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Faculty Scholars and Researchers Honored at Maryland Research Excellence Celebration

Over 200 faculty honorees were recognized for research excellence at the annual event

The University of Maryland honored over 200 scholars and researchers at the Maryland Research Excellence Celebration on February 26, 2020 at The Hotel at the University of Maryland.

The Maryland Research Excellence Celebration is an annual, signature event co-hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost to honor the distinct and notable accomplishments of University of Maryland researchers. The event offers the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the high-impact outcomes of the University of Maryland's research and scholarship community.

Up to 15 honorees were nominated by the dean of each college or school for demonstrably elevating the visibility and reputation of the University of Maryland Research Enterprise in one or more of the following ways:

  • Research findings that are both highly-cited and transformative to their field
  • Research achievements with demonstrable societal impact, such as change in policy, major external press coverage
  • Recognition by a national or international group
  • Research that is published in a renowned scholarly journal or publication in their field
  • Selection for an award via a funding competition with limited submissions
  • Selection for a Division of Research Tier 1/New Directions award
  • Selection for significant external research funding from a federal funding agency, foundation, corporation, non-profit, national laboratory, medical center, or other entity.

This dean of each college or school selected one faculty member from their group of honorees who best exemplifies research excellence:

  • From the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Professor Tom Porter
    • Dr. Porter exemplifies research excellence and is well known in the poultry industry. He served as the first Chair of the DelMarVa Poultry University-Industry Partnership Committee and aims to advance the growth and sustainability of the poultry industry through research, education and outreach. He received funding for four separate grants totaling $2 million from USDA-NIFA in the past three years, all in the field of poultry physiology, growth, and reproduction.

  • From the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Associate Professor Willow Lung-Amam
    • Dr. Lung-Amam serves as Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, where her work has included serving as steering committee of the Purple Line Corridor Coalition and an NSF Smart Cities project on West Baltimore. Her research appears in various journals, such as the Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and many popular media outlets. She is a current fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

  • From the College of Arts and Humanities, Professor Gerard Passannante
    • Dr. Passannante was awarded prestigious fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). His second book, Catastrophizing: Materialism and the Making of Disaster, was published by the University of Chicago Press in Spring 2019.

  • From the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Distinguished University Professor Michel Wedel
    • Dr. Wedel, received five major recognitions in a single year: (1) The Robert J. Lavidge Global Marketing Research Award, from the American Marketing Association; (2) The Ubbo-Emmius Medal for scientific accomplishments from the University of Groningen; (3) The Buck Weaver Award from the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science; (4) Named the Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator; and (5) The MSI/Paul Root Best Paper Award, Journal of Marketing.

  • From the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Distinguished University Professor Michele Gelfand
    • Dr. Gelfand published her book, "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire our World," in 2018, examining how and why cultures differ, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2019.

  • From the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, Professor Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm
    • Dr. Miralles-Wilhelm led the team that received a $175M NOAA Award to Expand UMD’s Role as Leader in Earth System Studies, funding the new Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS).

  • From the College of Education, Distinguished University Professor Nathan Fox
    • Dr. Fox conducts research on the biological bases of social and emotional behavior, identifying factors that contribute to the likelihood of children developing anxiety. He received $3.4M in funding from the National Institutes of Health and a variety of foundations. He has also had over 4,000 citations in 2019 alone.

  • From the A. James Clark School of Engineering, Professor Chunsheng Wang
    • Dr. Wang’s research focuses on building better batteries. He brought in over $1.5M in external research funding in 2019. In addition Dr. Wang was named by the Web of Science Group as one of the world’s most influential researchers and published more than 20 peer reviewed journal articles including Nature, Nature Energy, and Nature Chemistry in 2019.

  • From the College of Information Studies, Professor Jonathan Lazar
    • Dr. Lazar was named the inaugural recipient of the Rachel Olivero Accessibility Innovation Award from the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, for his work over two decades, on making technology and digital content more inclusive for people with disabilities.

  • From the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Associate Professor Deborah Nelson
    • Professor Nelson co-authored articles that received national recognition, including the White House Correspondents' Association Edgar A. Poe Award, National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism, Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, Sidney Hillman Prize and Best in the Business Award from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Her articles were part of a Reuters series that documented the hazardous living conditions of U.S. military families and led to $300 million in congressional funding to overhaul base housing.
  • From the School of Public Health, Professor Bradley Boekeloo
    • Dr. Boekeloo is PI and Director of the CDC Funded University of Maryland Prevention Research Center, in addition to several other funded projects. The Center is newly funded and committed to research, service and training around issues of mental health among LGBTQ+ communities.

  • From the School of Public Policy, Assistant Professor Yueming "Lucy" Qiu
    • Dr. Qiu was awarded a research grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a project to quantify the public and private costs of benefits of a switch to heat pumps via a combination of system engineering and econometric approaches; serves as chair of the NAREA Selected Papers and Symposia Committee; joined the editorial board of PLOS ONE as an academic editor; awarded support from the Graduate School's FSRA for a project on electricity consumption behaviors.

  • From the Division of Research, Professor William Regli
    • For the past 18 months, Dr. Regli has served as the Director of the Applied Research Lab for Intelligence & Security, or ARLIS for short, a Department of Defense and Intelligence Community University Affiliated Research Center. During this span, Bill has transformed ARLIS from an operation with less than $1M in annual awards and with limited staff into a unique national security resource for the US Government. ARLIS has secured nearly $40M in funding and Bill has been instrumental in setting research priorities and engagement with defense and intelligence partners for such expeditious growth

President Wallace Loh, Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin, and Vice President for Research Laurie Locascio were on hand at the event to recognize the honorees.

"The honorees we celebrate today represent the highest caliber of excellence in research and scholarship at the University of Maryland," said Locascio.

To see photos from the event, visit:

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