USM Board of Regents Faculty Awards Presented

Baltimore, Md. (April 19, 2019) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents at its meeting today announced the recipients of the 2019 USM Regents' Faculty Awards. The meeting was held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

The awards are the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members. The awards honor excellence in the following four categories: teaching; scholarship, research, or creative activity; public service; and mentoring.

Institutional faculty nominating committees make recommendations to the institutional presidents, who review nominations and supporting material and forward recommendations to USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret.  The Regents Faculty Review Committee makes the final recommendations.
Each award carries a $2,000 prize provided by the institutions and the University System of Maryland Foundation. Chancellor Caret and Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden presented the awards.

Following are the 16 winners of the 2019 Regents' Faculty Award recipients, listed by category. (Chancellor Caret and Chair Gooden offered these summaries for each recipient at a morning awards ceremony.)


Dr. Randall Cone, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Salisbury University
Dr. Cone mentors students and teaches courses in both mathematics and computer science with the goal of sparking students’ curiosity and turning his students into future scholars and leaders. He engages students in a wide variety of research projects, using inquiry-based learning to challenge and inspire his diverse students, advising multiple student groups, and engaging in outreach programs tailored for both middle and high school students for math development and college-readiness. The use of inquiry-based method allows his students to take full ownership and responsibility for their education and fosters their excitement in learning. He is personable, caring and goes above the call of duty to inspire active student learning. Dr. Cone creates a supportive and enthusiastic learning environment that has enhanced his contributions to the teaching mission of the institution.  Randall Cone Faculty Page

Dr. Sarah Leupen, Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Since joining UMBC, Dr. Leupen has spearheaded a series of high-impact curricular innovations and course redesigns that have transformed undergraduate science education. She created a Biology Teaching Circle, an initiative that brought the faculty together to explore and implement evidence-based pedagogical approaches. She regularly provides campus-wide workshops on a range of active learning techniques.  In the past three years, Dr. Leupen has given more than 40 invited lectures—locally, nationally, and internationally—on her innovative teaching techniques.  She was a recipient of the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Award and received the 2016-2017 Fulbright Award for Evidence-Based Pedagogical Innovation in Health Sciences Education. She spent her Fulbright year at Charles University in the Czech Republic teaching medical faculty how to implement active learning techniques and modern course redesign strategies.  Sarah Leupen Faculty Page

Dr. Mary Lynn McPherson, Professor in the School of Pharmacy at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)
A gifted educator, Dr. McPherson is also a leader in creating, diffusing, and enhancing pain management and palliative care tools and resources, for both students and healthcare providers. Her insights have revolutionized teaching and reach well beyond the School of Pharmacy and the university into the global arena. She teaches extensively in the Doctor of Pharmacy--or “PharmD”--curriculum on pain management and end of life care. She also developed one of the first palliative care pharmacy residencies in the nation and led efforts to develop pain management and palliative care traineeships for national professional organizations. In addition, Dr. McPherson developed and launched an online graduate program in palliative care that reaches a wide range of health care professionals including physicians, nurses, therapists, chaplains, and others.  Mary Lynn McPherson Faculty Page

Dr. Adam Charles Puche, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Since joining the university in 1996, Dr. Puche has worked to strengthen the School of Medicine and UMB teaching in graduate and medical education. He is involved in three areas of teaching: course leadership and scholarship, directing several major courses; direct teaching, including lectures, labs, and small group instruction; and mentorship, working in support of his students.  In 2010, Dr. Puche volunteered to take on a critical teaching role with the labor-intensive “Structure and Development,” a pivotal first-year medical course integrating gross anatomy, histology, and embryology. The course represents 30 percent of students first year, essentially beginning the process of turning college students into medical doctors. He has also redesigned the course to be more modern and digital, working with each lecturer to modify his or her materials to fit the new vision of the course. Adam Puche Faculty Page


Dr. Larry Davis Computer Science Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)
As the founding director of the university’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, Dr. Davis established the Institute’s High Performance Computing Laboratory. He is a pioneer—and one of the world’s leading authorities—in the field of computer vision and has made numerous and important contributions to the field, notably to the areas of autonomous driving, visual surveillance, and human activity recognition. His groundbreaking research helped to develop one of the first successful computer-vision-based self-driving systems using neural network architectures. He also developed the W4 system for video surveillance and pioneered the use of “partial least squares” as a method for feature learning and facial recognition. Dr. Davis is one of the most highly cited faculty members at UMCP with over 55,000 citations. His research has generated more than $30 million in funding.  Larry Davis Faculty Page

Dr. Salina Parveen, Professor of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
Dr. Parveen’s research aims to improve the safety and quality of seafood. She developed, evaluated, and validated rapid molecular and immunological methods for detection of food and waterborne pathogens such as vibrio, salmonella and Listeria in seafood.  She has applied genomic, proteomic, and other scientific approaches to better understand the sources, survival, persistence, and control of pathogens in seafood and poultry. Her work has benefitted the United Nations World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization.  Her research has generated 47 manuscripts in nationally and internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals, three book chapters, 59 invited presentations, and more than 130 abstracts in regional, national, and international scientific meetings.  In addition, she has generated more than $13 million in external competitive funding that has advanced her research program and supported M.S. and Ph.D. students under her guidance.  Salina Parveen Faculty Page

Vincent Thomas, Professor of Dance at Towson University (TU)
Professor Thomas is a well-known and highly respected dancer and choreographer, whose creative works have been performed nationally and internationally.  He regularly creates dances for regional professional companies and for Towson student dancers. He is also a trailblazer and engaged participant who works with faculty members and staff across the university on artistic and community-focused activities. Driven to be an artist who makes an impact, Professor Thomas facilitates dance that explores life, love, and social justice to transform communities. He has received numerous accolades and awards for his creative works, including the prestigious Baker Artist People’s Choice Award and the Pola Nirenska Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.  He has also received major funding for his creative works from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts.  Vincent Thomas Faculty Page

Dr. Miao Yu from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UMCP
Dr. Yu is the Director of the Sensors and Actuators Laboratory within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is Director of the Maryland Robotics Center, Institute for Systems Research at UMCP. She is one of the premier researchers worldwide in acoustics, sensors and actuators, micro/nano systems, and photonics. She is perhaps best known for creating new acoustic sensing concepts and technologies with bio-inspiration and emerging materials, advancing knowledge of novel light-matter interactions.  She has published 56 archival journal paper and presented 30 national and international invited and keynote talks. Her research has generated over $17.8 million and has resulted in six US patents, two provisional patent applications, and 14 invention disclosures. In 2017, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers honored her as a “Fellow of the Society.”  She is also recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER Award.  Miao Yu Faculty Page


Dr. Jandelyn Plane, Principal Lecturer in Computer Science at UMCP
Dr. Plane has shown an extraordinary commitment to increasing diversity in the field of computer science—including cybersecurity—through her volunteer work and by exposing young women and minorities to leaders in the field. She currently serves as the Director of the Maryland Center for Women in Computing and as the Associate Director of Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students. A passionate advocate of the ideal of “Computer Science for All,” she has affiliated herself with like-minded organizations, including Women in Technology of Washington DC, the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, the National Center for Women in Technology, and the Girl Scouts.  Dr. Place also co-founded the CyberPatriot Girls program, a volunteer program which started in two high schools, but has expanded to 13 high schools in the Washington, D.C. metro region.  Jandelyn Plane Faculty Page

Professor Maureen Sweeney, Associate Professor of Law at UMB.
Professor Sweeney serves some of society’s most vulnerable members: immigrants and non-citizens. Her teaching, research, and service exemplify a public service-minded faculty member. Her commitment to immigration law and her passion for helping others directly supports UMB’s strategic goal to “deepen and expand local and global engagement by providing health, legal, and social work solutions.”  As head of the law school’s Immigration Clinic, Professor Sweeney

provides dedication and advocacy to addresses the under-met need for legal services, providing pro bono legal representation through the Southern Poverty Law Center to immigrants in detention centers. She combines her legal expertise with a sophistication for real-world solutions, working to ensure that state and federal laws are applied fairly and that individuals have adequate representation.  Maureen Sweeney Faculty Page

Professor Frank van Vliet, Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Baltimore (UB).
Professor van Vliet has displayed an extraordinary commitment to transforming the lives of inmates and young people in the Baltimore community and beyond.  Described by the dean of the Merrick School of Business as a “model” in terms of his community service, Professor van Vliet assists underserved youth and those confined to prison who are seeking a new path forward.  He has devoted much of his professional and personal time to the University of Baltimore’s Second Chance Program, which works with inmates at the Jessup Correctional Institution and with high school students through various community organizations. Driven by his passion for training and entrepreneurship, Professor van Vliet helps young people unlock their potential through mentorship, scholarship, and by navigating socio-economic barriers to empower at-risk Baltimore City youth.  Frank van Vliet Faculty Page

Dr. Eric Weintraub, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UMB.
Dr. Weintraub has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to caring for opioid-addicted individuals through public health initiatives, working with underserved communities from West Baltimore to rural Maryland. Dr. Weintraub is the director of the Division of Addiction Research and Treatment at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the medical director of Psychiatric Emergency Services at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He has taken leadership roles in treating those suffering from mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders, training emergency department physicians, and expanding access to buprenorphine, a drug to treat opioid dependence. In 2017, in recognition of his visionary public service, he was named a Clinical Scholar by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He has also worked to de-stigmatize substance abuse and treatment, helping those who have struggled with substance use disorders to live meaningful, fulfilling lives.  Eric Weintraub Faculty Page


Dr. Reid Compton, Principal Lecturer in Biology at UMCP.
Mentoring undergraduate students has been a thread that has run throughout Dr. Compton’s career since his start at UMCP in 1997.  His passion for excellence in undergraduate teaching, combined with his commitment to active mentorship, has led directly to his service as an academic advisor to over 100 students each semester. As Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Biology, he has overseen a large number of courses and the undergraduate advising program. Until recently, Dr. Compton also served as director of the College Park Scholars Life Sciences Program, where students valued his mentoring and the program’s rich mix of academic challenge and community support. He has been recognized with the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award, multiple Merrill Presidential Scholar Faculty Mentor awards, and the Provost's University Faculty Advisor of the Year award.  Reid Compton Faculty Page

Dr. Chrys Egan, Professor of Communication at Salisbury University.
Dr. Egan’s tireless mentorship helps to create structures for Salisbury students to learn new skills, push themselves, and grow professionally and personally. As co-director of SU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, she empowers students to not only engage in meaningful research, but to be advocates and ambassadors for this high-impact teaching practice. She routinely takes students to national and regional conferences to support their networking and presentation skills. Dr. Egan is also a dedicated mentor of faculty across the SU campus. As she does for students, she facilitates structures to build community among faculty. Dr. Egan’s contributions exemplify the student-centered learning environment that is a hallmark of Salisbury University. Her contributions have been recognized by SU’s Outstanding Mentor, Distinguished Faculty, Alumni Appreciation awards, and current leadership of the Faculty Senate.  Chrys Egan Faculty Page

Dr. Bret Hassel, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at UMB.
As program director for the Molecular Microbiology & Immunology (MMI) graduate program, Dr. Hassel has direct mentoring responsibilities for all Ph.D. students in the MMI program.

His dedication to mentoring extends beyond the School of Medicine to UMCP, UMBC, and Towson where he has served as a mentor and played a role in establishing programs and grants designed to create pipelines for underrepresented younger students. He is also a leader in the UMB CURE program that provides after school, Saturday, and summer programming in diverse STEM disciplines for middle school students from disadvantaged West Baltimore communities.  Last year Dr. Hassel became the only UMB faculty member ever to receive both the UMB Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Diversity Award and the 2018 Dean’s Faculty Award in the same year.  Bret Hassel Faculty Page

Donna Lynn Parker, Associate Professor of Medicine; and Senior Associate Dean for Medical Educational Programs at UMB.
Dr. Parker has been an ally to thousands of medical students throughout her more than 12 years at the UMB School of Medicine. She combines incredible competence with warmth, integrity, professionalism, innovation, and compassion in the mentoring and career development of medical students. She also works in student academic services as an advisor and has received the 2017 Careers in Medicine Excellence in Medical Student Career Advising Advisor Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Parker also has a remarkable record matching students to residency at a 98% match rate, which exceeds the national average. This success rate is unquestionably due to the energy and time she takes to get to know the students and her mentorship skills and insights.  Donna Lynn Parker Faculty Page


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719