Stephanie Arnone, of Chesapeake Beach, was one of two CSM students to earn a $500 scholarship for delivering an outstanding performance at the annual CSM speech contest.

Top Speeches Earn CSM Students $500 Scholarships

News Release, College of Southern Maryland

Two College of Southern Maryland (CSM) students took home CSM Foundation scholarships after winning top scores at CSM’s annual public speaking competition. Thomas D. Lambert, of Lexington Park, and Stephanie Kay Arnone, of Chesapeake Beach, delivered the prize-winning, seven-minute speeches to each earn a $500 award to further their educations.

Lambert’s gave his informative speech on stress management and highlighted how to recognize and mitigate it.

“As a former U.S. Marine, I have lost more friends than anyone should because of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD),” he shared. “I researched the history of stress, the evolution of stress and reviewed tool kits with the audience on how to harness stress to make it work for you instead of harm you.”

During his 11 years of military service, Lambert deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Even if one person learned a single solitary thing about stress than it was worth it,” he said about winning the contest. “And none of this would have been possible without my teacher Ms. Christian.”

Arnone, who also won the speech contest last year, gave an informative speech on how social media affects teen’s social skills in interpersonal communication. She said the speech was about the importance of using and practicing communication skills, especially today, when computers dominate communication.

“Being able to effectively communicate and interact with one another is not a skill that people are born with,” she shared. “It is a skill that needs to be practiced.” 

Arnone graduated from CSM in May with her associate degree in arts and sciences. She plans to continue her education at Liberty University where she will study Digital Media Performance in her pursuit of a becoming a news reporter. She credits CSM with teaching her the value of effective and meaningful communication.

“I also learned that communication is a fundamental aspect of life and that more young people should be taking opportunities to engage in interpersonal communication to enhance their speaking skills,” she said. “I would also like to thank my communication professors, Sarah Merranko and Denise Gilmore-Knudson, for all of their help and support in this public speaking course.”

The annual speech competition is open to any student at CSM and entries are taken in the spring semester. To find out more, contact contest coordinator CSM Professor Sarah Merranko at

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II