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SOP’s Hollenbeck Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Purdue University College of Pharmacy has named R. Gary Hollenbeck, PhD, affiliate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) and research fellow in the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, one of its 2018 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni. Established in 1984, the award celebrates the outstanding achievements in professional and scientific endeavors of the college’s most prominent alumni.

Hollenbeck is one of four alumni from the college to be recognized with the award this year.

“Our department was thrilled to hear about Dr. Hollenbeck’s recognition as one of Purdue University College of Pharmacy’s distinguished pharmacy alumni,” says Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor and chair of PSC. “During his time at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Hollenbeck has had an indelible impact on the advancement of pharmacy education and pharmaceutical research, spearheading the launch of both the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program and GMP facility. His alma mater certainly chose well in selecting him to receive this prestigious honor, and we congratulate him on this award.”

Advancing Pharmacy Education

Hollenbeck received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Albany College of Pharmacy in 1972 and completed his doctorate in industrial and physical pharmacy at Purdue University in 1977. He joined the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in 1977, rising through the ranks to become a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and associate dean for academic programs. During his service as associate dean for academic programs from 1991 to 1996, Hollenbeck played a key role in the transition from the school’s Bachelor of Science program to its now nationally recognized PharmD program.

“The School of Pharmacy was the first pharmacy school on the East Coast to transition to the entry-level PharmD program,” Hollenbeck says. “I worked alongside our faculty to establish an unprecedented curriculum that was focused on instructional design, student abilities, and outcomes. In fact, many of the elements that we incorporated into our initial program still exist in the curriculum today.”

Pioneering New Research Collaborations

In addition to his numerous achievements as an educator — which include receiving the school’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1980 and 1984, being named the school’s Teacher of the Year in 1991, and being selected as the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Founders Week Teacher of the Year in 2002 — Hollenbeck was instrumental in securing  a multimillion-dollar collaborative agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which aimed to establish a scientific basis for the review of new and amended drug applications. This collaborative agreement also provided the initial funding to establish a GMP facility at the School of Pharmacy.

“What began as a conceptual document ultimately led to one of the most successful collaborations between the FDA, industry, and academia ever,” says Hollenbeck, who, along with his associates, received a Special Recognition Award from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA to recognize of their work on the project in 1996.

In 1997, Hollenbeck became a principal figure in the formation and development of UPM Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an independent contract development and manufacturing organization serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He later joined the company as its chief scientific officer, before returning to the School of Pharmacy in 2016, where he participates in early-stage pharmaceutical research and development and directs clinical supplies production in the GMP facility.

Recognizing Where It All Began

Though most of his career accomplishments have been associated with the School of Pharmacy, Hollenbeck emphasizes that it was the knowledge and training that he received from the Purdue University College of Pharmacy that helped put him on the path to success.

“It would in no way be an overstatement to say that the Purdue educational experience transformed my life,” Hollenbeck says. “Small-town boy on a Big Ten campus — I discovered myself. I was fortunate to find the perfect program for me and to matriculate with such a wonderful group of faculty and graduate students. The degree I earned at Purdue opened the door to an incredibly rewarding professional career.”

Hollenbeck received his award during a ceremony held at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy on April 6.

— Malissa Carroll

 

Malissa CarrollPeople, Research, UMB NewsMay 22, 20180 comments
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Team Player and Key Liaison, Nursing’s Hokenmaier Wins UMB Employee of the Month

Sarah Hokenmaier, MPA, has a lot on her plate as a program director in the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). This was made crystal clear on May 15 at the Saratoga Building, where Hokenmaier was honored as the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Employee of the Month of April.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, surprised Hokenmaier with the award, and before he began to detail what made her such a deserving winner, he stopped and marveled, “The one thing I’ve figured out from all of these accolades is that you do a heck of a lot. You’re involved in everything!”

This came after some playful banter with Perman, who asked Hokenmaier what she was doing in the President’s Conference Room. She said she had been summoned to a meeting with Jennifer B. Litchman, MA, senior vice president for external relations and special assistant to the president, to talk about the coaching program sponsored by UMBrella, a group that works to support the success of women at the University that Litchman chairs. She is Hokenmaier’s mentor, and they did meet — “It was a real/fake meeting, and we need to finish it!” Litchman said with a laugh — but the true reason for Sarah’s presence was to be praised by the president.

“Some very wise people here put you at the head of the table, because this is all about you,” said Perman, who added that one trait in particular stood out from the nomination form sent in by Hokenmaier’s colleagues at the school, several of whom attended the ceremony, including Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Pat McLaine, DrPH, RN, director of the Community/Public Health Nursing Specialty.

“I saw a word that I really like — and I know Dean Kirschling likes it, too — and that’s ‘team,’ ” Perman said. “It says you enhanced the department’s ability to function as a team through your high-level assessment, communication, and strategic planning skills. That’s something I really value, and that advances the University’s mission. So congratulations, Sarah, and keep up the great work.”

Patient and Pleasant

Hokenmaier received a plaque, a letter of commendation, and the promise of $250 in her next paycheck, which she says she’ll save for a rainy day and is a nice reward for someone whose work brightens her colleagues’ days.

“Sarah is extremely patient, pleasant to work with, very focused on getting the job done, and has a great sense of humor,” McLaine said of Hokenmaier, who also was recognized by UMSON in December, winning the school’s Staff Excellence Award. “Her performance has been outstanding, and she gets excellent results.”

To that end, Hokenmaier works diligently with the five specialty directors in Family and Community Health and serves as a liaison to other departments and offices at the school, including admissions, communications, administrative services, and information and learning technology.

“Her work with the Office of Admissions has streamlined processes, improved communication with the specialty directors, and resulted in higher-quality applicants to our graduate programs,” McLaine said. “Sarah’s work has enabled us to think bigger and focus on how to grow our programs.”

Asked to describe her duties in a nutshell, Hokenmaier said, “I do a wide variety of things, but I would say that I help faculty achieve their goals — related to all different activities. Because of my background in public health, I’m able to work on all sorts of different things — grants, marketing, anything related to the goals the faculty are trying to achieve.”

Hokenmaier has a passion for improving community health outcomes and says this is what drives her to succeed. Before joining UMSON in October 2016, she worked nearly eight years for the Center for Cancer Prevention and Control at the Maryland Department of Health, including the last three as deputy director.

“My master’s degree in public administration focused on nonprofit administration and management, so I’ve always had a heart for community work and community service,” Hokenmaier said. “I love that I have the opportunity to make a difference in public health through my work at the School of Nursing.”

Giving Thanks

Hokenmaier was thrilled to be rewarded – “I really do work hard, and I try to achieve my goals every day,” she said — and honored to be recognized. She thanked Kirschling and McLaine; Susan M. Wozenski, JD, MPH, assistant professor and interim chair of her department; and the specialty directors as a group. “And I can’t forget my co-workers Terria McClain and Phyllis Lovito, who work alongside me in everything I do.”

These colleagues all add to the depth of talent at UMSON, which Hokenmaier says is a great place to work.

“I am impressed every time I am involved in a new project with different staff in other departments,” she said. “I am impressed with how dedicated the staff are, how knowledgeable they are, how creative they are. I have never seen so many people dedicated to doing things right.”

As for herself, Hokenmaier remains dedicated to family and community health.

“I care about the mission. That’s always been important to me, and it makes whatever work I’m doing matter,” she said. “So it means everything to me that the mission is being recognized with this award.”

— Lou Cortina

To read about previous Employee of the Month winners, visit Human Resource Services’ employee recognition web page.

Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeMay 21, 20180 comments
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Party in the Park Moves Indoors, But Fun Still Reigns

Party in the Park lived up to half its billing on May 18. The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) annual student celebration between the morning school convocations and the afternoon Universitywide commencement had to be moved indoors from Plaza Park because of intermittent rain.

But it indeed was still a party, as graduates and their families headed over from morning convocations to the SMC Campus Center and up its commencement-themed stairway to the Elm Ballrooms for free food and drink and camaraderie. On the first floor near the Fireplace Lounge, attendees danced as a DJ cranked out tunes while others took turns taking pictures in a photo booth. (See photo gallery.)

“I’m so glad that we had this party,” said Sheena Patel, who graduated from the School of Medicine with a Master’s in Public Health. “I’m so glad it wasn’t canceled altogether, because I know in between our ceremonies we have a couple of hours to kill, so it’s a good way to bring people together and give them something to do. I definitely like the photo booth. It’s a lot of fun. The music is upbeat, so that’s cool.”

The weather did rain on one literal parade, however, as the annual academic procession from Plaza Park to Royal Farms Arena was called off. But that didn’t dampen the graduates’ enthusiasm while they enjoyed the party that has been a UMB commencement staple since 2015.

“This is great, especially because all my family is here to see my graduation,” said Dooah Almarzoog, who was celebrating her Master’s in Community Public Health from the School of Nursing. “It’s nice that UMB was prepared to have our guests and show them a good time. I love the DJ and the music. And especially the booth for the photos. Me and my sisters took a lot of nice pictures, so it’s really a good idea.”

As graduates arrived, they could start their visit by writing notes on a large vinyl banner spread across two tables that eventually will be displayed in the campus center. A few themes emerged: gratitude (Thanks, Mom and Dad); celebration and relief (We did it — we’re done!); reflection (What a journey it’s been!); and a little humor (Thanks, FAFSA!).

Up in the Elm Ballrooms, graduates, their families, and guests had their choice of hot dogs, sliders, potato salad, and cookies provided by CulinArt. The ballroom tables were filled to the brim, with the overflow sitting on couches in the area outside near the food trays. The Oriole Bird and Ravens’ Poe mascots worked the room, posing for photos and delivering fist-bumps, high-fives, and hugs.

Brandy Cumberland, who graduated from the School of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN Program, was sitting at a table with her husband and three young children, who were munching on potato chips and enjoying their mom’s special day. The family had made a three-hour drive from Wingate, Md., in southern Dorchester County, to attend all the day’s ceremonies.

“This party is a very, very nice event,” Cumberland said. “We appreciate the University doing this. We’re having a great time.”

Downstairs, the party started cranking up as more graduates arrived between noon and 12:30 p.m. With music provided by Marvin “DJ Marvalous” Ganthier, the dancing continued, with graduates, parents, and even campus center employees taking their turns bopping and swaying. The DJ announced that it was time for graduates to start heading over to the arena for the Universitywide commencement, but first a line dance formed for the song “Cupid Shuffle.”

“This is so much fun,” said Rhiya Dave, who earned a Master’s in Public Health from the School of Medicine and was about to head over to the arena, where she would carry the MPH banner into the ceremony. “It’s a really nice way for all of us to just celebrate and be together one last time.”

School of Pharmacy graduate Mudit Verma was enjoying the music and photo ops, too, and said he was excited to get to the arena to celebrate beside his classmates and all the graduates of the UMB schools. He thought Party in the Park — wherever it was held — was an enjoyable part of the daylong festivities.

“I’m out here with my family, and we’re eating good food and drinks and having a dance party,” he said. “This is such a great time. This has been a great event.”

— Lou Cortina

Visit the commencement website for pictures, video, and more information.

Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeMay 18, 20180 comments
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UMB Graduates Told to Make a World of Difference

Outside it was raining but inside Royal Farms Arena sunny smiles were in abundance as students of the Class of 2018 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) received their degrees at commencement ceremonies.

The class of 2,250 students from UMB’s six professional schools and interdisciplinary Graduate School were treated to life lessons from a number of speakers, headlined by Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen, PhD, MSW, an alumna and former faculty member of the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Sworn in as Peace Corps director in March, a “humbled” Olsen told the graduates to utilize the wide-ranging hands-on lessons they’ve learned at UMB, which confers the majority of health care, human services, and law professional degrees in Maryland each year.

“We prepare briefs for the state legislature and research new, life-sustaining drugs,” Olsen said. “We conduct surgeries and perform root canals; we measure diabetes indicators, counsel drug offenders, and exercise torn muscles. We learn how to manage health bureaucracies and time pressures.

“That’s a lot of doing to help improve people’s lives.”

Olsen has spent decades helping improve people’s lives through the Peace Corps, the country’s pre-eminent international service agency, serving as acting director in 2009, deputy director from 2002 to 2009, chief of staff from 1989 to 1992, regional director of North Africa Near East, Asia, Pacific from 1981 to 1984, and country director in Togo from 1979 to 1981.

“Fortunately for us,” UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, said in his introduction, “this lifetime of service came with a few hiatuses, and Dr. Olsen spent one of them — an eight-year stint — right here at UMB.

“As director of our Center for Global Education Initiatives, Dr. Olsen came to shape how UMB approaches interprofessional global projects, and how we use the lessons learned overseas to effect change in our own home communities.”

Olsen recalled serving as a Peace Corps volunteer at a maternity clinic in Tunisia when she was 22. “I was focused, innocent, and naive,” she said. “I was charged by the ministry of health with counseling soon-to-be and new mothers with how to care for their children, while having not yet become a mother myself.”

Olsen said she learned a lot from the women, many of whom were raising their families in dwellings with no water, electricity, or sanitation. Those lessons provided a foundation as Olsen traveled to more than 100 countries in the Peace Corps. She used them during her UMB stay as well.

“Do I listen, focusing on each word? Do I take in what is said and not said, and create safety to disengage from fear?” Olsen told the graduates of the lessons she learned. “Do I understand what they are not saying but wish they could? Do I share enough of my own vulnerabilities to demonstrate that I trust them and that they can trust me? Do I ask, pause, and listen for their stories? Do I tell them mine?

“Often our patients or clients come to us afraid, vulnerable, uncertain, and with words and questions that do not make sense to us. Many times, by the point they access the health care system, they are not in comfort, they are in stress. How do we see them as whole people even as we treat a specific problem?”

Such questions apply to all of us, in all our professions, in Baltimore, throughout the United States, and the world, said Olsen, who also related stories from the summer research trips she led UMB students on to Malawi, Central America, and South Asia, stressing interprofessional teamwork among the medical, law, dental, pharmacy, nursing, and social work students.

She urged the graduates to go forth and see the person, not just the problem.

“My hope is that, when your clients and patients are sitting across the desk from you, on the exam table, in the counseling room, in the courtroom beside you, that you’ll see and know the person,” Olsen said. “You’ll know them by name, not by case number. You’ll know them by story, not by diagnosis. You’ll know them not just as they are, but as who they hope to be.

“We are eager to see what you will do, who you will be, and how you will change your community and your world.”

Before Olsen’s encouraging words, James Fielder Jr., PhD, secretary of higher education, and Gary Attman, JD, system treasurer, brought greetings from the governor and the University System of Maryland, respectively. Then Aarti Sidhu, who was graduating from the Carey School of Law, joined the celebration as the student remarker.

“When my parents moved to this country from India almost 40 years ago, they did so to provide better opportunities for me and my siblings,” she told the crowd. “I am so proud to be here surrounded by all of you, from different countries, different racial and cultural backgrounds, and with different gender identities. Despite being told time and time again that we can’t do something because of who we are or what we look like — we did it.”

Sidhu wasn’t the only member of the Class of 2018 featured. The national anthem was sung by the Hippocratic Notes, four graduates of the School of Medicine (Brendan Bui, Joshua Olexa, Grace Lee, and Jennifer Reid), and a video by Courtney Miyamoto, a third-generation graduate of the School of Dentistry, was shown.

The procession into the arena was led by marshals Mary M. Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FASB, FISB, and Jill Whitall, PhD, both of the School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, and Karen Kauffman, PhD, CRNP, RN, FAAN, retired chair of the Department of Family and Community Health at the School of Nursing.

Four familiar figures at the University received honorary degrees of public service.

Carolyn Frenkil is a community activist, businesswoman, benefactor, and longtime friend of the School of Medicine. Her late husband, James Frenkil, MD, introduced her to the school, which she has supported with a number of innovative endeavors including a course in pharmacogenomics and collaborative research in the school’s Program on Aging, Trauma, and Emergency Care.

Mary Catherine Bunting, MS ’72, CRNP, is an alumna of the School of Nursing who became a nun and nurse practitioner for 34 years and practiced at Mercy Southern Health Center. Granddaughter of the pharmacist who invented Noxzema, she has endowed scholarship support at the school and elsewhere, including Mercy Medical Center.

Fred G. Smith, DDS ’78, MS, and Venice K. Paterakis, DDS ’81, both graduates of the School of Dentistry, have been heavily involved in charitable efforts at UMB, in the city of Baltimore, and beyond. In 2015, the couple established the first endowed professorship at the dental school. (Read more about members of the platform party.)

But in the end, the ceremony was about the graduates, who braved rain that drove their Party in the Park (link) indoors for the first time in its four-year history.

After the diplomas had been distributed, Perman sent the graduates off with a few parting words of advice.

“I wish you hard work and good luck — always — and I ask that you remember your alma mater as you make your mark on the world,” he said. “We’ll look forward to your help. And we’re all so very proud of you.”

— Chris Zang

Visit the commencement website for pictures, video, and more information.

Chris ZangEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeMay 18, 20180 comments
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Third-Generation UMSOD Graduate’s Video Is a Hit

Sitting among the thousands of graduates at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) commencement on May 18 was Courtney Miyamoto, who held two distinctions among the robe-clad crowd: She became a third-generation graduate of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), and her retrospective video to mark the big day was unveiled during the ceremonies at Royal Farms Arena.

Miyamoto joined her late grandfather Alan Miyamoto, DDS ’62, and father Michael Miyamoto, DDS ’87, as UMSOD alumni. Out in the arena, Michael was brimming with pride as he sat among a group of six family members who traveled from the states of Hawaii, Washington, and Pennsylvania to celebrate Courtney’s commencement. Her grandfather “is with me in spirit,” Miyamoto says.

With her stylish video — shot with a GoPro camera and her cellphone —Miyamoto delivered a message to the graduates of UMB’s six professional schools and interdisciplinary Graduate School: As you step forward, step back, too, and take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come, which direction you’d like to go, and appreciate the blessings in your life.

“We can get so caught up with life — exams, school requirements, payments, loans — that we can sometimes lose our path,” Miyamoto says. “So I feel that it’s important as we graduate to look at the whole picture: Recognize how far you’ve come, anticipate the next step toward your future goal, be grateful and appreciate those around you, stay humble, and stick with your core values.”

This message provides the tagline to the video, which was met with enthusiastic applause at commencement. Miyamoto, who’s from Kahului, Hawaii, on the island of Maui, put a Hawaiian touch to it, using the phrase E mahalo kakou i ka mea loa’a to end the four-minute presentation — let us be thankful for what we have.

“I danced hula and chanted in Hawaiian back in the day. Hawaiian tradition and culture is a big part of our way of life,” Miyamoto says. “So I wanted to end the video on a note of reflection.”

A Special Week

Commencement and the video unveiling capped a special week for Miyamoto, who on Tuesday was awarded by UMSOD with the Nathan David Gold Memorial Award for conscientious and enthusiastic dedication to clinical practice. “Courtney was selected for this honor by her classmates and faculty, and it is a highly regarded schoolwide award,” said Karen Faraone, DDS, MA, associate dean of student affairs at the school. “She is well-loved among her class.”

Miyamoto’s video takes viewers on a tour of Baltimore landmarks before roving around the UMB campus, with shots of the schools of social work, pharmacy, nursing, law, and medicine, historic Davidge Hall, and more. It follows Courtney and her friends as they skateboard to the School of Dentistry, then takes a spin through UMSOD lecture halls and labs before closing with scenes of students having fun on ski trips and the annual school picnic with faculty and staff.

This was an offshoot of a video Miyamoto produced in 2016 to document life as a second-year dental student, wanting to give Grandpa Miyamoto and students’ families and friends a glimpse of life at today’s dental school. Sadly, her grandfather passed away before it was finished, but Courtney says the video was shown to subsequent incoming UMSOD classes by Andrea Morgan, DDS, the school’s director of student advocacy and cultural affairs.

This year, UMB was looking for a new video to show at the Universitywide commencement, and Faraone approached Miyamoto with the idea to revise her 2016 video and submit it for consideration.

“Dr. Faraone said, ‘This is a great opportunity,’ because she saw my video from second year,” Miyamoto says. “She was the driving force to get me in contact with Vanessa Carroll, secretary of our dean, Mark Reynolds, to help with funding for updated video editing software.”

The dean’s office helped purchase Adobe Premiere Pro software, and Miyamoto worked with the UMB Office of the President to revise her production, which uses the Craves’ pulsating song “By My Side” throughout. The song’s refrain: “I can stand it all and make it go away … with you by my side.”

“This upbeat song was a happy reminder of the memories created in Baltimore and in school,” Miyamoto says. “It portrays a positive message: You can face all the challenges in life with people supporting you along the way. For me, it’s my close friends, family, and of course, Grandpa.”

Miyamoto dedicated the commencement video to her grandfather, who practiced dentistry into his 80s. Her younger sister Lindsey also inspired her.

“Lindsey is exploring her creative side with YouTube and Instagram,” Miyamoto says. “She’s put together some very nice YouTube videos of family get-togethers and fun activities on the weekends in Hawaii. She’s my inspiration.”

Heading Back to Hawaii

Clearly, family is important to Miyamoto, and six members were in attendance on May 18: her father, mother Joyce, sisters Lindsey and Caitlyn, Auntie Keala, and Grandma Miyamoto. Her grandmother, Amy, told Courtney she had been exercising back in Hawaii to get ready for this weekend, so she could walk the Baltimore campus where her late husband studied more than 50 years ago.

The next steps for Courtney? After considering applying for a residency, she’s opted to head back to Hawaii to work in her father’s practice in Wailuku. It’s a full-circle story, as she recalls doing office chores as a teen before working there as a dental assistant, business assistant, and lab technician during a gap year after graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor of arts in Biology and a minor in Art in 2013.

“I really missed the family, pets, and Hawaii in general, especially this past third and fourth year,” Miyamoto says. “I visited home last summer and got advice from about six different dentists about plans after dental school. They recommended professional networking, keeping involved with continuing education, and working under the mentorship from my father, so I decided to head back home and join my family’s private practice and another dentist’s practice on the island.”

There, she says she’ll start with general dentistry – fillings, single crowns, bridges, extractions – and plans to one day bring oral health care to underserved populations in Hawaii, fulfilling UMB’s mission to improve the human condition and serve the public good.

“Working in an FQHC [federally qualified health center] during an externship really opened my eyes to working in this area of dentistry one day, or at least helping to provide affordable or free dental services to the underserved,” Miyamoto says. “I’m happy I’m in this field as a career, working with great mentors in improving people’s oral health and lives.”

— Lou Cortina

Visit the commencement website for pictures, video, and more information.

Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeMay 18, 20180 comments
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Commencement 2018: Keynote Speaker Jody Olsen

Here’s a look at the keynote speaker for UMB’s commencement on May 18:

Former UMB faculty member Jody Olsen, PhD, MSW, confirmed in March as the director of the Peace Corps, will be the University’s keynote speaker at commencement on May 18.

Olsen has served four previous stints — the most recent in 2001 to 2009 as deputy director and then, for eight months, acting director — with the Peace Corps, the country’s flagship international service organization with more than 230,000 American volunteers assisting in 140 host countries since President John F. Kennedy established it in 1961.

Interested in giving back, Olsen came to UMB in 2010 and became immersed in activities as a visiting professor at the School of Social Work, lecturer at the Graduate School, founding member of UMBrella (UMB Roundtable on Empowerment in Leadership and Leveraging Aspirations), even moderating UMB’s 2017 Women’s History Month panel discussion with community leaders and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Olsen also kept international affairs close to her heart as director of UMB’s Center for Global Education Initiatives and co-chair of the Global Health Interprofessional Council. She used her deep knowledge of international development (she has traveled to more than 100 countries) and her commitment to interdisciplinary learning to redefine high-quality out-of-country experiences and give UMB students a transformative global education.

She was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the Peace Corps on Jan. 3. In her remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February, Olsen focused much of her testimony not on the Peace Corps’ work overseas, but on how Peace Corps volunteers strengthen their home communities once they return from service abroad.

“Returned Peace Corps volunteers bring home unique language, cultural, and diplomatic skills,” she said. “They are true global citizens, contributing to our economy, our country, and the urban and rural communities where they live and work all across the United States.”

She added: “Time and again … I see the remarkable ways that returned Peace Corps volunteers teach, inspire, and strengthen communities back home in the United States.”

The students from across UMB’s schools benefited in much the same way from the four summer research projects in Malawi that Olsen participated in and the student trips she led to Central America and South Asia.

“We’re trying to cultivate a mutually respectful situation to solve problems,” Olsen said in 2014 after 33 students from all seven UMB schools traveled in teams to Rwanda, Kenya, Gambia, Malawi, Zambia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines to work on solutions to community-specific health problems. “The opportunity to do that is a gift. It gives students a head start in a world where we’re increasingly dependent on each other.”

Olsen knew she wanted to work globally during her first few days as the Peace Corps’ country director in Togo. With the ink barely dry on her dissertation — a study of end-of-life satisfaction in elderly populations — Olsen landed in the West African nation with her family. There, she oversaw the work of 135 volunteers.

“I walked into that office and I knew immediately I would stay international,” she said. “I liked the action. I liked leading international teams and creating an environment for people to be successful.”

Now confirmed, Olsen will have the opportunity to do just that for the 7,400 current Peace Corps volunteers. She could face hardships, with the organization perhaps facing 15 percent budget cuts, according to some reports.

But Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean of the School of Social Work, has no doubts that Olsen will excel.

“Jody Olsen is a tireless champion,” he said. “She is a terrific communicator, relentlessly optimistic and affirming, and exceptionally knowledgeable about all things international.”

Glenn Blumhorst, president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association, echoed Barth’s praise after the nomination was announced. “America and the world need the Peace Corps now more than ever,” Blumhorst said in a statement. “We’re excited Jody has the opportunity to lead it.”

— Chris Zang

More on commencement

Read more about the commencement speakers and honorees and about all the commencement festivities.

Chris ZangPeople, UMB News, University LifeMay 17, 20180 comments
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Commencement 2018: Tips for Graduates from Honorary Cast

We asked the commencement keynote speaker, honorary degree recipients, honorary marshals, and student remarker what one piece of advice they would like to pass along to UMB’s Class of 2018. Here are some of their responses:

Jody Olsen, PhD, MSW
Director of Peace Corps
Keynote speaker

“Find your passion and take the risks to achieve it.”

Carolyn Frenkil
Community activist, businesswoman, benefactor
Honorary Doctor of Public Service

“Two pieces of advice come to mind. One, life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. Two, no one is in charge of your happiness except you. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride!”

Mary Catherine Bunting, MS ’72, CRNP
Retired nurse practitioner, philanthropist
Honorary Doctor of Public Service

“Do what you love and are passionate about. That is what you will do best and will be able to sustain for a lifetime. Recognize your gifts and your talent so you can use them to the fullest. I did not know that I had dyslexia until after receiving my master’s degree. I did understand that I was a visual learner and liked being active. Nursing was a perfect fit.”

Mary M. Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FASB, FISB
Professor emeritus, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, School of Medicine
Honorary University Marshal

“As the many varied pressures of life increase, I would ask the UMB Class of 2018 to be kind and compassionate. Remember that with all of our individual differences and wonderful diversity, we are all one and we are all human. Kindness is possible in all that we do and compassion is essential to our very existence.”

Karen Kauffman, PhD, CRNP, RN, FAAN
Retired chair, Department of Family and Community Health, School of Nursing
Honorary Faculty Marshal

“Follow your dream — but if the unanticipated occurs, embrace the opportunity to dream bigger, and then let life happen.”

Aarti Sidhu
Francis King Carey School of Law
Student Remarker

“Live life and pursue careers without fear [nirbhau] and without hate [nirvair].”

— Chris Zang

More on commencement

Read more about the commencement speakers and honorees and about all the commencement festivities.

Chris ZangCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMay 17, 20180 comments
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Commencement 2018: Honorary Degree Recipients

Here’s a look at the honorary degree recipients for UMB’s commencement on May 18:

Fred G. Smith, DDS ’78, MS

Venice K. Paterakis, DDS ’81

Honorary Doctor of Public Service

About Smith and Paterakis: The husband and wife, both graduates of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, come from prominent Baltimore families and have been heavily involved in charitable efforts at UMB, in the city of Baltimore, and beyond. Smith is vice president and director of Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns nearly 200 TV stations across the United States. Paterakis practiced dentistry in the Fells Point/Harbor East area of the city for 33 years and is one of six children in a family that rose to prominence through its H&S Bakery business and more recently has been involved in the development of Harbor East.

Charitable efforts: Smith and Paterakis have been performing acts of kindness for decades, with the goal of their efforts being to improve the human condition and serve the public good. In 2015, the couple donated $1.5 million to establish the first endowed professorship at the School of Dentistry. Smith also serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc., among other groups, and Paterakis has been active with the Maryland Ronald McDonald House and supports many other charitable organizations such as Yumi Cares and Horizon Day Camps.

Quote: “Philanthropy and service to the community were values instilled in me at a very young age. I am honored to be involved with the University of Maryland, Baltimore and greatly appreciate this wonderful recognition bestowed on us,” Paterakis says.

Mary Catherine Bunting, MS ’72, CRNP

Honorary Doctor of Public Service

About Bunting: After a serious car accident at age 16 that required a 10-day hospital stay, she gained appreciation for nursing as a career and earned her nursing degree in 1958 at the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. After a short stint as a labor and delivery nurse, she joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1959, staying in the order until 1974. From 1972 to 1996, she practiced at Mercy Southern Health Center, an outreach center in South Baltimore, and became a nurse practitioner. She retired after a 34-year career at Mercy.

Charitable efforts: Bunting, the granddaughter of George Avery Bunting, a University of Maryland pharmacist who invented Noxzema, which grew into CoverGirl Cosmetics and Noxell Corp, made a major gift in October 2007 as part of Mercy Medical Center’s $400 million capital campaign. The Mary Catherine Bunting Center is a 20-story tower that includes 259 private patient rooms and 15 state-of-the-art operating rooms. She also has donated large sums to fund scholarships and programs at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, where she earned a master’s degree in 1972.

Quote: “I was blessed to come from a family that did not focus on wealth. And I knew that love — not wealth — is what brings joy and happiness,” Bunting says.

Carolyn Frenkil

Honorary Doctor of Public Service

About Frenkil: A businesswoman and community activist, Frenkil is president of Center City, Inc., and 10-30 W North Avenue, LLC, and helps runs the North Avenue Market project, renovation in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District in Baltimore. Before that, she created — and sold — Substance Abuse Services, Inc., which provided drug/alcohol testing of employees in the transportation industry. She was married to James Frenkil, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) for 26 years before his death in 2009.

Charitable efforts: The couple’s first major contribution to UMSOM/Faculty Physicians, Inc. was an office building once used by Dr. Frenkil’s occupational medicine practice. They also set up the James and Carolyn Frenkil Foundation. She donated money to purchase equipment/furniture for UMSOM’s Executive Health Program and the school’s new Media Center, and she helped fund a course in pharmacogenomics and supported collaborative research in the medical school’s Program on Aging, Trauma, and Emergency Care, among other gifts.

Quote: “Quite frankly, I can’t imagine anyone not embracing an opportunity to be actively involved with this renowned institution,” Frenkil says of UMB.

More on commencement

Read more about the commencement speakers and honorees and about all the commencement festivities.

Lou CortinaCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMay 17, 20180 comments
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Commencement 2018: Student Remarker Aarti Sidhu

Here’s a look at the student remarker for UMB’s commencement on May 18:

With an impressive array of internships and leadership roles, Aarti Sidhu gained great experience and enjoyed many accomplishments during her three years at the Francis King Carey School of Law.

But in applying to be the student remarker at UMB’s Commencement — and beating out a half-dozen candidates for the honor — Sidhu stressed that what made her a good candidate to speak to the Class of 2018 wasn’t her résumé but the perspective she brings to the lectern.

“As a minority woman in America, and the child of immigrants, I have overcome many challenges and adversities,” Sidhu says. “At every turn, I’ve learned and grown more, into the woman I am today. And UMB has contributed to this substantially.”

Sidhu’s contributions to UMB were substantial, too, as she turned her beliefs into action by advocating for social change, juvenile justice reform, and fair representation for underserved populations – and going the extra mile to do it. She joined Carey Law’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Clinic (now called the Youth, Education and Justice Clinic) in August 2016 and served for four semesters, well beyond the one-semester requirement.

“I’ve been most inspired in my work there,” says Sidhu, who is allowed to practice law under a supervising professor. “We advocate for youth in schools in Baltimore City. Our goal is to do our part to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and work to get students the education they deserve.”

Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Sidhu is one of three children of parents who emigrated from India in the 1970s. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and worked as a consultant and a paralegal before arriving at Carey Law in 2015.

In Baltimore, she found many outlets to help people:

  • As a legal intern with Disability Rights Maryland, she lobbied for special education rights in the state legislature and advocated for students with disabilities.
  • As an Education Reform Project intern with the ACLU of Maryland, she created policy recommendations for the legislative session to increase funding for Maryland schools.
  • As a volunteer with Community Law in Action, a program of the nonprofit Baltimore Corps, she promoted positive community change through youth mentoring.
  • As a law clerk with Maryland Legal Aid, she supported its Community Lawyering Initiative by planning and implementing direct civil legal services to the community.

“After graduation, I hope to work in juvenile justice and more specifically education,” says Sidhu, who won the Monumental City Bar Association’s Juanita Mitchell Scholarship for her work with underserved populations in Baltimore. “I hope to ensure students are receiving the education they’re entitled to.”

Sidhu also was an active member of the Carey Law community. In her second year, she was chosen as the first chair of the school’s Diversity Committee, a particularly meaningful role because of her passion for diversity and inclusion.

“The committee was created to serve as a liaison to the administration and to work with it to improve our school climate,” says Sidhu, who was an advisor during her third year. “I held a number of events, conducted a schoolwide survey to identify concerns regarding diversity, and set a plan to be carried out in coming years.”

Sidhu also served as secretary of the Black Law Students Association, community outreach co-chair of the Suspension Representation Project, and vice president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. She was selected to the school’s 21-member National Trial Team and was manuscripts editor of the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class.

Sidhu says she couldn’t have taken on these tasks without many other helping hands — “I’m thankful to my support system and those who challenged me and laughed with me,” she says — and leaves her fellow graduates with a simple message:

“Pursue your passions, stay true to yourself, and be kind.”

— Lou Cortina

More on commencement

Read more about the commencement speakers and honorees and about all the commencement festivities.

Lou CortinaBulletin Board, Education, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB News, University LifeMay 17, 20180 comments
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Commencement 2018: Honorary Marshals

Here’s a look at the honorary marshals for UMB’s commencement on May 18:

Mary M. Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FASB, FISB

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, School of Medicine

Honorary University Marshal 

About Rodgers: Rodgers joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in 1994 and found a home in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, teaching biomechanics and conducting research. She was appointed department chair in 1998 and provided leadership and stewardship for 15 years. During this time, the department rose from unranked to the top 10 percent of all physical therapy programs in the country. She retired in 2017 and is now professor emeritus.

Research: Rodgers is director of the Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core for the Maryland Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at UMB. She also has held a number of research and education advisory positions, including senior advisor for the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health for the past eight years.

Quote: “I am very excited for all of these graduates who have worked so hard to complete their programs and are now ready to launch into valuable careers,” Rodgers says.

Karen Kauffman, PhD, CRNP, RN, FAAN

Retired Chair, Department of Family and Community Health, School of Nursing

Honorary Faculty Marshal 

About Kauffman: After two decades in acute care nursing, Kaufmann worked as a University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) faculty member from 1995 to 1998. She left to start Life Passages Care Consultants, Inc., a long-term care consultation practice for older adults and their families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, then returned to UMSON in 2003 as the specialty director for community/public health nursing. She became chair of the Department of Family and Community Health in 2007 and retired in December 2017.

Public Service: Her dedicated service in the public sector has made a profound difference locally, nationally, and internationally for those struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, a condition Kauffman witnessed firsthand for over 20 years while caring for her mother. She has been a national and chapter leader of the Alzheimer’s Association and won many public service awards, including UMB’s 2014 Public Servant of the Year.

Quote: “For me, serving as honorary faculty marshal for the 2018 commencement is truly the capstone to my many rewarding years in the academy,” Kauffman says. 

Jill Whitall, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, School of Medicine

Honorary Student Marshal

About Whitall: A native of Windlesham, England, Whitall spent six years in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, before joining UMSOM in 1994. She handled several administrative roles, including director of the PhD program, and taught/mentored students in the PhD graduate and Doctor of Physical Therapy professional programs. She is now professor emeritus after retiring in January 2018.

Research: Whitall attracted several million dollars in funding during her UMSOM tenure from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Department of Veterans Affairs, Maryland Industrial Partnerships, and more. Her primary research focus for the last 20 years was on improving bimanual and gait rehabilitation for individuals with stroke by using motor control and learning principles to develop new treatment programs, testing these interventions, and trying to understand principles of recovery.

Quote: “I respect the tradition of graduation ceremonies, so I’m surprised and pleased to be asked to take part,” Whitall says.

More on commencement

Read more about the commencement speakers and honorees and about all the commencement festivities.

Lou CortinaCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMay 17, 20180 comments
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Live Near Your Work Grant Hits Home as UMB Employees Buy Houses

When the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) relaunched the Live Near Your Work Program this year, President Jay A. Perman, MD, detailed the initiative’s upgrades, putting a focus on the University’s new $1.5 million commitment. Perman said he expected the revised grant from UMB – which increased from $2,500 to $16,000 — to be a “game-changer” for the program when applications opened in late January.

After 3½ months, the game indeed has changed in a big way — and UMB employees Vonetta Edwards, PhD, and C. Steven Douglas, MA, MLS, can attest to that. Both have used the money to help buy homes in Hollins Market, one of seven neighborhoods adjacent to UMB eligible for the program, joining a half-dozen other employees who’ve taken the plunge into homeownership with aid from UMB, with more prospects in the pipeline.

Edwards, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the School of Medicine (UMSOM), moved into her new home in Hollins Market this month, using the grant that includes $16,000 from UMB and $2,500 from the city of Baltimore to help with the down payment and closing costs. As intended, the funds served as a cash catalyst, pushing her to action.

“This is a great program, and it propelled me from thinking about purchasing a home to actually doing it,” said Edwards, who has worked at UMB for 5½ years and had been living in an apartment in Mount Vernon. “Especially for first-time homebuyers, the amount that covers both closing costs and the down payment is almost too good to leave on the table. Even if you do not see it as your ‘forever’ home, you are getting in as the areas develop, so you can consider it an investment.”

Douglas is head of collection strategies and management at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library and a 16-year UMB employee. He had been renting in Hollins Market, and the grant helped him buy a house in the neighborhood. “Its proximity to campus, downtown, and the harbor first attracted me,” he said.

The new homebuyers follow Shea Lawson, a research project coordinator at the Brain and Tissue Bank at UMSOM who was the first UMB employee to close on a home using the new Live Near Your Work (LNYW) grant and moved into a home in Pigtown in March. (Read Shea’s story.) Pigtown/Washington Village,  Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Market, Mount Clare, Poppleton, and Union Square are the program’s seven targeted neighborhoods.

‘Very Pleased With Progress’

At a news conference launching the revamped program in January, attended by Mayor Catherine Pugh, Perman referred to LNYW as Dawn Rhodes’ “baby,” and Rhodes, MBA, the University’s chief business and finance officer and vice president, is thrilled with her baby’s growth. “We are very pleased with the progress of the improved Live Near Your Work Program,” she said. “It is helping very deserving individuals become homeowners.”

Emily Kordish, UMB benefits manager and coordinator of the LNYW Program, has been helping to guide employees through the process. She’s equally thrilled with the results.

“I’m extremely excited and honored to be a part of a program that has been making such a big impact in our employees’ lives,” Kordish said. “Employees have been contacting me not only to take advantage of this benefit, but to also take the steps so they can be ready to buy. This has truly been a rewarding experience.”

Edwards and Douglas attended an LNYW Program employee kickoff session and information panel at the SMC Campus Center on Jan. 11 and took part in the homebuying counseling sessions and neighborhood tours sponsored by Live Baltimore, one of the initiative’s community partners.

“The counseling sessions provided lots of useful information that helped to demystify the homebuying process,” Douglas said. “And the trolley tour gave me an opportunity to interview real estate agents.”

Edwards said she loved the trolley tour because it gave her a good overview of neighborhoods that she wasn’t too familiar with. “I had heard the names of all of them but did not have a mental geographic map of how they were spread out,” she said. “The tour also allowed you to see which neighborhoods you would be comfortable living in.”

As for the counseling sessions, Edwards said, “They allowed me to determine what payments I felt comfortable with and thus how much house to look for. They also brought up issues and situations that I had not thought about in buying a house, like monthly security system payments, the home warranty, and such.”

Reaping the Benefits

Now that she’s in Hollins Market, Edwards says living close to her workplace is a great benefit.

“I do bench research and sometimes have to come in on the weekend,” she said. “So a 10-minute walk in, or five minutes on the orange circulator, beats a 20- or 40-minute bus ride in, plus public transportation on the weekend is not extremely reliable.”

Another perk? “I still get to avoid purchasing a car,” Edwards said.

Both UMB employees praised the program, its community partners, and its facilitators, including Kordish and Daibeth Saunders, development officer for the city of Baltimore.

“The process was amazingly easy,” Douglas said. “Emily here on campus, Daibeth with the city, my real estate agent, and my mortgage agent all worked together to get me into the house.”

“I would like to thank Emily Kordish and Daibeth Saunders for making this a seamless process,” Edwards said. “I also thank UMB leadership for facilitating this process and making my first home a reality.”

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaFor B'more, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeMay 15, 20181 comment
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Free Lunch and Learn Seminar: ‘Stay in the Game: Relief for Non-Arthritic Knee Pain’

Join Jonathan Packer, MD, from University of Maryland Orthopaedics for a free Lunch & Learn seminar on May 24 in Columbia, Md. He will answer questions and discuss the causes of and treatments for non-arthritic knee pain.

Here are the details:

  • When: Thursday, May 24
  • Time: Noon
  • Where: Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044
  • To attend: Registration is required. Sign up at this link or call 1-800-492-5538.
  • Note: Lunch will be provided.
Merideth MarrBulletin Board, People, University LifeMay 14, 20180 comments
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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Welcomes New Members for Three-Year Terms

The members of the UMB Faculty Senate would like to congratulate the newly elected senators and welcome them to the Senate.

We look forward to all the new senators attending the final Senate meeting of the 2017-18 academic year on June 13, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will thank them for their three-year commitment of service to UMB.

Our new senators include:

  • Deborah Cartee, RDH, MS, School of Dentistry
  • Stephanie Knight, MD, School of Medicine
  • Ericka Lewis, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work
  • Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, School of Nursing
  • Marcela Romero Reyes, DDS, PhD, School of Dentistry
  • Nirav Shah, MD, School of Medicine
  • Amanda Oglesby-Sherrouse, PhD, School of Pharmacy
  • Andrea Shipper, MSLIS, Health Sciences and Human Services Library
Sonya EvansCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeMay 11, 20180 comments
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Gutchell Elected State’s Representative for Nurse Practitioners Group

Veronica Gutchell, DNP ’13, CNS, CRNP, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been elected as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) representative for the state of Maryland. Her term begins July 1, 2018, at the close of the AANP’s national conference in Denver.

In this role, Gutchell will represent the interests of AANP, its members, and the community at large. She also will function as the key state contact person for the AANP regional director, board of directors, committees, and executive staff.

“It is an honor to have been elected as a Maryland state representative. I’m excited to act as a liaison between Maryland nurse practitioners and AANP,” Gutchell said. “I will collaborate with state organizations on issues affecting nurse practitioners and offer solutions by connecting them with the available resources provided by the national organization. In turn, I will share with AANP the outstanding work being done by Maryland nurse practitioners who are committed to delivering high-quality health care to Maryland residents.”

AANP is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 248,000 licensed NPs in the United States. It also provides legislative leadership at the local, state, and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education, and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers. Serving as the voice of the NP, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, and patient-centered health care.

“We congratulate Dr. Gutchell on being elected the AANP representative for Maryland,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “She has demonstrated her deep commitment to advanced practice nursing and will do an outstanding job as a liaison between our state and the national organization. Dr. Gutchell represents nurse leadership at its finest, and I know that in her new role, we will all benefit from her ability to translate the experiences and interests of Maryland’s nurse practitioners to leaders at the regional and national level.”

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAMay 11, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the May issue of The President’s Message.

It includes the following:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on a new home for our Community Engagement Center
  • A recap of IPE Day
  • A look ahead to commencement
  • Dr. Robert Redfield’s appointment as CDC director
  • A Women’s History Month celebration of Dr. Angela Brodie
  • Shock Trauma’s Stop the Bleed program
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Administration, University Life, USGAMay 10, 20180 comments
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