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Honoring Excellence

UMBC community celebrates ten distinguished faculty and staff members at annual awards ceremony.

The campus community celebrated the exceptional performance, leadership, and service of ten faculty and staff members at the Presidential Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony held on April 1, 2015.

"The Presidential Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony is an important annual tradition for the UMBC community,” says President Freeman Hrabowski. "Our faculty and staff are dedicated to fulfilling the University’s mission and vision, and this event gives us the opportunity to honor their professional achievements and commitment to our campus.”

The 2015-18 Presidential Teaching Professor is Michelle R. Scott, associate professor and director of graduate studies in history and an affiliate associate professor in gender and women’s studies; Africana studies; and the language, literacy and culture doctoral program. She is also recipient of the 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Scott, who joined the UMBC faculty in 2002, is a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of African American history and the history of music, and highly regarded as a dynamic role model, teacher, and mentor.

Katherine Seley-Radtke, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is the 2015-18 Presidential Research Professor. A UMBC faculty member since 2003, she is internationally known in her field for research focused on the design and synthesis of chemotherapeutic agents to treat infectious diseases and cancer, and biological probes to explore the structure and function of DNA.

The 2014-15 Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Professional Staff recipient is Susan Martin, associate director, Center for Women in Technology (CWIT). Martin began her tenure at UMBC in 2005, and joined CWIT in 2010. She has been integral to CWIT’s efforts to increase diversity in engineering and computing fields by expanding resources that support student success and graduation rates.

Susan L. Harrell, executive administrative assistant, English, received the 2014-15 Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Non-Exempt Staff. Harrell has served UMBC’s department of English for 33 years. She is also the department’s graduate program coordinator and administrative assistant for the medieval and early modern studies minor. Known for her administrative skills, loyalty and work ethic, her colleagues consider her a model of professionalism and dedication.

The recipient of the 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is Eileen O’Brien, senior lecturer, psychology. She joined the UMBC faculty in 2003 and has spearheaded successful innovations in course design on campus and throughout the University System of Maryland.

Kate Brown, professor of history, has received the 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity. An internationally recognized scholar who joined the UMBC faculty in 2000, her work is characterized by leaders in the field as original, fearless, and based on an imaginative approach to sources, oral history, and narrative. Her book Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters has won several prestigious book prizes, and she recently received a collaborative fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for the project “Chernobyl Revisited.”

The 2013-14 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Mission of UMBC (Professional Staff) goes to David Hoffman ’13 Ph.D., language, literacy and culture, who joined the UMBC community in 2003. He has been a leading force behind UMBC’s BreakingGround movement, and his dedication to supporting students as they become engaged citizens has had a significant impact on the campus and garnered national attention for UMBC.

Julie Rosenthal is the recipient of the 2013-14 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Mission of UMBC (Non-Exempt Staff). She joined the UMBC community in 2008, and her dedication and initiatives have played an important role in building the Asian Studies program. She has also had a major impact through community service, namely her work organizing Food on the 15th and the Asian Food Pantry.

Dottie Caplan, executive administrative assistant, College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, has received the 2014-15 Karen L. Wensch Endowment Award for Outstanding Non-Exempt Staff. Caplan, whose UMBC career began in 1997, is committed to serving both CNMS and the campus, and her coworkers call her an invaluable asset to UMBC.

The 2014-15 Jakubik Family Endowment Award goes to Brian V. Souders ’09 Ph.D., language, literacy and culture. Souders, associate director of International Education Services, began his UMBC career in 2000, and his initiatives have significantly increased the number of students who have participated in study abroad experiences and received prestigious awards and fellowships.

To learn more about the awards ceremony and all of this year’s recipients, see the Presidential Faculty and Staff Awards website.

(04/1/2015)