Following a standing ovation given by faculty and staff, Paul Toscano, left, is congratulated and given his 35-year pin by CSM Board Chair Dorothea Smith at the Feb. 26 Service Recognition Ceremony held at the La Plata Campus.
LA PLATA, Md. (March 8, 2016)—The College of Southern Maryland recognized 77 employees who have accumulated more than 1,055 years of service to the college at a ceremony Feb. 26 at the La Plata Campus.
"When I look back on my days as the president of this college, the thing that I want to focus on is that we really are a caring institution," said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried to faculty and staff gathered for the ceremony. "We are an institution that cares about our students, that cares about our community and that cares about each other. That's what we are really striving for and I see that today."
Among the employees recognized were Paul Toscano with 35 years of service; and Dr. William Comey, Steven Hundert and Thomas Repenning, each with 30 years of service.
In his first job at CSM as a counselor, Toscano advised students on academic matters, taught personal development courses, coordinated transfers and placement testing, and registered students for classes. "The whole registration process was just a few weeks long and students had to come to the campus to sign up for classes," Toscano said. "The line would be long and take hours to get through." Two other counselors assisted Toscano at the time. Now, with more than 11,000 students enrolled in degree programs on three campuses, the advisement department responsibilities have grown exponentially, and the registration process can be accomplished online months in advance.
After 16 years as counselor, Toscano shifted to distance learning as coordinator of the highly popular telecourse program and later managed CSM's entry into online education with two classes in the summer of 1999. Toscano has watched the emergence of the digital age and its effect on student life. In 2015, CSM offered 24 online programs and certificates and more than 20,000 students enrolled in online courses. This spring the college offered more than 300 online credit sections.
In addition to academics, Toscano played an integral role in the publication of the college's Connections Magazine, which showcases Southern Maryland writers, poets, artists and photographers. Toscano was an associate editor in the selection of photos and was the program's website editor. "The Connections program provided a cultural and artistic outlet for talented students and faculty, as well as people in the community," said Toscano, who as an avid photographer encouraged the inclusion of photography in the literary magazine. Toscano's interest in photography led to him taking all the photography courses that the college offered, earning him an associate degree.
Toscano grew up in Washington, D.C. and Prince George's County. He earned a bachelor's degree in business and economics from Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, a master's degree in counseling from Catholic University and an EdS (education specialist) degree in counseling from The George Washington University. He started his career as a counselor at Prince George's Community College before coming to CSM in 1980. Following his retirement, Toscano plans to travel, continue taking courses for personal enrichment in areas of interest and use the fitness center on the La Plata Campus.
Comey, vice president, Division of Student and Instructional Support Services, began at CSM as coordinator for student activities and throughout his career has been responsible for admissions, advising and career services, financial assistance, student records, enrollment management, student life and athletics, student conduct, student success, disability support services, distance learning, information technology, library, institutional research and auxiliary services.
"When I came to the college 30 years ago, I thought I would stay for a few years and move on. But, the people, the community and the rich opportunities have kept me here ever since. I can't think of a nicer, more rewarding place to have built a career and enjoyed a life," Comey said.
Hundert, professor of mathematics, physics and engineering at the Leonardtown Campus, said that he and his wife came to Southern Maryland to escape the long winters of central New York. He was the first professor of his department at the St. Mary's County campus. Hundert organized the Math Team on the Leonardtown campus and said, "CSM has participated in the math league competition for around 20 years and we have always been in the top three in the state and top five in the Mid-Atlantic region. The 2013-14 academic year was our best year as CSM was No. 14 in the nation out of 183 schools."
Repenning, library director, moved to St. Mary's County to work at the Great Mills High School facility prior to the college's move to the Leonardtown Campus. In those early years, Repenning's job was librarian, audio-visual (AV) technician and Testing Center manager.
"Seeing the library evolve from an all-print library to electronic resources has been exciting," said Repenning who is the third-longest serving library director among Maryland community college directors.
In addition to Toscano, Comey, Hundert and Repenning, CSM recognized the following for their years of service:
25 years, Bernice Brezina, Dr. Maria Bryant, Andrea Chisley, Michael Maloney, Linda Schleip, Michelle Simpson, Pamela Starkey and Janet Thompson;
20 years, Dr. Richard Bilsker, Karen Brandt, Paula Coluzzi, Michael Green, Bonnie Harrison, Michele Lacroix and Debra Proctor;
15 years, Katherine Alden, Stacie Aubel, Janice Bonham, Phyllis Coombs, Sherrise De Baugh, Rachel Drake, Joseph Hagens, William Hitte, Carol Kachauskas, Janice Love, Rose Miller, Thomas Russ, Lee Vines, David Ware, Anita Warnes, Sharon Wilding and John Wilson;
10 years, Charles Baker, Kenneth Bays, Margaret Bolton, Anthony Borland, Amy Carney, Kevin Cumberland, Patricia DeCarlo, Keri Field, Linda Goodman, Dr. Chretien Guidry, Michele Hawkins, Ronda Jacobs, Dr. Stephen Johnson, Teresa Jones, Stephen Kegley, Douglas Kuykendall, Tracy Mason, Tuesday Miles, Steven Moomey, Dr. Melanie Osterhouse, Annette Ragland, Maureen Rotto Coar, Tracy Sewell, Annie Sutten, Lynn Williams and Andrew Wodzianski; and
Five years, Dr. Barbara Abdul-Karim, Darrel Bob, Sharon Buckler, Lynn Kennedy, Francisco Legaspi, Ashleigh Maloney, Robert Moon, Dr. Daniel Mosser, Lori Reim, Shanda Sampson, Joy Syring, Elizabeth Wallman, Dorothy Whitt, Sarah Williams and Christian Zimmermann.
To view a gallery of photos from the Service Recognition Ceremony, visit http://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/15svcrec.