USM Board of Regents Announces Winners of Annual Faculty Awards

Baltimore, Md. (March 9, 2020)The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents is honoring 17 members of its faculty at institutions across the system as recipients of the 2020 USM Regents’ Faculty Awards.

The awards are the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members. The awards honor excellence in the following five categories: Public Service; Scholarship, Research or Creative Activity; Mentoring; Teaching; and Innovation.

Institutional faculty nominating committees make recommendations to the institutional presidents, who review nominations and supporting material and forward recommendations to USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. 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 Perman and Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden originally were scheduled to present the awards at the next scheduled meeting of the full board on May 1 at Bowie State University. (The USM continues to be vigilant in responding to the global spread of the novel coronavirus and is offering regular updates, including updates regarding regularly scheduled meetings that are being conducted by teleconference for the foreseeable short-term future.)

“The USM is privileged to have such outstanding faculty members whose expertise, dedication, and diligent work make a profound impact on our students and the citizens of Maryland,” Gooden said. “We look forward to recognizing and honoring these outstanding individuals at our May 1 ceremony, and we are pleased to celebrate their accomplishments with our individual institutions.”

Said Chancellor Perman, “Faculty are at the very heart of the student learning experience. No one has a deeper impact on what students put into their education and what they get out of it. And so we’re delighted to recognize these faculty members and to thank them for channeling their knowledge and passion every day into making a difference in our students’ lives.”

Following are the 17 winners of the 2020 Regents' Faculty Award recipients, listed by category. 


Towson UniversityDr. Dana Kollmann: Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Kollmann has utilized her unique expertise in biological anthropology, forensic archeology, and forensic sciences to make significant contributions to forensic crime scene, accident, and natural disaster investigations. She has creatively combined the roles of faculty member, teacher, and scholar with ongoing local, national, and international public service, while deftly including students in archeological and crime scene investigations. As founder of Towson’s Forensic Science Student Organization, Dr. Kollmann has facilitated students’ on-the-ground experience with high-profile investigations by assisting local and federal law enforcement agencies across the nation.

Coppin State UniversityDr. Charlotte M. Wood: Associate Professor in the Helene Fuld School of Nursing. Dr. Wood has exemplified continued involvement in both academic and non-academic communities through her consistent involvement in community service with a desire to promote healthy and well-balanced lives for others. She is President-elect of the Maryland Nurses Association (MNA) and Editor of Maryland Nurse. Within MNA, she guided implementation of the first statewide Maryland Nursing Education Summit in 2017.

University of Maryland, BaltimoreDr. Norbert Myslinski: Professor in the School of Dentistry. Dr. Myslinski is the founding director of the International Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition that has engaged adolescents internationally since its founding in 1998. Dr. Myslinski is chiefly responsible for growing the Brain Bee from 12 local chapters upon its founding to over 170 chapters around the world today. Dr. Myslinski also founded the International Youth Neuroscience Association (IYNA), an organization dedicated to inspiring the next generation of neuroscientists.

Salisbury UniversityDr. Dean Ravizza: Professor in the Department of Secondary and Physical Education. Based in the Seidel School of Education, Dr. Ravizza has spent his career focused on using sport and physical education to improve the lives of youth and communities. His efforts range from a long-standing adapted physical education program at a local elementary school to using sport to support the social inclusion of refugees in Europe. Dr. Ravizza’s adapted physical education program not only engages his physical education students (future teachers themselves), but also engineering students who assisted in developing adaptive equipment for children with severe disabilities.


University of Maryland, College ParkDr. Liangbing Hu: Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The work Dr. Hu leads is primarily focused on wood, electrochemical energy storage, and solution-based printing. His research and innovations were featured on BBC News, NPR News, and CNN, and in The New York Times, Scientific American, and MIT Technology Review.

Towson UniversityDr. Christopher Salice: Associate Professor of Biological Sciences. Dr. Salice is a toxicologist by training whose current research program centers on understanding how various human activities affect aspects of the natural world and human well-being. He has used his toxicological insights to inform his contributions to ecology, and, similarly, his ecological insights to inform his contributions to toxicology. During the past few years, his research has generated 19 peer-reviewed journal articles and 48 presentations, while he also helped six master’s and two doctoral students complete their studies.

University of BaltimoreProfessor Kimberly Wehle, JD: Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Professor Wehle has an international reputation in the study of the privatization of government and the separation of powers. Her book, "What You Need to Know About the Right to Vote—And Why," is forthcoming from HarperCollins in July 2020. An earlier book, “How to Read the Constitution—And Why,” was published in 2019. Ms. Wehle has gained a strong reputation as a public intellectual, presenting a calm voice amidst contentious discussions about important constitutional questions before us now regarding the separation of powers.

University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyDr. Weidong Zhu: Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Zhu is widely recognized as an international leader in the field of dynamic systems. His groundbreaking research has significantly improved the performance of a remarkable spectrum of critical engineering structures as varied as wind turbines, elevators, and automotive timing belts, all of which determine the quality of our everyday lives. Recently, General Motors Corporation chose his development of novel transmissions and control systems for heavy vehicles and wind turbines as the best design in a worldwide competition for game-changing transmissions.


University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyDr. Steven Caruso: Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Caruso works closely with university initiatives designed to mentor students in ways that strengthen their persistence within STEM fields. He currently serves as faculty mentor, instructor, and student advocate in the multi-university Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance: Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Sciences program, where he prepares students to present and publish their novel research/scientific findings. Under his mentorship over the years, about 600 UMBC undergraduate students have served as coauthors of work and been published in respected academic publications.

Towson UniversityDr. Josh Dehlinger: Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. Dr. Dehlinger has developed a strong record of professional accomplishments to become both the Internship Coordinator and Director of the undergraduate computer science program. He devotes his time advising, serving, and mentoring students from undergraduates to doctoral candidates. Dr. Dehlinger has published 33 high-quality and peer-reviewed conference papers, most of which were co-written with his graduate students.

University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyDr. Denise Meringolo: Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Public History (Graduate/Undergraduate) Programs. Dr. Meringolo is a dedicated educator, scholar and mentor who is in the forefront of a new community-engaged scholarship. Dr. Meringolo arranges and coordinates public history internship opportunities for more than 54 students who wish to pursue their interests interning at archives, libraries, museums, and other nearby cultural institutions.

Towson UniversityProfessor Lisa Martinelli: Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Family Studies & Community Development (FSCD) and the Director of Child Life program. Associate Professor Martinelli is described as “a pioneer for excellence in the mentoring of students” and “a student-first professor and professional.” Her colleagues regard her as an active, engaged faculty member and exemplary mentor for her students and peers in a new and growing discipline.


University of Maryland Eastern ShoreDr. Cynthia Holder Gill: Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Gill has excelled in the classroom, demonstrating a deep and abiding commitment to rigorous and innovative teaching. With a focus primarily on anatomy, kinesiology, and imaging, she has had a lasting impact on hundreds of students in the physical therapy, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs. Colleagues point to her successful methods as being instrumental in helping achieve her program’s 100% National Board Licensure rate.

University of Maryland, College ParkDr. Patricia Shields: Principal Lecturer in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Shields has demonstrated teaching excellence rooted in a commitment to helping students understand not only science itself but also its important role in shaping the world around us. Widely regarded as one of the most esteemed teachers in her department, Dr. Shields was an early adopter of classroom technology intended to help students become more engaged in the learning process and to go beyond memorizing facts to understanding broad underlying concepts. She has volunteered countless hours participating in community educational programs as well as teaching a microbiology workshop for middle and high school teachers.

University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyDr. Charles LaBerge: Professor of Practice of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Dr. LaBerge has distinguished himself at all levels of student engagement, teaching, and learning. He has consistently provided critical resources to students, be it meeting students one-on-one or in groups, serving on panel discussions, or developing an active learning center. Testimonials from both students and faculty peers consistently describe a tireless professor who has been influenced by his years as an engineer to provide clear and applicable concepts to students.

Bowie State UniversityDr. Horacio Sierra: Associate Professor in the Department of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies. Dr. Sierra is passionate about teaching and takes pride in seeing his students apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to real-life situations and for human improvement. His teaching involves experiential learning, creative or innovative curriculum, and dynamic learning designs. His experiential learning includes field trips to local organizations to interact with museum curators, newspaper editors, poets, artists, and civil rights activists.


University of Maryland, College ParkDr. Jelena Srebric: Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Srebric is deeply committed to excellence in research and teaching and has integrated her research experience related to energy conservation and sustainability into innovative research projects, classroom teaching, and students’ development. Her teaching and research focus on energy simulations, building energy analysis, sustainable buildings, climate change, and beyond. Her passion and innovation in these fields have led her to dramatically reduce the energy and carbon footprint of buildings, while improving indoor environmental quality and the comfort of occupants.


The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents is also honored to recognize:
Coppin State University—Dr. Katherine Cameron: former Professor in the Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Behavioral Health who passed away on December 31, 2019. Dr. Cameron was a progressive and avid neuroscientist and champion for students whose dedication helped propel the Department toward excellence. Dr. Cameron was integral to the academic transformation efforts led by the Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation and was the recipient of 2017 and 2018 Maryland Open Source Textbook Open Educational Resources grants. She left her mark on Coppin State University and the University System of Maryland. Dr. Katherine Cameron will be missed. 


The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.

Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 172,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719