USM Office Honors Employees

Adelphi, Md. (Jan. 16, 2015) - The University System of Maryland (USM) Office recently announced its 2015 Employee Service and Achievement Award winners, who were honored during a gathering of USM Office staff. Eighteen individuals were recognized for exceptional career service, and five individuals were recognized for extraordinary achievement during the past year. Additionally, three members of USM's Academic Affairs department were awarded Certificates of Appreciation.

Achievement Award winners were nominated, considered, and approved by members of senior leadership who report directly to USM Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan. An individual from four major departments (Administration & Finance; Internal Audit; Advancement; and the Chancellor's Office) was selected. (Two honorees were selected from the Office of Finance because of that office's large size.)

At a reception held at the USM Elkins Building and organized by the Office of Human Resources, each service award winner received a certificate and a memento. Achievement award winners received a $250 check, funded by the Office of Advancement.

Below are remarks made by Chancellor Kirwan about each of the Achievement Award winners and Certificate of Appreciation recipients.

Achievement Award Winners
Jacqui White, Office of Internal Audit
"Over the past six years, Jacqui has been responsible for the Office of Internal Audit's construction and capital improvement audit engagements, where her efforts have directly led to improvements in USM institutions' management and oversight of capital improvement projects. She has built an outstanding reputation with leaders in construction and procurement departments throughout the USM and is often asked to perform special audit and consulting engagements. In addition, she takes the initiative to manage and perform other important duties-such as tracking audit findings and the status of correction-that are used in Internal Audit's regular reporting to the Board of Regents' Audit Committee."

Leigh Ann Hess, Office of Administration and Finance
"Leigh Ann provides administrative support for Bob Page, Don Spicer, Suresh Balakrishnan, Guy Jones, Celeste Denson, and other staff. She is also responsible for organizing, coordinating, and distributing materials for meetings of the Board of Regents Committee on Economic Development and Technology Commercialization and the ICA Workgroup. In addition, she has helped to structure and streamline the process for tracking and reporting new company formation at the USM institutions. "

Tamara Petronka, Office of Administration and Finance
"Tamara has served as Executive Director of the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) since its reformulation in 2005 as a K-20 shared governance consortium hosted by the USM Office. MEEC, as led by Tamara, is emblematic of how education can collaborate to benefit all in unique and highly leveraged activities. For example, MEEC saved its members over $7.5 million on one software contract last year. Similarly, purchases from one hardware vendor saved MEEC members almost $10 million last year as compared with the normal academic pricing. These are the outcomes from only 2 of the dozens of contracts in the MEEC portfolio."  

Diana White, Office of Advancement
"Diana has been on the Advancement staff since 2006 and has played an integral role in expanding the services of that office. Diana has built a robust professional development program for advancement staff across the System. Under her management, the Office of Advancement has established a Council of Foundation Administrators, which convenes quarterly to discuss challenges and best practices in customer service. She was also key in establishing the USM Alumni Relations Council, which is tackling issues around how to best engage alumni. And she oversees ongoing webinars and seminars in subjects ranging from major gifts fundraising to social media."

Paul Stackpole, Office of the Chancellor
"Since joining the system office in 2003, Paul has consistently produced high quality work. From national keynote speeches to legislative testimony and brief commencement remarks, Paul hits the targets with the right styles and the right messages for the presenter, the audience, and the USM. I can say firsthand that Paul's excellent work is a major factor in our successful efforts to advance USM's strategic priorities on the local, regional, and national stages."

Certificate of Appreciation Recipients
Lynn Harbinson, Office of Academic Affairs
"Lynn was the project manager for the $6 million grant from the US Department of Education: Education Equals Mentoring, Coaching and Cohorts, or E=MC2. She worked closely with the Baltimore City Schools to ensure that elementary and middle school teachers were teamed with faculty from Coppin, Towson and the University of Maryland, College Park to build new professional development programs in mathematics. That project also led to the development of Maryland Teacher Academies, which created the first early college pathways for high school students interested in becoming teachers. Lynn, thank you for your commitment to children and teachers in Maryland." 

Erin Knepler, Office of Academic Affairs
"Erin was the Project Director of the Lumina Project, a $1million grant from the Lumina Foundation to the State of Maryland to support completion efforts. In that capacity, she was the driving force behind the "Stride to 55" movement in Maryland, developing a series of workshops and panels on topics around College Remediation, Course Redesign, and Academic Transformation. Erin also led the USM's partnership with the Business Higher Education Forum's cyber-security initiative, developing a network of faculty from Bowie, Towson, UMBC and UMCP and local cyber-security industry partners that has become a model program for the BHEF. Erin, thank you for your energy, creativity, and commitment to higher education."

David May, Office of Academic Affairs
"David was the Project Director of two major grants from the National Science Foundation: Vertically Integrated Partnerships, a $7.8 million partnership project between the USM and the Montgomery County Schools to develop new curriculum and new professional development modules for science programs at both the public schools, and the participating universities and colleges; and the $12 million Minority Student Pipeline grant to help move students through the Prince George's County Schools, to Prince George's Community College and universities in the System, namely Towson, UMBC, and UMCP. Students in these accelerated programs have been admitted to colleges in Maryland, and are majoring in STEM areas. David, thank you for your years of service, your collaborative approach, and your commitment to advancing STEM education."

The following USM Office employees received Service Awards, having worked for the System for at least 10 years: Joseph Banner; Ben Passmore; Sapna Varghese; Virginia Whelley; Celeste Denson; Anthony Foster; Tamara Petronka; Don Spicer; Linda Bowman; Randy Possehl; Amy Decker; Tracey Jamison; Lorri McMann; Bob Page; Mei-Chin Yang; Leonard Raley; William Brown; and Nancy Shapiro.


Contact: Jennifer Rose
Phone: 301.445.2756