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University System of Maryland Recognizes UMES Faculty with Regents’ Awards

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    Okoh AwardPRINCESS ANNE, MD-Drs. Joseph Okoh and Sheila McDonald Harleston of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore were recognized by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents as winners of the 2007-08 Regents' Faculty Awards.  Okoh and Harleston were among 17 USM faculty members honored for their professional accomplishments in the areas of teaching; research, scholarship and creative activity; mentoring; public service; and collaboration.

    Okoh, professor and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at UMES, was recognized in the area of teaching.  According to the award selection committee of the Council of University System Faculty (CUSF) the Department of Natural Science has been transformed into a research program with significant opportunities for laboratory experience for undergraduate and graduate students because of the guidance and leadership of Okoh.  His efforts have led to the development of undergraduate research courses with cutting-edge technology that offer students practical research and study experiences.  In addition to his significant contributions to the Department of Natural Science, Okoh has been instrumental in increasing the number of minority students earning doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences.

    McDonald Harleston, choral director, assistant professor, Fine Arts, was recognized in the area of mentoring.  According to CUSF, she devotes countless hours to mentor her students with both academic and personal issues.  Her students and peers praise her for her dedication and ability to lead by example.  According to CUSF, Harleston is concerned with the physical health of her students, their academic performance and community involvement.  She enriches the lives of her students by offering opportunities to experience performances in the U.S. at venues such as the Kennedy Center and travel abroad. The UMES Concert Choir under her direction recently performed by invitation at the National Cathedral in Washington as part of the Governor's Maryland Day ceremonies.  On May 17, they will depart for Honolulu, Hawaii for a series of performances.

    Established in 1995, the Faculty Awards are the highest honors presented to USM faculty by the Board of Regents.  Candidates for the awards are reviewed and selected by the CUSF and approved by the board.  Each award recipient receives $1,000 and a plague of recognition for the honor. 


    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,

    Photo Captions:  Chairman Clifford M. Kendall, University System of Maryland Board of Regents, left, and Chancellor William E. Kirwan, University System of Maryland, far right, congratulate honorees: Drs. Joseph Okoh (top) and Sheila McDonald Harleston (bottom).