Adelphi, MD (September 1, 2004) --William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM), has announced the recipients of the 2004-05 Wilson H. Elkins Professorships. The professorships, named in honor of former University of Maryland President Wilson H. Elkins, were awarded to four faculty members from across the university system.

The Elkins Professorship is awarded for varying terms of up to three years. Each $80,000 award will fund projects that will contribute significantly to the university system's teaching, research, and service missions.

The 2004-05 Elkins Professors are:

Carol O. Tacket, University of Maryland, Baltimore

A professor in the Center for Vaccine Development and the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Dr. Tacket will use her Elkins funding to oversee the development of a data management system at the center. The system will link the aspects of microbiology, immunology and safety related to vaccine research.

Tacket is a leader in the area of clinical vaccine research. She has made important contributions in the area of enteric infections and evaluations of numerous candidate vaccines designed to prevent diseases that frequently strike the world's most impoverished people. Tacket also conducted the first human studies of several innovative approaches for vaccine development. These studies have evaluated possible vaccines for illnesses such as hepatitis B, cholera, and AIDS.


Harry Basehart and Francis Kane, Salisbury University

Dr. Harry Basehart, a professor of political science, and Dr. Francis Kane, a professor of philosophy, serve as co-directors of Salisbury University's Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE). Professors Basehart and Kane will use their award to expand the work of PACE with its new Student-Citizen Initiative. The expansion will begin with a yearlong pilot in which a small group of students will be invited to be "Citizen Scholars." This group of students will participate in a seminar course that will provide instruction in the meaning of citizenship and the philosophy and ethics of civic engagement, as well as leading campus activities surrounding the November presidential election.

Basehart and Kane founded the PACE Institute in 1999 to partner with regional and state civic organizations to offer students hands-on learning experiences in government. Through PACE, Salisbury University students have served as interns in local municipalities, participated in student-faculty research teams that have studied local policy issues, and had the opportunity to attend lectures given by state and national legislators.


F. Michael Higginbotham, University of Baltimore

Professor F. Michael Higginbotham is a member of the faculty at the University of Baltimore School of Law and has developed a national reputation for his work on the impact of race on the law and the law on race relations. A prolific scholar, he has a lengthy publication record in the nation's most prominent law journals and also contributes to the popular press. Professor Higginbotham will use his award to help fund his future teaching and research.

Higginbotham is also one of the founding members of the Baltimore Scholars Program. This program identifies undergraduates at historically black colleges and universities in Maryland interested in post-graduate professional education. With the goal of increasing the pool of qualified minority applicants to law and other professional schools, the program uses faculty and student volunteers to help these students improve their writing and analytical skills.

The Wilson H. Elkins Professorship was established in 1978 as the first permanently endowed, university-wide professorship at the then five-campus University of Maryland. When the University System of Maryland was formed in 1988, the professorship was extended to the entire system.

Contact: Mary Carroll-Mason

Phone: 301/445-2756