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Campus & Community

33 Faculty and Staff to Be Honored at Convocation

Annual Awards Celebrate Excellence in Teaching, Service and Research

By Maggie Haslam

Memorial Chapel

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Landmark achievements in research, unwavering service to the university community and innovative, creative teaching will be recognized today as 33 faculty and staff members from the University of Maryland campus community are honored during the 40th annual Convocation.

"As we gather today to mark the exceptional accomplishments of our 2023 convocation honorees, we are reminded of the profound impact they have made on the student experience, our state and community, and in addressing the grand challenges of our time,” said university President Darryll J. Pines. “Their dedication to innovation, service and creativity and their relentless pursuit of bold solutions inspire us all to aim higher and strive for a better future."

Gloria Aparicio Blackwell, founder and director of the Office of Community Engagement, will receive the President’s Medal, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the intellectual, social and cultural life of the university. Blackwell’s dedication to UMD and local communities through outreach, collaboration and service has fortified the town-gown relationship and has advanced the university’s commitment to equity, diversity and social justice.

Dr. Donald Milton, professor of environmental health, will be honored with the Kirwan Research and Scholarship Prize for his decades-long commitment to public health and pivotal research on the spread of respiratory viruses. His career-spanning body of research on aerosols shaped the national conversation on the efficacy of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, revising long-held beliefs of global scientific and medical establishments.

Professor of architecture Madlen Simon will receive the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award for her integration of experiential learning and design thinking with her courses and for her emphasis on multidisciplinary teamwork. Simon’s leadership in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation has fostered an inclusive student experience that helped triple undergraduate enrollment.

Kate Blanch, director of data service and analytics in the Division of Student Affairs, is the second recipient of the Sharon A. La Voy Data Impact Award for her work to improve university operations and infrastructure, enhancing student well-being and success and driving the university’s equity mission. Her work to synthesize COVID-19 community data during the pandemic was instrumental in the safe return of UMD’s campus population.

Read more about all of this year’s awardees by clicking on their photos below:

Download text file for 2023 Convocation bios

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