CSM Celebrates 10th Winter Commencement

Graduates, Academic Achievement, Faculty Excellence Recipients Honored

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) recognized 344 candidates for degrees and certificates during its 10th Winter Commencement Jan. 15 at the La Plata Campus, with keynote speaker Rear Adm. Steve Eastburg.

“What makes our graduates so special is that they have completed their studies while juggling so many other responsibilities,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried as he welcomed the family and friends gathered to celebrate the129 graduates who participated in the college’s first graduation following its 50th anniversary year. “They know a degree makes a world of difference,” Gottfried added.

“You’ve made many sacrifices to be here this evening because you understand that you are investing in your future. We take great pride in your accomplishments, and I know that the future will be bright for you,” said Gottfried.

CSM awarded 352 associate degrees and 108 certificates: 47percent of the students receiving awards are from Charles County, 27 percent are from St. Mary’s County, and 21percent are from Calvert County; 5 percent are from outside of the Southern Maryland region.

Of the graduates, 65 percent are female and 35 percent are male. Associate degrees were awarded predominantly in the fields of general studies, business administration and nursing. Certificates were awarded predominately in the areas of general studies: transfer, and advanced and basic accounting. The ages of this winter’s graduate and certificate recipients ranged from 17 to 66.

Lorena Jackson, 66, of Waldorf received her associate’s degree in management development. Jackson, who grew up in Georgia, is one of 12 siblings born to parents who emphasized education to their children. She admits that she “took a little round about” in graduating from college, but is proud of herself and knows her parents would be, too.

When Jackson signed up for her first class at CSM’s Waldorf Center more than 10 years ago, it was a nerve-racking experience, she said.

“I didn’t know what to expect, or even if I would be a good student,” Jackson said. “But, the instructor was very good, very encouraging and very helpful. All my instructors took the time to go over anything that I didn’t understand,” she added.

Jackson said that although she was aware that she was older than many of her fellow students she never felt left out. “The younger students were great—I loved them,” she said. She has maintained friendships with several of her classmates from over the years.

Jackson went to Waldorf Center for one class at a time while she worked full time for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and raised her son. Her son, said Jackson, is very proud of her and can’t wait to see his mom’s framed diploma hanging on display.

Jackson is close to retirement from her federal job and says that her degree will be the springboard for what she wants to do in her second career.

Following her retirement, Jackson plans to continue at CSM to take classes in criminal justice to prepare her for working with juvenile offenders. She feels that she has a lot to offer, especially as an example to show young people that with determination goals can be accomplished.

 “CSM! It has been an experience that I really can’t explain—the people, the instructors are so accommodating. We laugh, we talk and we learn. It has been a wonderful experience for me—a grand time,” Jackson said.

Trisha DeGroot, 17, of Port Tobacco started her college education early and received her associate degree in business administration just two weeks before her 18th birthday. A homeschool student, DeGroot moved to Southern Maryland in June 2005 with her Air Force family. “I’ve lived in about 13 different homes, from Louisiana to New Jersey to Texas and Georgia and now I live in Southern Maryland—which I like the best,” said DeGroot.

DeGroot began her college studies at CSM with a single math class in the summer of 2007. By fall 2007, DeGroot was taking business classes full time. Following graduation, DeGroot wants to return to CSM to get a second degree before transferring to a four-year college to pursue a degree in accounting. DeGroot works as a student assistant for CSM’s Wellness, Fitness and Sports Department and is past secretary of the Service Learning Club. Last spring she helped construct a playground at a homeless shelter in the D.C. area. “We hooked up with a group of 200 people from another organization and built the playground in one day—it was so much fun,” DeGroot said.

CSM’s fifth winter class of nursing students participated in a recognition ceremony earlier in the day. Health Services Division Chair Sandy Genrich presented an Academic Achievement in Nursing Award to Shaunesta Marker of Lexington Park, who graduated with highest honors, and an Achievement in Nursing award to Patricia Hall of Avenue. The Achievement in Nursing Award is given by CSM faculty to a student who has demonstrated advanced clinical competence, service and dedication to their community, leadership within and outside of the classroom, and academic excellence.

For Karen Murphy, 57, of St. Leonard, the nurse pinning ceremony capped off an exciting journey that began when she first wondered about the possibility of becoming a nurse.

“I worked in patient registration at Calvert Memorial Hospital for many years and I became curious about what happened to the patients after the nurses pulled the privacy curtain closed,” Murphy said. She was concerned that she was too old or not physically strong enough to work as a nurse. “Then one day while driving down the road, I said to myself, ‘If I don’t do it now, I never will,’” she said.

Murphy started part time in 2004 with business and accounting classes, and moved to the full-time nursing program in 2006. With help and encouragement from Calvert Memorial’s Vice President of Human Resources Carrie Forrest, Murphy persevered. “If not for Carrie, I would not have been able to go to school. She helped me get a grant,” said Murphy. The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission Grant provides incentive to encourage students to enter nursing.

Murphy found that she wasn’t too old to pursue her dream or to participate in the social aspects of the college experience.

“It has been fun to become close with the younger students; we are a very close group,” said Murphy, adding, “They have taught me how to text message.”

From a first graduation class of four in 1960, the college now has celebrated more than 16,533 graduates. In its 50-year history, the college has grown to be the centerpiece of Southern Maryland, becoming an integral part of the community it serves with campuses in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties and more than 22,000 annual enrollments.

In recognition of the role that faculty play in the college’s continued success, the Faculty Excellence Award Honoring Part-time Faculty was presented to Ronda Jacobs who teaches biology and physical sciences.

Faculty Senate President Ron Brown announced the award, recognizing Jacobs for her commitment to higher education and her enthusiasm for using the most up-to-date classroom technology to help students get the most out of her classes. Jacobs recognizes that not all students learn in the same way. She continually works to create thought provoking, interactive and even entertaining lessons to engage all of her students. In addition to teaching face-to-face classes and online classes at CSM, Jacobs develops and teaches the next generation of students at Kids College and is designing the Tutoring Association of Maryland Web site. Jacobs has taught part time since January 2004.

The commencement keynote speaker was Rear Adm. Steven R. Eastburg, program executive officer, AIR ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs.

In August 2008, Eastburg along with CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried signed an Education Partnership Agreement to provide opportunities for students to explore and work toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers through mentorships and programs with NAVAIR scientists and technicians. The partnership goal is to increase interest in STEM fields for students from grade four through college.

Eastburg has also been instrumental in working with CSM, the University of Maryland College Park and the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center to deliver the University of Maryland’s engineering program to Southern Maryland. CSM will offer the first two years of the program and the University of Maryland will deliver the final two years in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

“This is truly a national model for how a military base facing significant shortages of engineers can take a leadership role in addressing its workforce needs,” said CSM Board of Trustees Chair Jamie Raley in his introduction of Eastburg. “Clearly, by this example and many others, Admiral Eastburg’s service to community is as important to him as his service to his country,” Raley added.

“This is a very unusual organization—there are not many community colleges that reach out and strike a partnership with the military,” said Eastburg referring to the model program.

Addressing the graduates, Eastburg said that the tools students developed at CSM and will develop throughout their lives are the intangibles of their formal education: “It’s the stuff you’ve picked up along the way from instructors and the stuff you’ve gained from the experience of having been here, of working with professional educators on 56 different programs of study, of relating to your classmates and professors, and of learning how to operate outside the cocoon of the brick and mortar schoolhouse.”

The following students were recognized as candidates for associate’s degrees or certificates at the commencement ceremony:

(See attached listing)

For information about the college, call 301-934-7765 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7765 or visit www.csmd.edu.

 

 

CAPTIONS

 

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Matthew Mehlbaum of La Plata receives his diploma from CSM Board of Trustees Chair Jamie Raley at Winter Commencement Jan. 15. Mehlbaum was among the 344 candidates for degrees and certificates at the College of Southern Maryland’s 10th winter commencement Jan. 15.

 

09JanGrad4633

CSM awarded 352 associate degrees and 108 certificates: 47percent of the students receiving awards are from Charles County, 27 percent are from St. Mary’s County, and 21 percent are from Calvert County; 5 percent are from outside of the Southern Maryland region. Participating in the ceremony were 129 candidates for graduation who celebrated receiving their degrees at the end of the program.

 

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“You’ve made many sacrifices to be here this evening because you understand that you are investing in your future. We take great pride in your accomplishments, and I know that the future will be bright for you,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried as he welcomed family and friends gathered to celebrate the 129 graduates who participated in the college’s 10th winter graduation ceremony held Jan. 15 at the La Plata Campus.

 

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Ida Molock of Waldorf gets a hug of congratulations from a fellow grad at CSM’s Winter Commencement ceremony Jan. 15. From a first graduation class of four in 1960, the college now has celebrated more than 16,533 graduates. In its 50-year history, the college has grown to be the centerpiece of Southern Maryland, becoming an integral part of the community it serves with campuses in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties and more than 22,000 annual enrollments.

 

09JanGrad4691

Brandi Michelle Monteith, of Mechanicsville is flanked by best friends Molly Ferguson, left, and Kara Shontere, right, following CSM’s Winter Commencement ceremony Jan. 15. Of the graduates, 65 percent are female and 35 percent are male. Associate degrees were awarded predominantly in the fields of general studies, business administration and nursing. Certificates were awarded predominately in the areas of general studies: transfer, and advanced and basic accounting. The ages of this winter’s graduate and certificate recipients ranged from 17 to 66.

 

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Students receiving associate’s degrees in nursing during the 10th Winter Commencement at the College of Southern Maryland Jan. 15 from St. Mary’s County included, front from left, Patricia Hall, Denise Meyer, Molly Mullen and Priscilla Scriber; from left second row Starr Turner, Shannon Van Kirk, Amy Wilson, Lourdes Yongco and Jennifer Daniel.

 

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Students receiving associate’s degrees in nursing during the 10th Winter Commencement at the College of Southern Maryland Jan. 15 from Calvert County included, from left, Shannon Cooper, Kimberly Hill, Tuzette Marshall and Karen Murphy.

 

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Students receiving associate’s degrees in nursing during the 10th Winter Commencement at the College of Southern Maryland Jan. 15 from Charles County included, front from left, Omowumi Adeyanju, Rosamond Bartels, Lakeisha Burks, Betty Buttery, Jennifer Decker, Julie Delcambre and Sara Gray; from left second row, Jessica Helwig, Kai Jamal, Nancy Jones, Ida Molock Mavis Payne, Lisa Reed and Grover Robinson; from left top row, Christine Brann, Tamara Selvage, Susan Shlagel, Camille Sison, Mary Smith, Stephen Stowers, II and Lorraine Williams.

 

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In recognition of the role that faculty play in the college’s continued success, the Faculty Excellence Award Honoring Part-time Faculty was presented to Ronda Jacobs who teaches biology and physical sciences. Faculty Senate President Ron Brown announced the award, recognizing Jacobs for her commitment to higher education and her enthusiasm for using the most up-to-date classroom technology to help students get the most out of her classes. Jacobs recognizes that not all students learn in the same way.

Jacobs has taught part time at CSM since January 2004 and also teaches future CSM students at Kids College.

 

09JanGrad4420

College of Southern Maryland Winter Commencement keynote speaker was Rear Adm. Steven R. Eastburg, program executive officer, AIR ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs. In August 2008, Eastburg along with CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried signed an Education Partnership Agreement to provide opportunities for students to explore and work toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers through mentorships and programs with NAVAIR scientists and technicians. The partnership goal is to increase interest in STEM fields for students from grade four through college.

 

LorenaJackson8508

Lorena Jackson, 66, of Waldorf, received her associate's degree in management development during the College of Southern Maryland’s 10th Winter Commencement Jan. 15. Jackson, who is the first in her family of 12 children to graduate from college, took one class a semester, mostly at the Waldorf Center, while working full time and raising a son.

 

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Trisha DeGroot of Port Tobacco started her college education early and received her associate degree in business administration just two weeks before her 18th birthday. With her Air Force family, DeGroot moved frequently. “I’ve lived in about 13 different homes from Louisiana to New Jersey to Texas and Georgia and now I live in
Southern Maryland—which I love the best,” she said. DeGroot wants to return to CSM for a second degree before transferring to pursue a degree in accounting at a four-year college.

 

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For Karen Murphy, 57, of St. Leonard, the nursing recognition ceremony capped off an exciting journey that began when she first wondered about the possibility of becoming a nurse. Initially concerned that returning to school would be too difficult for her, Murphy soon found encouragement and friendship from her classmates and co-workers.

 

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An Academic Achievement in Nursing was awarded to Shaunesta Marker of Lexington Park, who graduated with highest honors.

 

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Asked to reflect on her experiences from nursing class at the College of Southern Maryland Nursing Recognition Ceremony, Patricia Hall, of Avenue, said that when she and her classmates started, they all wanted to make a positive difference in the world. “Now,” she commanded her classmates, “Be that nurse that people will remember 15 years from now,” as she remembered the nurses that made a difference in the life of her son 15 years before. Hall received an Achievement in Nursing Award given by CSM faculty to the student who has demonstrated advanced clinical competence, service and dedication to their community, leadership within and outside of the classroom, and academic excellence. Hall receives her award from CSM Chair of Health Sciences Division Dr. Sandy Genrich.

 

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CSM Technical and Industrial Studies Professor John Wilson, flanked by fellow professors Patrick Allen, chair of Social Sciences, Human Services and Teacher Education Division, left, and Jeff Tjiputra, chair of Business and Technology Division, right, received an associate of applied science in Information Services Technology: MCSE at CSM’s 10th Winter Commencement ceremony on Jan. 15. In addition to previous degrees he has earned, a BA in Psychology/English from Southern Illinois University and an MA in International Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif, Wilson also earned an AAS in Information Services Technology from CSM in 2001. “I was asked to teach courses in Information Services Technology and I wanted to take them as a student before I taught them,” said Wilson. “I find it useful to remember what it is like on the other side of the classroom.”

 

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Mavis Payne of Waldorf received her nursing pin from CSM Nursing Professor Mary Fey during the College of Southern Maryland nursing recognition ceremony on Jan. 15. Payne received her associate degree in general studies at CSM in1995 before transferring to the University of Maryland. She returned to CSM to pursue a nursing degree.

 

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Calvert County students Tuzette Marshall of Lusby, left, and Shannon Cooper and her son Tyler of Owings, right, celebrate graduation with former CSM nursing instructor Donna Minor at CSM’s Winter Commencement Jan. 15. “He is my reason for graduating,” said Cooper of her son Tyler.

 

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Kara Wallace of Fort Washington, who received associate degrees in general studies, and in arts and sciences: women’s studies, is congratulated by CSM Board of Trustees Chair Jamie Raley at CSM’s Winter Commencement Jan. 15.

 

 

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