Recipients of 2015 Board of Regents Staff Awards Announced

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 18, 2014) -- University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents Chairman James L. Shea and USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret honored winners of the 2015 USM Regents' Staff Awards at a breakfast ceremony before today's board meeting at Coppin State University.

The awards recognize staff members who have made exceptional contributions to their organizations, students and the university community.

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, which provides non-faculty USM employees with a voice in system governance.

Each award carries a $1,000 prize, provided by the institutions and the University System of Maryland Foundation.

The following USM staff members were honored:


Regents' Staff Awards for Effectiveness and Efficiency

Marsha Velli, an accounting associate in the Imaging Research Center (IRC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). 

The IRC, which is supported primarily through grants and contracts, conducts research in digital technology, media arts, and visualization.  Most granting organizations tend to not provide support for basic infrastructure and lab costs, which in the case of the IRC are in the range of $70,000 annually. To address this challenge, the IRC established a Service Center Account that allowed the center to charge an equipment "day rate" for all work conducted in the IRC. Ms. Velli was instrumental in making this a success.  Her determination, communication skills, collaborative approach, and attention to detail helped build a broad community of support to help resolve issues and make the effort successful.  The IRC estimates that her work has saved the campus $60,000 to $65,000 per year.

Uche Enwesi, manager for University Libraries at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). A member of the UMCP family for almost two decades, Mr. Enwesi has contributed significantly to the success of the Digital Systems and Stewardship division, and the Libraries as a whole.  He created the Windows LAN infrastructure that established a mechanism for staff to use in working collaboratively on projects and developing shared documents. Uche brought the virtualization of servers into the Libraries when this mode of technology was in its infancy.

His understanding of the value of virtualization saved the Libraries approximately $100,000 in three years. He created the Staff Loaner Program to provide laptops for conference presentations and seminars.  Most recently, he developed The Student Laptop Loan Program to loan laptops to students and provide a way to refresh them.  And these are just a few of Mr. Enwesi's contributions.


Regents' Staff Award for Outstanding Service to Students in an Academic or Residential Environment

Exempt Staff

Sherrye Larkins, director of special events at Coppin State University (CSU). Ms. Larkins, who has held this position for the past nine years, has distinguished herself as a committed, caring staff member who goes above and beyond to help students succeed. She has a "student-first" attitude and demonstrates a strong personal commitment to helping CSU students succeed and graduate.  She involves students in a number of activities aimed at retention, success, and completion. 

These activities include book clubs, study groups, community service opportunities, and her newest initiative, The Ladies Connecting Across Campus Mentoring Program.  Over 70 percent of Coppin students are female, and this effort-developed and implemented by Ms. Larkins-has made a significant impact on retention and graduation rates. As one student said recently, "Ms. Larkins has made a difference in my life through her encouragement and eagerness to help me succeed."


Non-Exempt Staff:   

M. Robert Maddux, multi-trades supervisor for the auxiliaries at Salisbury University (SU). Mr. Maddux supervises the maintenance of 11 residence halls housing upwards of 2,300 students, as well as the University Center and the Commons. The students at Salisbury know that they can count on Mr. Maddux to make their home-away-from-home the best it can be.  Along with his heavy and unpredictable workload, Mr. Maddux also volunteers in other capacities that support students at SU.

He leads new student orientation programs like Bike, Beach and Beyond to help new students make connections, develop friendships, and become engaged with SU before classes even begin.  He also participates in the student Outdoor Club and often is a rider in the Sea Gull Century 100-mile bike ride, raising important funds for student scholarships and other causes.  As President Janet Dudley-Eshbach observed, "For 30 years, [Bob] has been a critical and positive member of the SU Team."


Regents' Staff Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Institution or Unit

Exempt Staff

Colleen Wright-Riva, Director of Dining Services at UMCP.  Ms. Wright-Riva's contributions extend from Dining Services to the greater University community, and beyond.  Thanks to her leadership, Terp Farm-a partnership between Dining Services and the College of Agriculture-dedicates several acres in Upper Marlboro as both a student laboratory and food producing acreage, with 10 percent of the food grown on the farm donated to those in need in Prince George's County.  The Food Pantry initiative, which she helped launch last year, seeks to alleviate food hardship among UMCP students, faculty and staff by providing emergency food to Terps in need.

Ms. Wright-Riva also consistently provides a culture of growth and professional development for her staff. One of her chefs earned a gold medal and second place in the national competition, while a staff member received the Grand Prize for Excellence in Sustainable Dining.


Non-Exempt Staff:

Michele Kimery, UMBC. Ms. Kimery emphasizes the continuity between her private sector career in customer service and the service she provides to the campus community and the public. When she first came to Human Resources, Ms. Kimery took on the challenge of reorganizing the office's filing system and designing a sustainable solution to meet its filing needs. She also developed a document outlining best practices and procedures for introducing new employees to the workplace, creating a valuable resource for supervisors across campus.  

Her dedication to the UMBC community is also reflected in her leadership of the Service Awards Committee, whose annual event recognizes employees for their years of service to UMBC and the state of Maryland. As a colleague noted, "Every time I talk to Michele I am moved to become a better employee and a better person!"  There could not be higher praise.


Regents' Staff Award for Extraordinary Public Service to the University or the Greater Community

Exempt Staff:

Beatrice Wright, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). During her 30 years of service at UMES, Beatrice has inspired senior leadership, faculty, staff, and students with the various community service and engagement initiatives she has led--including both on-campus and community based programs.  She has driven UMES' participation in the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, the celebration of Women's History Month on campus, and brought prominent speakers such as Black Girls Rock! founder Beverly Bond to UMES to motivate and inspire women across campus. 

Outside of UMES, Beatrice has been very active and involved as a member of her church, as a member of the Concerned Citizens for Somerset County, and as an advocate for students in the Somerset County Public School System. Her service has been recognized on campus, where she is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.


Non-Exempt Staff:

Julia Heng, detective for the Office of Public Safety at UMCP. Detective Heng's service to the greater community comes as part of a collaborative effort known as the Metropolitan Area Drug Task force, a multijurisdictional task force comprised of the Maryland State Police, Prince George's County Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Greenbelt City Police Department, and the UMCP Police Department. 

Detective Heng is responsible for all aspects of criminal investigations related to illegal drugs. She conducts narcotics investigations, handling informants, executing search and seizure warrants, making arrests, and processing those arrested. Her investigations have led to the seizure of $900,000 in cash, 27 vehicles, 47 firearms, 1.1 kg of heroin, 9.5 kg of cocaine, and over 10,000 ecstasy pills. She works above and beyond the 8-hour workday to improve the quality of life for the community she serves.




Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719