Four faculty members honored by USM Board of Regents

Recipients recognized for excellence in teaching, public service, mentoring

TOWSON, Md. (April 9, 2009)—Four members of the Towson University faculty have received 2009 University System of Maryland Board of Regents' Faculty Awards. They and other USM awardees were recognized at the board's April 10 meeting at UMBC.

Clarinda Harriss, professor, Department of English, received an award for teaching. “Perhaps the most remarkable evidence of her teaching excellence,” says Edwin Duncan, chair, Department of English, “can be seen in the awards and honors conferred upon TU’s literary journal, Grub Street.”  One of the country’s premier student literary publications, Grub Street is produced by undergraduates under Harriss’ tutelage. It has received Columbia Scholastic Press Association awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Harriss also involves students in community outreach, including public readings of poetry and short fiction and participation in the annual Baltimore Book Festival.

Mary Lashley, professor, Department of Nursing, was recognized for public service. Since 2003, Lashley has engaged TU in a partnership with the Helping Up Mission in Baltimore to address the unmet health needs of the inner city’s homeless population. She has been awarded more than $300,000 in extramural grants and contracts to address the critical health needs of more than 400 recovering homeless addicts. She developed an innovative oral health program—a partnership between TU’s department of nursing, the Helping Up Mission, the University of Maryland Dental School, the Baltimore City Health Department, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health and volunteer dental care providers—that has provided nearly 300 shelter residents with emergency or comprehensive oral health care services. It also engaged nearly 200 local students of nursing, dentistry and dental hygiene in meeting health needs of this underserved population.

Alison McCartney, associate professor, Department of Political Science, received an award in mentoring. She serves as co-director of the Towson University–Baltimore County Public Schools Model United Nations Simulation (MUN), a project she developed in 2003 with Hugh Kearney, then a teacher at Woodlawn High School. Each year, more than 100 tenth-grade students engage in a year-long simulation that examines and emulates the workings of the UN. McCartney has refined this model so that she is mentoring university students in how to mentor the high school students. She also serves as faculty adviser for the TU chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and as an adviser in the university’s First Year Experience program, in which she mentors a cohort of 30 freshman advisees closely throughout their first year.

Cody Sandifer, associate professor, Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences, was also recognized for teaching. Acting department chairperson David Schaefer said of Sandifer, “As his high student evaluation marks demonstrate, Dr. Sandifer excels in creating classroom communities that balance high expectations for learning with a sense of fun and excitement.” Sandifer’s dedication to teaching extends beyond his own classrooms: he has redesigned and/or written curriculum material for four physical science and science education courses that have been used by many new and contingent faculty members, often with his direct supervision and support. “During his seven years at Towson,” said Schaefer, “Dr. Sandifer has almost single-handedly transformed our curricula for science education, helping TU’s efforts as the largest producer of elementary teachers in the state.”


Established in 1995, the faculty awards are the highest honors presented to USM faculty by the Board of Regents. Candidates for the awards are reviewed and selected by the Council of University System Faculty and approved by the board. Each award recipient receives $1,000 and a plaque of recognition for the honor.







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