Presidential and Board of Regents Awards (2010)

Wendy Salkind | Ka-che Yip | C. Jill Randles | Dorothy J. Anderson | Matthias Gobbert | Ralph Murphy | Emma Sellers | Sally Helms

Presidential Teaching Professor


Wendy Salkind
Associate Professor, Theatre
Presidential Teaching Professor, 2010-2013

Wendy Salkind, associate professor of theatre, is an extraordinary educator and mentor to students. A demanding and rigorous teacher, she expects success from her students and gives them individualized attention.

During her more than 30 years at UMBC, she has taught acting, vocal training, movement and women’s dramatic literature, covering nine separate courses. She has also served as vocal director for a number of department productions and, more recently, she is the movement coach for the student actors.

As a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique (a body practice that restores one’s natural poise, coordination and ease of movement), Salkind works with students to address habits of movement. At the same time, she engages students in expressing themselves through movement.

Salkind also is a leader in curriculum innovation. During her 12-year tenure as chair of the theatre department, she worked with faculty to create the only B.F.A. in Acting degree program in Maryland. She developed three courses in the movement for actors sequence and redesigned the vocal training curriculum for B.A. and B.F.A. actors. In 2006 she developed and began teaching the Alexander Technique for Musicians course.

A trained actor, Salkind has earned an international reputation for her performances in the short plays of Samuel Beckett. For 10 years, she was an associate artist with the Maryland Stage Company, and she has performed at Center Stage in Baltimore. With the support of a university DRIF grant, she is currently working on Stein’s “IDA” and “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene” to be produced as part of an audio project.

Active on campus, she was co-director of the Summer Institute in Entrepreneurship in the Arts, producer of the theatre department’s IN10 new play festival (now “Grrl Parts”) and competition, and she is the faculty chair of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building Committee. She also has directed student productions, two of which won the “Best of the Year” PBS Critic’s Place award.

Salkind earned her B.F.A. in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts and her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California at Davis. She was certified as a teacher of Alexander Technique by the Alexander Foundation in Philadelphia.

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Presidential Research Professor


Ka-che Yip
Professor, History
Presidential Research Professor, 2010-2013

Since joining UMBC in 1972, Ka-che Yip has made significant contributions to the study of China and the history of public health and disease. His work bridges historical scholarship in the east and west and contributes to contemporary policy debates on public health issues.

Among historians and public policy scholars, Yip’s scholarship places him among the top researchers internationally. Throughout his career, Yip has been known for embracing transnational and cross-cultural approaches in his research. His recent focus on developments in medical education and public health reveals the important consequences of government decisions in China’s history, and his scholarship on malaria eradication in China makes him a world-renowned expert on the subject.

Yip has conducted research in archives and libraries in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States. He wrote two exemplary monographs (scholarly essays), co-authored another and edited a collection of essays – in addition to publishing nearly 35 articles, book chapters and encyclopedia entries. He has been awarded numerous grants to support his research and has been invited to present some three dozen papers at conferences since 1984. He has been published and presented papers in 11 countries on four continents.

At UMBC, Yip is a dedicated, effective and popular teacher who always teaches a full course load in addition to offering classes in the winter and summer sessions. He has served on the Faculty Senate, the University Faculty Review Committee and the Presidential Professor Nominating Committee, among others. He is an ideal model of a scholar and a teacher, reflecting UMBC’s commitment to both research and education.

Yip earned his B.A. in History from the University of Hong Kong. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D., both in East Asian History, from Columbia University. He completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

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Presidential Distinguished Staff Award


C. Jill Randles
Assistant Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Professional Staff, 2010-2011

As assistant vice provost for Undergraduate Education, C. Jill Randles serves as an insightful and thoughtful advocate for students. In her 18 years at UMBC, she has been a proactive leader by creating and maintaining programs for student success.

Randles has served in a number of advising roles at UMBC. She began her career in continuing education and then became coordinator of student affairs in the College of Engineering (now College of Engineering and Information Technology). She then advanced to director of Undergraduate Student Services in the College of Engineering, where she built a successful, well-integrated advising program. She is now an integral member of the Office of Undergraduate Education and provides leadership to critical programs.

As a leader, one of Randles’s talents is her ability to foster collaboration. She championed the new First Year Seminars program, personally soliciting faculty, designing the brochure and web content and handling student registration. Her leadership has been instrumental in the success of the Introduction to an Honors University program, where she brought together a collaborative team to spearhead the project. She also provided leadership for the reformation of the General Education program, as a member of several committees charged with approving over 300 new general education courses along with those designed to meet the writing intensive requirement.

Randles’s service to the university is extensive and productive. She was on the original board of the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) and served on the Women’s Studies Coordinating Committee (now the Gender and Women’s Studies Committee – of which she is still a member) for several years. She participated in the development of the Women’s Studies program (now Gender and Women’s Studies). She also served in various capacities on the Professional Staff Senate, including president.

Randles earned a B.S. in Equine Science and a B.A. in Business Education from William Woods University and an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Lynchburg College. She completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University in Maryland and has amassed more than 3,000 hours of volunteer service to persons affected by acts of violence.

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Dorothy J. Anderson
Executive Administrative Assistant, Institutional Advancement
Presidential Distinguished Staff Award, Non-Exempt Staff, 2010-2011

For nearly 30 years, Dorothy J. Anderson has served the campus with dedication, positivity and warmth. In her position as executive administrative assistant in Institutional Advancement, she plays a key role in nurturing vital relationships on and off campus.

In addition to administrative support, Anderson participates in the planning and executing of high-profile university events including Commencement, Convocation and Homecoming. She offers to help with any aspect of an event – from working with dignitaries to cleaning up afterward.

During her years on campus, she has been an active member of the Non-Exempt and Classified Staff Senates, serving in numerous roles, including treasurer. Working tirelessly on Senate events, Anderson is known for being
a generous mentor to administrative staff across campus.

Her concern for others extends beyond the campus’s border. She is a consistent Red Cross blood donor and, after serving as the Institutional Advancement Maryland Charity Campaign coordinator, she has twice agreed to be the lead coordinator for the campaign. Under her leadership in 2008 and 2009, the campus set new records.

One of UMBC’s biggest fans, Anderson’s school spirit shines in the tradition she began: decorating the “True Grit” statue with a mortar board and diploma for Commencement ceremonies.

Anderson’s personal interactions with students, faculty and staff have made a difference in countless lives, and her community-building activities enrich the life and traditions of the campus.

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Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring


Matthias Gobbert
Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2010-2011

Joining UMBC as an assistant professor in 1997, Matthias Gobbert mentors students, providing them with numerous pathways to success.

Gobbert has a clear vision as to the skills and credentials students need to become successful applied mathematicians. He sets high expectations for written communication and provides opportunities for students to collaborate in research with other faculty members and students. He has mentored both undergraduate and graduate students, along with students from other institutions, and has helped numerous students publish technical reports, conference papers and papers in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

In 2005, Gobbert co-founded the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting (CIRC), where he continues to serve as associate director. He co-founded CIRC to support interdisciplinary research, provide a full range of consulting services and provide mathematics and statistics students with consulting experience. Wanting to prepare his students for industry or academia careers, he encourages hands-on applied research and mentors them at all stages of project development. In 2008, Gobbert secured a Faculty Innovation Grant from the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship to develop a marketing plan for CIRC, hoping to provide students with an even more sustained experience.

As a teacher, Gobbert has a range of subject-matter expertise in applied and industrial mathematics, scientific and parallel computing and numerical analysis. He teaches courses in undergraduate mathematics for non-majors to graduate courses in the applied mathematics program that attract students from across campus. He passionately guides students to become successful practitioners of the mathematical sciences.

An active researcher, Gobbert has a total of 74 publications, including 40 papers involving student co-authors. He has been asked to speak at numerous conferences, and his research has been noted in several journals.

Gobbert earned a B.Sc. from Technical University Darmstadt (Germany) in Mathematics, and an M.N.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics, both from Arizona State University.

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Board of Regents’ Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution


Ralph Murphy
Teaching Laboratory Technician, Biological Sciences
USM Board of Regents’ Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Institution, 2009-2010

Throughout his 28 years of service, Ralph Murphy has been an integral member of the Department of Biological Sciences. His devotion to UMBC has been noted by his consistent diligence, dedication and willingness to help others.

Murphy began his career at UMBC as a student and served as a research laboratory technician for two years before moving to his current position in 1984. He performs daily operations to keep labs running at top capacity, including preparing media, setting up equipment and ordering and preparing chemicals. Annually, Murphy compiles and records judges’ results for the Undergraduate Symposium in Chemistry, Biology and Biochemistry, and he oversees the high school UPWARD Bound Summer program in the Biological Sciences.

In addition to his work, Murphy’s great pride in the campus distinguishes him as a leader. Each morning, he picks up litter on his way to the office. He’s also been known to keep the back of the Biological Sciences building clean throughout the day, separating recyclables and placing them in their proper receptacles.

An alumnus of the biological sciences department, Murphy has a strong connection with students in the program and volunteers to tutor them in their coursework. Occasionally, he will open the labs on Saturdays for additional studying if needed.

Not only does Murphy encourage students in the classroom, he also supports athletics at UMBC. He hasn’t missed a regular season women’s lacrosse game since 2006 and regularly attends other sporting events on campus.

Murphy earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from UMBC.

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President’s Commission for Women Achievement Award


Emma Sellers
Program Management Specialist and Program Coordinator, Political Science
President’s Commission for Women Achievement Award, 2010-2011

Emma Sellers is a leader in promoting understanding among diverse peoples and an advocate on behalf of women everywhere.

For more than 30 years, Sellers has served in a variety of positions at UMBC. In her current role, she is involved in all aspects of operations in the Department of Political Science including budget, payroll and procurement processes. She provides staff support for committees, programs and initiatives and, on the academic side, she manages the curriculum and creates class schedules each year, matching faculty with the most suitable classrooms. She also manages several annual events that are crucial to the department’s operations, including the fall all-majors’ meeting and spring reception.

Sellers serves on a number of committees engaged in educating individuals on and off campus about diversity and women. As co-chair of the President’s Commission for Women, she helped organize and run two Women’s Leadership Summits which focused on a wide variety of challenges confronting professional women. For three years, she was on the Black Faculty and Staff Committee which promoted the understanding of African-American culture and collaboration with other minority groups. She is also a current member of the Women’s Center Advisory Board.

Education is important to Sellers, and she’s been able to earn both a B.A. and M.A. while working full-time. In addition to her work in the Department of Political Science, she teaches two undergraduate courses: “Student Success Seminar” and “Academic Success for Lifelong Learning.” In her teaching, she helps students appreciate and respect the diversity of UMBC’s student body while showing them what they can gain from one another. Her work with students was recognized with a 2005-2006 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award for Outstanding Service to Students.

Outside of UMBC, Sellers is active in her residential community, in local politics and in her church. She is vice president of the Graystone Community Association.

Sellers earned her B.A. in English and her M.A. in Instructional Systems Development from UMBC.

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Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award


Sally Helms
Administrator of Academic Affairs, Public Policy
Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award, 2010-2011

For 18 years, Sally Helms has been committed to the personal, academic and professional success of students within the Department of Public Policy. She understands the department’s academic requirements/policies, helping guide students toward successful completion of the program.

Helms is often the first person a public policy graduate student encounters at UMBC, and she greets each student enthusiastically. She serves not only as an advisor but as a counselor and coach. She is the social center of the department, consistently finding ways to engage students, faculty and staff. For students away from home, Helms is an aunt, a sister and a best friend.

In her position, she set up several beneficial procedures that alleviate stress for students and make them feel included. She created a listserv to communicate with students about special events; authored a student handbook about curriculum, timelines and policies; and maintains a departmental Blackboard site. She is active in assisting students with professional development and helps collect information about pertinent internships and job openings. She also advises students about scholarship opportunities and fellowships.

Helms participates in a number of campus activities that support students, including the PeopleSoft SA Academic Advisory Committee, the Graduate School Program Coordinator’s Group and the Registrar’s Scheduling Coordinator’s Group. She volunteers at Commencement ceremonies and
has been a discussion leader for the New Student Book Experience. She
also served as a professional staff senator and officer.

Helms earned her B.S. in Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

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View Previous Presidential Faculty and Staff Award Recipients
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