CSM Students Demonstrate Excellence in Public Speaking

Three College of Southern Maryland students aptly showed off their public speaking skills in the college’s 2013 speaking competition open to all CSM students in May.

Michelle Altvater of Mechanicsville placed first for her speech on ending human slavery. Gavin Hummer of Lusby, who spoke about organic foods, and Sean Purdy, of Mechanicsville, who discussed foreign versus domestic cars, tied for second place. 

Students were invited to present a five- to seven-minute speech on a topic of their choice and CSM communication faculty members judged the students’ videotaped informative or persuasive speeches. Scholarships were awarded for the three winners to use toward a future course that each of them will take at CSM.

“I am deeply grateful for receiving this award,” said Altvater, who plans to major in either elementary education or communication. “My speech gave me the opportunity to spread awareness about a topic that lies heavy on my heart: modern-day slavery. In the months prior to my presentation, I had been learning a lot about slavery and its presence in our world today; therefore, I was very excited to use my speech as a way to make the issue more well-known. Awareness is powerful. Without it, how will anyone know of the need to take action?”

Hummer, who is majoring in speech and communication at CSM, said, “I entered the competition because, by winning I could get monies that will help fund next semester at CSM. This was the first competition I have ever voluntarily entered. All of the materials I have learned throughout the years will definitely make me a more effective speaker.”

According to Purdy, “This is the first scholarship I’ve won, so I’m very excited.” He recently graduated from CSM with a degree in General Studies/Arts and Sciences and he plans to transfer to University of Maryland University College (UMUC) for a degree in marketing. “I’m very excited to win the award,” he said. “I decided to enter the contest because I really enjoy speaking in front of an audience and hope to use public speaking in my career.”

Students earning honorable mentions include Jason Barger of Lusby, who spoke about “Touchscreen Devices for Toddlers,” and Yong Sik (Max) Choi of Lexington Park, who presented “The Importance of Drinking Water.”

CSM offers an associate of arts degree in communication, which is part of an articulated partnership with UMUC. CSM students who successfully meet the associate degree requirements can transfer the necessary credits to UMUC to complete their bachelor of arts degree in communication studies.

For information about the college, visit www.csmd.edu.