3 TU faculty recognized with USM’s highest honor, most of any member institution

Board of Regents awards recognize TU faculty in teaching, mentoring, research

By Rebecca Kirkman on March 8, 2022

Two women work in lab with blue lighting
Petra Tsuji, left, associate professor of biological sciences, and Zeguela Kamagate ’20 in the TU Diet & Cancer Lab. Tsuji is among three TU faculty honorees in the 2022 Regents’ Faculty Awards. (Photo: Lauren Castellana)

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents announced its 2022 Regents’ Faculty Awards on Tuesday, and Towson University leads the system with three of the 17 recipients of the USM’s highest faculty honor. 

TU’s honorees—Emily Bailey, associate professor of philosophy & religious studies; Brian Fath, professor of biological sciences; and Petra Tsuji, associate professor of biological sciences—were honored in three of the five categories and represent the Fisher College of Science & Mathematics and the College of Liberal Arts.

"Towson University is deeply committed to academic excellence, and our outstanding faculty are at the center of that commitment,” says President Kim Schatzel. "I congratulate these most distinguished faculty, who represent the excellence of their colleagues, as recipients of the University System of Maryland’s most prestigious faculty recognition.”

TU was one of just two system institutions with three honorees, joined by the University of Maryland, Baltimore. 

“I’m very grateful for the effort and excellence of our faculty throughout the past year,” says Melanie Perreault, provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs. “I’m proud that these faculty colleagues have been recognized for how they and their peers have prioritized exceptional teaching, research, service and innovation at TU.”

This system-wide recognition follows a campus-wide nomination process. USM staff awards will be announced in the summer.

Institutional faculty 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 Faculty Review Committee makes the final recommendations.

“The bedrock of the university system’s quality, its prominence, its power to transform lives and change the world is, quite simply, our faculty,” says Perman. “It’s a privilege to honor them and celebrate what they make possible every day—possible for each student and for the body of scholarship that advances our progress and deepens our humanity.”

Perman and Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden will recognize the winners as part of the scheduled meeting of the full board on April 29 at Towson University.

Each award carries a $2,000 prize provided by the institutions and the USM Foundation. 

Learn more about this year's recipients from TU below.

Emily Bailey headshot

Excellence in Teaching

Emily Bailey, associate professor, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies

One of TU’s first faculty members to be fully certified in online instruction–well before the COVID-19 pandemic–Emily Bailey engages students creatively, often using digital technology that is second nature to them while also taking her students beyond their comfort zones. She is committed to continuously improving her teaching, recently matriculating in a Doctor of Education program in instructional technology. Faculty peers and students praise Bailey for her inclusion of a variety of teaching and learning models, organization of material, presentation of multiple perspectives and ability to nurture great discussions. She puts learning first, so her students can be better informed, more empathetic members of society.

Brian Fath headshot

Excellence in Scholarship, Research, & Creativity

Brian Fath, professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Fath is globally recognized in the fields of network analysis, ecosystem modelling and sustainability. Over the past three years, he published extensively, including two books and 29 peer-reviewed articles. His research papers were cited approximately 4,000 times, making him one of the most-cited faculty members at TU. He also gave 46 research presentations in 16 countries. In fall 2019, he held a prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Chair position in sustainability in the Czech Republic. Fath recently founded a new journal, “Current Research in Environmental Sustainability” while maintaining significant public service and teaching commitments.

Petra Tsuji headshot

Excellence in Mentoring

Petra Tsuji, associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Tsuji’s mentoring philosophy is marked by an inclusive and intentional approach, constructive feedback and holding students accountable. With a focus on women in STEM, she is the faculty adviser to the Women in Science Club and co-director of the annual Women in Science Forum. She is also co-creator and leader of the Hill-Lopes Scholars Program, a three-year mentoring program for 30 undergraduates designed to support and promote the next generation of STEM leaders. As a mentor to all the department’s graduate students, Tsuji provides opportunities for students to develop research proposals, contemplate career trajectories and engage in discussions. Her accomplishments were acknowledged with the Fisher College of Science & Math Mentoring Award in 2020.