83 Long-time Workers Noted for Loyalty, Building College Programs
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) recognized employees who have reached significant milestones in their years of service with the college at a reception March 16 at the La Plata Campus. The 2018 CSM Service Awards Recognition Reception honored 83 employees, including two who are marking 30 years of service and five marking 25 years this year, as well as 80 employees observing anniversaries at five-year intervals. Altogether, the workers honored have accumulated 1,035 years of service to CSM.
“We celebrate these employees who have demonstrated an unusual level of loyalty to the college and to its mission,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “The success of the college can be attributed to these professionals and their efforts.”
Among those honored were Lead Desktop Publisher/Production Specialist Brenda Jones and Assistant Director of Information Technology Services Perry Taylor, both with 30 years of service at CSM.
Jones started out as a part-time typesetter, a position Jones valued because it allowed her to be home with her twin daughters after school. However, Jones soon learned to also value the “sense of family throughout the college,” she said, as well as her coworkers, Jean Jones and Carol Wade, both now retired from the college.
“I loved my job from Day 1,” Jones said, calling CSM her “home away from home.”
Jones said she remembers she faced a steep learning curve when she first started at the college as a typesetter. “I had no clue what a typesetter was, but ‘the beast,’ as I called it, and I soon became good friends,” Jones said, describing how the technology she uses has changed over the past three decades up to her current position. “My, how technology has changed from those early years to now.”
During the ceremony, Vice President of Advancement Michelle Goodwin also recalled how Jones, along with everyone at CSM, grew with each new technology. “We both remember being on the very first website committee, when there was no website,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin noted that Jones’ position evolved to include production of The Friday Report, the college’s employee newsletter, as well as to provide design and production assistance with “annual catalogs, credit and [continuing education] schedules, student handbooks, graduation events invites and programs and other college fliers/brochures/postcards/programs.”
Jones is retiring this spring with plans to spend time with her grandchildren, work on family memoirs and focus on her love of photography. Twice a year, Jones worked closely with Languages and Literature Professor Neal Dwyer on producing the college’s literary magazine Connections, a “project near and dear to my heart,” she said. Jones has had three photographs published in the magazine thus far.
Taylor has deep roots at CSM, even beyond his 30 years as an employee. He started as a student and recalls, “The faculty and staff were very helpful and engaging with everyone. It was like an extension of the community I was from.”
His employment with the college started when he was hired as a student assistant in the college’s audio-visual department, where he worked with Jean Fuller, Al Schorsch and John Kopp. “My task included creating poster signs using block type setting, audio recordings/duplications, film repair, lamp replacements and assisting wherever needed,” Taylor said. “From the very first day, I enjoyed working with the team as they gave direction, shared their knowledge and embraced me as a student and friend.”
That experience proved to be pivotal to Taylor, who went on to work at Gallaudet University. Then, in 1990, Taylor was interviewed by former college coworkers, Fuller and [Tom] Repenning, to replace his mentor, Schorsch, who had retired as the college’s audio visual technician. “This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time in my life,” Taylor said, noting he was happy to give up his two-hour commute to Gallaudet and come back home to CSM.
“Fortunately for all of us, he returned to the college and has done nothing less than exceptional work supporting everything from our computer labs, to our television broadcast facility, to distance learning and video conference rooms,” said Vice President of Student and Instructional Support Dr. Bill Comey. “To this day, Perry is customer focused and is always one to be counted on to get the job done and inspire others … Perry is a glass-half-full kind of guy. He is highly respected at the college and has a huge heart.
“I have truly enjoyed working here for these 30 years,” Taylor said. “Being a part of the CSM family has been extremely important to my journey and has allowed me to be active in service to others. As John Wesley said, ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’”
In addition, five employees were honored for 25 years of service, including Professor Neal Dwyer, Lead Business Office Manager Tina Edmondson-Berry, Career and Academic Advisor Gladys Jones, Professor Carolin McManus and Lead General Ledger Fiscal Coordinator Lori Shupe.
Lead Business Office Manager at the Leonardtown Campus Tina Edmondson-Berry recalls how the Leonardtown Campus has evolved and grown over the last 25 years. Like Taylor, Edmondson-Berry started as a student assistant at the college and, encouraged by those around her at CSM, worked up to her current position.
“If it was not for the college environment and the staff’s encouragement … I’m not sure if I would have continued my education. The college has been good to me and I have always loved working at CSM,” Edmonson-Berry said. “Working in a college environment is unpredictable, but in a good way, and it’s always a learning experience. I have enjoyed seeing the campus grow through the years.”
Professor Carolin McManus is also marking 25 years with CSM. She has worked at both the Charles County and St. Mary’s County campuses. In earlier years when the St. Mary’s campus was in Great Mills, McManus worked as adjunct instructor in English. “I was very impressed that a community college with a full complement of courses was being run out of one small building with four or five staff members.”
During her years at CSM, McManus said she has enjoyed her coworkers. “I treasure my ongoing relationships with the custodial and security staff, some of the warmest, most interesting people at CSM,” she said.
McManus described her hopes for the future. “Building cross-cultural trust through study could go a long way toward solving many of our conflicts. It would be nice to have a preserved environment in which to enjoy what I hope will be our peaceful future.”
Gladys Jones’ first job at CSM was as office manager for the Southern Maryland Job Training Network. “I felt very welcomed and knew that I had made the right decision in accepting the position. I also felt a sense of camaraderie between coworkers within the department, which was very important to me.”
She shared one of her favorite memories from her years at CSM, a time when she had the opportunity to interact with a former President of the United States.
“On May 17, 1995, I had the opportunity to meet former President Bill Clinton at Automated Graphics Systems, Inc. in White Plains … to celebrate the first anniversary of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994,” Gladys Jones said. “This was a grant managed by the Career and Technical Education Division where I served as an administrative/program assistant. I then received from the White House a huge portrait of me and President Clinton.”
Gladys Jones’ attitude toward her job is that it is an opportunity to help. “I sincerely care about the students I assist on a daily basis and that I will take the time necessary to ensure that each student who enters my office has a pleasant academic advising experience.”
In addition to Brenda Jones and Taylor with their 30 years and the five employees noted for 25 years of service, other CSM employees marking increments of five years of services were honored at the reception, including:
20 years: Turner Coggins, Pamela Coppins, Jacqueline Dyson, Dr. Eleazer Ekwue, Henry Geer, Kenneth Glassman, Michelle Goodwin, Larry Johnson, Kathleen Lauber, Valerie Nyce, Beverly Russell, Howard Walker;
15 years: Michelle Christian, Cami Cooley, Kimberley Donnelly, Gobi Gopinath, Stephen Hawks, Wendy Hayes, Renee Jenkins, Ruena Long, Dr. Sarah Merranko, Daphne Morris, Sandra Poinsett, Dr. Laura Polk, Don Posey, Daphne Powell, Eileen Richards, Julie Sackfield, Donna Sperry, Jennifer Van Cory, Lisa Warren;
10 years: Joseph Adams, Mike Blakeley, Steven Chapman, Melba Fetty, Melvina Frazier, Laura Jackson, Terry Jordan, Lynn Kennedy, Marcia Kent, Lisa Kreiser, Martha Maratta, Kathleen McClure, Ricardo Perez, Dr. Karen Russell, Elizabeth Settle, Andrew Smith, Dr. George Spiegel, Albert Swann, Richard Taylor, Nathan Welch;
Five years: Shirley Allen, Latasha Baker, Abraham Bejarano, William Brown, Stephen Campbell, James Cleary, Joshua Cockerham, Matthew Cox, Tyneka Cutchember, Timothy Fenner, Lisa Gonzalez, Dr. Tracy Harris, Lisa Jones, Shaneeza Kazim, Beverley Lahman, Barbara Link, Valerie Mason, Dr. Kelly McMurray, Ed Moroney, Bruce Posey, JoAnne Ray, William Russell, Quonte Stewart, Kristen Titsworth and Salman Zafarullah.