About TU

President’s Diversity Awards

March 1, 2012

President's Diversity Award for Student

Sean Phelan has served the Towson University Residence community for 4 years moving up the ranks from Building Representative to Executive Board President. As Executive Board Vice President in 2010-2011, Sean created a campus-wide multicultural program, “March Toward Diversity”, that won the Vice President of Student Affairs Award for Outstanding Multicultural Program. The program was implemented by the URG Building Council, which is the governing body of all of TU’s Residence halls. In academic year 2010-2011 Sean served as a member of the Reflective Process Work Group of the Diversity Action Committee and was instrumental in supporting the creation of the structure and criteria for the 1st annual President’s Diversity Awards.

This year, serving as President of the Towson University Residence Government, the organization was named the Best Residential Governing Body in the Central Atlantic region and is in consideration for being recognized as the best nationally.

No doubt that Sean’s understanding of and appreciation for the importance of diversity will serve him well as he moves on to McDaniel College in Fall 2012 to working toward his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration.

President's Diversity Award for Staff Member

Ms. Annie C. McMahon joined Towson in 2008 as the Coordinator of the Towson Opportunities in Stem Program. TOPS is designed to increase both the number and the academic success of students with an interest in STEM coming to Towson from the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Embedded within this initiative is the goal of increasing the racial and socioeconomic diversity within FCSM and the University. The program’s success can be attributed to Annie’s efforts in making sure that every TOPS student receives the support that is needed to succeed academically and grow personally. In addition to her primary duties with TOPS, Annie has established a model partnership with the Department of Housing and Residence Life through the development of a Residential Learning Community. She has also enhanced STEM outreach activities in four Baltimore City Public Schools. Annie dedicates much of her free time and resources to ensuring that the TOPS participants have all they need to succeed in this program and life.

Annie also serves as a facilitator of TU’s Speak Up! program and has represented the Fisher College as a presenter for the Diversity Action Committee’s Tools for Inclusion: Succeeding in a Diverse Classroom series. Through her activities and efforts the values of the TOPS program have been carried into the larger Towson community and beyond.

President's Diversity Award for Faculty Member (research)

Dr. Gilda Martinez is President of the Maryland Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has organized the organization’s last two conferences which brought over 300 teachers, administrators and staff from across the state and the District of Columbia to Towson’s campus. Gilda successfully recruited two former students of the Graduate Reading Program to join the Board or TESOL and to teach at TU.

Gilda teaches Study Abroad courses. She has presented at the International Reading Association’s World Congress Conferences. Gilda also teaches Second Language Literacy, which she helped to create, to prepare teachers to take the ESOL Praxis. A published author, Gilda has written numerous articles that have been published in the TESOL Journal.

Gilda has presented for the past 2 years at the TESOL International Conferences as well as sat on the proposal review board for TESOL multiple times. She was the Diversity Chairperson for the COE Strategic Plan and member of the NCATE Steering Committee helping to build diversity. Currently, Gilda is working on a research project with undergraduate TU English language learners investigating methods to motivate students to read by incorporating videos and Glogsters.

President's Diversity Award for Faculty Member (general)

Dr. Elizabeth Clifford's career has always been about encouraging diversity and encouraging TU to engage the community through the lens of diversity. Beth has taken on an increasing number of leadership roles at the department level as sociology coordinator, at the college level as Director of American Studies and at the university level as Chairperson of the Education and Scholarship Work group of the Diversity Action Committee. All of these roles enable Beth to help the university realize and appreciate the diversity which is already on campus and incorporate ways to strengthen and allow it flourish.
Beth is also the Coordinator of the Maryland Immigration Summit which is held bi-annually and brings together a myriad of stakeholders in presentations and discussions germane to immigration policies and experiences in this region.

Co-author of the book “Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience” which is theoretically sophisticated, empirically grounded in the lives of women, contextualized in history and quantitative data and ultimately acts as an advocate for the agency of immigrant women in the United States. Its careful elaboration teaches people about a segment of the immigrant population that is often ignored.

Beth is looked upon as leader in university citizenship, committed teaching and engaged scholarship by her colleagues in the department and across campus.

President's Diversity Award for Administrative Department

Under the Leadership of Phillip Ross III, the Office of Human Resources supports and maintains an environment of diversity in the workplace, not only by embracing Towson’s workforce but by reaching out to the community and offering support to Calvin Rodwell Elementary School in Baltimore City. This Title I school is underfunded and many of the schools’ students are unable to purchase school supplies. The Office of Human Resources staff rallied the university to collect donations for supplies that were provided to the students of Calvin Rodwell Elementary for the past few years. Additionally, volunteers were needed to assist with the management of large classrooms. Staff of the Office of Human Resources began visiting the school every month to read to the children, assist in the classroom, and/or chaperone school events. The Office of Human Resources has recruited volunteers from across the campus to become part of “the village” for these children. OHR has received the Volunteer Award from the school’s PTA in recognition of their efforts. They have also been involved with The Wounded Warrior Transition Project, which collects clothes, electronics and laptops to assist disabled service people in their training to enter the civilian workforce.

The staff of OHR can often be seen attending diversity events on and off campus and they participate in various diversity workshops throughout the year. This department seeks on campus resources to expand their horizons – such as, Ethnic Foods program with Black & Gold’s Executive Chef and Sign Language Lunch & Learn just to name a few.


President's Diversity Award for Academic Department

Over the past two years, under the leadership of Dean Deborah Nolan, staff and librarians of the Albert S. Cook Library have made significant contributions to TU’s diverse and inclusive campus environment by sponsoring numerous diversity programs such as partnering with the Maryland Humanities Council to bring the One Maryland One Book program to Towson. Cook Library has expanded on these activities by bringing authors to campus to share their experiences and diverse styles of work with members of the campus community.

Librarians and staff have also sponsored additional diversity related programs such as the book club which meets twice a semester to discuss books related to a variety of campus and community events such as Overcoming Disabilities and Equal Rights.

The administration of Cook Library has embraced diversity by hiring an American Library Association Spectrum Scholar and renewing the Library’s residency librarian program. These programs provide librarians from underrepresented groups with professional experiences in order to expand diversity within the librarianship field.



Related links

2013 President's Diversity Award Winners

2011 President's Diversity Award Winners








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