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SU's Burke, Baker Selected for Leadership Maryland Class of 2018

William Burke
William Burke

SALISBURY, MD---Two representatives from Salisbury University have been selected for the Leadership Maryland Class of 2018.

William Burke, SU executive director for economic development, director of the University’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program, director of entrepreneurial activities, and professor of the practice in SU’s Information and Decision Sciences Department; and Mary Angela Baker, founding director of SU’s Center for Extended and Lifelong Learning (CELL), join 50 other leaders from across the state.

Founded in 1992, Leadership Maryland is an independent, educational, non-profit organization designed to inform top-level executives, from the public and private sectors, about the critical issues, challenges and opportunities facing Maryland and its regions.

At SU, Burke is responsible for entrepreneurship activities including one of the nation’s longest continuously running collegiate entrepreneurship competitions, founded in 1987, and the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program, which was established with the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe foundation’s initial $1 million contribution in 2013. It will continue for the next five years, thanks to a recently announced second $1 million gift from foundation. Together, the programs offer some $300,000 in prizes for entrepreneurs annually and have been instrumental in twice attracting auditions to campus for the hit ABC-TV show Shark Tank.

Burke also oversees SU’s Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Hub, which assists with business plans, startup advice and prototyping resources for student and community entrepreneurs. He will lead the University’s new entrepreneurship center in downtown Salisbury, scheduled to open in 2020.

Baker is an experienced leader in professional development, continuing education, outreach and community engagement. Through SU’s CELL, she is responsible for creating educational programs for learners of all ages. Her initiatives include the Lighthouse Literary Guild for adult writers of varying skill levels; SU @ the Beach offering classes and lectures in Worcester County; and the Girls Innovation Academy, a summer technology and leadership program for middle school students.

Mary Angela Baker
Mary Angela Baker

In addition, Baker serves on the AARP Maryland Advisory Council and is active in the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.  She also serves on the board of the international nonprofit Consortium for Women in Public Service.

Following a two-day opening retreat in April, Leadership Maryland participants will attend five two-day, and one one-day, intense sessions focusing on issues such as economic development, education, health and human services, criminal and juvenile justice, environment, multiculturalism and diversity. More than 100 experts representing business, government, education, and the non-profit community will serve as panelists and guest speakers.

Leadership Maryland is one of 34 state leadership programs nationwide and has graduated over 1,100 statewide leaders. Alumni at SU include Drs. Karen Olmstead, interim provost and vice president of student affairs; Dane Foust, vice president of student affairs; Clifton Griffin, dean of graduate studies and research; Robert Joyner, associate dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology; and Memo Diriker, director of the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON).

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