Members of the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Men of Excellence participated in the Maryland Male Students of Color (MMSOC) Summit at Montgomery College on Oct. 18. The Men of Excellence members were able to attend educational sessions on career readiness, social activism, critical mentoring and leadership, and mental wellness — as well as hear from noted Journalist Roland S. Martin.

Men of Excellence members Zion McNeil, Gift Alfa, Jalen Tham-Woodert, Lotanna Okoye, Malon Charles, Dwight Stephens, and Israel Cheatham were accompanied by CSM Men of Excellence Coordinator Tim Fenner to spend the day at Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus and focused on topics and activities designed to educate, equip, and enlighten Maryland community colleges’ male students of color to increase college and career success effectively.

Pictured from left attending the Maryland Male Students of Color Summit are College of Southern Maryland Men of Exellence (MOE) members Zion McNeil, Gift Alfa, MOE Coordinator Tim Fenner, Jalen Tham-Woodert, Lotanna Okoye, Malon Charles, Dwight Stephens and Israel Cheatham. Credit: College of Southern Maryland

“We do this yearly because it is good for our young men to network with like-minded peers outside CSM and in other communities,” said Fenner. “For them to see people striving for the same thing — excellence in education and life, is powerful. All the young men who came up to me when our day was over said that it was the most important and valuable event they had ever attended.”

In the video below, hear more from Men of Excellence member Andre Curry about CSM’s Men of Excellence program.

The Men of Excellence Program was established at CSM in September 2013 as a college-wide initiative to improve the recruitment, success, retention, graduation, and transfer rates of African American men who enter as first-time, full- or part-time students at the college. The program is designed to empower students to meet their academic and professional goals and provide an array of services meant to increase student engagement and encourage community-building among all participants. By partnering with offices throughout Student Equity and Success and Academic Affairs, the program helps students map out a route to reach their academic, personal, and professional goals; develop leadership skills, and achieve educational success. 

All students, faculty, and staff at CSM are invited to engage in activities supporting the mission of the Men of Excellence Program and its participants. For more questions about how you can get involved, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Program Coordinator Tim Fenner at or 301-539-4743.

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