67 Employees Honored for a Collective 720 Years with the College
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) recognized 67 employees who have accumulated more than 720 years of service to the college at a ceremony Feb. 24 at the La Plata Campus.
“This college is special … because of all of you,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried to faculty and staff gathered for the ceremony. “I want to thank you for who you are, what you do and how you care. We should all be very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Employees were cited for years of work for completing multiples of five-years in their CSM career. Hazel Woodland, associate team leader of building and grounds, was celebrated for having worked for 40 years at the college, the longest tenure of those honored at the event.
Among other employees recognized were Peggy Jones with 35 years of service; Dr. Christine Arnold-Lourie and Earl Brawner, both with 25 years; and Vince Dobbs, Barry Hamilton and Annie Jackson, all with 20 years.
Jones attended the college as a full-time student after graduating high school. “I started as a student worker in the bookstore,” she said. “I thought the college was so big and impressive, and it was awesome that I was able to work and take classes at the same location.”
Jones progressed quickly from that part-time position. First she applied to become a permanent full-time cashier. “I reported to work one day and was asked to report to the HR department,” she said. “To my surprise, when I got to HR, Ruth Wade started giving me forms to fill out for my permanent position — I had not interviewed nor had I even been offered the job. When I returned to the store, Robin Bladen, the bookstore manager, said ‘Well,’ and I replied, ‘Well, I guess I got the job.’ That is how it all began. The hiring process has changed a bit since then.”
Jones is now the lead scheduling and conference services support specialist for the college, working in the scheduling and conference services section of the marketing department.
“I really have enjoyed working at the college. The best people work here,” she said.
Jones was offered a tiara, sash and a bouquet of flowers by coworkers, as another stood behind her with a sign that read “We love Peggy!” when Jones was called up to be recognized at the Feb. 24 event. “She certainly has made her impact in many different ways,” said Michelle Goodwin, vice president of advancement. Reading comments from Lead Scheduling Coordinator Phyllis Coombs, who could not attend the event, Goodwin described Jones as “an excellent listener” and “a problem-solver.”
“She completes the scheduling team,” Goodwin said.
Arnold-Lourie started at CSM as a full-time instructor after answering an ad in the Washington Post. “My interview was scheduled during Spring Fling, and I was so impressed with the charm of that idea. I also thought the campus was beautiful.”
Now a professor in Communication, Arts and Humanities, Arnold-Lourie serves as the coordinator for CSM’s history program. In that capacity, she supervised the redesign of online classes and developed the program assessment plan. She initiated the peer tutoring program for history students, and developed nine courses, including The History of Race and Racism, Women in America, Women in Europe and The American Experience. In 2014, she co-led a travel study to Ireland.
She has served on numerous committees and, for more than a decade, led the CSM Scholars Program. For the past five years, she has organized a program to bring a Holocaust survivor to the college to speak to the community. She is among recipients of CSM’s Faculty Excellence Award.
In addition to teaching, Arnold-Lourie has published a number of scholarly works and regularly presents at conferences, an aspect of her work that she believes ultimately benefits her students. “I believe that research and teaching are inseparable aspects of my passion for history,” she said. “Research keeps my teaching fresh and up-to-date.”
After all her years of teaching, Arnold-Lourie says she enjoys keeping in touch with her students, calling it a “privilege.” “I have attended many student weddings, former students bring their babies by to show me, and I can now count a number of former students as friends.”
In reading her remarks from Arnold-Lourie at the recognition event, Dr. Eileen Abel, CSM vice president of academic affairs, said the history professor hopes that over the years she has been able “to help at least 4,000 students to love, at least not hate, history.”
Dobbs came to CSM as a career-changer 20 years ago. He had spent 11 years as an engineer in the field of electrochemistry, followed by three years with another firm as an environmental engineer. He came to CSM after answering an ad in the newspaper for a part-time library assistant to supervise the Prince Frederick Campus library.
“It was a very informal atmosphere back then,” Dobbs said. “The Prince Frederick Campus and the others had only the ProQuest databases at that time, which were in the form of CDs mounted in ‘jukeboxes’ and which had to be switched out every month. There were really no print materials to check out until I started ordering a few.”
Dobbs started at the former campus located in a previous elementary school building on Broomes Island Road in Calvert County. “The library had only a single, very small room, which was smaller than a typical classroom.”
After three years with the college, Dobbs earned a master of library science degree from the University of Maryland College Park. He was offered the position of reference librarian at the La Plata Campus and remembers that, even then, the atmosphere at the college was very informal, and students were not required to show their ID cards to check out print materials.
The college and its libraries have evolved significantly in Dobbs’ two decades with CSM. He said he’s enjoyed his coworkers and remembers especially the day the when four of them dressed up as the three little pigs and Big Bad Wolf and had a picture taken, as well as when the staff decorated the reference desk with black balloons on Dobbs’ 50th birthday.
“I find my job to be very rewarding, and I enjoy equally working with students, faculty and staff,” Dobbs said.
In addition to those employees with 40, 35, 25 and 20 years, CSM recognized the following for their years of service:
15 years, Christine Deen, Joyce Embrey, Marcy Gannon, Karen Smith Hupp, Debra Jacques, Ulana Koropeckyj Chorney, Judith Mills, Elizabeth Rourke, Michelle Ruble, Sue Shelor, Susan Strickland, Bruce Washington, Dick Whalen and Cynthia Wright;
10 years, Sara Cano, Morag Dahlstrom, Cynthia Ellis, Sonia Fernandez, Dr. Bradley Gottfried, Robin Grivetti, Erich Hintze, Shaunda Holt, Catherine Jordan, Dr. Stephanie McCaslin, Thirza Morgan, Georgia Neil, Karen O’Connor, Kathleen Parsons, Amee Patel, Dr. Fawaz Roumani, Rebecca Welch, Michael Whelan and Kimberly Yellman; and
Five years, Julie Andrews-Walker, Laurie Cangelosi, Patricia Christofaro, Robert Cochrane, Thomas Cox, William Dove, Dr. Cicero Fain, Samuel Fleming, Tiffany Gill, Yikui Gu, Lena Hancock, Philip Hawkins, Alise Jorgensen, Krista Keyes, Kathleen MacAdams, LaShonda Marshall, Mary Osborne, Brandon Patterson, Ileatha Price, Deborah Rutledge, Dr. Valerie Shelton, Dr. John Short, Dr. Tracey Stuller, Christina Thompson, Mary Washington, Kelly Winters and Renata Zgorski.