CSM Students Honored At Academic Excellence Award Reception
CSM Students Honored At Academic Excellence Award Reception

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Students recognized for academic achievements in their fields of study during College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) 39th Annual Academic Excellence Awards Reception included a retired Air Force dentist who discovered a passion for sculpture; a member of the CSM Hawks baseball team who is headed for a career as a social studies teacher; a student who helped lead CSM’s robotics team to its ranking as the best community college robotics team in the country; and a professional photographer who had returned to school to study cybersecurity.

These achievers were joined by a room full of other exceptional CSM students who gathered May 11 at the Prince Frederick Campus to be honored by faculty and staff for excelling in their degree programs.

“This reception is a wonderful reminder that what we are here for is you and your achievement, and tonight we get to celebrate it,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy in her opening remarks.

Provost and Vice President of Learning Dr. Rodney Redmond also welcomed students to the reception and reminded them to take a moment to reflect on their path to excellence.

“Tonight is a chance to recognize the battles you fought and the hurdles you overcame,” said Redmond. “Take a moment to thank your family, friends, faculty, and staff; hopefully they have helped you reach goals, celebrate milestones, and offered a shoulder to cry on when you needed it.”

CSM Students Honored At Academic Excellence Award Reception

Melanie Osterhouse, professor of biology and the recipient of the 2019 Faculty Excellence award, gave the keynote address to students.  She spoke about times throughout her life when she would doubt herself, and her mother would tell her, “Prioritize, and suck it up!”

“You too have persevered, because look at where you are now – at an award ceremony in your honor,” Osterhouse said. “I want you to celebrate your accomplishment with someone who has helped you to get this far.”

Before the student awards got underway, the recipient of the 2022 Faculty Excellence Award was announced as Professor of Philosophy Dr. Richard Bilsker. The award is bestowed upon a full-time professor by members of CSM faculty.

Along with teaching, Bilsker also serves as the director of CSM’s Honors Curriculum and is also the college’s coordinator for history, philosophy and political science. He serves as chair of the Grade Review Committee and the Tenure Committee, as well as a member of the Academic Standards Committee. He has been active on numerous hiring committees and other ad hoc committees. Read full story Peers Recognize CSM Professor Dr. Richard Bilsker With Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.

Faculty members from the school of liberal arts, the school of professional and technical studies, and the school of science and health then presented their awards to students who have excelled in their chosen field of study. Many faculty members talked about the pandemic and how students were forced to adapt to virtual lectures, office hours, and projects.  Some faculty members were meeting the students they mentored in person for the first time.

Presenters also discussed students’ future plans, with many having already received job offers in their fields or acceptance to universities for the next step in their education.

“Every year we think we have hit the peak of student achievement, and every year it gets exceeded,” said Associate Dean for Liberal Arts Dr. Stephen Johnson in presenting the awards. 

A full list of award winners is below.

School of Liberal Arts

Distinguished Honors in History: Joana Eliza Beatriz Gonzales

Outstanding Art Student of the Year: Baseemah S. Najeeullah

Outstanding Achievement in Teacher Education: Blake DiPietro and Morgan Krauel

Outstanding Achievement in Early Childhood Development: Charlana Edmonds

Outstanding Achievement in the Social Sciences: McKynzee Tippett

Distinguished Honors in Music: Braxton Lewis

John Lamiman Writing Award: Olivia Kapinos

Distinguished Honors in Communication: Jayla Wilson and Danielle Barber

Wayne Karlin Award for Creative Writing: Taylor America

Wayne Karlin Award for Creative Writing: Lilin Holley

School of Professional and Technical Studies

George Flynn Memorial Accounting Award: Mark Gifford

Outstanding Business Administration Student: Matthew Tyler Jarma and Nathaniel J. Mudd

Outstanding Business Management Student: Melissa M. Weaver

Outstanding Information Services Technology Student: Todd Hill

Outstanding Computer Science Student: Nicholas Gallegos

Outstanding Information Systems Student: Mary Jenkins

Outstanding Cybersecurity Student: Faith Holt and Tasneem Luto

Ed Shauf Award for Outstanding Criminal Justice Student: Shelby Snyder

Outstanding Homeland Security Student: Collin Felix

Outstanding Construction Management Student: Thomas Robert Carruth

Outstanding Mathematics Student: Michael Vincent Chiong

Outstanding Progress in Mathematics: Branden Milam

Outstanding Progress in Mathematics: Gineffra Boutureira Cauza

Outstanding Engineering Student: Aryan Kakadia

Outstanding Engineering Technology Student Steven Jones

School of Science and Health

Academic Achievement in Nursing: Hannah Walker

Achievement in Nursing: Kami Hardin

Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Graduate: Ryleigh Wilson

Outstanding Medical Laboratory Technology Graduate: Carly Fessel

Outstanding Health Information Management Graduate: Lauren Faucette

Outstanding Achievement in Biology: Asharia Matthews

Outstanding Achievement in First Year of Chemistry: Laura Jacobs

Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry: Connor Keech

Outstanding Physics Student: Nathan Daetwyler

To view photographs from this event, visit https://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/22academicexcellence.

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