‘Thank yous’ Abound as CSM Students Meet Donors


Scholarships for 2015 Fall Semester total More Than $400,000

Scholarship recipients at the College of Southern Maryland began their Thanksgiving holiday a little early, by showing their thanks and appreciation to donors at the Nov. 6 CSM Foundation Scholarship Reception at the La Plata Campus. For the 2015 fall semester, the foundation awarded more than $400,000 to students through 351 scholarships. Spring scholarships will be awarded in January 2016.

CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried acknowledged scholarship donors for the difference they make in the lives of CSM students. ?I am honored to recognize the many scholarship donors who are making an impact in our Southern Maryland community. They have chosen to partner with the CSM Foundation in keeping education affordable and accessible, which in turn enhances the health and welfare of our local economy.?

Speaking to scholarship recipients, CSM Foundation Chair Rané Franklin said, ?As an active member of the Southern Maryland community, I see the impact of CSM. Everywhere I turn there is something CSM-related: a campus, a student, a program or an employee. That says a lot about CSM and its presence and you are now a part of this great tradition. On behalf of the CSM Foundation, I would also like to thank all of our donors for their strong support. You are providing a lasting impact on the lives of these students.? 

            Two scholarship recipients spoke at the reception, Kara Merritt of Indian Head, who received the Chiaramonte Hope Scholarship, the GRPA Foundation scholarship and the Thomas Goldsmith Scholarship, and George Jenkins III of La Plata, who received the Albert L. Elder Jr. Family Memorial Scholarship, the CSM Alumni Association Scholarship, the Helen and Mickey Todd Scholarship, the International Systems Safety Society, Washington D.C. Chapter Scholarship and the CSM STEM Scholars Program Scholarship.

Merritt, a nursing student, told donors that she always wanted to help others and that even as a child, she would care for her brothers and neighborhood kids when they had scraped knees.  She served in the Navy and then decided to go to nursing school. ?I moved to Southern Maryland, started taking classes at CSM and I made the soccer team. I was 27 years old, which was about nine years older than most of my teammates. I was taking seven classes and working part time.? She knew that she couldn?t keep up the pace of working to support herself, pay for college tuition and attend CSM full-time in the nursing program. She applied for several scholarships and was overjoyed, she said, when she received the funds to continue her studies as CSM. ?I have learned if you try your hardest you will accomplish what you have set your mind to… it just takes time. You cannot plant a seed today, and expect flowers tomorrow,? she said.

Jenkins, valedictorian of Henry E. Lackey High School?s class of 2014, said that CSM was the best option for him. ?While my initial decision to come to CSM was based on finances, I soon realized that CSM offered me so much more. Scholarships at CSM enabled me to concentrate on academics rather than finding a part-time job. This seriously improves the quality of my life. Also by receiving the funding I do, I am able to be a part of the CSM VEX robotics team–which was ranked 10th in the world last year–as well as a part of the math team and the engineering club. The scholarships enable me to enjoy the full college experience and have time to give back to the community through the VEX Robotics team by volunteering with elementary and middle school children,? said Jenkins.

?Many of you are hearing in the news daily the staggering statistics about student loan debt and how more than 70 percent of college students have debt averaging $27,000.  The most unfortunate statistic is that more than 30 percent of the students who take out college loans never finish college and have nothing to show for that debt,? said Gottfried. ?This is why CSM is taking great strides to educate our students, their spouses and parents about the opportunity and wise decision to save more than $29,000 by starting college here at CSM for your freshmen and sophomore years.? 

Last year 1,762 CSM students transferred to 226 different four-year colleges in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Scholarships awarded for the 2015-16 academic year include:

Academic Excellence Scholarship

Caleb Bickerstaff

Kathryn Newsom

Tori Nguyen

Foram Patel

Kristin Richards

Hassan Yousaf


Adjunct Faculty Scholarship (Merit)

Erica Jones

Ashlyn Liverman


Adjunct Faculty Scholarship (Need)

Cheryl Fowler

Jeanette Warren


Albert L. Elder Jr. Family Memorial Scholarship

Arica Chaney

George Jenkins


Anna Mae Ziencik Hess Memorial Scholarship

Yvette Smith

Nora Suntich

Joshua Tettimer


Besche Family Scholars and Mentoring Program Annual Scholarship

James Eppley

Wesley Olsen


Brad and Linda Gottfried Against All Odds Annual Scholarship

Keidra Douglas

Adrienne Smith


Brock Nikolas Guerrieri Memorial Scholarship

Sarah Whitehair


Bryce T. Sanders Memorial Scholarship

Juana Davidson


C. Emmitt Woodey Theatre Scholarship

Francis Bowles Jr.


Calvert Chamber of Commerce Annual Scholarship

Brianna Mason

Brian Whitworth


Calvert Chamber of Commerce Endowed Scholarship

Jeanine Arndt


Calvert County 350th Anniversary Celebration Endowed Scholarship

Jacquelyn Mason

Captain Billy Robertson Endowed Scholarship

Laurie Jameson


Castles and Foundations Scholarship

Sierra Barnes

Brooke Graham

Aimee Pellegrino


Chaney Scholarship for Sustainable Land Use Endowed Scholarship

Melissa Buckler

Jessica Busey

Robert Gomez

Matthew Janey


Charles County Chamber Scholarship

Elizabeth Soens


Charles County Nursing and Allied Health Programs Scholarship

Michelle Campbell

Sabrina Knott

Valerie Rahill

Rosanna Swann


Charles County Woman's Club Scholarship

Kim Hagens


Chiaramonte Hope Scholarship

Savana Brindle

Charlane Campbell-Garner

Melissa Gonzalez

Christian Hess

Kristen Mattingly

Annie Mendoza Rojas

Kara Merritt

Gina Mostert

Stephanie Ryan

Heather Santimays

Melinda Smith

Liah Watters

Julie Yerdon


Coldwell Banker Jay Lilly Real Estate Scholarship for Construction Trades and Industrial Training

Ward Washington


Concerned Black Woman of Calvert County- Women in Transition Scholarship

VonCeal Foote


Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust Ruth Mathes Scholarship

Tabish Nawaaz


CSM Alumni Association Scholarship

Brian Harris



CSM Foundation- Realize Your Potential Scholarship

Tamarah Beale

Lindsey Bowersox

Renesha Bowman

Nicholas Combs

Jenna Courville

Ivelisse Cruz

Angelica Cusic

Sambhav Devkota

Crystal Dodge

Abby Halloran

Candice Hicks

Nataijia Houser

Jeanette Jacobs

Nicole Kearney

Morgan Mabry

Annie Mendoza Rojas

Raheem Omotosho

Wayne Thomas

Kimberly Viera