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College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences


2011, 2010 & 2009 Recipients

2011 Weber Award Recipient
James W. Sandoz

For decades, students have been the beneficiaries of the unique life experiences that James W. (Jim) Sandoz brought with him to UMBC. After being dismissed for academic reasons from Mount. St. Mary's College in his second semester, Mr. Sandoz enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in San Diego, Hawaii, and Viet Nam. Mr. Sandoz was honorably discharged and then decided to pursue his higher education in earnest. He transferred to UMBC from Catonsville Community College earning his B.A. in Biology in 1976. Midway through his graduate studies, he was asked by Dr. Marty Schwartz to assume the position of instructor, which had unexpectedly become vacant. He worked two years and then took a leave of absence to finish his Master's degree under the tutelage of Dr. Suzanne Rosenberg. His former position as instructor had been filled when he earned his M.S. in 1983, so Mr. Sandoz took a position as a lab technician in Jerry Klein's lab at the Oncology Department of Johns Hopkins Hospital of Medicine. In 1984, Mr. Sandoz was asked to return to UMBC when the instructor position again became vacant. He gladly accepted and began an uninterrupted tenure at UMBC as an instructor of Biological Sciences. Mr. Sandoz, who is been active in using technology in teaching and in active learning,, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2005. Mr. Sandoz has mentored high school students in projects in microbiology and genetics. He has served as faculty advisor to many Interdisciplary Studies majors for the Biology portion of their capstone projects. With Steve Caruso, he was appointed an Honors College Faculty Fellow, teaching a completely investigative course to non-majors, sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Science Education Alliance. Mr. Sandoz retired from UMBC in 2012.

2010 Weber Award Recipient
Dr. Jeff Leips

Dr. Jeff Leips was awarded the 2010 Carl Weber Excellence in Teaching Award at the fifth annual CNMS Student Recognition Day on Friday, May 7, 2010. Dr. Leips, who is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Biological Sciences, joined the faculty in 2001 after completing postdoctoral research at North Carolina State University   Dr. Leips regularly teaches the ecology section of UMBC’s Ecology and Evolution course and, since his arrival, has worked with his colleagues to design a new advanced course in evolution (Evolution: From Genes to Genomes) and has developed a new course for graduate students, Mentoring in the Sciences.Dr. Leips is very committed to improving undergraduate education in the biological sciences at all levels and was named a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences in 2004.  In 2007, Dr. Leips became a member of the Geneticist Educator Network of Alliances (GENA), a project funded by the National Science Foundation and implemented by the American Society of Human Genetics.  The GENA project was designed to partner K-12 teachers with college faculty mentors to help develop up to date lesson plans for covering genetics and evolution.  Dr. Leips also has an active research program focused on ecological genetics and the genetics of aging. He received his bachelor’s and PhD degrees in biology from Florida State University. 

2009 Weber Award Recipient
Mrs. Bonny Tighe

The inaugural award was presented at the CNMS Student Recognition Day ceremony on May 8, 2009 to Bonny Tighe, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics who started at UMBC as a full time instructor in 1988.  She is an outstanding educator who teaches four courses every semester.  In addition to coordinating and teaching an array of courses from Mathematics for elementary School Teachers to Calculus II, Ms. Tighe is a dedicated faculty member who serves on student-focused committees, trains teaching assistants, serves as a faculty mentor and advises a variety of student organizations.  Ms. Tighe also teaches mathematics for the annual Meyerhoff Scholars’ Summer Bridge Program.  She is an amazing person who, as the first recipient of the Weber Award, is a tribute to Carl Weber’s legacy of teaching excellence at UMBC.

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