2021-22 Wilson H. Elkins Professorships Will Support Range of Research Initiatives in Cancer Research, Transgender Health Disparities, and Ocean Sciences

Baltimore, MD (Sept. 16, 2021) The 2021-22 University System of Maryland (USM) Wilson H. Elkins Professorships have been awarded to faculty members at four USM institutions—Towson University; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, College Park; and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

The Elkins Professorships support professors and researchers who demonstrate exemplary ability to inspire students and whose professional work and scholarly endeavors make a positive impact at their institutions, across the USM, and beyond.

In support of the Elkins Professorships, the Wilson H. Elkins Endowment funds are intended to support compelling projects with focus on research, scholarship, or community engagement that will allow the Elkins Professor to make an important contribution to the teaching, research, or public service mission of the institution and the entire USM.

In noting the achievements of this year’s Elkins award winners, USM Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Life Joann Boughman said at the Sept. 10 meeting of the Board of Regents, “These women and men embody the excellence and dedication found throughout the University System, and they’re deserving of our praise all year long.”

Candidates for the Elkins Professorship must possess a solid record of achievement in their academic or professional disciplines; demonstrate a desire and ability to lead and inspire undergraduate and graduate students; show significant achievement beyond their traditional disciplines; and demonstrate ability and intent to pursue scholarly or professional endeavors beyond USM.

This year's award winners are listed below, by professor and home institution:
  • Dr. Paz Galupo, professor of Psychology at Towson University (TU), whose work examines the legal and cultural factors that influence the health care experiences of transgender and nonbinary Marylanders, and that lead to health disparities for these populations. Dr. Galupo has received an annual $30,000 research award for the next two years.
  • Dr. Radi Masri with the School of Dentistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), whose research explores the barriers that prevent adults of color from improving their oral health and seeks to expand their access to advanced dental care. Dr. Masri has received a one-time $58,000 research award.
  • Dr. Heather Congdon, co-director of UMB’s Center for Interprofessional Education, who will collaborate with the Kirwan Center on a digital badging initiative aimed at strengthening Maryland’s health care workforce. She serves as the UMB School of Pharmacy Assistant Dean for the Universities at Shady Grove. Dr. Congdon has received a one-time $40,000 research award.
  • Dr. Lora Harris with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, who will be working with multiple institutions to engage underrepresented students in the environmental and ocean sciences. Dr. Harris received a one-time $40,000 research award.
  • Dr. Don DeVoe, with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Dr. DeVoe is in the second of his award to involve graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in groundbreaking cancer research. Dr. DeVoe is in the second year of a $30,000 annual research award.

The following Elkins Professorships awarded during the 2020-21 academic year (FY 21) have been completed. A summary of the FY 21 awards to four USM institutions is below:
  • Award to Bowie State University to support the work of Dr. Julius Davis, who won a partial award last year, and worked to expand and institutionalize the Center for Research and Mentoring of Black Male Students and Teachers with its foci on recruiting Black males into teacher education programs and the profession, addressing college access concerns for that group, as well as conducting research. Research award: $45,000.
  • Award to Coppin State University to support the work of Dr. Kesslyn Brade-Stennis in facilitating community change by creating policy and service-related community engagement experiences for students at Coppin and across the USM to promote social justice leadership and community empowerment. Research award: $45,000
  • Award to the University of Baltimore to support the work of Professor Mortimer Sellers, who received receive part two of a two-year award he won in 2019-20. The funding provided continued support to the Law and Justice Program that: 1) offers classes; 2) coordinates UB students working with partner NGOs on specific law and justice projects; 3) receives cooperating experts for a series of public lectures; 4) pursues research in law and justice; and 5) publishes books and articles. Research award: $35,000
The Wilson H. Elkins Professorship honors the late Wilson H. Elkins, who led the University of Maryland flagship campus to new levels of distinction as its president from 1954 to 1978. The Wilson H. Elkins Endowment Fund supports the professorship awards in combination with institutional and system resources. This endowment and others like it further USM's mission of teaching, research, and public service. For more information, visit the Wilson H. Elkins Professorship web page.

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu