«Chair- Elect Submitted by the Senate Nominations Committee Chair- Elect Nominees (One will be Elected) • Daniel Falvey Professor ...»
It is truly an honor to be considered for Chair Elect of the University Senate. This University, as well our peer institutions nationwide, will be facing many challenges in the coming years. Longstanding practices such as, public funding models for university operations, faculty tenure, and even specific teaching methods are being questioned by various stakeholders, resulting in pressure to make major changes. In many areas changes are long overdue and will make us much more effective as an institution. However some proposals are merely ineffective fads that risk wasting resources and diluting our efforts. Effective decision- making under these circumstances requires that the leadership of the University seek counsel from a variety of perspectives including faculty, staff, and students. The University Senate is designed to serve that role. However to continue to be effective, I believe that the Senate will need to consider changes to its operations as well. Many colleagues and administrators I have spoken with are concerned that the Senate, with its current procedures, is too cumbersome and slow to respond effectively when urgent issues emerge. As result the Senate is too often viewed as an obstacle to be avoided, rather than as a useful source of counsel to be engaged. If elected one of my goals will be to improve the flexibility with which the Senate considers issues and makes decisions. For example, improvements in communication between the Senate Executive Committee and various standing committees, adjustments to the meeting calendar, as well as adoption of online communication tools should be considered as ways for streamlining Senate procedures.
I have been a member of University of Maryland community since 1989, when I was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. I am currently a Professor and Associate Chair in that department. I have had an active, NSF- funded research program in the area of organic photochemistry since 1989. I have routinely taught courses at both graduate and undergraduate level, advised undergraduate students and have mentored 17 Ph. D. students. Additionally I have served as an APT mentor for numerous junior faculty colleagues, both tenure- track and non- tenure track. As associate chair in my department, I have lead several initiatives aimed at improving undergraduate education, including serving as lead PI for a NSF- TUES grant for innovations in 3rd and 4th year teaching laboratory courses, developed a new introductory chemistry course for engineering students, and lead the acquisition of improved mass spectrometry instrumentation for our core facility.
At the campus level, I served on the Graduate Council from 1998- 2001, the Senate Academic Procedures & Standards (APAS) Committee from 2013- 2015, the Senate Programs, Curricula, & Courses (PCC) Committee from 2009- 2011, the Provost’s Task Force on Open Access from 2011- 2012, and the Search Committee for the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs in 2009- 2010. I have served on the University Senate from 2006- 2009. During that time, I chaired the Senate Faculty Affairs Committee for two terms when we considered issues such as the policy on scholarly misconduct, post- tenure review, and open access to the research literature. Additionally I was a member of the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) and the Senate Committee on Committees.
I have spent my entire academic life at the University of Maryland – as a student, postdoc, professor, department chair, parent, and alumnus. I have worked with and learned from the brilliant faculty, enthusiastic students, and outstanding staff that are at the heart of this great University. Over the last 40+ years, I have watched this University grow to become a leading research university that attracts some of the brightest minds and fosters a collegial atmosphere where good ideas can flourish, and teaching and research are both seen as a common mission. This can largely be attributed to our unyielding pursuit of excellence. I believe the University Senate, through its commitment to shared governance, can and should play an important role in defining our common mission and leading our quest for excellence. This is my goal in seeking the Senate Chair- Elect position.
As a professor of physics, my research is in particle astrophysics, studying high- energy gamma rays and neutrinos from space. As principle investigator and elected US spokesperson, I currently lead an international effort of 20 universities and 150 scientists in building and operating the HAWC Gamma Ray Observatory in the high mountains of Mexico. Previously, I was the leader of the Milagro Gamma Ray Observatory and have played a role in the IceCube Neutrino Telescope at the South Pole and the Super- Kamiokande Neutrino Experiment in Japan. I believe that some of the techniques used in these large scientific collaborations to foster better communication can be brought to the Senate enabling a better exchange of ideas and more timely and informed action.
Teaching is a passion for me. As a student here, I learned from several great professors that faculty should create an atmosphere in the classroom where students can ask any question, no matter how simple, and be treated with respect. While I am honored that my classroom teaching has been recognized with numerous awards, including my selection as a Distinguished Scholar- Teacher, the USM Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching, the CMNS Board of Visitors Creative Educator Award, and the Kirwan Prize for Undergraduate Education, I feel fortunate to have been part of a supportive department and several active learning communities on the campus. In particular, I worked with an exceptional group of faculty in creating the Marquee Science courses that formed the basis for the I- Series courses. I have also served on the Gemstone Advisory Committee and College Park Scholars Advisory Committee. I bring to the Senate an unwavering commitment to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning on the campus.
I believe strongly in contributing to the service of the University. During my seven- year term as Chair of Physics I learned a great deal about how this University works. I teamed up with campus leaders to create our Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) with NIST and brought the $135M Physical Sciences Complex from an idea to completion.
In addition, I have been engaged with the University Senate in a variety of ways. I am currently in my sixth term as a faculty senator (I was even partly responsible for introducing the use of clickers to vote in the Senate). I have chaired the Senate Student Affairs Committee, the Senate Research Committee, and the University Research Council. I have served on the University APT Committee and have been the faculty representative on the Board of Governors for the Alumni Association for the last 20 years. In addition, I have contributed to the physics community by serving on numerous national panels for DOE and NSF and chairing reviews of several physics departments at other universities. In 2009, I was honored to receive this campus's highest award, the President’s Medal.
The University of Maryland has been a tremendous part of my life. My wife and I met as students at an anti- Vietnam war protest on Route 1 in 1971. My wife and daughter each earned their BA and Masters here, and my son got his BS here before going on to graduate from the University of Maryland medical school. The majority of my extended family went here – Maryland is my home and part of my family. I am eager to give back to the University that has given me so much, and I am invested in making this an even greater University than it already is.
I am humbled to be nominated to be Senate Chair- Elect and look forward to working together with faculty, staff, students, and the administration to achieve that goal.
Faculty Senator Nominees Sabrina Baron – Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Humanities I wish to be considered as a candidate for the Senate Executive Committee for 2015-2016. At present I represent part-time lecturers in the Senate and I have represented this constituency of approximately 700 faculty members several times in the past. Indeed, when I was first elected to the Senate several years ago, I was the sole Senator for every non-tenure track faculty member on the College Park campus.
I previously served as a member of the Faculty Affairs and Elections, Representation and Governance Committees of the Senate and currently I am a member of the General Education Committee of the Senate. I also served two years as Chair of the ERG Committee during which time the Committee updated the Senate By-Laws for the first time in twenty-five years. In addition, I have experience in academic departmental service, including serving on the Executive Committee of the History Department on four occasions where I also served on a search committee for department chair and the ten-year internal review of the department. I also have significant experience working in community non-profit organizations, having been president of a historic preservation organization for six years, as well as committees in the city of Takoma Park, MD and the Board of Directors of the Old Takoma Business Association and Montgomery Preservation, Inc. I hold the PhD from the University of Chicago and have taught in DC and Maryland universities for twenty years. I have also taught as a Fulbright scholar in Albania and lived for several years in Europe.
I have spent my academic career as a non-tenure track faculty member. As a result, I have been aware of the challenges facing my cohort and I have worked actively to improve our situation. Having been a faculty member at UMD for 12 years, I have worked closely with a variety of Senators, Senate officers, and University administrators on these issues. I am dedicated to continuing this service. I bring significant experience, continuity and institutional memory to my representation of part-time lecturers which I believe allows me to work effectively for both their interests and the interests of the university community as a whole. The UMD community, along with virtually every university community in this country currently faces an important period of transition for nontenure track faculty. I believe I can provide valuable experience and insight to help facilitate this process as it goes forward. I welcome this opportunity to work with the SEC.
David Bigio – Associate Professor, A. James Clark School of Engineering I have been engaged in the field of polymer processing for over 25 years, since receiving my Ph.D. from M.I.T. in
1986. I have been involved with curricula development for the past 15 years, in both UG and Graduate education pedagogy. I have spearheaded the redesign of a number of core engineering courses, including the Engineering Project, Fluid Dynamics and capstone Engineering Design courses. I have also participated in the joint SCTP, ECSEL and WIE sponsored program for the redesign of Engineering courses. For graduate students, I created a “Professional Essentials” course which prepared students for graduate school and the work place by focusing on project management and communication skills. I received the Kent Poole Senior Faculty Teaching Award for 2002and have been a member of CTE since 2002. As the Director for UG studies I directed the evolution of the course delivery while the UG population increased by 50%. Currently I am in a NSF/DOD research program for expanding design into the High Schools and for returning veterans.
Olivia Carter-Pokras – Associate Professor, School of Public Health I am honored to have been nominated to serve on the Senate Executive Committee. I came to the University of Maryland College Park in January 2007, following 4 years at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, and a 21 year career in the US Department of Health and Human Services. My research at the University of Maryland College Park has focused on addressing gaps in the literature on Latino population health, exploring factors associated with disparities in health services accessibility, health care, and health status such as cross-cultural communication, tobacco use, and asthma. Supported by on-going collaborations with community members, policymakers, and professional organizations, my research has been directed towards translation of epidemiologic research into policy and practice to improve Latino population health. I teach chronic disease epidemiology, epidemiologic methods, cultural competency and health disparities to public health students and health professionals.