Recipients of Board of Regents Staff Awards Announced

Adelphi, Md. (Sept. 12, 2016) -- University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents Chairman James T. Brady and USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret honored winners of the 2016 USM Regents' Staff Awards at a breakfast ceremony before the September 9 board meeting held at Towson 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. The descriptions are adapted from the remarks made by Chairman Brady and Chancellor Caret at the awards event.

Outstanding Service to Students in an Academic or Residential Environment-Exempt Staff: Robert Batten, Director of International Student Services at Bowie State University (BSU).

Robert is known throughout the BSU community as "the guy to go to if you're a Bowie student with a problem" on campus.  Beyond his work easing international students' integration into the university community, he also volunteers his time, money, and energy to provide support a number of campus initiatives that support the growth and development of all Bowie students. He is one of the key coordinators of the Bowie State University Male Initiative Program, which focuses on the advancement of male students at Bowie through mentor/mentee relationships. He serves as an advisor to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, providing mentorship and academic advisement to student athletes. He manages the Honda All-Star Challenge, traveling as a chaperone for the team. He also chaperones the Thurgood Marshall College Scholarship Fund student recipients to the annual conference in New York City. 

Exceptional Contributions to the Institution or Unit-Exempt Staff: Paul Dillon, Assistant Director/Deputy Chief of Police at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).

Throughout his career at UMBC-and for 25 years previously at University of Maryland, College Park-Paul has demonstrated a commitment to safety and security in all aspects of university life in higher education. He was instrumental in the planning of the Campus Gateway Project as a member of the Project Committee. His advice, insight, and commitment to open communications helped minimize disruptions to campus life during this large project. To increase campus safety and improve campus readiness during potential critical incidents, Paul developed a meaningful training approach that differed from group to group based on their varying responsibilities. Paul stands as a tireless advocate for safety, security, and respect across campus. He works with UMBC's LGBTQ Climate Group; serves as an advisor to the Relationship Violence Awareness and Prevention Group; is a member of the Behavioral Risk Assessment and Consultation Team, and works with the Voices Against Violence advisory group.


Exceptional Contributions to the Institution or Unit-Non-Exempt Staff: Allene Denise Atkinson, Executive Administrative Assistant with The Graduate School at UMBC.

Denise sees her primary goal at The Graduate School as helping Dean Janet Rutledge "to shine" wherever she goes. Her outstanding work ethic, strong organization and multitasking skills, and dedication consistently help her reach that goal. In addition, she offers her time and talent to the PROMISE Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program, which is designed to support graduate students from underrepresented groups as they pursue master's degrees and doctorates, and-ultimately-consider academic careers. Denise also helped organize and run the Maryland Charity Campaign at UMBC, introducing and orchestrating a new event-the "Fall Harvest of Fun"-that raised an additional $1,200 for the campaign. She does all this while managing a serious chronic health condition and started a support group to motivate others facing similar situations to live their lives to the fullest.


Extraordinary Public Service to the University or Greater Community-Exempt Staff: Hazel Jones-Parker, Director of Clinical Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

Dr. Hazel Jones-Parker is responsible for HIV provider education and clinical training throughout the Baltimore region and comprehensive primary HIV care for patients at Maryland General Hospital and Family Health Center. Dr. Jones-Parker is the co-creator of the new IPE course that will involve nurse practitioner, pharmacy, and medical students, allowing these three disciplines to work together on HIV clinical scenarios. She has also developed a review course for the ACRN Certification Exam that is now utilized in other regions of the country. Through her supervision in a UMB community outreach program, students have delivered blood pressure screening and healthy lifestyle education in communities disproportionately impacted by HIV. She also provides leadership for a variety of activities that impact the HIV/AIDS nursing in region including the development of a monthly HIV lecture series that covers a wide range of topics related to the management of HIV infected patients. She is also the co-founder of a 503c community organization named the Coalition of Baltimore HIV Providers, created in 1999 to improve the health and social well-being of those infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. 


Extraordinary Public Service to the University or the Greater Community-Non-Exempt Staff: Katie Simmons-Barth, Marketing & Retail Sales Supervisor at Towson University (TU).

A member of the Towson class of 2005, Katie has used her photography to promote diversity and visibility by having students model TU gear for the website, social media, catalog, and ads for the University Store, effectively rebranding the store where she had worked as a student. This commitment to diversity has only grown since her student days and involvement with the LGBT community. She volunteers for Camp Pride, a non-profit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students, and is a mentor to Camp Pride students. Katie has also delivered presentations for the Women in Leadership conference and served as keynote speaker at the Lavender Graduation for the LGBT Student Leaders. Katie continues to use her skills as a photographer to promote social awareness and diversity and her works can be seen on,,,, and in other national and local outlets.


Effectiveness and Efficiency: Mildred Homa, Research Administrator in the Department of Marine Biotechnology at UMBC.

Mildred was instrumental in the successful application and designation of UMBC as a Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture by the United States Department of Agriculture.  Prior to this designation, UMBC suffered an unfavorable situation in terms of the USDA's matching fund requirement, from which Land Grant institutions were exempt. Such federal cost-sharing requirements, amounting to 100% match, significantly restricted UMBC's research possibilities. Mildred researched the exemption classifications and spent hours of her own time deciphering relevant federal regulations, ultimately realizing that UMBC was a suitable candidate for the exempted a Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture designation. She spearheaded the application process, championed the application, and ultimately received the exempt designation for the entire UMBC campus. This designation will result in significant UMBC financial savings in the future on awards from the USDA programs and other agriculture and and/or coastal resources-based funding agencies.

Effectiveness and Efficiency: Todd Smith, Web Communications Manager with Salisbury University (SU).                     

Todd's Web Application Projects are dynamic web sites, combined with server side programming. These systems provide functionalities such as interacting with users, connecting to back-end databases and generating results to browsers. Todd meets with departments, learns their mission and processes, hears their ideas to automate, and then analyzes the situation until he can recommend a technical, automated solution, which he then develops, tests, and finalizes. These custom-built solutions have continually increased the effective and efficient use of SU's resources. He has worked tirelessly to design more efficient practices, saving considerable time and dollars to serve our students better. Mr. Smith's custom-made web based solutions include an Academic Program Review Process Database, an Applied Business Learning Experience Internship Web Site, and a Entrepreneurship Competition Interface. Todd's work has saved time for students, faculty, and staff and saved significant money for SU.





Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719