The Honorable Andrea Watkins to be Keynote Speaker at CSM’s 17th Winter Commencement Jan. 21

a:10:{i:0;s:250:"Native Italian instructor Simonetta Baldassari

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will recognize candidates for degrees and certificates during its 17th Winter Commencement Jan. 21 at the La Plata Campus. A keynote address will be provided by The Honorable Andrea Watkins, associate judge for District Court of Maryland, District 4, Charles County.

After graduating from Lackey High School, Watkins attended CSM, then Charles County Community College, where she earned an associate degree in 1981. Watkins earned a bachelor's degree in 1983 from Mount St. Mary's College and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1986 from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

Admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1986, Watkins began her law career as clerk to The Honorable George W. Bowling of the Charles County Circuit Court. She served as an associate in the firms of Reichelt, Nussbaum, Brown, Dukes and La Placa; Chapman and Bowling; and John D. Hungerford, P.A. In 1996, Watkins was appointed as an assistant county attorney for Charles County, followed by an appointment as master (now magistrate) for domestic relations to the Circuit Court for Charles County in 2007. Watkins was appointed as an associate judge to the District Court of Maryland in Charles County in 2014.

Watkins is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Charles County Bar Association where she serves as judicial representative on the board of directors. She has previously served on the board of directors for Hospice of Charles County, the Port Tobacco Players, and Civista Medical Center (now University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center).

CSM's winter commencement activities Jan. 21 will begin with a Nursing Recognition Ceremony at 1 p.m. in the Physical Education (PE) Center on the La Plata Campus with a reception immediately following on the upper level of the PE Center. The commencement ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the PE Center and tickets are required. Ticketholders are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. Doors will close when the procession begins, and guests without tickets or arriving after the doors close may view the ceremony from the Fine Arts (FA) Center which will carry a live streaming broadcast. A reception immediately following commencement will be in the Center for Business and Industry (BI), Chaney Enterprises Conference Room BI-113.

In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be announced and posted at if commencement activities will be held the following day, Jan. 22. Graduates and guests may also call the inclement weather hotline at 301-369-1999 or 800-650-4023.  

The safety of CSM students, guests and employees is of utmost importance. CSM will conduct bag checks at commencement, and all individuals may be subject to a bag check before entry. CSM Public Safety officials encourage guests to leave large secondary bags, diaper bags and backpacks in their vehicles or at home as these will be subject to the bag check process at the door.

For information on commencement, visit