Dr. Shawn Bediako Receives Inaugural Marilyn E. Demorest Award for Faculty Advancement

TO: The Campus Community

FROM: Provost Philip Rous

I am pleased to announce that Shawn Bediako, Associate Professor of Psychology, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Marilyn E. Demorest Award for Faculty Advancement. This annual award is provided through an endowment established by Marilyn E. Demorest, Professor Emerita of Psychology and former Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, to support the advancement of all UMBC faculty members in their academic careers; to facilitate their professional development; and to recognize their contributions to faculty advancement and success at UMBC.


Dr. Bediako is recognized for his deep commitment to fostering the professional excellence and career advancement of a wide range of faculty and postdoctoral scholars at UMBC and beyond. His mentoring activities emphasize methods that enhance scholarly productivity and support a meaningful work/life balance. Most recently, in collaboration with Claudia Galindo (LLC), Brandy Wallace Harris (SOCY/ANTH), and Angelica Herrera (formerly of SOCY/ANTH), Dr. Bediako created the UMBC Summer Writing Accountability Group (S.W.A.G.) to help participants maintain their work/life balance and increase their research and writing productivity within a supportive community environment. Over the course of 19 weeks, a total of 60 faculty, administrators, and instructional staff collectively logged more than 1,800 hours of writing time toward advancing their manuscripts, book chapters, and monographs.

During his tenure as the Demorest awardee, Dr. Bediako will work closely with the Faculty Development Center (FDC) to offer a series of faculty development workshops during the Spring 2016 semester that will help faculty and instructional staff members:

  • Learn why and how to align institutional priorities, personal values, and long-term goals
  • Avoid the time management mistakes that many faculty and instructional staff make
  • Develop a consistent daily writing routine to increase research and scholarly productivity
  • Develop a network of support and accountability for academic writing.

Also, Dr. Bediako will consult with Dr. Linda Hodges, Director of the FDC, and other experts on campus to identify the best methods for assessing the effectiveness of the workshops. The evaluation results will be used to determine if this form of professional development should be institutionalized to further promote an intellectual sense of community at UMBC.

Dr. Bediako is a leader in the field of community health psychology and is internationally known for his research on the clinical implications of sickle cell disease stigma and its impact on health-related outcomes. His honors include, among others, the Innovator in Academic Hemoglobinopathies Research Career Development Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the Champion Award from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. He also is a member of the UMBC Executive Committee on the Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Underrepresented Minority Faculty and one of the founders of the UMBC Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity.

“I am deeply honored to be the first recipient of this award. Dr. Demorest’s generous gift will provide an opportunity for me to collaborate with faculty colleagues across campus and find innovative ways to align our personal and professional goals with the institution’s vision” says Dr. Bediako. “I’m particularly excited about the possibility of partnering with our Faculty Development Center to complement their program and services.”

Dr. Demorest admires UMBC for its commitment to academic integrity, to diversity and the overall success of all of its students. “I am very proud of UMBC and what it has accomplished in the last 50 years,” says Dr. Demorest. “[There are] good reasons why we’ve been the number one up-and-coming national university in the country.” With her gift to UMBC, she hopes that this legacy can continue through the next 50 years.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Bediako on this recognition and supporting his work with the Faculty Development Center.

Important Information About Open Enrollment

The annual Open Enrollment Period runs from Thursday, October 15 and closes Monday, November 16. During this time, employees can make changes to their health benefits.

The following are several reminders regarding this year’s Open Enrollment:

Who needs to take Action: Employees who wish to enroll in or keep their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2016 must take action. Those who are satisfied with their current plans do not need to take action. All benefits, except for the FSA plans, will roll-over to the 2016 plan year.

How to Make Changes: Employees currently enrolled in benefit plans who wish to make changes must call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to make changes in plan coverage, or enroll in an FSA for 2016. Employees who are not currently enrolled, but wish to enroll, contractual employees and retirees must complete an open enrollment form. The phone number to the IVR is 410-669-3893, please review phone instructions before calling. Open Enrollment Forms for regular employees, contractual employees and retirees can be found on the HR Website.

To learn more about 2016 plan enhancements, rate changes, and new wellness program activities for 2016, please visit the HR Website. Please contact Human Resources with questions at 410-455-2337 or by email to: hrbenefits@umbc.edu.

Announcing the Appointment of Patrick Jose Dawson as Director of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery

TO: UMBC Campus Community

FROM: Philip Rous, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Antonio Moreira, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

pdawsonWe are delighted to announce the appointment of Patrick Jose Dawson as director of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, effective February 1, 2016.

Mr. Dawson joins UMBC from Northern Illinois University (NIU), where for the past seven years he has served as dean of libraries. Prior to his appointment at NIU, he served as associate university librarian for information and research services at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

Mr. Dawson’s appointment brings to a conclusion a successful national search that began this past spring. On behalf of the entire campus community we would like to express our gratitude and thanks to all members of the search committee. Their commitment and hard work constitutes an outstanding contribution to the future of the library and UMBC. We also wish to acknowledge the advice and counsel provided by various members of the campus community to the search committee.

Throughout his career, Mr. Dawson has been actively involved in the promotion of innovative and emerging trends and technologies for the improvement of information retrieval and delivery. He has extensive experience working in research university libraries and brings strong skills in strategic planning and budgeting. Mr. Dawson also has a focused area of expertise in Chicano studies. While at UCSB, he served as head of the Colección Tloque Nahuaque, a nationally-recognized resource for comprehensive Chicana/o and Latina/o information and specialized reference services. He has also been active on issues related to library services for Latinos and collection development of Hispanic American materials.

In addition to a master of library science from the University of Arizona, Mr. Dawson has a master of arts in history/Latin American studies and a bachelor of arts in history from the University of New Mexico. He was a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership and Career Development Program in 1998 and is a fellow in the ARL Research Library Leadership Fellows Program.

Mr. Dawson says he is impressed and inspired by the success of UMBC students in completing degrees and by the percentage of students that go on to graduate education. He also expressed much appreciation for the rich diversity reflected in our student population.

Mr. Dawson will build on the strong legacy of Dr. Larry Wilt, who retired as director on July 1, 2015.

The library is central to teaching and research and an integral part of the UMBC community. We are very fortunate to have someone of Mr. Dawson’s experience and ability to serve as director of our Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. We know he will be a valuable addition to our campus community.

Please join us in welcoming and supporting him.

Business Insider ranks UMBC one of the 50 most underrated colleges in America

Business Insider has placed UMBC at #32 on a list of the 50 most underrated colleges in America.

The site combined the PayScale ranking with those produced by U.S. News & World Report to discover colleges and universities with a large disparity between their college rank and their salary rank.

The group ranked more than 1,000 colleges and universities based on their reputation and graduates’ mid-career salaries, paying particular attention to schools with lower U.S. News rankings but stronger than expected career salaries.

Veterans Day Celebration (11/11)


Come and celebrate Veterans Day with a free lunch in the Skylight Room!

When: November 11 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: The Skylight Room (3rd floor of The Commons)
Who: All UMBC students, staff and faculty veterans are invited to attend.

This event is informal and veterans are invited to come and go as is convenient. A UMBC Veterans t-shirt, American flag pins, and other assorted gifts will be given away in appreciation.

For additional information, please contact Sandy Vance, 410-455-2912 or Dan Thrift, 410-455-3852.

Sponsored by Veteran Student Services and Human Resources

Maryland Charity Campaign: Congratulations to our FitBit Flex Winner!


Congratulatons to Larry Hern of Facilities Management, the winner of our FitBit Flex drawing.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win a FitBit Flex, too!

We are offering another chance to win a FitBit Flex. Donate to the Maryland Charity Campaign between now and November 20, 2015 and be automatically entered into the drawing. Everyone who has already contributed to the fall campaign is also eligible to win.

Browse all the participating charities and donate online today!

If you have any questions about the campaign, or need assistance with making a pledge or donation, please contact your department’s or division’s MCC Coordinator.

President Hrabowski joins new panel to examine future of undergraduate education

President Hrabowski will serve as a member of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education, a panel of experts tasked with studying the impact and effectiveness of the nation’s existing educational systems and identifying the challenges and opportunities facing higher education.

The panel, formed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, will use research drawn from higher education institutions across the country to forecast the future of the nation’s education needs and offer recommendations to ensure undergraduate education remains accessible for students from all backgrounds.

The three-year initiative, led by co-chairs Michael McPherson, President of the Spencer Foundation, and Roger Ferguson, TIAA-CREF President and CEO, includes expertise of national leaders in education, business, and government. The commission is funded with $2.2 million from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.