Calvert County Times April 20, 2017 - Page 8

8 Education The Calvert County Times Thursday, April 20, 2017 State Budget Provides Record Education Funding Calvert County Schools Get Extra Funding Dillon Banis, left, is congratulated by Professor Mike Green during CSM’s Honor Convocation in 2014. CSM Alumnus Awarded Fulbright Teaching Assistantship The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) alumnus Dillon Banis has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching As- sistantship. The award gives Banis, who graduated from CSM in 2014, the oppor- tunity to work in Germany to assist local English teachers while serving as a cul- tural ambassador for the United States. “It is an honor to the degree of which I never would have thought would be con- ferred on me,” Banis said. “Dillon is a one-in-a-million student, who made an impression on all of us who were fortunate enough to teach him,” said CSM Professor Dr. Christine Arnold- Lourie. “Dillon is interested in everything and has explored a wide variety of sub- jects, including economics, music history, literature and history. A conversation with Dillon might range from composer Ralph Vaughn Williams to libertarian- ism to historiography, and Dillon fear- lessly undertakes to challenge himself to explore and learn. He is deeply interested in culture and ready to immerse him- self in the Fulbright experience. Without question, Dillon will continue to achieve wonderful things.” Banis was a 2010 graduate of Chopti- con High School. While at CSM, Banis, completed five honors modules — one in geography, directed by Dr. Art Viterito; one in music history, under Dr. Stephen Johnson; and three in history, directed by Arnold-Lourie. He also served as a histo- ry peer tutor and worked nearly full time to support his studies. Upon graduation, he received CSM’s annual history award and the Colonial Dames Scholarship. “Dillon was one of the few students that could tackle avant-garde music — always a pleasure to have in class,” Johnson said. “I’m glad his hard work is paying off.” After CSM, Banis continued his edu- cation at Morgan State University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2016. Now 25, he lives in Syracuse, New York, while he works toward his master’s in his- tory at Syracuse University and serves as a teaching assistant. He plans to also pur- sue his doctorate. Banis’ ultimate career goal is to become a history professor or maybe work with the U.S. Department of State or a foreign policy think tank. Banis said that CSM was a good place to start his educational journey. “CSM was in every way a valuable experience, particularly the care, guidance and atten- tion I received from my professors,” he said. “I would not have even been able to start a college career had it not been for CSM. I hesitate to call anything a forma- tive moment because I’m constantly try- ing to grow and expand my understand- ing, but if I were to peg such a moment to a particular time, I would say it was dur- ing my time at CSM.” As Banis prepares to embark on his Ful- bright adventure to Germany, he remem- bers that he first experienced international travel and cultural exchange at CSM. His first trip abroad was with the CSM trav- el-study program when he traveled with Professor Neal Dwyer and other students to Ireland. “Because of Dillon’s curiosity, his love of learning and different experi- ences, never fazed, he was open to every minute of Ireland. He soaked it all in. It doesn’t surprise me he’s on to bigger and better things in Europe — he’s the kind of student we love to have in class, on travel study trips,” Dwyer said. “I was so moved by the experience [in Ireland] that I became determined to spend an extended period of time abroad in a non-English speaking country,” Banis said. 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