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.