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Campus & Community

Faculty and Staff Accolades

A Roundup of Recent Awards and Accomplishments

By Maryland Today Staff

Illustration of trophy on yellow background

Illustration by Ryumi Sung

Illustration by Ryumi Sung

Below are some of the awards and honors University of Maryland faculty and staff have earned since February:

Akua Asa-Awuku, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Candice Duncan, a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology; and Ebony Terrell Shockley, associate clinical professor in the College of Education, were honored as Taking Nature Black Environmental Champions by the Audobon Naturalist Society. They make up the University of Maryland Geo-Sciences Research Team working to diversify the geosciences.

Abhinav Bhatele, assistant professor of computer science with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), received an Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

Darrell Claiborne, director of operations at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, was recognized by the National Association for Campus Activities with its highest honor, the 2021 Founders Award.

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s History Division named Ira Chinoy, associate professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, one of five winners of the Jinx Coleman Broussard Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Media History.

Lucy A. Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, was named one of two finalists for a Scripps Howard Award in the Administrator of the Year. The virtual awards show will stream on Facebook and YouTube at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Tamás Darvas, assistant professor of mathematics, was awarded a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship. Granted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the award identifies 128 early-career scientists based on their potential to contribute fundamentally significant research to a wider academic community.

Assistant Professor Katrina Groth in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and associate director of the Center for Risk and Reliability received an Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

Marccus Hendricks, assistant professor of urban studies and planning, was listed among 50 trailblazers from across the U.S. honored by The Grist as emerging leaders in climate, sustainability and equity. Hendricks was recognized for his work to shed light on the infrastructure inequities plaguing communities of color.

Liangbing Hu, Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Center for Materials Innovation, was elected to the class of 2021 Materials Research Society fellows.

Professor Alireza Khaligh in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research won the Nagamori Award from the Nagamori Foundation in the fields of power electronics and electric machines. He was honored for his pioneering research and development on design and control of high-efficiency and high-power-density electric-motor-integrated wide bandgap power electronics.

David Mussington, professor of the practice and director of the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise in the School of Public Policy, was elected a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He will also be joining the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as executive assistant director of the Infrastructure Security Division.

Naomi Sachs, assistant professor in plant science and landscape architecture, received the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2021 Excellence in Research Award (Junior Level) and the American Horticultural Society's 2021 Horticultural Therapy Award.

Erich Sommerfeldt, an associate professor in the Department of Communication, was selected by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a 2021 Jefferson Science Fellowship in Washington, D.C. He will work with the U.S. Department of State to provide expertise in policy decisions for U.S. public diplomacy around the globe

Peter Sunderland, professor of fire protection engineering, was among 32 individuals honored for their outstanding contributions to the field of combustion by the Combustion Institute, naming him among its 2021 class of fellows.

Philip Merrill College of Journalism Lecturer and photojournalist Bethany Swain received an Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association in the in the 2021 Faculty Festival of Media Arts Promotional Video category for her video, “Feed Anne Arundel: ‘This Problem Isn’t Going Away.’”

Pratyush Tiwary, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry with a joint appointment in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

English Professor Joshua Weiner was on the team that translated “Anniversary Snow” by Yang Lian from Chinese to English and won the inaugural Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation. The award is named for a champion of international poetry who died in 2017.

Have an accolade to share with the campus community? Email it to Liam Farrell at for inclusion in this listing, which appears twice each semester.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.