News Release, College of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will host a ‘Night of Engineering’ March 6 at its La Plata Campus for prospective students who are considering a four-year degree in electrical or mechanical engineering.

CSM hosts the Night of Engineering every semester to explain how students can achieve a four-year engineering degree in Southern Maryland by completing their first two years of college at CSM and then transferring to the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering, located at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, to finish their final two years of studies. This opportunity is available because CSM is part of the Southern Maryland Engineering Partnership (SMD-E) with the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC-AD) and the University of Maryland at College Park.

“Night of Engineering is an opportunity to get information about our mechanical and electrical engineering partnerships with the University of Maryland College Park and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station,” explained Pre-Engineering Coordinator Jehnell Linkins. “Many students don’t realize that we have a program in place that allows them to take all required classes in Southern Maryland at CSM and at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) in California.”

Such was the case for CSM Alumna Kristina Babinski, of Pomfret. Babinski and her husband moved to the area about three years ago when Babinski was looking to leave her culinary career and pursue something different. She attended the CSM’s Night of Engineering in 2016 and the experience sold her on the college and on an engineering career.

Kristina Babinski

Babinski went on to reap the benefits of pursuing a STEM-related education at CSM after graduating last spring with her associate degree in electrical engineering. Upon graduation, she was given half a dozen chances to expand her professional experience after being offered six internships from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Defense (Army), U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command, Maryland Space Grant Consortium, Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration. And that was after spending the summer of 2015 interning with the University of Maryland’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site along with two other CSM engineering students.

Location to nearby military and federal agencies also played a role in CSM recently receiving a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide 96 new scholarships to students attending CSM to study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematic. CSM Mathematics Professor Sandra Poinsett, who was the lead on the grant request submission, said CSM’s campuses are “located at the epicenter of military and federal government installations supported by thousands of private sector contractors and suppliers.”

Exelon Generation, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, military installations, Dominion Power and other energy companies are also working with CSM to grow a workforce of engineers and technicians.

Dr. David Barrett explains to parents and perspective students that students can complete a four-year engineering degree in Southern Maryland by completing their first two years of college at CSM and then transferring to the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering located at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center to complete their final two years of studies during last fall’s Night of Engineering.

“Southern Maryland companies stand ready to assist the program with mentors, job shadowing opportunities, tours, presentations, internships, and other experiences,” she shared. “The STEM workforce demands for the tri-county region are staggering.”

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics reported in 2017 that “although STEM occupations made up 6.2 percent of national employment, they made up nearly 23 percent of employment in [the areas of] California-Lexington Park, Maryland. As a share of total employment, Southern Maryland had nearly 49 times as many aerospace engineers as the United States as a whole, as well as high concentrations of several other types of engineers and engineering technicians.”

Babinski said she appreciated all that CSM offered and provided her.

“One of the most important things I learned at CSM was how to effectively research and find information. I now have this toolbox of Calculus, Physics, and technical knowledge that I can tap into when needed,” she said. “All of the faculty at CSM really helped me grow, and I made sure to utilize every type of adviser CSM had to offer. It was a great experience that offered a lot of one-on-one time with professors.”

The March 6 Night of Engineering will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at CSM’s La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI Building), Chaney Enterprises Conference Room (Room 113). The college is located at 8730 Mitchell Road. RSVP is requested at

For information on engineering studies at CSM, visit, or email Linkins at

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...