CSM Newsroom

Charles County Commissioner Care Scholarship Recipient Dashawn Rustin Wins National Graphic Design Contest

April 15, 2024

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Media Studies student Dashawn Rustin has her sights set on changing the world through media, and she’s off to an impressive start. The Charles County resident was recently announced as the winner of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Student Graphic Design Contest.

"I was astounded, thrilled and filled with immense honor and pride,” she said. “This was not only a personal challenge but also an opportunity to make everyone who supported and believed in me proud. Winning this contest not only validates my skills but also provides a high-profile platform to showcase them.”

“DaShawn is a recipient of the Charles County Commissioners Care Scholarship,” bragged Interim Executive Director of the CSM Foundation Toni Kruszka. “She’s a Peer-to-Peer Student Ambassador and she’s currently enrolled in Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. Leadership Academy at CSM. She is an outstanding student and we are very proud of her for winning this award and so much more.”  

Rustin is also a three-time Dean’s list student who serves as a student ambassador, the Student Government Association Representative of the La Plata Campus, the publicist of CSM’s Power of Words Book Club, a member of Women of Excellence, the Social Media Manager of CSM Athletics Department, and a national 2024 Civic Season Fellow.

Her winning artwork will be the official conference program front cover for NISOD’s 2025 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. As the winner of the contest, Rustin will receive a cash award, five poster-sized copies of her artwork, and registration and travel costs to attend the 2024 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas this May, where her artwork will be officially unveiled.  In addition, the College of Southern Maryland will receive a complimentary 2024-2025 NISOD membership.

For her design, Rustin said that she aimed to include design elements that made it both representative and meaningful. She incorporated a “Tree of Knowledge,” outlined in the shape of Texas and filled with books to symbolize the conference's goal and the paramount importance of education and learning. The tree's growth trajectory, starting from the root and reaching the sky, is represented by the Austin skyline to emphasize academic development and progression, reflecting the educational journey from foundational learning to advanced knowledge.

“The design aimed to visually communicate the value of academic growth, the pursuit of knowledge, and the importance of community in education, which are all fundamental principles of the NISOD conference,” Rustin explained.

“Dashawn’s artwork will serve as the look and feel for our 2025 conference,” said Sheryl Powell, associate director of NISOD, in an email announcing the award. “Our congratulations to Dashawn and the College of Southern Maryland, and we look forward to recognizing Dashawn in May at the conference!”

"I aspire to work in media, entertainment, and communications, where design, branding, and creativity are integral,” she explained. "I am eager to contribute to the ongoing innovation and evolution within the media and entertainment industry. I aim to bring a unique perspective and fresh ideas, focusing on inclusivity and representation. Ultimately, my goal is to create meaningful and impactful work that resonates with diverse audiences and drives positive change in society.”  

NISOD empowers faculty, staff and administrators at community and technical colleges to support the needs of diverse students in the face of ever-present resource constraints. High-quality, easy-to-access professional development resources connect staff and faculty with applicable knowledge to grow their careers and improve instruction. Meaningful recognition programs can augment the reputation of individual students, employees, and institutions. But perhaps most valuable are the connections NISOD helps build among community and technical colleges to share ideas, strengths and solutions. For more information, visit https://www.nisod.org.

CMS Page Edit