In recognition of their exceptional contributions and unwavering dedication to the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) community and its students, three retired professors have been granted professor emeritus status by the CSM Board of Trustees. The prestigious honor has been conferred upon Dr. Christine Arnold-Lourie, Dr. Maria Bryant, and Michelle Simpson for their remarkable service and distinguished careers at the institution.

Dr. Christine Arnold-Lourie, who retired as Chair of the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Teacher Education at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, boasts an impressive tenure of over 30 years at CSM. Her expertise and commitment to academic excellence were recognized through various accolades, including the Faculty Excellence Award and the Maryland Heritage Commission’s award for Best Heritage Book. Dr. Richard Bilsker, a fellow professor in the same department, spoke highly of Arnold-Lourie, describing her as a “consummate scholar-educator in her field” who set high standards for herself, her students, and colleagues.

Dr. Maria Bryant, a sociology professor at CSM for three decades, has also been recommended for emeritus recognition. Known for her mentorship and dedication to the institution, her peers hailed Bryant as a role model. Her teaching excellence earned her CSM’s Faculty Excellence Award and the National Society of Leadership and Success Excellence in Teaching Award. Bryant’s contributions extended beyond the sociology department, as she played an instrumental role in faculty-development programs and committees on diversity and education.

Michelle Simpson, a communications professor at CSM for an impressive 33 years, has equally deserved emeritus status. Dr. Sarah Merranko, CSM Professor of Communication, praised Simpson’s impactful research in communication, pedagogy, and innovation. Simpson’s influence on CSM’s curriculum was evident in her co-creating the communication capstone course and establishing the college’s first online communication courses.

Over the years, Simpson actively participated in numerous committees, including the College Innovation Team and the Diversity in Education Committee. Beyond CSM, she assumed leadership roles in the Eastern Communication Association and shared her expertise at various academic conferences and workshops.

The honor of receiving professor emeritus status is a testament to these three educators’ profound impact on CSM’s academic community. They left an indelible mark on students, faculty, and the institution through their passion for teaching, commitment to research, and involvement in shaping the college’s academic landscape.

Since 2011, CSM has bestowed this prestigious recognition upon 23 esteemed faculty members, highlighting the college’s tradition of acknowledging and celebrating the exceptional contributions of its educators. As the newest additions to the distinguished roster of emeritus professors, Dr. Christine Arnold-Lourie, Dr. Maria Bryant, and Michelle Simpson join an illustrious group of educators who have enriched the college’s legacy through their lifelong commitment to education and scholarship.

As the College of Southern Maryland continues to evolve and expand, the impact of these three professors will endure, inspiring future generations of educators and learners alike. Their legacy of excellence and dedication to academic pursuits will serve as an enduring reminder of educators’ profound influence on the lives they touch.

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...

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