CSM Celebrates Eighth Winter Commencement

College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustee Chair Joe Shannon congratulates long-time friend and former CSM president Dr. Elaine Ryan on achieving President Emeritus status as CSM’s current president Bradley Gottfried and others look on.

Graduates, Distinguished Service Award Recipients Honored

The College of Southern Maryland recognized 415 candidates for degrees and certificates during the eighth winter commencement, with keynote speaker Charles County Commissioner President Wayne Cooper. Family and friends gathered to watch as 122 graduates participated in the ceremony held Jan. 18 at the La Plata campus.

CSM awarded 326 associate degrees and 89 certificates: 41 percent of the students receiving awards hailed from Charles County, 29 percent from St. Mary's County, and 23 percent from Calvert County; 7 percent were from outside of the Southern Maryland region.

Of the graduates, 70 percent were female and 30 percent were male. Associate degrees were awarded predominantly in the fields of general studies, arts and sciences and nursing. Most of the certificates were awarded in the areas of general studies and basic and advanced accounting. The ages of this winter's graduate and certificate recipients ranged from 19 to 70.

Gregory Ciesielski, 70, of Calvert County received his associate's degree in massage therapy. It's not his first degree in higher education, as Ciesielski also holds a bachelor of science in education.

Ciesielski said earning this latest degree in massage therapy and recently giving up a roadside business stand are part of the process of re-inventing himself. “I have always liked hands-on work, and probably always will, but I have spent most of my life concentrating on head work and now I am going to concentrate on putting my body back together,” said Ciesielski.

To that end, Ciesielski is taking two dance classes – one in ballroom and the other in country – yoga and a hospital weight loss program, and going to the gym regularly. In addition, he plays both lap and hammer dulcimers with the Chesapeake Dulcimer Group.

Previously a teacher in Prince George's County schools, Ciesielski said his evolution from teacher back to student prompts him to recommend that college students, particularly younger ones, “come ready to work and study. In one of my classes, I worked with a younger student who was aiming for C's while I was aiming for A's,” he said. “It is disheartening when students don't take more interest in their education because knowledge is the one thing that can't be taken from you,” said Ciesielski, who will graduate with high honors.

Another honors graduate is Alan Bowling, 19, of California who received his associate's degree in history. Bowling, who is planning on joining the Navy after obtaining his bachelor's, was undecided on his major when he started at CSM. “I went through a series of interests, including engineering and secondary education, before I realized that history was a natural fit for me,” said Bowling, whose favorite historical figure is Theodore Roosevelt.

“Deciding on a major was really hard for me because in the beginning I was concentrating too much on my end goal which is to join the Navy. I thought I needed to earn a degree in something that would directly apply to the work I want to do in the Navy but I discovered that it is more important to study what you are interested in and have a talent for. Applying that knowledge to a job comes later,” said Bowling.

Why the Navy? “I live in St. Mary's County near the base and I have seen planes flying over my house my entire life. We would go the plane museum and I would see all of the different types of planes and I just knew I wanted to fly, and when you want to fly, you join the Navy,” said Bowling.

CSM's third winter class of nursing students participated in a recognition ceremony earlier in the day. Nursing and Health Technology Department Chair Sandy Genrich presented an Academic Achievement in Nursing award to Tasha Zochert of Owings and Achievement in Nursing award to Lisa Pumphrey of Chesapeake Beach. The Achievement in Nursing award is awarded 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.

During commencement, CSM Board of Trustee Chair Joe Shannon presented special awards to individuals who have contributed to the success of the college and its graduates.

Professor Emeritus status was bestowed upon professors David Reichard, Judy Thomason and Edna Troiano, whose combined service to the college totals more than 77 years.

Reichard worked full time for the college for 25 years before “retiring” in 2002. He returned part time to continue teaching engineering at CSM through spring 2006. As the college's only engineering instructor for over two decades, he developed the engineering courses and programs that currently exist at CSM. In addition, his student evaluation ranking average during his years of service was 4.74, on a 5-point scale.

Thomason served CSM for 25 years as a faculty member and chair of the Technical Studies program, and implemented the college's first National Science Foundation grant, “Preparing Engineering Technicians for Southern Maryland.” As a member of the Women and Information Technology Task Force for Maryland, Thomason worked to define and address the challenges of the state's information technology workforce.

Troiano is the author of two nationally acclaimed college textbooks, “Write to Know” and “The Contemporary Writer”, as well as “The Roads from Bethlehem”, an anthology of Christmas literature. During her 27 years with CSM, Troiano served as a member of the faculty and department chair in the Languages and Literature department where she worked to develop and expand course offerings from speech communication and developmental studies to cultural studies, foreign language and ethnic literature.

President Emeritus status was bestowed upon recently retired Dr. Elaine Ryan, CSM's third and only female president. During her 35 years with the college, Ryan exemplified the transformative power of education in people's lives, according to Shannon. Ryan holds a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland, a master's degree from the University of Maryland and a doctoral degree in higher education from North Carolina State University. She was appointed president of CSM in 1998 and is credited with overseeing CSM's growth and recognition in the community.
Other honorees during commencement were CSM Board of Trustees' Distinguished Service Award recipients Carl and Bobbi Baldus and Donnie and Linda Cox. The award is given to community leaders who donate their time and resources in support of the college.

Carl and Bobbi Baldus were recognized for long-term commitment to CSM's capital projects including the James C. Mitchell Health and Technology Building and the St. Charles Children's Learning Center. In addition to capital projects, they have donated more than $50,000 toward technology scholarships and have used the college as a resource for providing training and conference services to their employees at Baldus Real Estate, a real estate company that has served Southern Maryland for more than 47 years.

CSM alumni Donnie and Linda Cox were recognized for their continued support of future CSM alumni. The couple has helped establish two CSM scholarships – the Marguerite Cox Family Memorial Scholarship and the Maurice J. McDonough Scholarship Fund. In addition to scholarships, Mr. Cox has served on the college's foundation board periodically between 1999-2003, and as the foundation's chair from 2001 to 2003. The couple has been instrumental in raising and donating funds to the CSM Foundation for expanding technology, childcare and health care learning opportunities for residents of Southern Maryland.The commencement keynote speaker, Charles County Commissioner President Wayne Cooper encouraged the graduates, “your graduation is no small achievement, no small moment…I believe the tasks we take on, the way we stretch our minds, the obstacles we overcome, the dreams we fulfill and the lives we touch are what truly makes us worth admiring. I stand here today in honor of you and your achievements,” said Cooper.

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

Calvert County


Sharon Hutchins

Chesapeake Beach

Kelly Achorn
Katelyn Bolt
Susan Burton
Richard Dayhoff
Margaret Mier
Holly Noyes
Lisa Pumphrey
Shawn Wiese
Gemma Youngerman


Michael Baddour
Preston Fleig
Blake Messmore
David Sarbacher
Brittany Stewart


Jennifer Buck
Jaclyn Demar
Nicholas Gardiner
Stacie Gryskewicz
Gary Krichbaum
Carol Maloney
Shelley Morgan
Melissa Perry
Holly Wilding


Benjamin Basista
Jessie Campbell
Joshua Chappell
Bethany Coombs
Nikki Dalrymple
Charles Dulany
Ann Gabriel
Tara Gardner
Jessica Harrison
Evonne Hawkins
Nina Lee
Douglas Lively
Diane Lyman
Frank Overby
Carrie Pompizzi
Angela Roland
Jason Russell
Anthony Shaffer
Robin Stokes
Andrew Stowell
Donald Swanzy
Naomi Watkins
Kenneth Westervelt
Anthony White
Teresa Zion

North Beach

Heather Goad


Teresa Canning
Benjamin Chase
Shaelyn Emery
James Goldsmith
Joshua Hurley
Martha E Hyde
Jennifer Ludlow
Samuel Peyton
Molly Valltos
Jennifer Wink
Tasha Zochert

Port Republic

Joshua Buck
Valerie Jones
Justin Reynolds

Prince Frederick

Gregory Ciesielski
Latoya Coates
Nicole Council
Susan Godwin
Aretha Harrod-Henderson
Christopher Henson
Megan Montgomery
Fallon Selig

Saint Leonard

Angela Emerson
Catherine Garner
Tina Murphy
Abby Taylor
Amber Toomey

Charles County


Rebeckah Beswick
Shakira Lanier
Justin Lawrence
Jamie Lish
Candice Sewell
John Thomas
Ronda Wilkinson

Bryans Road

Irene Charles
Ronald Kum
Dartysha Queen
Sean Robishaw
Doreen Robinson


Tanya Flerlage

Charlotte Hall

Laurie David
Marlene Leavy
Lisa Simonds


Antonio Brown
John Clark
Amie D'Antonio
Amanda Gatto
Crystal McGoey
David Staples

Indian Head

Jamielynn Hanson
Nicole Harris
Jamie Hug
Brandon Lagana
Kristin Sharek
Nytasha Sheff
Shannon Stone
Michelle Warner


Julian Goode
Leah Shirley

La Plata

Diane Behrens
Kimberly Blake
Jerry Bradley
Tina Donaldson
Candise Dunnington
Nyanda Dutch-Malik
Meagan Fox
Christy Frank
Bradley Fuchs
Lauren Goerdt
Matthew Jacobson
Cheryl Kitts
Lisa McConnell
Angela Middleton-Jacks
Martin Mutuku
Kristin Quade
Candy Roddy
Jennifer Rowe
Jasmin Santos
David Swartzwelder
Steven Tully
Monique Tyler
Kelly Williams


Brandi Tanner


Robert Hales
Laci Herbert
Sheila Jenifer
Pearl Walden


Heather Swann


Kimberly Blake
Alicia Lockhart
Kristina Lockhart

Port Tobacco

Danielle Daugherty


Robert Albritton
Lauren Anderson
Katie Beach
Chad Bearden
Deanna Betzen
Tammi Bikowski
Katherine Borrero
Melissa Butler
Nicholas Brown
Holly Bryant
Krystal Buchanan
Sharon Buckley
Crystal Burkett
Diane Cagle
Shannon Campbell
Mariana Capati
Jacklyn Carlsen
Amy Carroll
Phentresse Chapman
Alvin Cole
Melvin Daniels
Daniel Darby
Georgianna Demarr
Amanda Dixon
Kathryn Dimeglio
Patrick Dougherty
Edwin Ferrell
Erik Foerter
Erica Ford
Michelle Fragomeni
Jessica Fraley
Kristin Freeman
Ana Victoria Fortaleza
Kathi Garner
Alan Gilliland
Brian Hagerty
Russell Hammett
Jamaal Harris
Amanda Hegmann
Teresa Hicks
Susan Hirst
Shauna Hood
Stacy Huntt
Brandi Jamison
Tierra Johnson
Devika Kandhai
Lawrence Kidd
Christal Lawson
Sheila LeClaire
Kristen Lohman
Juliette Lowe
Carly Lundmark
Launa McCowan
Takenya McGregor
Jaime McGuigan
Rachel Naumann
Tamika Newkirk
Brenda Norman
Jennifer O'Neil
Shanika Phillip
Byront Pryor
Leeann Reece
Evan Reeves
Christopher Rusden
Renato Rogers
Brant Romero
Tiffany Scott
Casey Shlagel
Brittany Short
Amanda Smith
Heather Smith
Jeremy Smith
Josephine Spratt
Zachary Stewart
Samantha St. Clair
Chuntenia Teixeira
Matthew Van Horn
Sean Van Meter
Julia Waitt
Stacey Welchner
Jessica Wells
Monique White
Ashley Winans
Sean Worchel


Anita Bowie
Marvin Butler
Lakessha Washington

St. Mary's County


Kimberly Farrell


Kimberly Johnson


Allan Bowling
Joanne Clapp
Jason Gray
Kristina Kennett
Michael McQueen
Julia Miller


Timothy Glass
Kathie Goode

Charlotte Hall

Marion Brickey
Jeremy Snyder


Michelle Barnes
Daniel Nelson
Heather Russell
Timothy Tennyson

Coltons Point

Dana Digregorio

Great Mills

Demetria Hall
Erika Holley
Amanda Jaster
Jennifer Jerow
Coryn Johnson
Justin Leveling
Andrea Owens
Matthew Peacher
Geneva Rogers
Eva Snyder
Margaret Stanley
Matthew Wilson


Kristen Brookins
Ashley Cusic
Michael Haskin
Rosanna Herman
Jeffery Jones
Michelle Kempf
Julie Knott
Tiffany Long
Charles Lynch
Trenda Messner
Colin Speck
Heather Wallace
Christopher Warren


Mary Bell
Austin Davis
Stephanie Guy
Stephanie Mayor
Patricia Muchow
Christopher O'Brien
Dawn Peterson
Keya Pettway
David Potter
Emily Schadegg
Brianna Shaw
Victoria Ward

Lexington Park

Robert Alvey
Christopher Baines
James Baker
Tara Currie
Aesuk Dantic
Jennifer Eyster-Robbins
Nickey Holt
Enkeleida Hunt
Jennifer Kirsch
Jason Morris
Samantha Radford
David Stewart
Sarah Street
Mary Stroup
Robert Tate
James Tawney
Rheanna Thomas
Michelle Wilkinson


Katherine Asher
Sara Barger
Karen Black
Jennifer Brandel
Carollyn Correll
Betty Dixon
Shirley Douglas
April Gardner
Jennifer Hughes
Elizabeth Knight
Michele Reitan
Christine Ritchlin
Daniel Ross
Nelson Vanucci
Regina Willingham

Park Hall

John Wathen

Patuxent River

Renaldo Jackson
Sarah Matti

Piney Point

Teresa Evans
Warren Gardner
Colin Wathen

Saint Inigoes

Natalie Morris
Scott Strickland

Valley Lee

Lisa Brown
Kathleen Graves
Elayna Nave



Rudolph Thomas

Andrews Air Force Base

Jamie Dobry


Zachary McGuire


Kedra Frisby
Laleen Gilewski
Bernard Onyenemezu


Kimbre Huddleston

Fort Washington

Susan Flaim
Chavon Thompson
Lauren Webb-Franco


Kristen Irvin


Mojisola Adebayo


Bola Rodoye


Emerald Mark

Upper Marlboro

Mary Nirdlinger
Joshua Thomas



Michelle Bursey
Carolyn Carr
Michelle Foley

Elizabethtown, KY

Alicia Lockhart

Las Vegas, NV

Tonya Coover

Clifton, NJ

Hernan Carrera Cabrera

Webster, NY

Virginia Rivenbark

Oklahoma City, OK

Teri Archer

Philadelphia, PA

Mary Jane Davis

Randolph Air Force Base, TX

Mary Cortinas

Hampton, VA

Summer Seastrand

Leesburg, VA

Gregory Crissman