The University of Maryland’s 35th annual Convocation today will honor faculty and staff for their contributions to education, research and the campus community. The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at Memorial Chapel, followed by a reception in the Chapel Garden.

Darryll J. Pines, dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and Nariman Farvardin Professor, will receive the President’s Medal, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the intellectual, social and cultural life of Maryland.

In his nearly decade-long tenure as dean, the Clark School has consistently ranked among the nation’s and world’s top engineering schools. Pines’ focus on targeted recruitment and advising has paid off in one-year retention rates that rank among the top five public flagships nationwide. Meanwhile, the proportions of women and underrepresented minority faculty and students have risen significantly, and the Clark School ranks in the top 10 for engineering degrees awarded to African Americans at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels.

In addition, Pines was key to bringing in the largest-ever gift to university, a $219.5 million investment by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to increase college access and affordability, inspire the next generation of engineering leaders and spark innovations. 

In other honors, physics Professor Peter Shawhan, who played a critical role in the scientific breakthroughs made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

(LIGO), will receive the Kirwan Faculty Research and Scholarship Prize, and Reid Compton, who has offered guidance to faculty members, helped the College Park Scholars’ Life Sciences program flourish and influenced the academic trajectories of countless students in his two decades at UMD, will receive the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award.

In addition, the Distinguished Service Awards will recognize exceptional performance, leadership and service by members of the university staff. The 2018 recipients are:

  • Luis Alfonzo (Facilities Management)
  • Joan Burton (Office of Undergraduate Studies)
  • Cheryl Hill (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources)
  • John Romano (Center for the Advanced Study of Language)
  • Terry Zacker (Division of Student Affairs)

The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award honors tenured faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments as educators. The 2018 recipients are:

  • Merle Collins (Department of English)
  • Jeffery Davis (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry)
  • P.K. Kannan (Department of Marketing)
  • Anne Simon (Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics)
  • Ichiro Takeuchi (Department of Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Shibley Telhami (Department of Government and Politics)

The Distinguished University Professor Award recognizes extraordinary achievement as a teacher, scholar and public servant. The 2018 recipients are:

  • John Baras (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Institute for Systems Research)
  • Peter Carruthers (Department of Philosophy)
  • Christopher Gekker (School of Music)
  • Theodore Jacobson (Department of Physics)
  • Isaak Mayergoyz (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)