CSM Observes 52nd Spring Commencement

CCCC) first faculty and one of the region’s most enduring and admired educators. “[A professor’s job] is to make people want to learn about new things and experiences and do things – take chances.”

College Awards 430 Candidates for Degrees, Certificates

The College of Southern Maryland celebrated 430 candidates for degrees and certificates during its 52nd spring commencement ceremony held May 12 at the La Plata Campus.

Associate degrees were awarded predominantly in the fields of general studies, nursing and business administration. Most of the certificates were awarded in the areas of general studies: transfer, and basic and advanced accounting.

At the 2011 spring commencement, CSM awarded 482 associate degrees and 198 certificates. Of the candidates for graduation, 70 percent were female; 45.3 percent were from Charles County, 29.8 percent from St. Mary’s County and 21.2 percent from Calvert County; 3.8 percent were from outside the region. The ages of this spring’s recipients ranged from 16 to 67.

We recognize that many of you have completed your studies while working, raising families and volunteering in your community,” CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried told graduates. “You have chosen to make sacrifices in your life now in order to invest in a more promising future. We hope you are forever linked to your college and to your community. This is your alma mater and we take great pride in your accomplishments.”

CSM’s most senior graduate this spring is Janis L. Jacobs, 67, of Leonardtown, who received her associate’s degree in nursing. Following a 20-year career in education and a 10-year career in real estate, Jacobs is embarking on a career in nursing. (For more on Jacobs, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringNursing.html)

Olivia A. Wolski, 16, of Dunkirk is CSM’s youngest graduate this spring, receiving an associate’s degree in computer science. “It’s been a wonderful experience. I can’t imagine anywhere else in Southern Maryland that would have given me the opportunity to graduate college at the age of 16,” Wolski said. (For more on Wolski, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html)

Courtney Sanders graduates with high honors and receives associate’s degrees in biotechnology and biological sciences. Now, a student studying biochemistry and mathematics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), Sanders is able to transfer her organic chemistry class credit back to CSM to meet her associate’s degree requirements. (For more on Sanders, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html)

CSM’s spring graduation produced the first graduate of the college’s Scholars Program, Ana-Alecia Stauffer, 24, of Hollywood, receiving an associate’s in arts and sciences. This program is a selective admission program for students who are seeking academic challenges. Stauffer, who graduated from CSM with an associate’s degree in history in 2007 and who attended the University of Maryland College Park for a semester, returned to CSM while saving funds to continue toward a bachelor’s degree in history. “I didn’t want to stop coming to school,” said Stauffer, who added that her mentor, Professor Christine Arnold-Lourie, is encouraging her to continue to work toward her ultimate goal of a doctorate in history and a teaching career. “She has been wonderful and has been responsible for my love of history.” (For more on Stauffer, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html)

            Several students overcame great obstacles to attend CSM, one of those was Brittany Burks, 21, of Bel Alton, who despite the challenges of living with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, is graduating with an associate’s degree in art. (For more on Burks, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html)

             “Every one of our graduates has their own story,” said Gottfried. “Some have struggled, some have excelled, but all graduate with the knowledge that they can succeed anywhere.”

The National Anthem was performed by CSM student Jessica Flowers of Mechanicsville. She is a vocal soloist with CSM's Latin Ensemble, “Ritmo Caché,” and a soprano in the CSM Chorale.

The commencement ceremony’s student speaker was Student Government Association President Tia Dickerson of Lusby.

             The keynote speaker was Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Before coming to the event, Hrabowski checked the progress of students who transferred from CSM to UMBC and reported that all 30 have done well in their first year and that 60 percent of those have a 3.0 grade point average.  “Students, savor this moment,” he said, adding “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere.” (For more on Dr. Hrabowski, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html)  

An Honorary Degree was presented to Maryland Congressman Steny H. Hoyer by CSM Board of Trustees Chair Mary Krug for his loyalty and friendship to the college.

“Congressman Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland is known not only in this region but throughout the country as a strong advocate of policies to strengthen all Americans,” said Krug.

 The Faculty Excellence Award was presented to Mathematics Professor Susan R. Strickland by CSM Faculty Senate President and Economics Professor Michael Green. (For more on Strickland, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html)

            During the nursing recognition ceremony held earlier in the day, Rachel Eaby of White Plains received the Academic Achievement in Nursing Award, given to the graduate with the highest grade point average in the nursing class. Sarah Istvan of Prince Frederick was awarded the Achievement in Nursing Award, presented to the graduate who demonstrates academic achievement, clinical competence, community service and leadership potential.

At the college’s May 11 Honors Convocation, 16 students were recognized for achieving highest honors (3.9-4.0 GPA), 28 for high honors (3.75-3.89 GPA) and

59 for honors (3.5 to 3.74 GPA). (For more on Honors Convocation including departmental awards, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11Springhonors.html)

            For graduation photos, visit http://www.csmd.edu/News/MediaResources/11SpringGrad.html.

Since the college opened its doors in 1958, there have been more than 18,600 graduates and thousands other students who have taken courses at the college’s three campuses or via distance education opportunities.

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



Calvert County


Chesapeake Beach

Nicholas Robert Bourassa

Crystal Marie Friend

Crystal Angela Harding

Shelby Anne Corin Matullo

Julie Caroline Ridgeway

Katelyn Joy Snyder



Stephen E. Stanton, Jr.



Kimberly A. Bowlsbey

Derek Lee Carter

Rachael Christine Clark

Amy Heather Jones

Kendyl Paige Sunderland

Olivia Anne Wolski



Carl M. Ball

Travis C. Bugarski

Jennifer M. Crocker

Jordan Lynne Fears

Harry Frank

Bryan M. Gravener

Kristy Lee Hill

Ashlee Nichole Hilton

Santa Barbaro Iannone

Katelyn Marie Johnson

Anthony M. Langer

Rachel Alexandria Manning

Becky Mattera

Cecilia Lynn Mixon

Christina Lin Ohler

Lauren Marlene Perry

Dana Leigh Plater

Christine M. Sharpe



Ashley Naomi Hermena Adams

Katie Eileen Brown

Jasmine Nicole Brown

Ashley Caldwell

Amy Elizabeth Felsher

Sherry Ann Foltz

Nicole Charlene Frey

Trinette Carol Garner

Kelsey Sara Gieseler

Dallas Faye Harris

Wendell D. T. Hicks

John Bernard Holman III

Jennifer Lynn Ireland

Michael A. Jones

Mary Catherine Kavades

Jordan Nicholas Kron

Jennifer A. Magee

Michael Martocci

Chelsea Noel McCloskey

Justine Elizabeth Reimer

Laniqua Z. Richardson

Natasha Melissa Robey

Allen Clifton Robinson, Jr.

Victoria Lyn Roy

Courtney Y. Sanders

Jennifer Ann Seymour

Susan Lynn Spindler

Jeffrey O'Brian Sullivan

Heath Saad Tabet

Thaddeus Stephen Wright

Samuel Joseph Wright

Aaron Justin Zell


North Beach

Sabrina Lynn Duvall



Holly Jean Crouse

Michael Joseph Gray

Heather Marie Murvin

Xiu Lian Tse

Deborah Ann Wendolek


Port Republic

Kristina Ganyon

Jennifer Nicole Graf

Ember Smootz

Jennifer Louise Sodero


Prince Frederick

Logan Andrew Alderman

Meghan Noelle Bonner

Jenna Paige Fansler

Mark R. Fields

Alexis Nicole Frost

Sarah Elizabeth Istvan

KaLynn M. Johnson

Patrice Wyetta Robinson

Lindsey Marie Shaner

Joshua Sean Meyers Struble

Vicki Lee Swann


Saint Leonard

Shirley A. Bean

Casey Marie Beavers

Lee J. Bell

Stacey Marie Haynes

Lorraine Rhodes Joyner

Ashley Marie Loy

Sterling D. Myers