CSM 2019 in Review and Looking Ahead with 2020 Vision: Showcasing Student Support and Celebrating Student Successes

As the decade closes out, the College of Southern Maryland Media Relations Team pauses to reflect on the great things that have been happening at CSM this year. Celebrating the achievements of our students has been a recurring theme that weaves itself through all of CSM’s news coverage.

From being named one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges, to joining Achieving the Dream (ATD), a network of more than 220 colleges in 43 states dedicated to improving student success, 2019 saw CSM making news with breaking ground for the new Center for Health Sciences at the Regional Hughesville Campus and making great strides at the CSM Velocity Center in Indian Head, including visits during 2019 by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Congressman Anthony Brown, and Senator Chris Van Hollen

What’s been most important to you? Based on our reader statistics, reading about the successes of our students tops your list. The news about 2018 Alumnus Max Bode making headlines playing soccer internationally was far and above the most read story of the year, followed by stories announcing students achieving academic success on the college’s spring and fall dean’s lists.


Good news or sad, you also read the following top stories during 2019, making them the most clicked on in the CSM Online Newsroom: a heartfelt message from CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy following gun violence tragedies; the college’s welcome to three new executives to our leadership team; and CSM’s support for students impacted by the Federal Shutdown.




Faculty stories were also among your favorite reads, particularly the “Provocations” Faculty Excellence Lecture Series featuring CSM Adjunct Art Professor Margaret Dowell, Ph.D., who discussed how art presents a unique and universal language of expression that helps to put a human face on addiction through the creative work of individuals who have been touched by it.


Among other faculty favorites were those about Dr. Cicero Fain, III, and Professor Emeritus Wayne Karlin. In Fain’s new African-American history book, “Black Huntington: An Appalachian Story,” Fain tells the story of the African-American experience in the West Virginia city of Huntington from the post-Civil War era through the early part of the 20th Century.

Karlin was recognized with the creation of the Wayne Karlin Creative Writing Award in recognition of this professor emeritus who helped inspire the college’s Connections series. Announced by CSM Languages and Literature Professor Neal Dwyer, the award is also designed to encourage CSM students who show exceptional skill with creative writing as expressed in their coursework or participation in the college’s literary magazine, Connections.

Baldus Real Estate Agents Sandy Fehl and Bob Johnston – a CSM Alum (’81) have created the Johnston Fehl Scholarship Endowment at CSM.

News regarding CSM Foundation’s work, particularly the giving spirit of those in our community, also touched your interests. Among the most read stories were about two local real estate agents, Sandy Fehl and Bob Johnston, who created an endowment and the Shahs, who are supporting students in nursing and allied health programs.

Establishing their scholarship at CSM is just a piece of how Johnston and Fehl demonstrate their commitment to serving the community. Johnston is also active in the Rotary Club of Charles County – La Plata and he retired from the Charles County Christmas in April (now known as Charles County Rebuilding Together) Board of Directors after 20 years of service.

CSM Foundation Director Dr. Ila Shah and her husband Dr. Vinod K. Shah continued their generous support of CSM and commitment to student success by giving the college a $100,000 gift to mark Vinod Shah’s recent birthday. The funds will be used to bolster the Southern Maryland Nursing and Health Alliance Scholarship set up by the Shahs in 2016 in support of nursing and allied health programs. “When you support education, you are giving a gift which is really remarkable,” Vinod Shah said.

CSM-TV Top Videos

The top five viewed YouTube videos produced by CSM-TV have provided valuable instructions for students as they register for classes, plan their college career, and look ahead to transfer.

These favorites were followed by Lt. Becky Shaw’s keynote address during the inaugural Sustaining the Momentum: Women in Leadership symposium, and the CSM News Short on Lisa Elmaleh Art Gallery Show.

Finally, let’s not forget that an image is worth a thousand words. CSM’s photo galleries among the most viewed during 2019 included graduation celebrations, the launching of the Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. Center for Leadership at the College of Southern Maryland, and the 28th annual CSM Golf Classic, which surpassed its goals this year. Relive the moments by visiting these and other galleries at https://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/.

Looking ahead with 2020 vision

As we look to 2020, visions of more student-generated features are planned, such as “What the Hawk” introduced during 2019 to reflect the news through the lens of the student. These air on CSM-TV and social media profiles such as CSMHeadlines on Twitter and CSMDTube.

Meanwhile, stand by for even more exciting news ahead in 2020 as the college continues to transform lives through lifelong learning and service.

2019 Lens in Review

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Your CSM Government and Media Relations team, from left Senior Photographer Val Nyce, CSM-TV Station Manager Trish Christofaro, Assistant Vice President and Public Information Officer Karen Smith Hupp, and Media Relations Manager and Assistant Public Information Officer Angela Walters Small

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