with other Foot’s Forecast members at 2023 Mid Atlantic Severe Weather Conference

N&S: You’re involved in something called Foot’s Forecast. What is that and what do you do for them?

Jack: Foot’s Forecast is a group of volunteers. We have two degreed meteorologists, an emergency manager, a teacher, and a couple of college students. It was founded in 2004 by a Baltimore County public school Earth Science teacher whose last name is Foot. We primarily service Central Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania.

N&S: Why did you choose to enroll at Carroll Community College?

Jack: I used to live in Ellicott City. I graduated high school in 2020, then because of the pandemic, I started Howard Community College (HCC) completely online. Then we decided to move to Mount Airy, the Carroll County side, in 2021. I found out we lived only 25 minutes away from Carroll Community College, so that was perfect. I like the more personal kind of classrooms we have here at Carroll. Bigger colleges have these huge lecture halls with 500 people in it. I don’t like that; I prefer the smaller classes.

N&S: Carroll doesn’t offer a Meteorology program. How did you start pursuing a degree here in it?

Jack: I’m taking my Gen Ed classes at Carroll. At HCC, I took an Oceanography and a Meteorology class. I was trying to take those again here, but they were too similar to the [transferred] HCC courses. I was able to instead take Environmental Sustainability here, and that course will transfer to Mississippi State University.

N&S: Why did you choose Mississippi State to finish your Meteorology degree?

Jack: I met a meteorologist from Virginia at a conference in 2022. I told her that I didn’t love huge classes, and that I was really struggling with math. And she’s like, I went to Mississippi State and there’s just Gen. Ed. Math requirements, and it’s all online. You don’t have to go there in person. And I was like, sold!

N&S: What do you hope to do after you graduate Mississippi State?

Jack: I’ve got a friend who’s a broadcast meteorologist who wants me to get into TV stuff, and then I’ve got another friend who’s an emergency manager who wants me to go be a meteorologist for them. But I don’t know what I want to do yet. I’ve really liked working with the public schools. It’s a lot of fun and having the whole school system trust you is very invigorating.

N&S: What has been your best experience(s) you’ve had at Carroll?

Jack: I actually get to do the forecast for the Vice President of Administrative Services, Patti Davis, and that has been an incredible experience. I did it for [previous VP] Alan Schuman when he was here and that was fantastic as well. The two of them kind of took me under their wing, which I’m very appreciative of. Anytime we have a storm coming, I will send Patti an email with a heads-up that between this time and this time here are the weather threats we could expect and the chance of them happening. If there were to be a tornado warning, I would call her or send her a text, just to make sure she got it. The administration here, when it comes to severe weather, is fantastic. They never miss anything.

All the staff here at Carroll are just fantastic. Every time I talk to someone about Carroll, I have to give a shoutout to Jen Wheeler, my advisor. I couldn’t have done it without her. When I have a problem, I can go to her with the smallest thing and she will fix it no matter what. She’s so kind, so caring. She’s always there for me when I need her. When my first semester just started, I had an issue with a class and I came to her as she was walking out the door. I was like, Hey, do you have a second? And she’s like, Oh, yeah, absolutely. She was willing to stay with me and help me out. She’s been truly incredible!

Follow Jack @JackRuddenWX on X/Twitter or on Instagram @central_maryland_weather for frequent weather updates for Central Maryland.

Start Here, Go Anywhere

With an Associate degree from Carroll, your credits are transferable to any public higher ed institution in Maryland.