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College of So. Md. News Briefs

Make a Date for ‘Splash for Scholarships’ April 25

Poolside Celebration Marks Anniversary of CSM’s Wellness, Aquatics Center

The College of Southern Maryland Foundation is hosting a poolside celebration on April 25 to mark the fifth anniversary of the Leonardtown Campus Wellness and Aquatics Center and to raise funds for student scholarships. The “Splash for Scholarships” event will include music and dancing, seashore-inspired cuisine, poolside games, silent auction and a CSM Strongman Competition.

“We wanted to plan an event that would be fun and welcoming, where friends and neighbors could plan to come and enjoy a Saturday night together to share and celebrate the Wellness and Aquatics Center,” said Foundation Director E. Rané Franklin, the event chair. “This is a best beach-attire-and-flip-flops type of event—a great way to kick-off the warm-weather season while hanging out with friends by the pool.” All proceeds will benefit CSM student scholarships through the CSM Foundation.

“Sponsorships levels range from $7,500 to $500, and based on the level included named scholarship opportunities, VIP parking and event tickets. For sponsorship details, visit Sponsorship deadline is April 1.

Individual tickets are $50 per person. For information contact Erika Abell at or 301-934-7647.

The CSM Foundation, established in 1970, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that promotes academic excellence, growth, progress and the general welfare of the College of Southern Maryland by raising and managing funds, and providing support to strengthen and develop the college and its objectives.

For information on the event and sponsorships, visit

Elementary Students Learn Water Safety Basics

CSM Teaches Fifth Graders Lifesaving Techniques in Partnership with St. Mary’s Schools

Fifth-grade students in all St. Mary’s County elementary schools are more aware and confident when in and around the water as a result of training offered through the College of Southern Maryland at the Leonardtown Campus Wellness and Aquatics Center.

“This is a fabulous program with children completely engaged in class and in the pool,” said Executive Director of Elementary Schools Kelly Murray Hall, who coordinates the program for St. Mary’s County Public Schools. “The impact of the program is in providing needed, quality instruction—and that the kids want to go.” In all, 18 schools, 57 classes and more than 1,200 students will participate in the program that began in January and will continue until the end of May.

“Because St. Mary’s County has more than 500 miles of shoreline, water safety is a very big concern for parents,” said CSM Wellness, Fitness and Aquatics Assistant Director for Leonardtown Campus Judith Ferrara. “Although these are not swimming lessons, the instruction provided will help children assess dangerous conditions, practice throwing lifesaving rings to others who might be in distress, learn how to safely assist people without having to go into the water themselves and to always call for help.”

Water safety especially hits home for the Dynard Elementary School community that lost a student to an accidental drowning last spring. The schools fifth-graders were the first ones to begin the water safety instruction this year.

“You don’t realize the valuable experience that this training provides until there is a tragedy,” said Dynard Elementary School Principal Andrea Owens. “Students are taught not to go into the water to attempt a rescue, but to look for anything that floats that a struggling swimmer can grab onto, even a cooler. Children are learning to be quick thinkers as part of the training.”

The water safety program, in its fourth year, is supported through a partnership with CSM, St. Mary’s Commissioners and St. Mary’s County Public Schools. The Leonardtown Campus Wellness and Aquatics Center opened in 2010 and in addition to water safety classes, the center provides year-round health and fitness opportunities for CSM students as well as members of the community.

For photos from the Dynard Elementary School water safety training, visit To view a video of water safety training at CSM, visit For information on swimming lessons through CSM’s continuing education programs, visit

CSM Celebrates Longevity, Loyalty

62 Employees Honored for 855 Years of Service

The College of Southern Maryland recognized 62 employees with a combined 855 years of service to the college during the 29th Annual Service Recognition Ceremony and Reception, Feb. 13 at the La Plata Campus.

“Whether you are an administrator, a faculty member or support personnel, you have been and still are influential in helping our students realize their potential,” said CSM Trustee Vice President Dorothea Holt Smith.

Among those honored were Biological and Physical Sciences Professor Paul Billeter and Building and Grounds Technician Charles Clark, both with 40 years of service.

To put into perspective the length of time that Billeter and Clark have spent at the college, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Farinelli told honorees and guests that on their first days at work, the president of the United States was Gerald Ford; there was no public Internet, no Facebook nor Twitter; Bill Gates had just graduated from college and Mark Zuckerberg would not be born for another nine years; and it was the year that Jimmy Hoffa disappeared.

“Paul has served under four presidents of the college, has been instrumental in the Belize spring travel abroad program, he’s been a true anchor in the Biological and Physical Sciences Department and he’s been a wonderful colleague,” said Farinelli.

Clark was honored not only for his years of service but also for his kindness to students.

“When you walk around campus, you will see [Clark] talking with students and directing them educationally. Anything of concern to students is a concern to Charles,” said CSM Financial and Administrative Services Vice President Tony Jernigan. “Charles has told me, ‘These students have a lot to offer,’ and that speaks volumes to his passion for the success of our students.”

In addition to Billeter and Clark, recognized for the longest years of service at the ceremony, other employees marking increments of five years of service were honored.

CSM employees honored for years of service at the college are:

Five years: Erika Abell, Valerie Anderson, Tisean Bell, Kim Busch, Pat Conward, Dr. Richard Fleming, Loretta Foster, James Gerondakis, Keith Hight, Tony Jernigan, Shaniel McBurrows, Dennis McIntosh, Michelle Morsell, Craig Patenaude, Larisa Pfeiffer, Jane Pomponio, David Robinson, Shelly Snell, Penny Trusty, Charles Walsh and Heather Zeolla;

10 years: Jennifer Everhart, James Finger, Nancy Gibson, Lisa Lynk Smith, Tara McManaway, Andrea Muntz, Bill Rollins, Barbara Scotland, George Wall, Susan Wilson and Patty Zych;

15 years: Tony Bates, Joe Burgin, Wendy Cleary, Glennis Daniels-Bacchus, Joni Ellis, Judi Ferrara, Linda Giles, Tom Grinder, Vickie Grow, Mary Beth Klinger, Linda Cooke Smith, Benita Sneade and Michael Suwak;

20 years: Beverly Coger, Chip Keech, Jackie Koerbel and Robin Young;

25 years: Colleen Joffe, Toni Kruszka, Joan Middleton, Andrea Ronaldi and Don Smith;

30 years: Tom Gorecki, Mary Johnson, Wayne Karlin, Tom Seremet and Margaret Thomas; and

40 years: Billeter and Clark.

“We all work together here under one umbrella—a simple umbrella where we all work together for the good of our students,” said Billeter.

For information on employment opportunities at CSM, visit

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