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2015-2016 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Staff Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Mission of UMBC

Denise Atkinson, Executive Administrative Assistant, Graduate School

For more than 12 years, Denise Atkinson’s high level of organization, professionalism, and enthusiasm has inspired all those around her.

After only a few months working in the Graduate School, her talents were quickly realized and she was elevated to the role of executive administrative assistant to the dean. In this new capacity, Atkinson excelled flawlessly, managing
all aspects of the day-to-day activities of the office. Her knowledge of the campus and external organizations, and her ability to handle routine tasks and unexpected issues that arise each day, has been invaluable to the dean and the school.

Atkinson is committed to supporting a culture of professional development and mentorship. In her role as executive assistant, she used her leadership skills to contribute to the success of the University System of Maryland’s (USM) Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (PROMISE AGEP) program, an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation aimed at increasing the number of students from minority and underrepresented groups who go on to receive doctoral degrees in STEM. In the spirit of university collaboration, Atkinson applied her masterful organization and implementation skills to support the myriad of campus programs developed to guide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from universities across the System in their scholarly work.

In addition to her outstanding commitment to UMBC, Atkinson also devotes herself to supporting individuals living with kidney disease. A champion for motivating others, in 2013 she created a support group for patients on dialysis to help them become more informed about the disease and treatment options. She continues to be an inspiration for people with kidney disease to take charge of their care while living life to the fullest.

She is currently pursuing her B.A. at University of Maryland University College.