Sixteen Receive Regents' Faculty Awards

Adelphi, Md. (April 15, 2011) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents at its meeting today announced the 16 recipients (including one duo honored as a team) of the 2011 USM Regents' Faculty Awards. The board met at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown regional center.

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

Following are the 2011 Regents' Faculty Award recipients listed by category:


Kathryn Klose, Director of the Accounting and Information Systems Program at University of Maryland University College.  Leveraging her ties with the local finance and accounting community, Dr. Klose provides critical mentoring support to UMUC students, especially adult students as they reach pivotal points in their education and careers. She initiated an Annual Career Night at UMUC, created an ongoing Discussion Forum that enhances students' career-building efforts, built a virtual "Meet and Greet" and developed a tutoring service for students in graduate financial, management and accounting courses. Her tutoring model has been used as a template across other UMUC Graduate School academic departments.

Roland Patrick Roberts, Associate Professor of Biology at Towson University.  Dr. Roberts has established a well-funded research program in the fields of plant population genetics and systematics.  Previously a mentor to students participating in the National Science Foundation's "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" program at Towson, he goes to great lengths to involve undergraduate and graduate students in his diverse research programs, providing them with an invaluable opportunity to work closely with him in the laboratory.

James Saunders, Director of the Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics (MB3) Program at Towson University.  The growth of the MB3 program over the last six years is directly attributable to Dr. Saunders' leadership, especially in the area of undergraduate mentoring.  Dr. Saunders serves as undergraduate advisor for all 120 MB3 majors, meeting with them individually and in-group sessions throughout each semester.  


Gerard LaFemina, assistant professor of English at Frostburg State University and Director of the Center for Creative Writing.  Mr. LaFemina has forged a partnership with the arts, educational, and business communities in Frostburg, Md., developing quality educational and cultural programming that promotes the economic impact of arts programming to the community at-large.

Jonathan Lazar, Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University.  Since he started teaching at Towson University in 1999, Dr. Lazar's service to the university and community has been exemplary. Dr. Lazar coordinated curriculum and research partnerships between Towson University and the National Federation of the Blind for nearly a decade. He has also served as advisor to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (which oversees stimulus funds), the Treasury Department, and the White House.

Margaret Palmer, Director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and Professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.  A leader among scientists studying aquatic habitats and the impact of climate change on these systems, Dr. Palmer has applied her scientific knowledge of stream ecology and functions to analyze one of the key environmental problems facing our country today - mountaintop removal mining. In March 2010, her efforts resulted in the EPA placing new restrictions on mountain top removal and valley fill.

Bruce Walz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Health Services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A licensed paramedic, Dr. Walz has played a crucial role in the advancement and improvement of medical response initiatives across the country. He has been instrumental in developing national standards for educating emergency medical services personnel and has worked to ensure implementation of those standards within the state of Maryland.


Diana Emanuel, Professor of Audiology, Speech Language Pathology, and Deaf Studies, at Towson University.  Dr. Diana Emanuel has consistently received stellar ratings from her students, in classroom instruction, lab experience, clinical setting, or the thesis process.  She was the creator and director of the first doctoral program at Towson University, the Doctor of Audiology Program.  Her Hearing Science textbook is the first book in the field to address math skills of speech pathology majors.

C. Steve Knode, Graduate School of Management and Technology at University of Maryland University College.  Dr. Knode is a noted leader in the information technology field, particularly emerging technologies. He incorporates his leading edge research into intelligent agents and decision support software into his courses. These ongoing efforts coupled with the use of real-world examples and applications keep Dr. Knode's courses current and relevant. He was recently listed as one of the "50 Fascinating Professors Who Tweet."

Susan Komives, Department of Counseling and Personnel Services at the University of Maryland College Park.  Dr. Komives is an expert on the pedagogy of student counseling and leadership, and her teaching is never limited to the classroom. She actively collaborates with her students, whose professional accomplishments include 23 monographs and several books. Dr. Komives herself has 10 books, 100 publications, and more than 20 awards in research yielding over half a million dollars in funds.

Edna D. Simmons, chairperson of the Department of Health and Human Performance at Coppin State University.  Dr. Edna Simmons chairs a department that includes Sports Management, Dance, Health Education Studies and Recreation. In this role, she reaches out to the community and her students by developing academic programs in Sports Management and in Dance that have utilitarian value for both constituencies. In addition, Dr. Simmons is a "millennial" teacher, striving to teach students from a variety of approaches, using technology, advanced methodologies, and requiring students to apply their learning outside the confines of the traditional classroom.


Brian Fath, Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University.  Dr. Fath is an ecosystems ecologist focused on Sustainability Science, a critically important area that encompasses ecosystem services, biodiversity, natural resources, human cultures, and specific environments. He has published extensively in scientific literature and books, and in the past three years alone he has given over 30 presentations around the world. At the same time, Dr. Fath serves Maryland as acting chair of the Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality and on the Baltimore Sustainability Network.

Heike Raphael-Hernandez Heik, Professor of English at the University of Maryland University College, Europe.  A member of UMUC ‘s faculty since 1990, Dr. Raphael-Hernandez has served as a visiting Scholar at Harvard University and a visiting professor in the African-American Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an accomplished and recognized scholar in the field of African-American literature and well-known for her work on the black presence in Europe.

E. Michael Richards, Chair of the Department of Music at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  A virtuoso clarinetist, Dr. Richards devised new sounds for the clarinet and developed a notational system that enables composers, teachers, and performers to produce them.  He has also made unique and transformative contributions is his exploration of contemporary music of Japan.  Dr. Richards has premiered more than 150 new compositions from some of the world's leading composers for the clarinet and in 2010 received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Council of Art.


William Bentley and Gregory Payne, both from the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The Bentley/Payne team has been in collaboration for over 20 years, concentrating on "biofabrication," which combines nanoscience and molecular biology in ways that effectively create communication between bacteria and microchips. In effect, they are building a naturally occurring signaling network in a computer chip.  Their efforts are central to the newly formed Institute for Biosciences and Biotechnology Research.  The success of this partnership is irrefutable, with 22 peer-reviewed publications in the last three years and $6.2 million in current funding, including an NSF award for Emerging Frontiers in Research Innovation.


Anne S. Turkos, from the Archives and Manuscripts Department at the University of Maryland, College Park.  A long-time member of the university's libraries faculty, Ms. Turkos decided to seriously pursue the administration's challenge to identify inefficient use of resources on campus and make recommendations of places where costs might be significantly cut.  She requested a study of some rarely used escalators and found out that despite their low-usage, there was about $100,000 annually in maintenance and repairs costs.  They were decommissioned and the space converted into areas for exhibitions of archival collections and community outreach. Her efforts resulted in a significant savings for the university.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719