Graduating May 24, Student Juggles Multiple Roles While Pursuing Degree
Camille Joie De Jesus, 19, of Bryans Road is a particularly recognizable person at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus. She is everywhere.
In addition to being a full-time student — she will graduate with an associate degree in arts and sciences on May 24 — De Jesus was a student assistant in the CSM Development Department, where she helped with multiple events and fundraisers. In addition, students and staff passing through the Campus Center Building can’t help but notice a smiling, life-size image of De Jesus on the wall, along with images of all the other La Plata Campus student association officers. De Jesus was the association’s treasurer.
As she prepares to graduate as part of the 59th Spring Commencement class, De Jesus was recognized by CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy with the President’s Cup during the Student Government Association awards on May 22, and she was recognized for her work with the La Plata Campus Club of Women In STEM.
All this makes De Jesus well known, and it shows that she has been making the most of her time at CSM. She has learned how to successfully balance working two jobs every day (she works at a local doughnut business as well as the student assistant job) while being a full-time student.
“Camille quickly became an invaluable part of our team,” said CSM Director of Development Chelsea Brown, De Jesus’ student assistant job supervisor. “She is an intelligent and hard-working individual who is dedicated to her studies as well as helping others. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to motivate her fellow students to get involved in campus events. She also has a wonderful demeanor that makes it easy for her to be around.”
A recipient of the Greater Waldorf Jaycees CSM Foundation Scholarship that assisted her through all four of her semesters at CSM, De Jesus describes the experience of benefiting from a scholarship has turned her into a philanthropist herself; she gave what she could to several other scholarship funds during the college’s annual #GivingTuesday event last November.
“As a scholarship recipient myself, I wanted to return the kindness given to me back to scholarships for other students,” she said. “Even if I did not donate a lot of money, I wanted to at least give something to show how thankful I am for having so many scholarship opportunities here … I appreciate the great effort that the CSM Foundation puts forward for the students.”
“The scholarships that I have received mean a lot to me because it allowed me to see that there are opportunities for me to get help with my tuition,” said De Jesus. “Both of my parents work full time. My father works two jobs as a nurse in a hospital and nursing home, so I would go days without seeing him. My mother works in the afternoon and evenings, so my mother would come home when I would be already sleeping. My parents work hard for my family, so I want to help them in return by achieving great grades and earning scholarships so that they would not have to worry about my tuition.”
De Jesus said that starting at CSM was a good fit for her. “I am more than glad that I chose CSM because I met so many wonderful people and role models throughout my adventure.”
Associate Professor Tatiana Vrem in the Human Services Department, for instance, stood out to De Jesus, who took a course from Vrem her first semester at the college. “Professor Vrem was someone who was very open-minded and understanding,” De Jesus said. “Her lectures were very inspiring because she shared stories that had our class thinking from various perspectives. She created an environment that allowed students to be comfortable expressing their own opinions. When I was in her class, I truly felt like I was learning through her lessons and not stressing over grades in her class. I carry a lot of the things I learned from her lessons into my everyday life.”
De Jesus is taking all her eclectic experiences at CSM to the next step in her education, as she transfers to University of Maryland College Park to continue her computer science studies. Her goal is to become a software engineer.
While she is moving on, De Jesus has become entrenched enough in the CSM culture that it is hard for her to go. “If I could stay at CSM longer, I would,” she said. She expects that she will return to CSM in the future to earn certificates.
“I have no doubt that she will be successful in the next chapter of her academic career at the University of Maryland and beyond,” Brown said.
CSM Commencement Details
CSM will recognize candidates for degrees and certificates during its 59th Annual Spring Commencement Ceremony May 24 at the La Plata Campus. U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Dr. Jerome M. Adams, a Southern Maryland native, will provide the keynote address.
CSM’s spring commencement activities will begin the evening of May 23 with the annual Honors Reception to honor those students whose academic work in specific areas of study is meritorious. Each academic division views this event as an opportunity to recognize promising students. The reception is by invitation only to those being recognized and their guests.
A nurses’ recognition program will be held at 1 p.m., May 24 in the Physical Education (PE) Building, with a reception immediately following on the upper level. The college’s commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m., May 24 on the Administration Building (AD) lawn. Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony. A reception will follow the ceremony in BI Building, Room BI-113/113E. Administrative offices at the La Plata Campus will be closed beginning at 3:30 p.m. for commencement although the buildings will be open and facilities will be available for guests and graduates. Normal operations will continue at CSM’s other campuses.
The La Plata Campus College Store will be open until 7:30 p.m. A bookstore tent will have flowers, balloons and refreshments for sale.
Due to commencement activities, the PE Building at the La Plata Campus will be closed for fitness and aquatics activities on May 24.
Please note that CSM is a smoke-free campus. All tobacco and vapor-producing products are prohibited everywhere on CSM property, including all parking lots and in personal vehicles.
CSM’s campuses are accessible to patrons with disabilities. Sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired will be available at commencement. For information on commencement, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.csmd.edu/commencement.