The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Board of Trustees voted in May to confer professor emeritus status on three of the college’s retired professors – Dr. Patrick Allen, Dr. Richard Siciliano and John Wilson. The honor acknowledges these professors’ particularly distinguished and long service to the CSM community and its students.
Since 2011, only 11 CSM faculty members have been honored with professor emeritus status.
“Only the most exemplary professors are selected for emeritus status,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “These three individuals demonstrate the depth and breadth of excellence at the College of Southern Maryland.”
“The College of Southern Maryland has been so fortunate to have professors of this caliber, who have demonstrated such a high level of excellence at their craft and extraordinary commitment to CSM students,” said CSM Board of Trustees Chair Jay Webster. “These three professors richly deserve this honor.”
Siciliano, a professor of English, retired from CSM in 2019 after 50 years of service, the longest period of service of any CSM professor to this date. Wilson, a professional and technical studies professor, retired last year after 20 years of service to the college. And Allen, former chair of the CSM Social Sciences, Human Services and Teacher Education Division, retired in 2018 after 30 years at CSM.
“Richard Siciliano was a mentor and a role model for his colleagues within his division and across the college,” said CSM Dean of the School of Liberal Arts David Robinson. “His dedication to student learning, to academic quality and to the institution of the College of Southern Maryland is without peer. He remains engaged with the college through his support of the CSM foundation, the Writing Center and other community outreach efforts. Professor Siciliano truly represents the positive ideals of the College of Southern Maryland.”
Siciliano developed and taught numerous courses in English composition and literature, business and technical writing, drama and film, teaching approximately 750,000 students at CSM over the course of his lengthy career. Awarded a CSM Faculty Excellence Award in 1996, Siciliano was also a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar who traveled to China to study that country’s higher education system and traveled to South Africa to work on an Africare Information Technology Workforce Development Partnership, a USAID grant project. Robinson noted that Siciliano served as the college’s coordinator of instructional technology and also served in a variety of positions, ranging from academia to admissions and personnel, community relations and publications and on dozens of panels, boards and committees, among a long list of other contributions to the CSM community.
Wilson was recommended for professor emeritus status, reflecting the recommendation of the CSM Faculty Senate, by CSM Dean of the School of Professional and Technical Studies Bernice Brezina.
“At the heart of John’s service to CSM, he was driven by a desire to enhance the student learning experience,” Brezina said. “He went the extra mile each week to engage students and provide them with frequent and targeted feedback to help them improve their learning. He also thoughtfully reflected each year on student survey feedback to help improve his teaching and to provide students with flexibility in their learning. He continually strived to better meet the diverse needs of all of his students.”
Wilson contributed to CSM in the areas of instruction, leadership and service, Brezina said. He served as an active member of the Faculty Development Committee and the Online Rigor and Academic Presence workgroup and as co-chair of both the Mentoring Committee and the Information Technology Committee. Wilson was a course coordinator for various Information Technology courses and served as his division’s representative for Microsoft Azure Developer Tools. He presented at numerous CSM professional development days and regional teaching conferences and volunteered for STEM outreach activities such as robotics competition, among many other contributions.
“Wilson stayed on the forefront of teaching technology, as he innovated methods to utilize tools to engage students, improve instruction, and promote learning. He was one of the first faculty members to embrace online teaching at CSM. He led the way as CSM adopted various learning management systems, including WebCT, Blackboard, and myLearning. He also pioneered the design of computer technology courses with embedded industry certifications,” Brezina said.
Allen, the third honoree, contributed much to CSM and the community at large, said CSM Professor of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Teacher Education Dr. Richard Bilsker in his professor emeritus recommendation.
Allen developed and taught numerous courses in psychology and also the course in African-American literature, and he chaired CSM’s Social Sciences department/division for more than 25 years, growing the department from two faculty members to 12. He created the Men of Excellence mentoring program for African-American male students at CSM and supported the Connections readings series and publications, and contributed many poems, which he read at the publication events. In addition, Allen organized and presented at dozens of faculty-development events and collegewide programs on topics such as diversity, respect and civility. He also developed numerous articulation agreements with other institutions.
“During his many years of service to the college, Patrick Allen served as a mentor and a role model for many of us,” Bilsker said. “His dedication to this institution is readily apparent to all who know him. As a both faculty member and a department chair, Patrick worked tirelessly for both students and employees at CSM, all the while demonstrating a commitment to fairness, honesty, personal integrity, and to the power of learning to change lives. His door was always to open to students, colleagues, and the community. We can think of no one who more fully represents the positive ideals of the faculty of the College of Southern Maryland.”
For more information about how professors like these and other professionals at CSM are working to transform lives in Southern Maryland through lifelong learning and service, visit https://www.csmd.edu/about/index.html.