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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