Press Release - Regents Present Awards to 14 Faculty Members

April 12, 2002

Regents Present Awards to 14 Faculty Members for Mentoring, Public Service, Teaching, Research, Scholarship, Creative Activity, Collaboration

At its April 12 meeting at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the University System of Maryland Board of Regents will present the Regents' Faculty Awards for Excellence. This year, the Regents will recognize 14 faculty members from institutions across the USM for their outstanding contributions in one of seven areas: collaboration, mentoring, public service, teaching, research, scholarship, and creative activity.

"As recommended by the Regents Faculty Award Committee, these 14 educators represent the standard to which every person involved in higher education should aspire," said Nathan A. Chapman, Jr., chairman of the Board. "Their dedication, their spirit, and most importantly, their belief in the development of the mind have combined to produce remarkable results. The Board is pleased to bestow its highest honor upon them."

Each recipient of an award for mentoring, public service, teaching, and research, scholarship, and creative activity will receive $1,000 and a plaque of recognition for the honor. Each recipient of an award for interinstitutional collaboration will receive $500 and a plaque.

The Board of Regents established the Faculty Awards in 1995 to publicly recognize distinguished performance by educators and researchers within the University System. The Regents Faculty Award Committee, made up of faculty from the USM's research and comprehensive institutions as well as one member from the System office staff, receives nominations from the president of each institution, along with the nominees' portfolios. The portfolios provided documentation of outstanding performance, during the last three years, in the award category for which the faculty member was nominated. Each nominee must have served as a USM faculty member for at least five years.

This year's award winners for Excellence in USM Interinstitutional Collaboration are:

Maureen Black, professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB); Howard Dubowitz, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UMB; and Raymond Starr, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). For more than a decade, Black, Dubowitz, and Starr - nationally and internationally recognized scholars - have engaged in collaborative research in the area of child abuse and neglect. Most research in this area is retrospective, examining families after the occurrence of abuse and neglect. In response to a request for proposals from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the team developed a proposal for a longitudinal project that examines individual, familial, and environmental factors related to maltreatment of children and reveals factors that may buffer some children from the effects of maltreatment. The researchers have followed the children in these families from infancy through the teen years; the plan is to study these families until the children are 20 years old. Black, Dubowitz, and Starr have obtained over $6 million in funding support over the years, have published their work in premier scholarly journals, and have mentored more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students. Their findings have appeared in journals such as Child Development and American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. More than 50 undergraduates have been collaboratively mentored as they engaged in data collection, coding, analysis, and other aspects of project management.

Cynthia Cates, associate professor in the Department of Social Science at Towson University; and Wayne McIntosh, associate professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Since 1998, Cates and McIntosh have developed and delivered Law On-Line, which has become a model of inter-university collaboration. This course, taught simultaneously at Towson and UMCP, examines the role of law in supporting, shaping, and responding to the social order in the U.S. Law On-line is innovative in its reliance on the Internet for legal research and the use of Internet communications to create a forum for discussions, among students at both institutions, of issues and for collaboration on research projects. Cates and McIntosh have presented their online course model and their study findings at four professional conferences, have written about their course in a journal article, and in 2001, published the book Law and the Web of Society. It is the leading guide for conducting research via the Internet and is an invaluable resource for undergraduate and graduate students engaging in social-science research on the Internet.

This year's award winner for Excellence in Mentoring is:

Phyllis R. Robinson, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UMBC. Since coming to UMBC in 1992, Robinson has acted as mentor and advisor to 16 undergraduates pursuing degrees in the sciences (of whom nine are women and four are minorities). She also has served as mentor to six graduate students - two of whom have earned doctorates and two of whom have earned master's. She and her students study the vertebrate visual system, examining the conversion of light into biological signals and investigating the visual system of aquatic mammals. Her research has been widely recognized through peer-reviewed publications and success in obtaining extramural funding. Thus far, 12 of the students mentored by Robinson have graduated. All are pursuing careers in biomedical research - a testimony to the efficacy of her careful, knowledgeable, and achievement-oriented mentoring. Robinson has also been involved in addressing the continuing structural barriers that impede women's achievement in the sciences and engineering. She chaired the provost's ad hoc committee on gender equity in science, mathematics, information technology, and engineering, and helped create Women in Science and Engineering, a group whose goal is "to build a network of information, support and encouragement for women students in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering disciplines."

This year's award winners for Excellence in Public Service are:

Thomas C. Malone, professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES); and Patricia Campbell, associate professor of curriculum and instruction at UMCP. Over the past four years, Malone served the state, the nation, and the world through his extraordinary commitment to and forward-looking leadership in employing technology to benefit the more than one-half of Earth's inhabitants who reside in coastal zones. In recent years, he has created mechanisms to address two related and pressing problems - closing the gap between environmental science and its application and improving humankind's ability to detect and predict changes in coastal ecosystems that increase human vulnerability to natural hazards and diminish the ecosystem's ability to support valued goods and services. Because of his efforts, there has been significant progress in the use of coastal ocean observing systems for protection from devastating storms and for management of rich coastal resources and critical ecosystems on a sustainable basis. The vehicles for his contributions include the Coastal Oceans Observations Panel of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, which he co-chaired. This panel has been charged with developing the coastal components of the Global Ocean Observing System and involves scientists, government officials, and other stakeholders. Malone also co-chaired a committee established by the National Ocean Research Leadership Council to design a national ocean-observing system. His contributions are even more remarkable when his service during most of this period as Director of the Horn Point Laboratory at UMCES is taken into consideration. Campbell has devoted her academic career to understanding, influencing, and improving the ways public schools define and develop mathematics curricula, organize for teaching, and develop assessment schemes for their teachers and pupils. She has worked collaboratively with public schools to develop jointly an understanding of the role of the many stakeholders of the system, including university professors and others in higher education, before becoming part of large school-based projects. From 1989 to 1997, Campbell led a multi-year research/instructional leadership project in Montgomery County Public Schools. It demonstrated that teachers can deliver mathematics instruction in more meaningful ways and that students can achieve in mathematics regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. In 1996, Dr. Campbell began a long-term project with Baltimore City Public Schools, Project MARS (Mathematics: Application and Reasoning Skills). It addresses systemic reform in K-5 mathematics, focusing on professional development as the vehicle for yielding increased student achievement. Campbell has said that the most daunting task associated with Project MARS was curriculum reform. She assumed the responsibility for developing a K-5 curriculum at no charge, writing on evenings, weekends, and holidays over the course of a year, modifying the curriculum the following year, and then completely revising it to incorporate newly released Maryland State Outcomes and Standards for Mathematics. As a result of her efforts and those of other participants, this project is beginning to reform the public elementary schools in Baltimore. In 2000, the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics named Campbell their Outstanding College Professor.

This year's award winners for Excellence in Teaching are:

Edwin Duncan, associate professor of English at Towson University; Edward Orser, professor of American Studies at UMBC; and Phillip G. Sokolove, professor of biological sciences at UMBC. Nationally recognized as a leading scholar of Chaucer and medieval English literature as well as English rhetoric and the history of the English language, Duncan integrates his scholarship with his teaching. He is the official advisor to 21 undergraduate English majors and several master's students. Students literally wait in line to register for his courses, a testimony to his abilities in the classroom. According to his department chair, he is a highly popular teacher but also "one of the two toughest graders in the department." Duncan's teaching is especially distinctive for his use of new technologies in powerful, astute, and highly imaginative ways. At Towson, he has been a pioneer in employing web-based experiences to engage, enrich, and extend student learning well beyond the ordinary boundaries of study. As demonstrated by his interactive "Electronic Edition of the General Prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales," his contribution to web-enhanced instruction is transformative. Faculty and students alike have praised the latest web scholarship by Duncan as a stellar teaching aid, one that enhances the joy of discovery in both teaching and learning.  The site has been visited over 13,000 times since its debut in November 2000. Duncan also is a stellar teacher of teachers. In 2000-01, he presented three conference papers and served as session organizer and chair of three more sessions. A full professor since 1994, Orser served as chair of UMBC's American Studies Department for many years. His leadership has been key to the department's achievement of a reputation for excellence in undergraduate education. Orser regularly teaches courses ranging from introductory general-education courses to specialized upper-level courses required for the major. His course "Community in American Culture" is a model in the field, and he continues to design innovative classes. "American Environments: Landscape and Culture" and "Recent Immigrant and Refugee Experiences" are two of his most recent offerings. Orser also regularly teaches honors courses. UMBC has recognized his prowess by presenting him with the 1998 three-year  Presidential Teaching Scholar Award, which he just completed. Since joining the faculty in 1974, Sokolove has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in biological sciences while conducting research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health and publishing in major neuroscience and physiology journals on topics ranging from circadian rhythms to slug neuroendocrinology.  Sokolove was UMBC's institutional representative to the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation (MCTP), a five-year $6 million program to develop a new approach to pre-service teacher training in science and mathematics. In 1994, after returning to his home department following some years in administrative positions, Sokolove began to implement instructional changes in Biology 100, a large-enrollment class for majors. The changes, consistent with MCTP goals, were advocated by major science organizations and agencies. Without changing course content, Sokolove radically altered the way Biology 100 students learned: He employed peer interaction and problem solving in small cooperative learning groups, whole-class discussions accomplished with the aid of wireless microphones, name badges, short research papers, an emphasis on student questioning, and coverage of general biology content driven by students' questions and interests.

The award winners for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity are:

James M. Hagberg, professor of kinesiology and assistant dean for research at UMCP; Joel Liebman, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UMBC; and George Plitnik, professor of physics at Frostburg State University. Hagberg is known as the founder of "kinesiogenomics," a discipline that focuses on the relationship of exercise to maintenance of health and prevention of disease in middle-aged and older individuals. His research has resulted in four patent applications, 120 articles in refereed journals, and many book chapters. He has received more than $7.5 million in federal funding in the last five years, and is the recipient of the university's Life Sciences Inventor of the Year Award. Liebman has achieved an extraordinary research record in chemical theory. He has published 266 titles in chemistry, including refereed articles in leading journals, books, book chapters, and 17 electronic databases. In the last three years alone, he has produced 35 journal articles and one book. He has also been credited with naming several chemical compounds. In fact, in recognition of his many contributions and national and international reputation, Liebman was named the Maryland Chemist of the Year in 1998.  Plitnik's research, related to musical instrumentation, has influenced the design and manufacture of French horns currently used by various symphonic groups. His research, published in encyclopedia articles and peer-reviewed journals, has earned him the respect of his peers worldwide. Plitnik has also given students the opportunity to participate in his scholarship. In fact, a Frostburg honors student co-presented research on pipe-organ reeds with Plitnik during an international conference in Rome.


Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739