Press Release - USM Staff Members Honored by Regents

July 10, 2002

Six USM Staff Members Honored by Board of Regents

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents presented its 2002 Staff Awards to six USM institution staff members at its July 10 meeting at Bowie State University.

"Each year staff members are recognized for making exceptional contributions to their organizations, to students, and to the university community," said Nathan A. Chapman, chairman of the Board. "I would like to thank all of our awardees for their remarkable efforts at our institutions and beyond, and to acknowledge the hard work of every USM staff member. It is much appreciated."

Award winners are selected based on nominations and letters of support from colleagues, culminating in a formal recommendation from the Council of University System Staff. The Regents' Staff Awards, now in its third year, represent the highest honor bestowed by the Board for achievements of the exempt and non-exempt employees of the USM institutions. Each award carries a $1,000 prize, provided by the institutions and the University of Maryland Foundation.

The award-winning staff members and their respective categories are:

James R. Milani, Jr., director of administrative affairs for the College of Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), in the category of Exceptional Contribution to the Institution - Exempt. In his nomination letter, Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC, said this 29-year veteran employee "has tirelessly dedicated himself to the accomplishment of UMBC's mission through his work with students, faculty and staff. Repeatedly over the years, Jim has been described by his colleagues as a professional who puts before any thought of himself the best interests of UMBC." Milani has also provided leadership over the years to UMBC by being an active participant in campus life. His extensive list of activities includes Professional Associate Staff Senate president and vice-president; advisor to the UMBC Sexual Harassment Advisory Network; member of the Employee of the Month Planning and Selection Committee; member of the UMBC Environmental Health and Safety Committee, advisor to the Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter; and co-creator and member of the UMBC Alcohol Awareness Education Program; and more.

Susan E. Eisel, administrative assistant in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (DHPER) at Frostburg State University (FSU), in the category of Exceptional Contribution to the Institution - Nonexempt. In his nomination letter, Robert Lewis, a professor in the DHPER, said that Eisel, an employee for more than 35 years, "has performed astounding amounts of work in managing the day-to-day business of the department.. She has made exceptionally positive connections with a wide variety of students, faculty members, administrators, and fellow staff members. She is so highly regarded that virtually all of our former students who return to campus make a visit to her office to greet her; she remembers every one of them." Eisel's list of activities includes coordinator of the 32nd World Congress of the International Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation; member of the Board of Directors of the FSU Bobcat Club; member of the FSU President's Cabinet; member of the faculty/staff campaign for the FSU Second Century Campaign, and many others.

Laura V. Mrozek, coordinator for the Environmental Law Program at the University of Maryland School of Law, in the category of Outstanding Service to Students - Exempt. In his nomination letter, Robert Percival, professor and director of the Environmental Law Program, said this 15-year employee at the university "has been the single person most responsible for transforming the Environmental Law Program from a fledgling venture into a program consistently recognized as one of the top five in the nation. The reason why Laura has been so successful at helping students get the most out of their law school experience is remarkably simple: she genuinely cares about them." Mrozek's list of activities includes the creation of an Alumni-Student Mentoring Program; founder and editor of the Environmental Law at Maryland newsletter; creator of a job bank that has proven to be highly productive in generating job leads for students, and much more.

Virginia Kellman, administrative assistant in the Student Judicial Affairs Office at UMBC, in the category of Outstanding Service to Students - Nonexempt. In his nomination letter, Pres. Hrabowski said of this 15-year employee at UMBC, "She truly loves working with students, and that has made her a superb team member who routinely provides services for students that go far beyond her job description. . She is known for her kindness and quiet wisdom in helping students during a difficult yet important moment in their college years. Ginny Kellman is a resourceful and steady guide whose support for students is instrumental to their success." Kellman's position includes meeting and counseling students who are facing a disciplinary hearing or traffic appeal, and she handles more than 350 cases a year.

Katherine Jean Reiner Martin, systems analyst and programmer in the Office of Information Technology at the University of Maryland Dental School, in the category of Extraordinary Public Service. In his nomination letter, Richard Ranney, dean of the Dental School, said of this 13-year veteran employee, "Even though Kathy Martin could be  acknowledged for her outstanding contributions to the School, we feel she deserves even more recognition for her exceptional contributions to the community. For over 20 years, Kathy has been involved with the organization 'Save Our Streams,' a statewide, volunteer-based, environmental organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Maryland's rivers and streams. Kathy has participated in all activities of this organization as a volunteer and board member, and, since 2000, as president of the Board of Directors." Martin's volunteer activities are not limited to Save Our Streams. She recently completed a three-year term as president of the Heritage Montessori PTA, and serves on the board of directors of the Perry Hall Improvement Association and as chair for new program development for the Camp Chapel United Methodist Church. Last spring, Martin inspired leaders of community groups in the Bird River watershed to organize a large-scale construction site inventory in the Bird River watershed and throughout the county.

Michael S. Embrey, an agricultural technician supervisor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), in the category of Extraordinary Public Service - Nonexempt. In his nomination letter, Galen Dively, professor in the Department of Entomology at UMCP, said this 20-year veteran employee "has developed an outstanding educational program for beekeepers and the general public. . Since 1996, Mike has been very active in the Maryland State Beekeepers Association - serving on committees, organizing meetings, giving presentations, and problem-shooting hive troubles via on-site visits to member beekeepers.. He now writes a monthly newsletter, Bee News, and is frequently requested as a speaker. Mike's volunteer work is well recognized and viewed as valuable contributions to the Eastern Shore.. Furthermore, as a testimony to his public service to beekeepers, Extension apiculturists in other states, especially in Delaware and Pennsylvania, have relied on his help in regional workshops and research projects. More recently, he has served as a volunteer consultant in several international training programs in Bangladesh, Bulgaria, and Turkmenistan." Embrey also serves as a Farmer-to-Farmer (FTF) volunteer for Winrock International in Turkmenistan and Bangladesh, conducting apiary research, locating reliable sources for materials, supplies, and equipment for the host farmers. While in Turkmenistan, he co-launched a honey processing cooperative managed by women and began the groundwork for developing a national beekeeper's association.


Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739