USM Board of Regents Faculty Awards Presented

Adelphi, Md. (April 21, 2017) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents at its meeting today announced the recipients of the 2017 USM Regents' Faculty Awards. The meeting was held at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).

The awards are the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members. Presented in four categories, the awards honor excellence in teaching, public service, mentoring, innovation, and a combined category of research, scholarship and creative activity.

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

Following are the 2017 Regents' Faculty Award recipients, listed by category:



Dr. Richard Bell, Associate Professor of History with UMCP. Dr. Bell is highly regarded for his exceptional dedication to teaching, his engagement with difficult issues from multiple viewpoints, and his focus on student involvement.  His "I-Series" courses, "Fighting Slavery" and "Pursuits of Happiness: Ordinary Lives in the American Revolution," give non-major students the tools necessary to intelligently and thoughtfully process history. His Ph.D. classes are known for their very high quality. Dr. Bell came to UMCP after receiving his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University and in the decade since has been honored with seven teaching awards. His dedication is not only evident in the classroom but also outside of it. He spent a semester as an "elevate fellow" in UMCP's Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, where he focused on redesigning a large course that he teaches.

Dr. Karen Fallon Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in Speech-Language Pathology at Towson University (TU). An outstanding teacher of both undergraduate and graduate courses, Dr. Fallon is well regarded by both her students and her peers. She has averaged a course rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 over the past 6 years as the department's highest rated teacher. Her students perform exceptionally well on professional exams, with a full 100% of her master's students passing. She is a highly sought after mentor for other faculty. As graduate program director of the Speech-Language Program, she has revised the speech-language curriculum to align with national accreditation standards, trained her colleagues on the new and improved curriculum, and established an applied laboratory that has enhanced student success. She is and has been both a model teacher and mentor and an important contributor to improved and enhanced teaching improvement in her department.

Dr. Stephen Habay, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Salisbury University (SU). Dr. Habay has an exceptional teaching record and a record of involving undergraduates in his research. This is particularly impressive since his teaching specialty is organic chemistry, a large required lecture course known equally well for both its difficulty and its unpopularity. Dr. Habay has consistently received stellar evaluations from students and the highest possible evaluations on his teaching from his department. Students in his organic chemistry classes rave about his clarity, his usage of real world applications, the organization of his lecture notes, about his use of in-class demonstrations. Many students note how his class was pivotal in exciting them to further study science. He also has worked with undergraduate students on research projects and has, in that capacity co-authored with undergraduates in scientific journals.

Dr. Donald Snyder, from the Department of Media and Communication Studies Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). In addition to his work as Senior Lecturer in Media Studies, Dr. Snyder is also a faculty affiliate of the doctoral program in Language, Literacy, and Culture. Along with his exceptional teaching, he is involved in curriculum development at both the department and university levels. He has developed or co-developed seven of the undergraduate courses offered by the department. He has also done the lion's share of the department's curriculum review. He has also aided curriculum development at the university-level by serving on the Innovative Curriculum and Pedagogy Strategy Group as part of the campus strategic planning initiative. He has accomplished this while maintaining a heavy teaching load, building a reputation as an innovative and supportive teacher, and connecting with his students outside the classroom.



Dr. Katherine Broadwater, Associate Professor and Director of Art Education at Towson University. Dr. Broadwater has taught various art education courses and educated and mentored students at Towson University for more than 20 years. Her commitment to her students has always gone well beyond the classroom: hosting dinners, helping students apply for graduate school or find meaningful employment, encouraging and working with them to develop their career interests, and broadening their learning experiences and skills. During her time at Towson University, Dr. Broadwater has mentored hundreds of students from diverse cultural backgrounds and intellectual abilities. She has taken many of them to off-campus conferences or panel discussions in order for them to gain valuable field experiences and expose them to the rigors of professional societies. Above all, she has worked to inspire her students to become engaged and productive citizens in their various stations in life.

Professor Iona Johnson, a Clinical Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology, also from Towson University. Professor Johnson has demonstrated long-term dedication and commitment to mentoring both students, faculty, and clinicians in the field. She has been teaching graduates and undergraduates in both clinical courses and theory-and promoting advocacy-for more than 15 years. She has been able to secure external grants to support Towson students traveling to Washington, D.C. to participate in service learning and to meet members of Congress to lobby for healthcare rights of patients. Outside of the classroom, Professor Johnson is an engaged community educator and volunteer, working in support of stroke patients. As an African-American clinician, her work is especially valuable as she mentors a diverse and an inclusive population. Professor Johnson is open, accessible, and welcoming to so many students as an advocate, role model, teacher, and friend.

Dr. Neil Spring, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at UMCP. Since 2004, Dr. Spring has demonstrated his commitment to advising and mentoring Computer Science students. He has an excellent working relationship with both the undergraduate and graduate students and devotes his energy and time to guiding their research efforts to ensuring that they present papers at conferences and publish scholarly papers.

He has also led his department's efforts in strengthening the honors program. He was instrumental in overhauling the program some years ago in order to make it both attractive and relevant to a large number of diverse student populations. Dr. Spring works closely and meticulously with his students, and approaches student advisement and mentoring with the hope of achieving great results, quality scholarship, and better future computer scientists. As a true testament to his impact, his students have gone on to distinguished careers and positions in academia and industry.

Angela Vallario, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore (UB). For the past 16 years, Professor Vallario has interwoven rigorous instruction with academic mentoring, transforming students' lives for the better. She approaches her classes as a means for empowering and helping her students excel in their legal studies and professional careers. She engages her students outside of the classroom as well, meeting with students on an individual basis to closely review and discuss their assignments, explore their professional interests and goals, and provide them with proper guidance and advice.

Recently Professor Vallario designed the Special Needs Estate Planning Program, to provide both a learning opportunity and a networking opportunity for students.  In addition, she developed another "Bridge-to-Practice" program designed to connect her students with corporate leaders opening the door to training, internships, and potential employment upon graduation.



Dr. Robert Rook, Professor of History and Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at Towson University. Dr. Rook is a regular contributor to the Regional Security Education Program (RSEP) of the United States Navy, a program that places country and regional experts on Navy ships during their deployment at sea to provide briefings and workshops on political, cultural, and strategic considerations. With experience living in the Middle East, regular trips to the region, and daily monitoring of information sources, Dr. Rook has built an expertise the Navy values. He has also been a strong advocate for middle school and high school students learning about global affairs, serving on the Teacher Education Advisory Board and the Maryland Council on Social Studies. Recently, he has teamed up with others as part of the Maryland Geographic Alliance to plan and deliver a new set of workshops to advance understanding of strategic regions.

Dr. Michèle Schlehofer, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology at Salisbury University. Dr. Schlehofer has made her mark as a tireless advocate for social justice in her community and has involved her students in her community work, cultivating broad awareness and social advocates for the next generation. Her accomplishments over just the past three years have been substantial. She serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children. As an advocate for lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) issues, she serves as president for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, supporting parents, families, and LGBT community members. She also developed and presented Stand Up to Bullying, providing 50 middle school-aged children with bullying education and bystander intervention training. Above all, she remains an educator, using these community initiatives to both educate and inspire her students.

Dr. Renita Seabrook associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at University of Baltimore (UB). Dr. Seabrook has a passion for public service. She has contributed her time, professional expertise, and energy to create a program for formerly incarcerated women of color. The program that helps the participants develop the skills they need to transition into life with their families and communities. This program, Helping Others 2 Win (HO2W) is an innovative, evidence-based approach that incorporates research, mentoring, service learning, internships, and mentoring opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at UB. Professor Seabrook has sought and secured substantial grant funding through a variety of sources for this program, which has now had four cohorts graduate, with 23 women starting the program, 19 completing the first level, and 17 completing additional levels. Dr. Seabrook received the 2016 Governor's Volunteer Certificate and Senator Mikulski has recognized her work, calling the program "a miracle."

Dr. Mario Tamburri, a Research Professor with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Tamburri has exhibited a truly exceptional mix of innovative research, rare entrepreneurship, and deep commitment to applying science for the public good during his 14 years with UMCES.

He has led two highly successful enterprises. The first is the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT), a consortium of research institutions and agencies devoted to developing, testing, and implementing advanced technologies in monitoring of the coastal ocean. The second is the Maritime Environmental Resource Center (MERC), which addresses the environmental needs of maritime commerce, including reducing emissions of pollutants and the risks of introduction of evasive species. The success of ACT and MERC is illustrated by the fact Dr. Tamburri has received the greatest amount of grant and contract awards within the highly research-intensive UMCES faculty over the past several years.



Dr. Bethany Brand of Towson University. Dr. Brand's current research focuses on the assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders, distinguishing feigned from genuine trauma disorders, and evaluating the accuracy and adequacy of trauma-related content in psychology textbooks. She teaches clinically related courses to graduate and undergraduate students including courses about diagnosing psychological disorders, assessing and treating trauma survivors, and conducting cognitive behavior therapy.

Dr. Brand is actively involved in the publication of articles related to her field of study, and in the last three years, she has either authored or co-authored more than 31 research articles and five book chapters and has two books under contract with Oxford University Press. Dr. Brand's leadership in her field has led to her receiving the 2016 Outstanding Scientific Contributions to Psychology award from the Maryland Psychology Association.

Dr. Jonathan Lazar, Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, Towson University. Dr. Lazar-whose teaching and research activities focus on web accessibility for people with disabilities, user-centered design methods, assistive technology, and public policy-is the founder of the Universal Usability Laboratory at Towson University.  The lab focuses on human-computer interaction with an emphasis on persons with disabilities. The first edition of his book, "Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction" has been cited in over 750 journal articles and is required reading for all graduate students in the field of Human Computer Interactions. He has published 15 articles, eight of which were first-authored, in high-impact professional journals in the last three years. Dr. Lazar's research in the accessibility issues of people who are blind or have Down syndrome received support from the National Science Foundation and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation.

Dr. Alan Lyles a professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Health and Human Services at UB. Dr. Lyles is a widely recognized scholar of health policy whose voice is sought by Congress, cabinet members, and private health care leaders. He is an active member of the Fulbright Specialist roster. He is also a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

His professional interests focus on pharmaceutical economics and health policy, particularly on policies and practices to improve access to high cost, innovative medicines such as those for hepatitis C. This year, Dr. Lyles published a volume entitled, Pharmaceutical Public Policy, which outlines the relationship between government, insurer, and patient as well as a comparison between American and international healthcare. Pharmaceutical Public Policy provides the understanding and framework required for effective organization, financing, and delivery of pharmaceutical products and services. Leaders in the field have favorably received the book, and it should figure as a landmark text for future policymakers.

Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke professor in the he Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC. Dr. Seley-Radtke is an internationally renowned contributor to the research literature on drug design through chemical synthesis, which has significantly advanced medicinal chemistry and improved the quality of global health. She also focuses on the use of nucleosides and nucleobases as anti-cancer agents that offer potential impact in treatment for lung, colon, renal, and breast cancers.

Dr. Seley-Radtke is also a highly prolific theorist. She has published 22 journal articles and two book chapters. She has filed for three patents (one of which has been awarded), during the past three years. Her work has led to six NIH grants, totaling $3 million. She has been awarded funding from the Maryland Industrial Initiatives Partnership Program to commercialize the intellectual property she has developed at UMBC. She was named the 2016 Maryland Chemist of the Year by the American Chemical Society.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719