Nine CSM Students Win Awards for Producing PSAs on Preventing Vehicle Theft

News Release, College of Southern Maryland

Nine College of Southern Maryland (CSM) students recently won accolades and prize money for producing public service announcements (PSAs) about preventing vehicle theft. The digital media production students wrote, filmed and produced 30-second PSAs that offered warnings and tips to Maryland motorists to help them avoid having their vehicles stolen or broken into.

This is the third year that CSM’s students have participated in the PSA contest sponsored by The Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (VTPC), Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee and Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee. The CSM students took honors in both the video and audio categories and won a combined $4,800 of the $7,000 in prize money being awarded.

Earning runner-up in the audio PSA category and winning $300 were the team of Dylan Fox and Stephen Gardner. A three-way tie in the video PSA category resulted in Micheal Baranowski, Tionte Smiley – who also won a top spot in the same competition in 2016 – and the team of Christian Pomponio and Jillian Roberts splitting a $1,500 purse. Tying for first place and splitting the $3,000 grand prize were Jacob Buchanan and the team of Kevin Poole and Joseph Neal III.

While the competition is open to all, developing and submitting an entry into the annual competition is a mandatory assignment for students enrolled in CSM’s Digital Media Production (DMP) 1010 Class taught by CSM Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Olaniyi Areke, MFA.

“It is a service learning opportunity for the DMP students to do a PSA on real issues that impact our community,” explained Areke. “This exercise teaches the students to work together as a team and allows them to compete – and win – against students from four-year institutions. It also gives students great exposure because their PSAs will be shown at Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration offices and be broadcast on radio and television stations around the state.”

Having won accolades and prize money, nine CSM students will now have their award-winning public service announcements about vehicle theft prevention air throughout the year across the state of Maryland. The winners pictured with their professor from left are Tionte Smiley, Joseph Neal III, Kevin Poole, CSM Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Olaniyi Areke, Stephen Gardner, Jacob Buchanan, Jillian Roberts, Christian Pomponio and Dylan Fox. Not pictured is winner Michael Baranowski.

Careers in digital media production, marketing, graphic design, art and history education, public relations, library science and much more can begin with the Arts and Humanities Pathway at CSM. This associate’s degree pathway lays the groundwork for a bachelor’s and then even a master’s degree. CSM has many guaranteed admissions agreements with a variety of universities to help you achieve your goals. Learn more about the program by visiting

The CSM student-produced PSAs will be aired on social media, on WBAL-TV and on the VTPC and MSP websites.

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