The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) awarded two $500 scholarships during its annual public speaking competition in May.

These two awardees, students Stephanie Arnone, of Chesapeake Beach, and Debra Gilroy, of California, presented informative speeches during the 2017-18 academic year that were deemed superior on standard grading criteria used for all CSM student speeches. The CSM Foundation provided the funding for the awards.

Arnone, a communication major and the Student Association president for 2018-19, hopes to one day become a news reporter. In her speech, Arnone spoke about diabetes and her personal successes in managing the disease.

“I hope to one day be able to relay information to the American people about what is happening in the nation’s government as well as other domestic issues,” she said. “I also hope to use my communication degree to reach out to Type One diabetics and to share my story to inspire others to overcome this unending disease.”

Gilroy, a history major, spoke about the history of fast food — specifically, McDonald’s — in her informative speech. Retired from the Transportation Department of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Gilroy works as a substitute teacher for St. Mary’s County Public Schools.

“When I first started at CSM last fall, my plan was to take a few courses after many years of being out of the school room as a student,” Gilroy said. “I enjoy public speaking, and the communication classes I have taken at CSM make me feel better prepared and more confident.”

The annual speech competition is open to any student at CSM and entries are taken in the spring semester. To find out more, contact contest coordinator/Professor Sarah Merranko at