Vice President and General Counsel
After joining Towson University as General Counsel in 2015, Traevena Byrd was appointed to serve as Vice President for Legal Affairs and Human Resources and General Counsel in February 2017. As the University's chief legal officer, she manages the University's legal affairs, serves as legal advisor to the President and University executive officers, and serves as the liaison to the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. She previously served as Associate General Counsel at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and is a member of the board of directors for the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Ms. Byrd received both her B.A. and her J.D. from the University of Iowa.
Ms. Byrd’s areas of concentration include labor and employment, student issues and rights, campus governance, risk management, tenure and promotion, academic freedom, constitutional issues, civil rights, privacy, information technology issues, regulatory compliance and university policy.
Associate General Counsel
Ashley Hoover joined the Office of the General Counsel in December 2017. She previously served as a Contracts Associate at John Hopkins University in the Research Administration office. Prior to working in higher education, Ashley worked in private practice with a focus on real estate and commercial transactions. She earned her B.A. from McDaniel College and her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law.
Ms. Hoover’s areas of concentration include sponsored research, contracts, intellectual property, and real estate.
Associate General Counsel
Robert (Ben) Walker joined the Office of the General Counsel in March 2016. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, and his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Beginning in 2005, Ben began working at Ritzert & Leyton, P.C., a law firm located in Virginia which specializes in higher education law. He worked with Ritzert & Leyton's higher education practice group on a wide variety of institutional matters.
His areas of concentration at Towson include labor and employment matters; student issues and rights; athletics; and regulatory compliance, with a focus on FERPA, ADA, Title IX, Clery Act, and Violence against Women Act Requirements.
Eduardo Duenas joined the Office of the General Counsel as a paralegal in November 2016. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from CUNY City College of New York in 2013. He is a recipient of the CUNY STOCS Scholarship and the Colin Powell Partners for Change Fellowship. Prior to joining Towson University, Mr. Duenas has worked at a private law firm in New York City. Eduardo provides support to the Office of General Counsel attorneys in all aspects of legal research, responding to subpoenas and public records request, and managing legal technology resources.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Olivia Smith joined the Office of the General Counsel in June 2017 as the Executive Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Legal Affairs and Human Resources and General Counsel. Prior to coming to the University, Ms. Smith worked at a private law firm in the Towson area for over five years. Ms. Smith provides administrative support for the staff of the General Counsel, including, but not limited to, responding to record requests, managing the calendar, and monitoring the budget. Ms. Smith is currently pursuing a B.S. at Towson University.