Presidential and Board of Regents Awards (2009)

Ramachandra Hosmane | Thomas Cronin | Sandra L. Campbell | Suzanne McMillianTaryn Bayles
Jason Loviglio | Catherine M. Bielawski | Earnestine Baker | Karen Sweeney-Jett | Dennis P. Cuddy
Patricia J. Martin | Cheryl Miller | Lorie Logan-Bennett

Presidential Teaching Professor


Ramachandra Hosmane
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Presidential Teaching Professor 2009-2012

Ramachandra “Ram” Hosmane, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has distinguished himself as a gifted teacher and mentor to students.

Hosmane has taught thousands of students in both undergraduate and graduate courses in organic chemistry. In his time at UMBC, he has graduated 12 Ph.D. and six M.S. students, trained more than 100 undergraduate research assistants and supervised 19 post-doctoral associates.

Students gravitate toward Hosmane’s teaching style of using humor, approachability and clarity of presentation. Students appreciate his ability to use humorous anecdotes based on his experiences in the field, as they bring the subject matter to life and make it easier for students to remember information in detail. Hosmane’s Student Course Evaluation Questionnaires (SCEQs) scores are always at the top of the department and far exceed the mean.

In recent years, Hosmane has developed four courses, revised two and is using Web-enabled technology extensively to improve the communication with his students. His Introduction to Biomedicinal Chemistry, a senior/graduate level course, attracts more than 80 chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences and pre-med majors each time it is offered. He also mentors students and alumni in several UMBC programs.

Hosmane’s teaching style is a result of his well-defined knowledge and research. His work on the design and synthesis of novel therapeutics targeted to cancer and viral diseases shows great promise as is his work on artificial blood based on cell-free hemoglobins.

He was the UMBC Presidential Research Professor from 1998-2001 and was honored as the Maryland Chemist of the Year by the American Chemical Society, Maryland Section in 2002. He received the Outstanding Educator of the Year in 2000 from the Maryland Association from Higher Education (MAHE). His lifetime extramural grant awards have totaled in excess of $10-million, and his research has been recognized by the support of multiple federal, state and private granting agencies.

Two of his inventions have been licensed for commercialization. Hosmane published more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and has given more than 140 professional presentations. He is the regional editor for Molecules and a guest editor for two other journals. He is a grant reviewer for all the major funding agencies and serves as a reviewer for numerous prestigious journals.

Hosmane earned his B.Sc. in and M.Sc. in Chemistry from Karnataka University in India. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioorganic/Medicinal Chemistry from the University of South Florida, Tampa.

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Presidential Research Professor


Thomas Cronin
Professor, Biological Sciences
Presidential Research Professor 2009-2012

Thomas Cronin, professor of biological sciences, is internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of visual ecology.

A laboratory and field biologist, Cronin, who joined UMBC in 1983, has mastered the technique of microspectrometry on small invertebrate eyes. His ability to understand the lifestyles of a broad spectrum of animals in their natural settings gives him a unique authority in the field, and he is active in collaborations with investigators from around the world. His work is heavily field-based, primarily on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and he has also twice undertaken week-long underwater expeditions in the Florida Keys at the world’s only submarine laboratory.

Cronin’s research has been funded by many federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and he publishes at least three reviewed scientific papers per year and as many as 11 in a single year. One of his recent papers was the first report of animals being able to see circular polarization, a unique and unusual type of light. His 148 articles have appeared in Science, Nature and Current Biology, as well as other popular U.S. and European science magazines. His research has been featured in articles in many international science journals, including National Geographic Magazine, Science Times, and The New York Times, as well as on the Discovery Channel and in museum exhibits.

Cronin is a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science and a recipient of the USM Regents Award for Excellence and Research and the Graduate Education Award for excellence in teaching and service from the USM-wide program in Marine Estaurine and Ecological Sciences (MEES). He has been invited numerous times to give special talks at prestigious scientific meetings around the world.

An effective, demanding and popular teacher who has taught a variety of courses, Cronin has served on several UMBC committees including chairing the Senate Nominating Committee, the Dean Recruiting Committee, and the University Faculty Review Committee. Always including students in his work, he has graduated six Ph.D. and numerous M.S. students. The Ph.D. students from his group have gone on to faculty positions around the world. His graduate students are highly productive, each publishing up to six papers in reviewed journals as a result of their thesis research.

Cronin earned his Sci.B. in Biology from Dickinson College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University in North Carolina. He also did postdoctoral work in the Department of Biology at Yale University.

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Presidential Distinguished Staff Award


Sandra L. Campbell
Director, Advancement Operations, Office of Institutional Advancement
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award 2009-2010, Professional Staff

As director of advancement operations, Sandra L. “Sandy” Campbell leads planning and execution of events that are central to creating community among students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Over the last 10 years, her work has touched the lives of thousands with superbly executed events, from the Convocation ceremony welcoming new students to Commencement and Homecoming. Campbell has been involved with a number of signature events such as the UMBC 40th Anniversary, the Maryland Forum and the Meyerhoff 20th Dinner and Symposium. Working behind the scenes, Campbell is deeply committed to excellence in managing every detail of these highly visible and complex events.

While Campbell could direct university events from a great distance, her approach is much more grounded and hands-on. Knowing that successful events are based on the staff and volunteers who keep them, she takes the time to cultivate relationships, making a point to leave people feeling appreciated. She goes out of her way to understand and meet the special needs of graduating seniors and their families at Commencement events.

In addition to working on a large scale, Campbell also attends carefully to the details of managing large events. She establishes high standards for the appearance of events and consistently achieves them. She created an events checklist that is available to the campus and is a resource for others undertaking events. She also tracks event expenditures carefully, working continually to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

The scope of Campbell’s position goes beyond events. She directs the daily operations of the Division of Institutional Advancement, including payroll, personnel, finance and budgets. She is a liaison to the University System of Maryland Foundation and answers campus questions and concerns about Foundation policies and procedures. In addition, she works closely with other departments on campus as well as external partners and vendors.

Campbell always takes a can-do approach and a positive attitude. She functions as a campus leader through not only her work but her positive approach to event execution.

Campbell received a B.A. in Education with a Minor in Chemistry from Muskingum College in Ohio and a M.B.A. from Loyola College.

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Suzanne McMillian
Executive Administrative Assistant,
Office of the Provost
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award 2009-2010, Non-Exempt Staff

Suzanne “Sue” McMillian has served UMBC with dedication and foresight for 26 years. In her position as executive assistant to the provost, McMillian fulfills the responsibilities of an assistant and goes beyond – serving as a mentor, collaborator and colleague.

McMillian has a unique ability to organize, systematize and remember information, all of which has aided in the efficiency of the provost’s office. She creates unique systems for dealing with information sharing and has the ability to forsee the needs of those with whom she works. One system in particular that McMillian initiated, developed and now maintains is an authoritative centralized tracking of faculty appointments, probationary reviews, contract renewal reviews, promotion and tenure reviews and current rank and tenure status.

Another area in which McMillian excels is policy management and administration. She has organized and continually updates a policy archive, which serves not only the provost’s office but the rest of the campus as well. Her interpersonal and communication skills are also a major asset to both the office and campus. She can be relied upon to draft or edit formal communications, such as letters from the provost, with clarity and an appropriate tone.

Functioning as an invaluable resource to the campus, McMillian is proactive, not just responsive, and she is committed to serving students, faculty and other staff peers – not just the individuals to whom she reports. She exemplifies UMBC’s core values of excellence and integrity.

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Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring


Taryn Bayles
Professor of the Practice, Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate Program Director
Affiliate Professor, Principles of Engineering – Project Lead the Way
USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2009-2010

Serving as professor of the practice in the Department of Chemical Engineering since 2004, Taryn Bayles is an extraordinary counselor and teacher on whom the academic community depends.

For Bayles, mentoring and teaching are intertwined and happen simultaneously. Her love of learning is apparent to students, and they are engaged by the personal stories and lessons she shares. Her hands-on activities and practical real-world examples help students better connect with the complex material inherent to chemical engineering. She is always there for students, frequently responding to e-mail questions in the wee hours of the early morning, as her days are filled teaching classes and helping students individually in her office. There is often a line outside her door, and she has never turned a student away.

When it comes to scholarship, Bayles focuses in the area of engineering education. She served as principal investigator on three National Science Foundation grants (STEP, CSEMS and S-STEM), which were focused on undergraduates and support for retention, which included mentoring. Bayles personally mentored a cohort of undergraduates as part of the research study. In addition, in order to disseminate high school curricula, Bayles acts a mentor and coach to teachers in numerous high schools in Maryland and Virginia. Because of her work with local schools, more students are encouraged by their high school technology education teachers to pursue engineering at UMBC.

Bayles is currently the director of the chemical and biochemical engineering undergraduate program and serves as an academic advisor to over 50 chemical engineering undergraduates. She formally mentors students in several groups including the Meyerhoff Scholars program, Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), Young Engineering and Science Scholars (YESS), Project Lead the Way, INSPIRES and more. She makes time for outside community service by mentoring and teaching elementary, middle and high school students through a variety of extracurricular programs. She has also worked closely with Northrop Grumman Corporation on several initiatives.

Bayles honors include the IEEE Real World Engineering Project Award (2008), ASEE ERM Apprentice Faculty Award (2004), Professor of the Year Award (2004) and (Meyerhoff) Mentor of the Year (2003).

Bayles earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from New Mexico State University and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering, M.S. in Petroleum Engineering and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh

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Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching


Jason Loviglio
Director, Media and Communication Studies
Associate Professor, American Studies
USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2009-2010

Jason Loviglio has a reputation as a gifted teacher who instills excellence in students at UMBC. As a teacher and scholar, he exercises both rigor and sensitivity in his classroom and has an uncanny ability to open students’ minds and hearts.

An exemplary model of a liberal arts teacher, Loviglio, who came to UMBC in 1999, is well-rounded and committed to educating students on a variety of subjects. In some of his recent courses, he has helped students grapple with our nation’s most difficult subjects: media and politics, post-9/11 America and the role of war in American cultural memory. He holds a strong commitment to diversity, which is reflected not only by the content of his courses but also in the students he attracts. Students thrive in his classroom because he encourages active learning and focuses individual attention on each of his students. These strengths have been reflected in his Student Course Evaluation Questionnaires, as they are consistently strong in key categories.

In addition to teaching a wide range of courses, Loviglio has achieved an extraordinarily impressive record of activities. He taught in the First Year Seminar program and his syllabi and self-assessment reflect the energy and commitment he puts into teaching. He is an important mentor for doctoral students in the Language, Literacy and Culture program. His roster of undergraduate honors projects, independent studies, internships and Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement day (URCAD) presentations is remarkable and exceeds the normal departmental expectations.

In addition to his teaching, Loviglio is also recognized as important campus leader. He spearheaded the implementation of the new Media and Communication program, of which he now serves as director. With more than 150 students in its second year, the program’s success can be credited to Loviglio for his leadership and administrative talents along with his teaching, advising and mentoring.

The talent and clarity with which Loviglio handles a wide range of interdisciplinary topics in the classroom also extend to his role as a public intellectual. He has been recognized by regional and national media as an articulate and insightful cultural commentator who can deftly translate his expertise for multiple constituencies.

Loviglio received the Bearman Award for First Year Seminars and Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, which he won twice for his work with Residential Life).

Loviglio earned his B.A. in the College of Letters from Wesleyan University. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.

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Board of Regents’ Award for Outstanding Service to Students


Catherine M. Bielawski
Director of Undergraduate Student Services, College of Engineering and Information Technology
USM Board of Regents’ Award for Outstanding Service to Students, 2008-2009

Catherine “Cathy” Bielawski has served as a model staff member, enthusiastically providing outstanding service to students in her roles as a coach, advisor, mentor and more – for the past 29 years. Now serving as director of undergraduate students for the College of Engineering and Information Technology, Bielawski’s unique interpersonal skills give her the ability to challenge and support students.

In her years on campus, Bielawski has served many roles. She started her career at UMBC as a student and was then hired as the gymnastics coach from 1977-91. She then moved to academic advisor in the Advisement Center. While in this role, she designed a document that eliminated the confusion surrounding general foundation requirements for graduation. This document is still referred to as, “The Bielawski Document” by her fellow advisors and remains in use today.

When Bielawski was hired as the academic advisor for the College of Engineering and Information Technology, she continued to successful serve students both individually and in groups. A key to her success as an advisor is that she educates students while helping them. Many students leave her office having gained new decision-making skills.

After being promoted to director of undergraduate student services, Bielawski was honored for her work by winning the College of Engineering and Information Technology’s Advisor of the Year Award. She also supervised two full-time academic advisors, taught the success seminar and contributed her insight and enthusiasm to many college and university programs, projects and committees. A strong advocate for students, Bielawski is a valued member of numerous university committees. Her career at UMBC has been one of skillful and compassionate service to students.

Bielawski earned a B.A. in American Studies from UMBC and a M.A. in Education Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Board of Regents’ Award for Extraordinary Public Service to the University or the Greater Community


Earnestine Baker
Executive Director, Meyerhoff Program
Assistant to Vice President, Office of Institutional Advancement
USM Board of Regents’ Award for Extraordinary Public Service to the University or the Greater Community, 2008-2009

For over 15 years, Earnestine “Ernie” Baker has provided leadership and support for the Meyerhoff Scholars program, a nationally recognized program for high achieving students, including many underrepresented minority students in science and engineering.

Before becoming the executive director in 2002, Baker directed the program for 10 years. Her knowledge of the program, strong leadership and commitment have helped UMBC become one of the nation’s leading producers of minority students in science who go on to earn M.S.s in technical fields and Ph.D.s, M.D.s and M.D./Ph.D.s from top universities.

Students look to Baker as a mentor and trusted counselor. She inspires them to work hard and is committed to both their academic and personal success. By creating a supportive environment, she has given students the opportunity to achieve at the highest levels.

Baker’s contributions reach far beyond UMBC. She regularly speaks to faculty, administrators and staff at other universities (including Harvard, Stanford and Colgate) who are interested in implementing the Meyerhoff model. She has also successfully served as a consultant to Winston-Salem and Cornell and as an adviser to Louisiana State Universities, who have both replicated key components of the program. She has helped establish summer research and exchange programs aboard and has given lectures and presentations abroad in England, China and Spain.

Baker’s contributions are most directly reflected by the many Meyerhoff scholars who go on to research careers and who are helping create a new kind of leadership. She has touched many people who have been inspired by her work.

Baker received a B.S. in Home Economics/General Science from Hampton Institute in Virginia (now Hampton University) and an M.S. in Secondary Education from Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

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Karen Sweeney-Jett
Executive Administrative Assistant, Office of Institutional Advancement
USM Board of Regents’ Award for Extraordinary Public Service to the University or the Greater Community, 2008-2009

Throughout her 29 years of service at UMBC, Karen Sweeney-Jett has been widely recognized for her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to creating a positive community at UMBC.

As an executive administrative assistant in the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA), Sweeney-Jett plays a key role by supporting the administrative functions of the vice president and associate vice president.

Sweeney-Jett has advanced throughout her years at UMBC from an administrative assistant in both biological sciences and computer science departments to working in the President’s Office and then OIA. In these roles, she has accomplished a wealth of important projects including setting up administrative procedures for a new department and coordinating a number of special events.

She was one of the founding members of UMBC’s Classified State Senate and was later elected senate vice president and president. She developed and gained approval for guidelines for the Employee of the Month Award program. To raise funds for the Senate, she organized several events from bull roasts to flower marts. As a senator and leader, she has served on the Smoking, Athletics and Personal Policy Committees.

Since her promotion, Sweeney-Jett has played an important role in OIA. For several years, she has served as Chair of the Non-Exempt Excluded Staff Senate (NEESS) Holiday Open House, which has become a special event for UMBC. She eagerly does most of the work involved in coordinating this much-anticipated event because she is dedicated to enhancing the community.

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Board of Regents’ Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution


Dennis P. Cuddy
Administration and Facilities,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
USM Board of Regents’ Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution, 2008-2009

Since he was hired nine years ago, Dennis Cuddy’s contributions to the teaching and research mission of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have been invaluable. He works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that laboratories, classrooms, offices and business process of the Meyerhoff Chemistry Building are operating well.

In addition to his day-to-day tasks, Cuddy has also worked on several major projects in which his leadership, organization skills and technical expertise were a necessity. Cuddy was the department’s manager for the $34-million renovation of the Meyerhoff Chemistry Building. His masterful coordination of the project required working with contractors and faculty to keep classrooms and laboratories running throughout the three-phased renovation. Largely due to his management, the project won a leadership award in 2003.

Cuddy has also contributed to the Chemistry Discovery Center, a project that uses a teamwork approach to learning rather than just lecture. The facility needed to be operational within a short period of time, and Cuddy made it happen by making sure the room was prepared with proper equipment and seating. The program is not only a success in the department but is also being used as a model by the physics and mathematics departments.

Cuddy has also taken on responsibility for coordinating the department’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium (even though it’s not directly related to his primary responsibilities). The symposium has grown from 60 to 300 students, who come from all over the east coast. Because of Cuddy’s efforts, the event is now funded through the National Institutes of Health. Characteristically, many of Cuddy’s efforts go on behind the scenes, making it possible for the work of students and faculty to shine.

Cuddy earned a double B.S. in Biology and Microbiology at Penn State University (now Molecular and Cellular Biology).

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Patricia J. Martin
Program Management Specialist, Student
Support Services
USM Board of Regents’ Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution, 2008-2009

Patricia J. Martin has worked in UMBC’s Student Support Services (SSS) office for 23 years, and her experience, talent and work ethic have had a major impact on UMBC students and the campus as a whole.

As a program mangement specialist for both SSS and the University System of Maryland Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Martin performs duties beyond her role. She performs tasks that, in a department with more resources, would be handled by a business manager, accountant and an executive administrative assistant. Once, even when recovering from surgery, Martin volunteered to work online and by phone to make sure the office ran smoothly in her absence.

Despite her heavy workload and increasing levels of responsibility, Martin goes out of her way to assist students. She often works to help students and their parents with issues both inside and outside of SSS. For example, when one student was experiencing personal hardship, Martin counseled him and provided helpful resources. That student went on to earn a Fulbright Scholarship.

A resource across campus, Martin has been involved with the McNair Scholars Program, the Classic Upward Bound Program, the Upward Bound Mathematics and Science Program and the Learning Resources Center.

Martin has received some college credits from UMBC.

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President’s Commission for Women Achievement Award


Cheryl Miller
Associate Dean,
College of Arts,
Humanities & Social Sciences
Associate Professor,
Political Science
Associate Professor,
Public Policy
President’s Commission for Women Achievement Award, 2009-2010

Cheryl Miller exhibits a passionate and tireless commitment to her students, the university and issues related to diversity and leadership for women.

For more than 20 years, Miller has served in a variety of roles at UMBC and has been committed to educating the campus community and public on issues of diversity. She served as assistant professor of political science for five years and then advanced to associate professor and eventually chair of the Department of Political Science. In August 2008, she became associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. A major focus of her research relates to government advocacy of marriage promotion targeted at disadvantaged women of color.

Serving as a mentor to students, Miller has had a positive impact and influence in students’ personal and professional lives. Her students, especially young women, feel challenged to think beyond textbooks and theory and apply critical thinking skills to real-world situations. Her work with students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds has bolstered efforts to address underrepresentation while increasing the pool of well-trained researchers and policy professionals.

While at UMBC, Miller has served as both president and vice president of the Faculty Senate. She has also served as a member on the following committees: Writing Board, Faculty Advisory Board, Shriver Center for Service Learning, McNair Scholarship Program and Faculty Mentors. She is also a member of the Columbia, Maryland Alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and chaired its Social Action committee for two years. While serving as chair, Miller coordinated and participated in several community outreach projects including a series of voter registration drives; collection and distribution of toiletries to the Maryland Women’s Prison in Jessup, Maryland; and Entering the World of Work Women’s Fair (EWWW), an event that provided resume construction, interviewing, grooming and support services workshops. Miller is also a member of the Board for the Columbia Delta Foundation, Inc.

Miller is also an active member of several ministries at St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, Maryland. As part of its Mission Board, she has been responsible for annually coordinating a Winter Warmth (Blankets) Project for the Howard County Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. She also volunteers one Saturday a month at the Jessup Route 1 Day Center, in response to President Barack Obama’s call for service in January.

Miller received her B.A. in Political Science from Lincoln University, her M.C.P. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award


Lorie Logan-Bennett

Associate Director for Recruiting and Marketing, Career Services Center
Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award, 2009-2010

Lorie Logan-Bennett has worked at UMBC for 12 years with an eye toward continuous improvement and innovation in delivering exceptional service. Serving as a mentor and leader to students in the Department of Career Services and Division of Student Affairs, she is dedicated, committed and professional. Some say her high energy and creativity are “contagious.” Her contributions to student learning are numerous.

Logan-Bennett has been instrumental in the redevelopment of the Career Services Center. Within the past five years, the Center has redefined the way it works with students, employers and academic departments in terms of job placement. Logan-Bennett has successfully implemented strategies that enhance student learning in the career and workforce development process.

As the department representative on the Student Affairs Assessment and Research Committee, Logan-Bennett developed learning outcomes for the mock interview program to ensure students would articulate proficiently and provide evidence of their strengths. She also created rubric evaluations for resume development and interviewing strategies that are available on the Center’s Web site. Within a year of implementing an assessment plan, she submitted program proposals to present assessment and learning outcomes process utilized within the Center to the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers and the UMBC Assessment Conference. Both proposals were accepted and received high rankings.

Recognizing the need for seniors to prepare earlier in the academic year, Logan-Bennett took a lead role in creating the “Job Hunting is a Fall Sport: You Have to Play to Win” seminar held in September 2008, which included resume critiques and mock interviews. In addition, Logan-Benett supervises the UMBCworks online recruiting system and continually assesses methods to increase efficiency. Through her leadership, more departments are utilizing the site to advertise on-campus jobs for students.

Logan-Bennett earned her A.B. in Sociology from Ohio University and her M.A. in Sociology from The Ohio State University.

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