2019–2020 Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Non-Exempt Staff

Liz Steenrod, Program Management Specialist, Language, Literacy, and Culture

Liz Steenrod has been an engine of innovation and process improvements during her six years working in the Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) doctoral program.

From the moment she stepped into her role at UMBC, Steenrod used her creativity and committed leadership to support the LLC program during its critical years of growth. Her focus on student success in all of her work has advanced the program, which has expanded to serve more than 75 doctoral students and its many interdisciplinary affiliate faculty. Steenrod has brought a wealth of experience in administrative and communication processes and practices to the program. Under her leadership and vision, she devised additional program level systems to track and alert students of key milestones, benchmarks and deadlines in the program, including the development of a student database and implementation of supplemental software tools to detail student progression. In an effort to establish better communication practices and increase program transparency, she redesigned the LLC website with an emphasis on information-sharing with students and campus partners. This redesign included reimagining the use of the program’s myUMBC group as a central communication hub in order to reach not only students, but also affiliate faculty, alumni, and the broader campus communities.

She is also responsible for all administrative and business processes and managing the entire office, including equipment, inventory, procurement, and purchasing. With efficiency and effectiveness in mind, she helped to automate the affiliate faculty renewal process and is currently leading a significant renovation project for the office space and common area to promote greater research and collaboration.

With a finely-honed sense of the structures and processes of the program, Steenrod took on additional responsibilities as program advisor. On a daily basis, she dedicates her time to discuss all aspects of the program with the students, from research and coursework, to financial planning and personal challenges.

Steenrod received her B.A. in Russian and Eastern European studies from the University at Albany.