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Press Releases

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Adams, Spickler Named 2011 SU Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients

Distinguished Faculty Awards 2011
From left: Dr. Donald Spickler, SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and Dr. Stephen Adams
SALISBURY, MD---An expert in the development of California’s renowned Silicon Valley and one of the campus’ leading student research mentors are the 2011 Salisbury University Distinguished Faculty Award honorees.

They are Drs. Stephen Adams of the Management and Marketing Department and Donald Spickler of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

“Dr. Adams epitomizes all that is right with higher education,” said Dr. Bob Wood, dean of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business. “His efforts and achievements in teaching, research and service are an example for all faculty members.”

According to Dr. Frank Shipper, who nominated Adams, “As a teacher, he excels.” Shipper singles out how Adams brings the real world to the classroom. Students agree. According to one, Adams “provides great advice and insight … Others in the field come to talk to the class because they respect him”—adding that the associate professor “knows his stuff!”

Adams’ academic endeavors also go beyond the classroom—and even the country. In the past five years, he has published three book chapters and five articles, and had another excerpted in the France-based Business Digest. During that period his first two books, Mr. Kaiser Goes to Washington: The Rise of a Government Entrepreneur (University of North Carolina Press) and Manufacturing the Future (Cambridge University Press, with Orville R. Butler) appeared in paperback. He is currently working on a third book, Before the Garage: Institutional Builders of Silicon Valley.

His research has earned him accolades including the Robert W. Smiley Jr. Economic History Fellowship from Rutgers University and a fellowship from Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the Study of the North American West. He has received awards from host institutions on three continents to present his findings. Closer to home, he has helped students earn honors as the director of SU’s annual Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence business plan competition. Under his direction, the Bernstein competition has become one of the University’s signature events.

In nomination materials for Spickler, Drs. Homer Austin and Kathleen Shannon called the professor “the most student-centered person we know, spending countless hours working on directed studies [and] undergraduate research, and delivering courses in which he not only challenges students to rise to high expectations, but enables them to do so.”

Dr. Karen Olmstead, dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, added that Spickler “is the most active research mentor in his department.” Students have commented that they “learned a ton” in his classes and “finally understand the material from other courses” thanks to his teaching.

He has mentored more than 20 students who have presented at the SU Student Research Conference (SUSRC), National Conference on Undergraduate Research and Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Earlier this year, he earned the SUSRC’s Outstanding Research Mentor Award. He also has received the prestigious John M. Smith Teaching Award from the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia Section of the Mathematical Association of America, as well as the University of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Excellence in teaching.

As associate chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, he co-authored the proposal for the addition of a computational sciences track at SU and has created courses in complex analysis, Galois theory, analytic functions, cryptography and computer graphics, among others. He also has developed course materials for calculus, programming and other areas of study.

He has made over 30 presentations during his time at SU at meetings hosted by the MAA, American Mathematical Society and others. In addition to co-authoring articles for publications including Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education and the Journal of Cellular Automata, he has developed numerous mathematical visualization software packages. He also has supported grants for education projects to benefit local county school teachers of mathematics.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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