CNMS Awards and Recognition Day honors students, faculty, and staff

Published: May 17, 2024

view from above of many round tables full of people in a ballroom; screen at front reads "Congratulations to our honorees!"
The CNMS Awards and Recognition Day was well attended by an enthusiastic crowd. (Melissa Penley Cormier, M.F.A. '17/UMBC)

The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS) held its annual CNMS Awards and Recognition Day on May 10. Nearly 270 UMBC community members and friends attended the event in the University Center Ballroom. The department chairs presented 45 awards established by donors in support of students, faculty, and staff, such as the Carl S. Weber Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded this year to Tamra Mendelson, professor of biological sciences. 

“I would like to thank the members of the UMBC community—alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends—who have made possible many of the awards we are presenting here today. These are not just names on a page—they are stories of gratitude and giving, honoring loved ones and families,” shared William R. LaCourse, CNMS dean. “You are fueling the academic success of our students, helping us recruit and retain top-notch faculty, ensuring support for programs and people across the university, and inspiring others to give. On behalf of UMBC, thank you!”

The recognition day also honored eight CNMS faculty at all levels with Faculty Excellence Awards for research and teaching designated by the college, awarded college-level Staff Excellence Awards for outstanding service, and distributed departmental awards for undergraduate and graduate students recognizing academic excellence, research, and teaching. 

person standing at podium on stage, eight people seated on the same stage are clapping and smiling; a few tables visible in foreground
Dean LaCourse, at the podium, introduced the awards ceremony, and individual chairs or their designees presented the awards to members of their departments. From left to right: Commander Christopher Boehm, naval science; Captain John Howrey, naval science; Yonathan Zohar, professor and chair, marine biotechnology; Annica Wayman ’99, mechanical engineering, associate dean for Shady Grove affairs; Jason Kestner, associate professor and associate chair, physics; Bradford Peercy, professor, mathematics; Brian Cullum, professor and chair, chemistry and biochemistry; Michelle Starz-Gaiano, professor and chair, biological sciences. (Melissa Penley Cormier, M.F.A. ’17/UMBC)

CNMS also celebrated students who had been inducted into national honor societies, including Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics and astronomy honor society; Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society; Mu Sigma Rho, the national statistics honorary society; and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, which recognizes overall academic excellence. 

LaCourse closed the ceremony by recognizing students in scholars programs within the college. The CNMS Scholars program supports students interested in the advancement of women in STEM fields where they are still underrepresented, and the Beckman Scholars program, funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, supports students desiring to pursue doctoral study in the biological and chemical sciences.

“Students who have been recognized at this ceremony have met UMBC’s academic requirements and have excelled at high levels in their academics and/or service to their departments, college, and university,” LaCourse shared. “These honorees are poised to become scientists, physicians, mathematicians, teachers, and leaders in their chosen fields. These students are our leaders of the future, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to help provide the critical foundations for their promising futures.”

The full event program, including additional remarks from Dean LaCourse and a complete list of awardees and award descriptions, is available here

Tags: , , , , , ,

Scroll to Top