Recognizing Outstanding Faculty & Staff

Published: Oct 4, 2004

Recognizing Outstanding Faculty & Staff

On Wednesday, September 29, UMBC will recognize the exceptional performance, leadership and service of four members of the University’s faculty and staff at the Presidential Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony. UMBC’s Presidential Award recipients have careers distinguished by a dedication to the fulfillment of the campus’ goals and mission, by professional accomplishments and by campus service.

All members of the UMBC community are encouraged to attend the ceremony at 1 p.m. at the University Center Ballroom. President Hrabowski will also present his annual State of the University Address.

This year’s Presidential Award recipients are:

James Grubb
Professor, History
Presidential Research Professor 2004-2007

James Grubb is a master historian whose work is distinguished not only by its quality but by its range, importance and influence. Since arriving at UMBC in 1983, he has established an impressive research record while serving terms as president of the faculty senate and, in his own department, as graduate program director and department chair. A pre-eminent scholar of Renaissance Italy, Grubb has been recognized for pioneering contributions to his field. His first book, Firstborn of Venice, on Vincenza under Venetian rule, is considered fundamental to the study of regional states, examining and critiquing the dominant models of center-periphery relations. Grubb’s second book, Provincial Families of the Renaissance: Private and Public Life in the Veneto, won the 1997 Marraro Prize—considered the leading award in the field—for the best book in Italian history by an American author.

Cynthia Hody
Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science
Presidential Teaching Professor 2004-2007

A six-time recipient of the political science department’s teaching award, Cynthia Hody is a study in effective, compassionate and student-centered teaching. She has been recognized as Honors College Teacher of the Year, and is the recipient of the UMBC Alumni Association’s award for Student Teaching and Mentoring. A scholar of international affairs, Hody has mentored dozens of political science students since she arrived at UMBC in 1984 and consistently receives some of the highest scores on student evaluation for her teaching. Since Hody became chair of the political science department in 1998, the number of UMBC students choosing to major in the field has nearly doubled.

Jack Suess
Chief Information Officer
Office of Information Technology
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award
Professional Staff

Since he arrived at UMBC as a freshman in 1976, Jack Suess has uniquely experienced the University as undergraduate student, student employee, non-exempt staff, exempt staff, graduate student, part-time faculty, principal investigator and campus administrator. Suess received his B.A. in mathematics in 1981 and his M.S. in Information Systems in 1995. He began work as a student in 1979 and after graduation began his professional career at UMBC. During Suess’ tenure, UMBC has evolved from being dependent on UMCP for IT services to being recognized as one of the technology leaders in the country. Suess has also been at the helm of several successful initiatives to make necessary updates to UMBC’s technological resources, including the Y2K transition, the Assured Access program, the PeopleSoft Implementation and the Computer Replacement Initiative.

Terry Aylsworth
Executive Administrative Assistant
College of Arts and Sciences
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award
Non-Exempt Staff

Described as “committed,” “collegial” and “enthusiastic,” Terry Aylsworth, executive administrative assistant for the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences, is known for her respect for everyone she works with, for her ability to invest every undertaking with a belief in its significance and for her dedication to UMBC’s goals and the value of higher education. A former program coordinator for the Center for the Humanities and the Shakespeare Association of America, Aylsworth previously served as vice president of the former Classified Staff Senate and helped to create the new Non-Exempt Excluded Staff Senate (NEESS). She is a member of UMBC’s Employee of the Quarter Committee and was recently elected chair of the University Steering Committee.

At the Presidential Faculty & Staff Awards Ceremony, UMBC will also recognize three members of the University community who were awarded a 2004 USM Board of Regents Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Regents to honor exemplary faculty and staff achievement.

Thomas Cronin
Professor, Biological Sciences
Director, Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences (MEES) Graduate Program
Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

Nancy Miller
Associate Professor, Public Policy
Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Kathy Lee Sutphin
Coordinator of Special Projects, Biological Sciences
Regents’ Exempt Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution


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