USM Announces 2007-2008 Elkins Professorships to Support Faculty Research, Public Service

ADELPHI, Md. (July 6, 2007) - The University System of Maryland (USM) has announced the recipients of the Wilson H. Elkins Professorships for the 2007-2008 academic year. First established at the University of Maryland in 1978 and later extended to the newly created USM in 1988, the Elkins Professorships support professors who demonstrate exemplary ability to inspire students and whose professional work and scholarly endeavors make a positive impact beyond USM.

This year's award winners are:

Thomas Serfass, associate professor of biology at Frostburg State University (FSU), recipient of an $80,000 award to continue a river otter reintroduction project in Kenya and Tanzania. This is the third consecutive Elkins Professorship for Serfrass;

Brian Polkinghorn, director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution at Salisbury University (SU), recipient of an $80,000 award to create a Conflict Scholar-in-Residence Program;

David Schaefer, professor of physics at Towson University (TU), receipt of a $28,000 award to support collaboration with and STEM (science, technology, math, engineering, and math) educational outreach projects through TU's Willard Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Sciences;

Manil Suri, professor of mathematics at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), recipient of a $34,000 award to foster interest and learning in mathematics among K-12 students and the general public.

"These talented faculty members bring an extra dimension to their work. They have an extraordinary ability to transfer the results of their research and scholarship for the benefit of communities beyond our campuses," said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "The Elkins

Professorships will help them achieve this worthy goal."

Established in 1978 as the first permanently endowed, university-wide professorship at the University of Maryland, the Elkins Professorship honors the late Wilson H. Elkins, who led the University of Maryland to new levels of distinction as its president from 1954 to 1978. When the University System of Maryland was created in 1988, Dr. Elkins agreed that the endowed professorship should extend to all USM institutions. 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.

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.

For more information, visit the Wilson H. Elkins Professorship web page.

Contact: John Buettner
Phone: 301.445.2719