Archive for May, 2018

2018 Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics Conference: Balancing Digital Demands: Access, Use, Security

Register for July’s Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics Conference

This year’s Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics Conference focuses on cybersecurity, including the enhanced use and the availability of technologies in the health care environment.

Don’t miss the opportunity to dialogue with experts in the field from across the United States at the University of Maryland School of Nursing from Wednesday, July 18 to Friday, July 20, with pre-conference events on Tuesday, July 17.

Early bird registration has been extended until Friday, June 8.

Find more information and register. 

Emily ParksEducation, TechnologyMay 31, 20180 comments
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Employee of the Month George Anagnostou recieves a certificate from UMB's president.

Passing All Tests, Anagnostou Wins UMB Employee of the Month Award

As senior instructional technology specialist at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), George Anagnostou, MS, is tasked with many duties. The most challenging and time-consuming is providing support to faculty, staff, and students in the administration of computer-based exams.

“Exams have dominated our lives because they’re such an important part of what my team does,” says Anagnostou, a six-year UMSOP employee. “It’s one of those things where if something were to go wrong, it’s sort of, ‘Stop what you’re doing and make sure this exam is taking place as expected.’ It’s a big chunk of what we do.”

It’s clear that Anagnostou aces all his job tests, because on May 21 his efforts were recognized with the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Employee of the Month Award for May. UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, surprised him with the honor in the President’s Conference Room at the Saratoga Building, where Anagnostou thought he was attending a meeting to discuss online graduate programs with representatives of the Graduate School.

“Actually, this meeting’s about you,” Perman told him after popping into the meeting unannounced. “You do something very important for students. You make it possible for them to navigate through exams as easily as they can. I care deeply about people who improve the lives of our students, because as I often say, they’re the only ones who are paying to be here, right? So we ought to make it good for them, and you do that every day.”

Six of Anagnostou’s colleagues from UMSOP were on hand to celebrate his award, including Andrew Coop, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs, and Shannon Tucker, MS, assistant dean for instructional design and technology. They had another surprise for Anagnostou. That party scheduled for 3 o’clock back at the school? That was to celebrate this award.

It’s a well-deserved honor, Tucker says.

“Testing is a high-stress situation for all,” she says. “In George’s methodical support of our community, he always considers how our processes could be improved. He is willing to advocate for the right solution that balances accreditation, course assessment goals, and the experience of students, faculty, and staff — even if it means more work for him.”

‘Pivotal’ Player

Tucker specifically praised Anagnostou’s work with the ExamSoft software, as he manages support for students of varying technology skills who have a variety of operating systems, laptop brands, and configurations.

“His efforts to support students and strategically use vendor support has helped reduce the incidence of in-exam technology issues between academic years,” Tucker says. “His ability to balance customer experience with the organizational needs of the school makes him a pivotal part of the academic affairs team.”

ExamSoft is a secure testing platform the school uses to deliver most of its exams, with Anagnostou estimating that all but four of 40 courses use it and that the school distributed more than 50 exams using the system this past semester.

“With this software, we reduce the amount of paper we need to utilize for exams,” he says. “We’ve shortened the amount of time it takes to administer exams, so that’s been a big benefit. And the students’ feedback has been that they prefer to take electronic exams over paper exams.”

Anagnostou has other duties beyond exams, such as supporting the Blackboard course management system and consulting with faculty on the technological aspects of taking ideas from inception to implementation. It’s a difficult job involving a wide range of people, he admits, but it’s those personal interactions that fuel his efforts.

“Honestly, the favorite thing about my job is the people,” Anagnostou says. “That’s one of the reasons I got out of strictly information technology work, because that’s too much in a bubble.”

‘Wonderful Honor’

In addition to all the praise, Anagnostou received a plaque, a letter of commendation from Perman, and news that an extra $250 would be in his next paycheck. He says the money will come in handy as he and his wife, 20-month-old son, and mother are taking a vacation to Greece, his parents’ homeland.

“This is a wonderful honor,” Anagnostou says. “To be recognized for the hard work that I and my team do is really nice. It was totally unexpected, and I’m just thrilled.”

— 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 24, 20180 comments
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Next Women In Bio Baltimore Meet-Up Set for June 19

Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) has agreed to sponsor the next Women In Bio (WIB) Baltimore Meet-Up on June 19. The event is a mixer in the evening to cap off a great spring season.

Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, June 19
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Personal Genome Diagnostics, Bottle Building, 3600 Boston St., Baltimore, MD 21224
  • Price: Free to WIB mmebers; $15 for non-WIB members
  • To attend: Registration is limited because of space
  • Contact: WIB-Capital Region at
Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Community ServiceMay 24, 20180 comments
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Baltimore Grand Garage Renovations May Disrupt Parking

Renovations to the Baltimore Grand Garage began on Monday, May 21. As a result, there has been a reduction in available parking spots, and parkers (especially those arriving late in the morning) may be directed to another garage.

If you are a regular parker and would like to request a temporary garage reassignment, please contact your parking representative. A limited number of reassignments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis (limited spots are available in the Saratoga, Lexington, Pearl, and Penn Street garages).

Modernization efforts will continue throughout the summer.

Angela HallUniversity LifeMay 23, 20180 comments
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School of Nursing Dual-Admission Partnerships

School of Nursing, BCCC Sign Dual-Admission Agreement

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) recently signed an agreement of dual admission. BCCC becomes the ninth community college in Maryland to sign such an agreement with UMSON.

Through the agreement, students can apply and be admitted to UMSON’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program while in BCCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. Students will receive transfer credits from UMSON for completed coursework at BCCC and will be granted special student status, allowing them to take UMSON courses while still working on their associate degree, thereby saving them time and money in completing their BSN degree.

“This partnership with UMSON creates a smooth transition for BCCC students who are enrolled in our ADN program to obtain their BSN degree,” said Scott Olden, MS, RN, dean, School of Nursing and Health Professions, BCCC.

An effort to increase qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping further the mission of  Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP to advance comprehensive health care change. The campaign uses as its framework the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The partnership program specifically addresses one of the eight goals set forth in the report: to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

“UMSON faculty and staff welcome the opportunity to work with the BCCC community to provide an avenue for its ADN students to earn their BSN degrees,” said Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, assistant professor and director, RN-to-BSN Program, UMSON. “We are looking forward to working together to advise the nursing students at BCCC on how to successfully enhance their skills as they progress through the program.”

To matriculate to UMSON’s BSN program, students must graduate with an ADN from BCCC and satisfy UMSON’s progression criteria.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, For B'more, UMB News, University Life, USGAMay 23, 20180 comments
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Join a Conversation with the Cast of ‘On Your Feet!’ on June 7

UMB students, faculty, and staff are invited to bring lunch to the Hippodrome Theatre on June 7 and join a conversation with cast members of On Your Feet! This musical is an inspiring true story about heart, heritage, and two people who believed in their talent and each other to become an international sensation: Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

  • Date: Thursday, June 7
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St.
  • Registration: Space is limited, so register today.


Alice PowellBulletin Board, For B'more, People, University LifeMay 23, 20180 comments
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At James McHenry School, Artwork Fosters Community Engagement

Last fall, fourth-grade students at James McHenry Elementary/Middle School helped local artist Candace Brush put the finishing touches on a hand-painted mural outside of their school. Upon its completion, principal Chris Turk said the mural reflects the spirit of the school and captures its power of positivity and optimism. Thanks to AARP Maryland and the nonprofit REAL School Gardens, those students now have an intergenerational outdoor community space next to that mural for the whole neighborhood to enjoy.

At the opening ceremony for the new outdoor space on May 10, in an event called the “Big Dig,” volunteers, including those from UMB’s Office of Community Engagement, completed the project and joined in the celebration. The mural project and the creation of the outdoor space illustrate how art can be integrated into community spaces in ways not previously imagined.

The mural at James McHenry was the second in a series of public murals planned in partnership with several area K-12 schools. The mural project was made possible by the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Council for the Arts & Culture, which sponsored the artwork, and Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, the council’s honorary chair.

The murals are designed and customized for each school by Brush, with input from students, parents, teachers, and administrators. On the day of the unveiling, a portion of the mural is left to be colored in by children from each school. The first mural project was held in 2016 at Southwest Baltimore Charter School, one of three West Baltimore schools that sends middle school students into UMB’s CURE Scholars Program. The Council for the Arts & Culture is working toward identifying the next location for the mural project, planned for fall 2018.

Nearly 100 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds participated in the “Big Dig” to construct the intergenerational community space at James McHenry. The result was an integrated neighborhood effort that will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

— Emma Jekowsky

Emma JekowskyCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, UMB NewsMay 23, 20180 comments
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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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Quarterly Q&A with Dr. Perman

Quarterly Q&A with President Perman Set for June 19

The next President’s Q&A will be held Tuesday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the School of Nursing Auditorium, Room 140.

Join University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, as he answers questions from students, staff, and faculty. If you have a specific question you would like to ask but never had the opportunity, or if you would just like to know more about what’s happening around the University, please join us. Please print your questions for Dr. Perman on this PDF and bring them with you.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

For recaps of previous Q&A sessions, go to the President’s Q&A web page.

Eva HanleyUMB News, University LifeMay 22, 20180 comments
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Discover and Share Data with New UMB Data Catalog

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) is proud to introduce the UMB Data Catalog, a searchable and browsable collection of records describing datasets generated by UMB researchers.

The UMB Data Catalog promotes research collaboration and data sharing by facilitating the discovery of data sets that may be otherwise hard to find or unavailable from data repositories. Rather than functioning as a repository to store data, the Data Catalog provides information about data sets, including a description of the data set, keywords,  file format and size, access rights, and links to associated articles. With the UMB Data Catalog, researchers can describe their data and make it discoverable, but they are not required to share their data. Instead, the catalog allows users to request data access through an author, an administrator, or a repository. By allowing researchers to identify common research interests and by supporting the sharing and reuse of research data, the UMB Data Catalog has the capacity to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.

The HS/HSL is a member of the Data Catalog Collaboration Project (DCCP) along with New York University (NYU); the University of Pittsburgh; the University of Virginia; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Duke University. Members run their own installations of the data catalog, developed by NYU, but work together to share and improve system design, content curation, and outreach efforts.

The HS/HSL thanks the researchers who have contributed to the UMB Data Catalog during its initial development phase.

  • Sergei P. Atamas, MD, PhD, School of Medicine
  • Peter Doshi, PhD, School of Pharmacy
  • Corey Shdaimah, LLM, PhD, School of Social Work
  • Jay Unick, MSW, PhD, School of Social Work

Help us build the UMB Data Catalog! If you are interested in submitting a data set, have a suggestion for additional data sets to add, or need more information about the project, please contact us.

Everly BrownCollaboration, Education, Research, TechnologyMay 22, 20180 comments
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UMMC Schwartz Rounds: ‘When Tragedy Strikes and Compassion Wanes’

The University of Maryland Medical Center will host a Schwartz Rounds forum May 29 that is open to all employees. The topic: “Amidst Embers: When Tragedy Strikes and Compassion Wanes.”

Join our monthly multidisciplinary forum and engage with caregivers in a conversation about the emotional and social issues associated with caring for patients. Panelists will present case studies and facilitate an interactive discussion in which participants can share their experiences.

Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, May 29
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: UMMC Auditorium, 22 S. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Registration: Go to this link.
  • Note: Lunch will be provided.
  • Continuing education: Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and social workers who attend will be eligible to earn one AMA PRA Category 1 credit, one Nursing Continuing Education Hour, or one SW Category 1 CEU.
Briana MathisClinical Care, Education, Research, UMB News, University LifeMay 22, 20180 comments
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School of Pharmacy Celebrates Class of 2018 at Convocation

No other month in the academic year brings about more excitement at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy than May, as faculty and staff join family and friends in celebrating the graduation of the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Master of Science (MS) Class of 2018. This year’s celebrations for graduates in all of the school’s academic programs spanned two days and culminated with the annual convocation ceremony at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel on May 18.

Celebrating Years of Hard Work

In her opening remarks at the convocation ceremony, which focuses on the achievements of the PharmD Class of 2018, Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the school, highlighted some of the class’ noteworthy accomplishments from the past four years. She commended the graduates for their commitment to their pharmacy education, noting that some students had not only overcome significant personal challenges to complete their education, but also pursued additional opportunities along the way, including the completion of a dual degree, involvement in a wide range of community and global health projects, and election to local and national student leadership roles.

“Today marks the beginning of a celebration of what is to come for each of you as members of one of the most rewarding professions — pharmacy,” she said. “As new practitioners, you have amazing opportunities in front of you to be critical thinkers and to solve the perennial, long-term problems facing health care, research, and society. Challenge the status quo approach to health care in this country. Use your passion and your enthusiasm to drive our profession to truly impact patient care in a more visible, sustainable manner focused on delivering positive health care outcomes.”

Imparting Words of Wisdom

Victoria Hale, BSP ’83, PhD, founder and chief executive officer of OneWorld Health and Medicines360 — and one of the School of Pharmacy’s Founding Pharmapreneurs — was selected by the Class of 2018 as the keynote speaker for convocation in recognition of her enduring passion for the development of important new medicines for all of humanity, with the specific goal of reducing health inequities. In her speech, Hale encouraged graduates to rely not only on their intellect as they progress through their careers, but also to listen to their hearts and make their own unique mark on the pharmacy profession.

“You are sitting here today as a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy because of your intellect,” Hale said. “All that you have learned here will carry you far in this world. But there are a lot of people with great intellects. It is your heart that will direct you and guide you, if you are open to it. I chose the pharmacy path because it was what my heart told me to do. But each of us has a different way of being in the world. It is only through knowing your heart that you will find your true path.”

Transitioning from Students to Professionals

Amanda Oglesby-Sherrouse, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC); and James Trovato, PharmD, MBA, BCOP, FASHP, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS); with assistance from Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor in PPS and associate dean for student affairs, joined Eddington in presenting graduates with their doctoral hoods to signify their completion of the highest professional degree in pharmacy.

“Donning the traditional olive-colored pharmacy hood represents the fact that you have entered a caring profession that depends upon your proper use of scientific and clinical knowledge,” Eddington said. “You must care for your patients with compassion as well as intelligence. You will be trusted by patients — do not underestimate the importance of that trust, nor treat it lightly. You will have an impact on peoples’ lives.”

Honoring All Graduates

Twenty students graduating from the school’s PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) and PhD in PSC programs received their hoods during the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Graduate School ceremony on May 17. The MS in Regulatory Science program also hosted its third convocation in Pharmacy Hall on May 17 to celebrate its nearly 30 graduates.

“Progressing through this graduate program was a much different experience than pursuing my undergraduate degree,” said Mark Hendrickson, senior director of sciences and regulatory affairs for the Association for Accessible Medicines and member of the program’s Class of 2018. “Over 18 months, my classmates and I spent five semesters together, completing approximately 350 hours of online lectures, 30 scheduled live discussions with our peers, 10 individual papers, 10 group papers, and 10 group presentations. To have this opportunity to interact with other working professionals from all sorts of backgrounds — learning from these individuals and working together to pursue a combined interest — was really a fascinating experience.”

The school’s MS in Pharmacometrics program also celebrated its fifth graduating class. This year’s graduating class featured 12 students, including two dual-degree students from the school’s Doctor of Pharmacy program — Priya Brunsdon and Minseok Lee.

After the school’s morning convocation ceremony, graduates assembled in the afternoon for a Universitywide graduation ceremony at Royal Farms Arena, where Jody Olsen, PhD, MSW, director of the Peace Corps and former faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, delivered the keynote address.

To view more photos and video from this momentous occasion, please visit the School of Pharmacy’s Facebook page.

PharmD Class of 2018 Awards and Prizes 

  • Preceptors of the Year: Jeffrey Mrowczynski, PharmD; Zachary Noel, PharmD, BCPS; Richard D. Parker, Jr., PharmBS; and Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD, BCGP, BCPS
  • Andrew G. DuMez Award for Superior Proficiency in Pharmacy: Alina Jane Kukin
  • Terry Paul Crovo Award in Pharmacy Practice for Performance and Promise to Uphold the Highest Standards of the Profession: Alyssa Theresa Henshaw and Rachel Allison Lumish
  • Lambda Kappa Sigma, Epsilon Alumnae Chapter-Cole Award for Proficiency in Pharmacy Administration: Chukwukadibia Jideofor Udeze
  • William Simon Memorial Prize for Superior Work in the Field of Medicinal Chemistry, Practical and Analytical Chemistry: Ana Luisa Moreira Coutinho
  • Wagner Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence Prize for Meritorious Academic Achievement in Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence: Ahrang Yoo
  • John F. Wannenwetsch Memorial Prize for Exceptional Performance and Promise in the Practice of Community Pharmacy: Kayla Lynn Otto
  • Conrad L. Wich Prize for Exceptional Work in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy: Priya Brunsdon
  • S. Williams Practical Pharmacy Prize to the Student Having the Highest General Average in Basic and Applied Pharmaceutics: Jessica Hodge
  • Academic Excellence Award: Jessica Hodge and Rachel Allison Lumish
  • Universities at Shady Grove Academic and Community Excellence Award: Priya Brunsdon
  • Maryland Pharmaceutical Society Award: Gaelle Annick Ngadeu Njonkou
  • Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy Award: Kar-Yue Alvin Yee
  • Maryland Pharmacists Association Award: Meryam Sima Gharbi
  • Maryland-ASCP Award: Hongzhuo Lin
  • Alfred Abramson Entrepreneurship Award: Fahim Faruque
  • S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award: Priya Davey
  • Mylan Excellence in Pharmacy Award: Alaina Marie Robey
  • Leadership Awards: Priya Davey, Bahareh Ghorashi, Emmanuel Kim, Abigail Marie Klutts, Alina Jane Kukin, Joseph Robert Martin, Jenny Diep Nguyen, and Chukwukadibia Jideofor Udeze

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollEducation, UMB News, University LifeMay 21, 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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