For College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Alumni Kurt Miller, ’22, attending CSM was easy: He knew that the college’s Cybersecurity program was top-notch and would provide a strong foundation for his future goals. The Huntingtown resident didn’t know that a hobby he picked up while attending CSM would end up defining the next stage of his life.

Shortly after starting classes at CSM, Miller signed up for a competitive fencing class in Northern Virginia. He had been interested in the sport since trying it at a youth summer camp and was looking for a way to stay active since his classes were all online. Before he knew it, Miller traveled to Virginia four nights a week to work on his skills.

“At first, I just thought that it would be a nice side thing, but I started getting pretty good at it,” he said. “Everyone there had been fencing for years, and I was just starting,”

Today, Miller is Drew University’s fencer, ranked 4th among Division III fencing programs. He fences at competitions up and down the East Coast and is among the region’s top 50 junior fencers. He says that the flexibility of a CSM education allowed him to arrange his schedule to focus on reaching a higher level in both fencing and his studies simultaneously. 

“That first year starting fencing was so integral,” he explained. “I might not have been able to pull off the fencing for Division III if I hadn’t attended CSM.”

The college junior is also pursuing a double major in Cybersecurity and Computer Science, thanks partly to the foundations he laid and the classes he took at CSM. In addition to his associate degree in Cybersecurity, he already has workforce experience under his belt from a summer job as a computer analyst with Charles County Public Schools.

“All my CSM professors were welcoming and willing to help with everything,” he said. “I felt well prepared when I got to college; even though it was all online, I still feel like it kept me on my toes. The transfer process to Drew University was seamless, and the classes I took at CSM got me into an outstanding position to double major.”

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