Presidential and Board of Regents Awards (2007)

Robert C. Reno | Lena Cowen Orlin | William-John Tudor | Deborah Geare | Patrice McDermott | Sandra Herbert | Mark R. Marten | Emma Sellers

Presidential Teaching Professor


Robert C. Reno
Associate Professor, Physics
Presidential Teaching Professor, 2007-2010

Robert C. Reno, associate professor of physics, has made remarkable contributions to the education of UMBC undergraduate and graduate students. During his 33-year teaching career at UMBC, Reno has taught a total number of 160 courses and developed seven original courses, many serving as the foundation of UMBC’s physics program. He redesigned two undergraduate laboratory courses, incorporating computerized data acquisition.

In spring 2007, Reno debuted a new honors course that introduces students to advanced experiments using radioactive materials and x-ray generators. His work in the area of peer instruction was one of the first implementations of group learning on campus and the first in the physics department. A recipient of numerous awards, Reno has received two UMBC DRIF/SRIS awards and a U.S. Army Summer Research Fellowship.

Reno earned a B.S. in physics from Manhattan College. He also earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from Brandeis University.

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Presidential Research Professor


Lena Cowen Orlin
Professor, English and Executive Director,
Shakespeare Association of America
Presidential Research Professor 2007-2010

Lena Cowen Orlin, professor of English and executive director of the Shakespeare Association of America, is an international authority in Renaissance studies whose work focuses on literature, history and art history. A specialist in Shakespeare studies, Orlin received two senior fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

She was commissioned to co-edit both the Oxford Guide to Shakespeare and the forthcoming Collected Works of Shakespeare. For her work in history, Orlin was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the most prestigious fellowship in the humanities. The Yale Center for British Art and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art awarded Orlin fellowships for her work in art history. Orlin encourages undergraduate research by allowing her students to participate on projects such as the Oxford Guide and on a Palgrave Sourcebook for English Studies: The Renaissance.

Orlin earned an A.B. in English and Art History at Oberlin and later received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Presidential Distinguished Staff Award


William-John Tudor ‘76, ’77, ‘98,
Exhibitions and Technology Director, Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Professional Staff, 2007-2008

William-John Tudor, exhibitions and technology director for the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), conceives and organizes CADVC’s exhibition design, lighting and sound. Tudor’s designs have contributed to CADVC being consistently named the “Best of Baltimore” by the Baltimore City Paper and Baltimore Magazine and receiving critical acclaim in the New York Times, Art Forum, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun.

He received numerous awards including: 12 National Endowment for the Arts awards, five New York State Arts Council awards, a Television Gold award, an IBM-Fulcrum Grant, support from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Humanities award.

Tudor earned a B.A. in Composition and the Related Arts, a B.A. in Special Studies and an M.F.A. in Imaging and Digital Arts, all from UMBC. He also completed a special seminar on digital arts held at Dartmouth College through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Deborah Geare
Business Services Specialist, MIPAR
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Non-Exempt Staff, 2007-2008

Deborah Geare, business services specialist for the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR), UMBC’s public policy research institute, has distinguished herself as extraordinarily devoted to her work and knowledgeable about UMBC business policies and procedures. In her role, she manages all the business-related aspects of MIPAR’s $8 million budget.

Recognized as a leader among the support staff in the area of PeopleSoft, Geare has participated in every stage since the beginning of the Peoplesoft implementation on campus. As a Peoplesoft peer mentor, she helps campus staff who need assistance when using the software. Geare is an active member of several campus organizations such as the Non-Exempt Excluded Staff Senate and the New Employee Orientation Committee.

She is currently pursuing a B.A. in Health Administration and Policy and a Certificate in Finance. She has a 3.8 grade point average and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

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President’s Commission for Women Achievement Award


Patrice McDermott
Associate Professor and Chair, American Studies
President’s Commission for Women Achievement Award 2007-2008

Patrice McDermott, associate professor and chair of American studies, works to promote understanding among different groups, cultures and backgrounds and has encouraged the elimination of gender inequality on campus. She serves on the executive committee of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, promoting women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

She is a member of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program’s Coordinating Committing and served as the program’s acting director early in her career. McDermott was also interim director of the Women’s Center, director of the UMBC’s Faculty Development Institute on Race, Democracy and Diversity and is a founding member of the Center for Women and Information Technology’s (CWIT) internal board. She is the author of Politics and Scholarship: Feminist Academic Journals and the Production of Knowledge. Her innovations and leadership as a teacher have also been vital to the American studies, gender and women’s studies and languages, literacy and culture programs.

McDermott received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity


Sandra Herbert
Professor, History
USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Research/Scholarship/
Creative Activity, 2006-2007

Sandra Herbert, professor of history, is an internationally respected historian of science and expert on Charles Darwin. Herbert’s scholarship on Darwin reached a pinnacle in 2005 with the publication of Charles Darwin: Geologist, which gained considerable attention and received several prestigious awards including: the History of Geology Division of the Geological Society of America’s Mary C. Rabbitt Award, the first History of Science Society’s Levinson prize, the North American Conference of British Studies’ Albion Prize and the American Historical Association’s George L. Mosse Prize.

She was also elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Last fall, Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, welcomed Herbert as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar for the 2006-07 academic year. She is also helping to plan the 2009 celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday and 150th anniversary of his seminal work On the Origin of Species.

Herbert earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Wittenberg University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History of Ideas from Brandeis University.

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Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Collaboration in Research


Mark R. Marten
Associate Professor, Chemical and
Biochemical Engineering
USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Collaboration in Research, 2006-2007

Mark R. Marten, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, and David Schaefer, professor of physics, astronomy and geosciences at Towson University, received national and international recognition for their interdisciplinary research, which serves as a model of inter-USM campus collaboration and advances the biotechnology and bioprocess industries.

Marten/Schaefer’s collaboration helped developed a technique for assessing material properties of filamentous cells, using an atomic force microscope (AFM). This capability will eventually lead to improved methods for producing many different compounds including chemicals, enzymes and medicines. In addition, their work may lead to improved antifungal drugs. Marten/Schaefer received a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation for their research, a notable feat in these times of constrained research funding. Their collaboration also provides significant research opportunities for faculty and students, at both UMBC and Towson.

Marten received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

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Board of Regents’ Award, Outstanding Service to Students


Emma Sellers ‘03
Program Management Specialist and Program Coordinator, Political Science
USM Board of Regents’ Award, Outstanding Service to Students, 2005-2006

Emma Sellers ‘03, program management specialist and program coordinator of political science, is praised for her outstanding interpersonal skills and exemplary service to UMBC students. This year, she celebrates 20 years of service to UMBC. She is often the first point-of-contact for political science majors and for the students who are required to take courses in the department. She is the department’s schedule coordinator, events planner and often serves as a confidant to students.

She has volunteered for the Office of Academic Services during the summer as an academic advisor for incoming freshman and transfer students. She was also a volunteer tutor for the Kumon Math and Reading Center, helping children with special needs. Since 2004 Sellers has served as co-chair for the President’s Commission for Women.

Sellers earned her B.A. in English and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Instructional Systems Development from UMBC in 2005. Sellers is currently working towards a M.A. in Instructional Systems Design from UMBC.

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