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Press Releases

Monday, April 19, 2004

Two SU Faculty Receive Regents' Awards, Highest USM Honor

SALISBURY, MD---Two Salisbury University professors have received the highest honor given to faculty by the University System of Maryland, the Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence.

At its April 16 meeting at the University of Maryland University College, the USM Board of Regents recognized SU’s Dr. Augustine G. DiGiovanna and Dr. Liddell Madden for their outstanding contributions, along with nine other professors from other System institutions.

"I am proud that Salisbury University faculty are receiving well-earned recognition at the state level and beyond," said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.  "Dr. DiGiovanna is a nationally known authority on aging, and Dr. Madden is an expert in the world of immigrant and rural social work.  My sincere congratulations to them.  The awards by the University System of Maryland confirms what we already knew--the industry, knowledge and talent of SU’s faculty are second to none."

Each recipient of an award in the categories of mentoring, public service, teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity receives $1,000 and a certificate of recognition. Each recipient of an award for interinstitutional collaboration receives $500 and a plaque.

DiGiovanna, professor of biology in the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, is one of three system-wide recipients of this year’s award in teaching excellence. In his more than 30 years at SU, he has developed a reputation as a “teacher’s teacher” and is referred to as “the gold standard of faculty performance,” by colleagues. His classroom organization, use of technology, concern for the whole student and humor are only a few of the hallmarks of the DiGiovanna style.

He is also respected for a tremendous work ethic. With increased enrollment in the Biology Program, DiGiovanna generates some of the highest student credit hours on campus each semester, supervising some 30 hours a week of student laboratory work in addition to classroom teaching.  Despite these loads, he earns outstanding student evaluations semester after semester.  He received the SU Distinguished Faculty Award in 1995, Excellence in Academic Advising Award in 1997 and Alumni Association Faculty Appreciation Award in 2003, and was named as an honorary faculty member in the Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society last fall.

His research passion is biological gerontology.  He founded SU’s Biology of Human Aging course and has achieved national recognition from colleges and universities throughout the country, where his textbook, Human Aging: Biological Perspectives (McGraw-Hill 1994, 2000), is the standard classroom reference. In 2000  and 2001 he developed two online learning modules on aging for use by the University of New England Maine Geriatric/Gerontology Education Center. He has been sought out to offer biology of aging courses at sister institutions in Maryland and teaching such a course through distance learning for the doctoral program in gerontology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Co-winner for excellence in USM interinstitutional collaboration is Madden, associate professor of social work in the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies at SU, and Dr. L. Jay Bishop at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  They are co-coordinators of the Dual-Degree program in Social Work and Sociology between the two sister institutions.

Recruiting, advising students and maintaining extensive office hours at both campuses, Madden has been crucial to the growth of the Social Work/Sociology Program to its current 100 majors. The dual-degree allows simultaneous completion of the B.A. in sociology at UMES and the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (B.A.S.W.) at SU.

Madden has had a distinguished career in social work, working with Haitian immigrants in Florida and rural populations throughout the southeast, including the Eastern Shore. She has presented 13 joint papers, published a book chapter on rural social work and several articles in refereed journals, and signed a publisher’s contract for a macro-social work textbook, continuing her personal and professional commitment to collaboration.

She has been an energetic contributor to University life as well as the greater community, advising student organizations such as the Social Work Club, the Canterbury Club and the Pan-Hellenic Council, working on several University committees and supporting community organizations such as the Ward Museum and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. At UMES she serves on several Doctoral Committees where she is highly regarded.   She was SU Social Work Professor of the Year in 1999-2000.

“These are exemplary faculty with a distinguished record of achievement,” said SU Provost David Buchanan.  “They are among our country’s best.”

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