Towson University plays an important role in the vitality of Towson, Greater Baltimore,
and Maryland. Through BTU: Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore, TU faculty, students, and staff are working with partners across Maryland to address
To recognize this impactful work, Towson University is proud to present the BTU Partnership
Awards. These awards celebrate the efforts of you—faculty, students, staff, community
partners—and the collaborative work being done that embodies the spirit of TU and
benefits the communities we serve.
Recipients are celebrated at an awards reception, featured in several university-wide
communications, and guaranteed placement at the BTU Partnerships Showcase.
Opera in a Can
Faculty Lead: Dr. Phillip Collister, College of Fine Arts and Communication Community Partner: Annapolis Opera and Franklin Elementary School
Opera in a Can, a faculty and student led children’s opera outreach program, was formed
in 2011 by the Department of Music at Towson University and has evolved into a collaboration
with Annapolis Opera and Franklin Elementary School. Through Opera in a Can, operas
based on familiar fairy tales are performed for children at local schools, libraries,
and community centers, exploring relevant social issues and teaching fundamental life
lessons while instilling an appreciation of the arts. These performances and the work
leading up to them provide hands-on experiences to Towson University students while
increasing their awareness of career paths within music education. Since its inception,
Opera in a Can has performed for well over 17,000 students, providing access to the
arts for youth, while serving as a creative outlet for emerging artists at Towson
Faculty Lead: Dr. Alison McCartney, College of Liberal Arts Community Partner: Baltimore County Public Schools
The Towson University–Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Model UN program provides
equal access to civic engagement learning experiences for students in Baltimore County
Public Schools while providing Towson University students with hands-on opportunities
mentoring high school students. Model UN is an educational simulation, in which high
school students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations.
Through the innovative approach by TU and BCPS, Model UN is offered at no cost to
participating students. The programming compliments BCPS’ curriculum and increases
college access and civic readiness and provides Towson University students with an
opportunity to be active participants in the Greater Baltimore community. Since 2002,
Model UN has reached over 25 schools in four school districts and has provided a cost-effective
program to over 3,000 students.
Helping Up Mission
Faculty Lead: Dr. Mary Lashley, College of Health Professions Community Partner: Helping Up Mission
Since 2003, Towson University and Helping Up Mission have been partnering to address
the complex health needs of homeless men in recovery from chemical addictions while
providing transformational, hands-on opportunities to Towson University students.
In 2006, seed funding was obtained to begin an oral health program in collaboration
with the University of Maryland Dental School, which has provided emergency, preventative,
and restorative care to men residing at the mission. In addition to the flagship oral
health program, over the years, Towson University nursing students have provided on-site
wellness services, including coordinating health fairs, conducting health screenings,
implementing wellness programs, and participating in program evaluation research to
evaluate the efficacy of program interventions. This partnership promotes health and
well-being to one of the most vulnerable populations in Baltimore City while also
providing Towson University students with experiential learning opportunities that
promote diversity awareness, fosters inter-professional collaboration, and supports
students in the development of clinical, research, and leadership skills.
Eligible partnerships include one-time collaborations as well as ongoing collaborations
and are selected based on the following criteria:
Exemplification of best practices demonstrated and measurable outcomes
TU Celebration of Excellence
The BTU Partnership Awards is part of TU's Celebration of Excellence. The Celebration
of Excellence ties together eight wonderful events and provides a perfect path toward
the ultimate celebratory event on our campus, our spring commencement. Although these
events are very different, they all have one thing in common: celebrating excellence
at Towson University!