Two Towson University staff members win highest USM Board of Regents honor

July 29, 2021

TU recipients will be recognized by USM Sept. 10 for efforts around sustainability, efficiency

staff awardees
TU's Julie Leary and Patricia Watson are recipients of the 2021 University System of Maryland Regents’ Staff Awards — the highest honor bestowed upon staff across the system.

Two Towson University staff colleagues are among the seven people honored by the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents as recipients of the 2021 USM Regents’ Staff Awards — the highest honor bestowed upon staff across the system.

Patricia Watson, Assistant Director of Sustainability, was honored for Extraordinary Public Service to the University or to the Greater Community. Julie Leary, associate director of client services in the Office of Technology Services, was the awardee for Effectiveness and Efficiency.

TU, as part of its strategic plan, is committed to sustainable practices, responsible management and efficient use of all resources.

“Our people are the backbone of TU, and these outstanding recipients are representative of TU’s institutional commitment to being good stewards through efficiency and sustainability,” President Kim Schatzel said. “TU is among the top 100 public universities and an anchor institution because of their dedication to the well-being of the campus, students and the larger community.”

Watson and Leary were among 14 TU staff members nominated for the awards earlier this year.

The awards honor excellence in the following categories: Contribution to the Institution; Service to Students in an Academic or Residential Environment; Public Service to the University or the Greater Community; Effectiveness and Efficiency; and Inclusion, Multiculturalism, & Social Justice.

Institutional staff nominating committees make recommendations to the institutional presidents, who review nominations and supporting material and forward recommendations to USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. The Regents Staff Review Committee makes the final recommendations.

Each award carries a $2,000 prize provided by the institutions and the University System of Maryland Foundation. Chancellor Perman and Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden will offer notice of the award recipients on Sept. 10 during the board’s first regularly scheduled meeting of the 2021-22 academic year at the University of Maryland Global Campus in Adelphi.

“Throughout this pandemic, I’ve said that our USM staff are indispensable—the foundation of everything we do. They’ve kept the System running, kept our services going, kept our people safe, kept our students succeeding,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “But this is true of our staff whether or not we’re in crisis. So I can’t wait to come together in September and celebrate these truly extraordinary colleagues. It’ll be a special day for all of us.”

About the winners

Extraordinary Public Service to the University or to the Greater Community 

Patricia Watson

Known to colleagues as “Paddy,” Watson is the assistant director of sustainability for the university. She has been at Towson University for seven years, the past three in her current position. She has identified key areas of focus related to sustainability at TU, including waste reduction, renewable energy, alternative transportation, and protection of the natural environment. Her work—and the accompanying educational efforts directed at faculty, staff, and students—has helped to create a healthier, more sustainable campus for the Towson community. Watson has found innovative ways to create a healthier and more sustainable campus for current Tigers and generations.

Effectiveness and Efficiency

Julie Leary

As the associate director of client services at TU for 13 years, Leary is part of the team that created TU’s EduCycle program, a computer reconditioning and repurposing initiative. To date, the program—which benefits both TU and local community organizations—has brought second life to more than 4,500 computers and saved the university and K-12/community partners over $4 million, while also providing skills training to greater than 800 student volunteers. Underscoring President Schatzel’s comment about the exceptional value she brings to Towson University, Leary is part of a team that implements this program while continuing to carry out her official job duties in the Office of Technology Services.