New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship

UMBC’s Office of the Provost has launched a university-wide initiative to celebrate faculty who go above and beyond as educators, scholars, and leaders on campus and in their fields. This initiative strives to highlight tenure-track junior faculty, lecturers, and adjunct, research, and clinical faculty whose work is essential to UMBC’s success. The first recipients were announced last month, and represent a broad range of disciplines.

Chris Hennigan.

In the College of Engineering and Information Technology, recipients were announced during a special celebration marking the end of the academic year. Chris Hennigan, assistant professor of chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering, received the Early Career Faculty Excellence Award. Gunes Koru, associate professor of information systems, received the Mid-Career Faculty Excellence Award. Chuck LaBerge, professor of practice of computer science and electrical engineering (CSEE), was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award.

In the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Pengwang Zhai, assistant professor of physics, received the 2018 Early Career Faculty Excellence Award. Tamra Mendelson, professor of biological sciences, was awarded the Mid-Career Faculty Excellence Award. Tiffany Gierasch, senior lecturer in chemistry and director of the Chemistry Tutorial Center, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences also presented awards to three faculty. The Early Career Faculty Excellence Award was presented to Corrie Parks, assistant professor of visual arts. The Mid-Career Faculty Excellence Award was awarded to Susan McDonough, associate professor of history. Andrew Nolan, senior lecturer of history and director of the UMBC history program at the Universities at Shady Grove, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Susan McDonough.

UMBC’s Office of the Vice President for Research presented its inaugural  Research Faculty Excellence Award to Milt Halem, research professor of CSEE. Halem came to UMBC following a highly successful career at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, serving as founding director of a UMBC center focused on big-data computation and next-generation computing.

UMBC is the academic home to over 180 research faculty who contribute their expertise and personal commitment to making UMBC a destination for cutting-edge research while providing our students with remarkable insights and opportunities,” said Karl Steiner, vice president for research, shared. He noted that Milt Halem’s “energy and expertise have been a major factor in UMBC being recognized as a major contributor to high performance computation and data analytics.”

Banner image: Library pond. All photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.