CSM celebrates 48th spring graduation commencement ceremony

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The College of Southern Maryland had 391 candidates for degrees and certificates during its 48th spring commencement ceremony.


Dana Hilton of Mechanicsville gets a hug to celebrate receiving an associate’s degree and certificate in early childhood development at the College of Southern Maryland’s 48th spring commencement.

Family and friends gathered to celebrate the 196 participants in the ceremony held May 24 on the lawn of the Administration Building at the La Plata Campus. With this graduating class, the college celebrated its awarding of degrees or certificates to more than 15,000 graduates in its nearly 50-year history.

At the 2007 spring commencement, CSM awarded 382 associate degrees and 149 certificates. Of the candidates for graduation, 73 percent were female; 44 percent were from Charles County, 28 percent from St. Mary’s County and 23 percent from Calvert County; 5 percent were from outside of the Southern Maryland region.

Associate degrees were awarded predominantly in the fields of nursing, general studies and business administration. Most of the certificates were awarded in the areas of general studies – transfer, and advanced and basic accounting. The ages of this spring’s recipients ranged from 18 to 67.

CSM’s youngest graduate this spring is 18-year-old Jennifer Davis of Hughesville. Davis chose CSM after graduating from a high school distance learning program in 2005. “I didn’t feel like I was ready to go to a four-year institution yet. CSM was affordable, close to home, and it gave me the opportunity to test the waters before moving away,” said the recent first-place winner in the National Society of Arts and Letters' Career Awards Competition.

Davis, who received an associate degree in art, prefers realism. She likes drawing and painting, and especially enjoys working in watercolor.

“My instructors were great, especially Dr. Jarvis and Professor Venne, who taught me history and art, respectively. I liked history before, but Dr. Jarvis made it so much fun that I even loved writing essays. Likewise, Mr. Venne was so encouraging and open-minded about art. He encouraged me to play around with different media and I grew more confident in my own abilities,” said Davis, whose future goals include earning a master’s degree in art and becoming a professor of drawing or painting.

Other graduates included Brad Combs, 22, of Chaptico, who is the first graduate of the college’s new sports management degree program.

“I have been a sports fanatic my entire life - games, stats, memorabilia, the whole nine yards. I have always liked the idea of being at the top of a career field that I love, so for me getting to stay in the tri-county area and working as a sports director with a local team or recreation center would be ideal,” said Combs, who originally attended CSM to become a high school teacher and currently works as a substitute teacher at Chopticon High School.

“Right now, I think I have an edge in dealing with the students. I am close to their age and I have connections with their fa

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