USM Board of Regents Faculty Awards Presented

Adelphi, Md. (April 12, 2013) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents at its meeting today announced the recipients of the 2013 USM Regents' Faculty Awards. The meeting was held at the University of Baltimore.

The awards are the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members. Presented in five categories, the awards honor excellence in mentoring, public service, scholarship, and teaching. Each award carries a $1,000 prize provided by the institutions and the University System of Maryland Foundation.

Following are the 2013 Regents' Faculty Award recipients, listed by category:



Dr. Irena Bojanova, Information and Technology Systems Department in the Graduate School at University of Maryland University College (UMUC).

Dr. Bojanova has oversight for all aspects of UMUC's graduate-level Telecommunications Management specialization, as well as a core course in the MS in Information Technology.  She teaches seven graduate classes each year, in a mix of online, face-to-face, and hybrid formats.  Dr. Bojanova earned an award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Education from the U. S. Distance Learning Association in 2011 and, in the same year, an honorable mention for the Distance Education Innovation Award from the National University Technology Network. 

Dr. James Grubb, Department of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Grubb is one of UMBC's most productive scholars, excelling at teaching, mentoring, and research. In just the last three years, he chaired, or was a member of, no less than 17 thesis committees-an enormous investment of time and energy. Dr. Grubb's students gain first-hand knowledge of the challenge and thrill of discovery by conducting original research using primary documents he recently discovered.  When he was awarded the 2010 Lipitz Professorship, he chose to use a sizeable portion of his award stipend to provide scholarships for graduate students pursuing the M. A. in Historical Studies. He has published seven books during the past 28 years and between six and 11 in each of those three decades. 

Dr. Cynthia Zeller, Department of Chemistry, Towson University (TU). Dr. Zeller began her career at Towson University seven years ago as a forensic scientist in the Department of Chemistry.  She developed the science of forensics at Towson from a one-course service area to very popular undergraduate and graduate degree program.  She created two undergraduate courses and nine graduate courses in forensics. She provides hands-on laboratory experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students and serves as a mentor. At the spring 2012 meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, she gave podium presentations on three varied forensic topics, and, since 2009, she has been the recipient of research funding from the National Institute of Justice.

Dr. Lisa Seldomridge, Department of Nursing, Salisbury University (SU). Dr. Seldomridge oversees the departmental operation for nationally accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs in nursing and she recently developed the first doctoral degree program to be offered at SU. The undergraduate nursing program is the largest major on campus, and Salisbury's nursing students have the highest 5-year pass rate of all four-year institutions in the state of Maryland on the nursing licensing examination. Dr. Seldomridge is also very successful in raising money through competitive grants, with awards of more than $3.3 million during the past four years.   She teaches large- and medium-size lecture classes, has co-authored several articles, and mentors a number of the nursing students.




Dr. Tulay Adali, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, UMBC. Dr. Adali has significantly advanced the field of statistical signal processing during the past 20 years.  She has developed a number of powerful data-driven solutions for medical image analysis and fusion that are now widely used in the medical field.  She has published a number of referred and frequently cited journal articles and conference papers. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Signal Processing Society named her Distinguished Lecturer for 2012 and 2013. Additionally, she has tirelessly contributed to graduate education at UMBC.  All of her students have advanced to successful positions in academia, research labs, and industry.

Dr. Don DeVoe, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).

Dr. DeVoe is an international expert in micro-electromechanicalsystems (MEMS), having instituted the study of this field at UMCP.  Due to his efforts, the campus now has five to six faculty members involved in this field of research, bridging multiple engineering departments, chemistry, biology and biomedicine. His work in manufacturing, micro-/nanotechnology, and biotechnology has made major impacts to a wide range of scientific and technical disciplines.  Dr. DeVoe's interdisciplinary collaborations with the Maryland Robotics Center, the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and the Center for Energetic Concepts Development are a model for collaborative scholarship and research. 

Dr. Jonathan Leshnoff, Department of Music, Towson University College of Fine Arts and Communication. Dr. Leshnoff has received national and international acclaim for his musical compositions. His work has been performed by orchestras and symphonies across the United States and internationally, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, National Orchestra of Mexico, and many others. Dr. Leshnoff is an active composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, and solo music with numerous commissions to his credit.  The release of his works on the well-respected Naxos label and their extensive public performance has heightened awareness of the Towson University music program. 

Dr. Jamal Uddin, Department of Natural Sciences, Coppin State University (CSU). Dr. Uddin is the founder and director of the Center for Nanotechnology and a visiting scientist at the Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  He has participated in a number of collaborative research studies at University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Dr. Uddin's inquisitiveness, collaborative spirit, and demand for critical study have led to his many accomplishments in the field of nanotechnology.  He was recognized in 2011 by The Daily Record as the Innovator of the Year and in 2012 was awarded the University System of Maryland's Wilson S. Elkins Professorship.  His energy and enthusiasm for his field of study inspire his students and offers them invaluable educational experiences.




Dr. Paul S. Herrnson, Department of Government and Politics and the Center for American Politics and Citizenship, UMCP. Dr. Herrnson-a longtime member of the UMCP faculty-has received many national awards and the prestigious title of Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at UMCP.  He is a world-renowned expert in the study of political processes.  He is the author or co-author of four books, co-editor of six, and during the past 10 years he has published 18 articles in the top journals of his field. At UMCP, he established the Center for American Politics and Citizenship (CAPC), where he mentored many young people about the opportunities to participate in politics. In addition to the creation of CAPC, he led a project that created an electronic absentee ballot delivery system for the state of Maryland through which he also established the Maryland Elections Center website.

Dr. John Carroll Weiss, III, Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore (UB).

Mr. Weiss-an Executive-in-Residence at UB-combines more than two decades of service to Maryland's higher education community with more than 30 years of experience in venture capital, executive management, and commercial banking in the greater Baltimore area. He is a community leader and dedicated teacher who believe in the value of public service. Over the years he has been active in the Biotechnology Institute of Maryland, which trains and places individuals in laboratory technologist positions. He is also actively engaged in the Engineers Club, a Baltimore's club for professionals, serving as financial advisor and president.  And his involvement with Vehicles for Change-a non-profit organization that donates cars to low-income families-has touched the lives of literally thousands of individuals and families in need.

Dr. Pamela S. Lotterro-Perdue, Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geoscience, Towson University. Dr. Lottero-Perdue has made significant contributions to the Harford County Public School system. She has successfully partnered with science educators and administrators to establish and implement science-technology-engineering integrated units into grades 1-5.  Her leadership in this program has significantly advanced the science curriculum in this region. Dr. Lottero-Perdue performs professional development workshops for teachers to assist in the success of this program.  Additionally, she has done extensive work in developing and implementing engineering activities into local clubs. 

Dr. Kara Rogers Thomas, Sociology Department, Frostburg State University (FSU). Outside of her normal teaching and research duties, Dr. Rogers Thomas is dedicated to enhancing the lives of Western Marylanders with humanities programs. She spends hours organizing public committees, planning events, fundraising, and executing events.  She helps bring Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to the region, offers programs to present local history in new and engaging ways, and assisted in the establishment of the Mountain City Traditional Arts alliance, a year-round venue featuring programs on Appalachian history, culture and environment.  Dr. Rogers Thomas's work on the Appalachian Festival has helped that event to grow from a small community program to a three-day happening that attracts between 4,000-5,000 attendees. 




Dr. Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Department of Biological Sciences, UMBC. Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg has held the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chair of Biochemistry at UMBC since 2000.  Since that time she has also run an internationally recognized cancer immunology research lab, which she strategically uses as a catalyst to spark student interest in the sciences. Her exemplary efforts have resulted in the mentorship of 65 undergraduates, 22 of whom have been lead or co-authors of scientific publications. She is active in the UMBC Meyerhoff and MARC programs for promoting the development of under-represented minority students in STEM research areas. Her mentoring activities also extend to graduate students and junior faculty. Her passion for advising junior faculty has also resulted in the development of a "10 tips for tenure" document for new faculty at UMBC, where she has ongoing and frequent conversations about balancing research, teaching, and service.

Dr. William Falk, African American Studies Department, UMCP. Dr. Falk has co-authored or edited six books and more than three dozen articles in high impact journals and has won many prestigious awards. Despite his own heavy schedule as a scholar, educator, and administrator, he has been a highly effective mentor.  Dr. Falk routinely makes himself available to work one-on-one with students, directs countless undergraduate honors theses, assists an endless stream of Ph.D. students, and works as co-author with numerous young sociologists including junior faculty. He has also mentored junior faculty by reading and critiquing drafts of journal articles and preparing them for tenure review. Professor Falk views mentoring as a "privilege and an honor," an approach that speaks to his tradition of commitment to students.

Dr. Linda Mabbs, School of Music, UMCP. A renowned concert artist, Professor Mabbs brings inspiration and information to her students from her decades of experience as soloist with orchestras and ensembles, performing with celebrated conductors in prestigious concert halls.  Her most ambitious mentoring project-The Art of Argento: A Celebration of Composer Dominick Argento's Work-brought together elements of both the School of Music's research emphasis as well as its performance emphasis.  She has also diligently mentored junior faculty, helping them prepare for concerts and assisting them in organizing portfolios in a manner that clearly highlights their scholarly contributions.

Professor Byron Warnken, University of Baltimore (UB) School of Law. Professor Warnken, a graduate of UB, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career and has earned a reputation for opening doors for his students.  He is personally acquainted with the majority of Maryland's federal and state trial and appellate judges and for more than three decades has been assisting law students with clerkships and internships with those judges. He estimates that with his 36 years of teaching, 34 years of lecturing to bar candidates, and 24 years of providing continuing legal education seminars, he has taught more than one-third of Maryland's 36,000 lawyers. He is scrupulously honest with prospective employers about the strengths of individual students, keeping the door open for future recommendations. 




Dr. Nagaraj Neerchal, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, UMBC. Throughout his long and productive tenure, Dr. Neerchal has authored multiple books and numerous journal articles.  His leadership has also pioneered many successful cost-saving initiatives for the department and its students. He developed the Biostatistics track in the Statistics Ph.D. program in collaboration with the School of Medicine at UMB. He is also responsible for redesigning a hybrid statistics learning initiative resulting in blending elements of on-line instruction with the advantages of face-to-face courses. Dr. Neerchal's "QuizZero" initiative is yet another exciting and innovative approach to evaluate student preparedness for key mathematic courses. Collectively his initiatives have provided a tremendous annual cost-savings to the department while simultaneously enhancing quality and increasing visibility.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719