USM Board of Regents Announces Winners of Annual Staff Awards

Recipients to be Acknowledged During Sept. 10 Meeting of Board, Scheduled for UMGC

Baltimore, Md. (July 29, 2021)—The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents is honoring seven members of its staff at institutions across the system as recipients of the 2021 USM Regents’ Staff Awards.

The awards are the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary staff members. The awards honor excellence in the following categories: Contribution to the Institution; Service to Students in an Academic or Residential Environment; Public Service to the University or the Greater Community; Effectiveness and Efficiency; and Inclusion, Multiculturalism, & Social Justice.

Institutional staff 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 Staff 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 will offer notice of the awards at the meeting of the full board on Sept. 10. The meeting is the board’s first regularly scheduled meeting of the 2021-22 academic year and will be held on site at the University of Maryland Global Campus in Adelphi.

“Throughout this pandemic, I’ve said that our USM staff are indispensable—the foundation of everything we do. They’ve kept the System running, kept our services going, kept our people safe, kept our students succeeding,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “But this is true of our staff whether or not we’re in crisis. So I can’t wait to come together in September and celebrate these truly extraordinary colleagues. It’ll be a special day for all of us.”


Exempt Staff
Julianna Brush, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Horn Point Laboratory
Over the course of her seven years of service to UMCES, Juli Brush has become known for her high level of commitment to UMCES, her positive impact on the work environment, and her collaborative approach. She has created partnerships that have helped the Horn Point Laboratory improve efficiency.  Additionally, she goes above and beyond her official duties, working on a variety of UMCES committees. Included in this work is her service as Chair of the Staff Council and as an active member of the Mental Health Council. As UMCES President Peter Goodwin notes, Juli is the go-to expert on all aspects of grants and contracts, shared governance, leadership, and relationship-building.

Non-Exempt Staff
Victor Fulda, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
A 27-year veteran of UMBC, Victor Fulda is among the most highly respected staff members in the university’s Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering. He is regarded as the expert on all issues related to equipment, chemistry, and processes. He never shies away from a challenge while he supports faculty in the department. The labs he serves are essentially running 24 hours a day, seven days per week. He is readily available to troubleshoot and provide support as needed. As President Freeman Hrabowski observes, Victor is a more than a team member, he is also a mentor, colleague, and teacher—and his contributions have been truly exceptional.


Exempt Staff
Donna Hammer, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)
As the Director of Education in the Department of Physics at UMCP, Donna Hammer is well-known for going above and beyond to support all students—doing exemplary work on behalf of underrepresented groups. During the pandemic, she played a pivotal role in moving educational opportunities to a virtual format, working with a very short time frame. She strives to inspire an interest in physics in children, adolescents, and students alike, with a passion for increasing the number of women and underrepresented groups in the field. As Dr. Steven Rolston—Chair of the Physics Department—and President Darryll Pines both noted, Donna is a fierce advocate for women and underrepresented minorities, a natural organizer, and a genius at outreach.


Exempt Staff
Patricia Watson, Towson University (TU)
Known to colleagues as “Paddy,” Ms. Watson is the assistant director of sustainability for the university. She has been at Towson University for seven years, the past three in her current position. She has identified key areas of focus related to sustainability at Towson University, including waste reduction, renewable energy, alternative transportation, and protection of the natural environment. Her work—and the accompanying educational efforts directed at faculty, staff, and students—has helped to create a healthier, more sustainable campus for the Towson University community. As President Kim Schatzel has said, Paddy Watson’s charge is vast—but she has found ways to make progress, creating a healthier and more sustainable campus for current Tigers and generations to follow.


Exempt Staff
Julie Leary, Towson University
As the associate director of client services at Towson University for 13 years, Julie Leary is part of the team that created Towson University’s EduCycle program, a computer reconditioning and repurposing initiative. To date, the program—which benefits both Towson University and local community organizations—has brought second life to more than 4,500 computers and saved the university and K-12/community partners over $4 million, while also providing skills training to greater than 800 student volunteers. Underscoring President Schatzel’s comment about the exceptional value she brings to Towson University, Julie built and now implements this program while continuing to carry out her official job duties in the Office of Technology Services.

Crystal Kelly, Salisbury University (SU)
Crystal Kelly has been with SU for over a decade, more than half that time as Director of Publications.  To help the publications office work smarter, faster, and in a more cost-effective manner, she partnered with her colleagues in IT to implement an online work order system.  The new system allows her team to eliminate duplicate entries, provide a campus self-service platform, create an evenly distributed workflow model, reduce errors, and provide timely feedback.  And, since this was done “in house,” it saved the department funds, is highly customizable, and has no ongoing annual costs.  President Charles Wight commended Ms. Kelly’s efforts, highlighting both the money-saving and time-saving impacts. 


Exempt Staff
Amanda Preperato, University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)
Ms. Preperato serves as the university’s assistant director of the adventure program. She goes above and beyond to foster inclusion and advance social justice, making a difference on campus, in the local community, and in the broader recreation community.  She also serves the campus community through her work with the Student Affairs Diversity Initiative and the President’s Commission on Disability Issues. Amanda inspirers colleagues and students alike to find ways to serve others through their work.  And—as President Pines notes—her advocacy demonstrates how each individual member of the campus community can have a tangible impact in building a more equitable campus environment


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719