Messages from the Deans

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, ENGINEERING, COMPUTATIONAL AND MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES

Warm greetings from the College of Business, Engineering, Computational and Mathematical Sciences! As of July 1, and following extensive, yearlong, campuswide deliberations, our new College has been established to now include an impressive array of pure, applied and professional discipline areas that span Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Recreation and Parks Management, along with programs in Business that comprise Accounting, Business Administration and Economics.

This is a heartwarming occasion to celebrate the achievements of our outstanding faculty and staff. A sampling follows:

  • Ali Ashraf, associate dean, served in a presidential role for the 2023 Society of Southwestern Economist conference held under the umbrella of the Federation of Business Disciplines, having previously served as program chair for 2021 and 2022.
  • Kelly Bubp, assistant professor of mathematics, presented her works: “Diversity, Belonging and Introductory Statics,” at the eCOTS Posters and Beyond Session, “We Hear You, We Value You!” at the USM Professional Development Week and “Empower Your Journey: Unleash Your Potential” at several lectures organized by the Center for Teaching Excellence, FSU.
  • Natalia Buta, chair of the Department of Recreation and Parks Management, who shepherded the FSU Center for Advancement of Natural and Outdoor Experiences, received a $70,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration and the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism toward purchasing outdoor recreation equipment and creating a paid internship to place students with local businesses in the outdoor recreation sector.
  • Rebecca Chory, professor of management, received the FSU Faculty Achievement Award for Research, in recognition of her exceptional scholarly accomplishments, including peer-reviewed journal articles, published book chapters and classroom research citations, receipt of 25 Top Paper Awards during conference presentations, service on editorial boards, service as special issue editor and reviewer for more than 25 journals, as well as citation from premium news media outlets for her outstanding contributions.
  • Suranjana Nabar-Bhaduri, associate professor of economics, presented “A Note on Economic Growth and Technological Progress in Developing Economies: Okun and Kaldor-Verdoorn Effects in China and India (1991-2019)” (revised and updated), Allied Social Science Association Conference, New Orleans, January 2023.
  • Evan Offstein, professor of management, co-authored a paper, “Holding Out for a Hero: The Need for Courage From Business Management Faculty,” that was selected as one of the best accepted papers for the upcoming Academy of Management 83rd Annual Meeting in August 2023.
  • Lilly Ye, professor of marketing and faculty advisor to the Frostburg Marketing Club, was honored with the University Leadership and Engagement Award for going above and beyond her role as a faculty advisor, providing exceptional support to students. Additionally, she also served as program chair for the 2023 Association of Collegiate Marketing Educator conference, held under the umbrella of the Federation of Business Disciplines.
  • Xinliang Zheng, professor of computer science and information technology, presented his co-authored paper, “Simplified Decision Model for Free VPN Services Selection in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” at the 2023 CCSCE Conference.
  • Ying Zheng, professor of computer science and information technology, collaborated with Beijing Jiaotong University in China to give online presentations and workshops for special topics regarding software engineer economics.

The College’s strategic efforts to expand opportunities for international education for its students and faculty continued as noted below:

  • In continued fulfillment of the cooperative partnership between FSU and the Hunan University of Technology and Business (HUTB), a total of 17 courses was delivered successfully at the HUTB campus in Changsha, China, to three cohorts of students during the fall 2022 and summer 2023 terms. Dr. Assyad Al-Wreikat, Dr. Ali Ashraf, Dr. William Anderson, Dr. Chenchen Huang, Nicholas DeMichele, Cleo Kluegel, Dr. Karl Kluegel, Dr. Dan Mizak, Dr. Jill Morris, Dr. Menahem Prywes and Dr. Chelsea Schrader taught about 120 students per cohort in virtual and in-person modality. As in the past, faculty and student feedback continued to be reliably positive.
  • A total of 74 students from the fourth cohort of HUTB students entering in 2019 graduated in June 2023. The first graduation ceremony was held at the HUTB campus on June 20 with the president, college dean, assistant to the president and HUTB program coordinator. Based on partner institution reporting, graduating students enjoy successful placement within industry in China, with many alternatively pursuing graduate education in China and across globally recognized educational institutions, including in the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • In support of the ongoing partnership agreement with Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemburg, Bad Mergentheim campus in Germany, several members of the business faculty – Dr. Ryan Kentrus, Dr. Kenneth Levitt, Dr. Jeffrey McClellan, Dr. Michael Monahan, Dr. Amit Shah and I – successfully delivered instruction over compressed class schedules in virtual and in-person modality.

Some of the salient programmatic innovations and other impactful initiatives occurred in the following areas:

  • The College continued its hosting of highly enjoyable and impactful etiquette dinners for more than 70 students in the Career and Professional Development II course, the success of which provided the impetus for like hostings each semester as part of a signature experience for all students in the College of Business.
  • The Department of Management approved the 4+1 Business Administration-MBA Program.
  • The Life-Cycle Facilities Management Program was renamed the Sustainable Construction Management Program.
  • The Department of Mathematics is set to introduce a set of “Achieve” courses in fall 2023 to advance student placement and achievement in the field.
  • The College has attempted outreach efforts to local community colleges toward developing dual enrollment possibilities for students in those institutions.
  • The application for continuation of accreditation by AACSB International was successfully submitted in June 2023 with a site visit planned for fall 2025.

In closing, I would like to sincerely acknowledge members of the leadership team at FSU – President Nowaczyk; Provost Taylor, Assistant to the President Dr. Walker; Vice Presidents Delia, Donoway, Short and Travis; and my decanal colleagues and friends, Dr. Mathias and Dr. Williams – for their steadfast support to me and to the College toward meeting its educational mission this past year. And the contributions of our valued alumni and members of our Advisory Board sustain the College as it continues to endeavor to amplify its narrative for the future. Let’s renew our guiding credo: Onward and Upward!

Dr. Sudhir Singh
Dean of the College of Business, Engineering, Computational and Mathematical Sciences

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, HEALTH AND NATURAL SCIENCES

The College of Education, Health and Natural Sciences (CEHNS) is recognized for providing experientially based learning opportunities. Its distinctive and distinguished programs contribute to the reputation of FSU as the premier educational and cultural center for the region and for serving as a catalyst for economic development. As a member of the Council of Higher Education, which reviews and recognizes the standards for regional and specialized accreditors, I am pleased that CEHNS maintains excellence through meeting professional organization standards for each of the programs in the departments of Educational Professions, Kinesiology and Recreation and Parks Management. In November 2022, education programs received full accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. All departments within CEHNS are fully accredited.

CEHNS continues to develop exciting initiatives through grant opportunities that are facilitated by the administration and faculty in the College. Faculty members in the Department of Educational Professions are implementing the fourth year of a $4.1 million grant for an accelerated residency program. A new cohort of teacher residents began last May in Washington County, Md. This grant has led to two separate grants to continue the Maryland Accelerates teacher residency model. The Maryland State Department of Education awarded Washington County Public Schools a Maryland Leads award of $750,000 to work with FSU on the residency program, and an earmark from the state government for $500,000 will be used to expand the model to other areas within the state. In October of 2022, the Department of Education received a $3.5 million grant for an undergraduate dual certification program in Elementary/Special Education. This past year faculty developed the new program and received University and Maryland Higher Education approval to begin the program. Currently, the Maryland State Department of Education is reviewing the program for approval. The program will be campus-based and site-based in surrounding rural counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The program is expected to commence in spring of 2024. Faculty are continuing community-based partnership grants that provide learning opportunities in the areas of reading, early childhood, recreation and professional learning. The Department of Recreation and Parks Management received a $250,000 grant to provide bicycles and equipment for students to take advantage of the natural resources within the western tri-state area.

Faculty members demonstrate their dedication to students and the community. The Children’s Literature Centre continued to host several events throughout the year. The Department of Recreation and Parks Management hosted several off-campus outings, including bowling and a tailgate party, and operated a campus cleanup. The F2T2 community-based summer camp, which is run by CEHNS faculty, continues to grow in attendance. Middle school students from Allegany County Public Schools attend this weeklong camp, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematic activities. Many other achievements can be found in the booklet.

Faculty also highlighted their scholarship throughout the year. Drs. Diane Blankenship, Natalia Buta and Jeffrey R. Farr have agreed to terms with Human Kinetics to collectively author an update of Dr. Blankenship’s textbook, Applied Research and Evaluation Methods in Recreation, which is expected to be available in the fall 2024. Dr. Farr was also included as a coauthor on a manuscript submitted to the Sport Management Education Journal. Doctoral Program faculty member, Dr. Michael R. Williams, coauthored two articles in Advances in Developing Human Resources: “An Inclusive Leadership Model: Insights From the Tech Industry” and “Meeting Belongingness Needs: An Inclusive Leadership Practitioner’s Approach.” FSU Ed.D. program faculty member, Dr. Heather Hurst, published a second coauthored article, “Practitioner Inquiry to Develop Antiracist Advising Practice: Investigating Issues of Equity and Access.” in the NACADA Review. Dr. Jodi Eirich published an article in the spring 2023 NAPDS journal on the power of partnerships.

I look forward to the upcoming academic year as the College is transformed into a new learning community. The new College of Education, Health and Natural Sciences contains many departments with faculty sharing their talents in teaching, service and professional development. Education and Health Sciences departments will be housed in a brand-new building, the Education and Health Sciences Center. It will be a pleasure to watch this College grow.

Dr. Boyce C. Williams
Dean of the College of Education, Health and Natural Sciences

COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES, SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

The College of Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences (CAHSBS) recognizes and honors the professional achievements of its faculty and staff, who engage in a wide variety of teaching, research, creative and service activities that garner well-deserved internal and external recognition.

Three CLAS faculty members were recipients of Faculty Achievement Awards in 2023. Dr. David Puthoff (Department of Biology) and Dr. John Raucci (Department of English and Foreign Languages) were recognized for teaching, and Dr. Kara Rogers Thomas (Department of Sociology) was recognized for university and community service. Dr. Rogers Thomas, who coordinates the FSU Appalachian Festival and directs Mountain City Traditional Arts, also received the Spirit of Frostburg Award from the nonprofit organization FrostburgFirst for her contributions to the local community.

Dr. Angela Luvara (Department of Sociology) was honored with the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award at the 2023 FSU Leadership and Engagement Awards event. As the coordinator of FSU’s Women’s Studies program, Dr. Luvara helps her students explore the impact that women have had across cultures and throughout history.

Allegany County Public Schools presented its “Tree of Giving” award to Dr. William Seddon (Department of Biology) for his outstanding contributions to the Allegany County Elementary After-School Program and his demonstration of leadership and commitment to environmental and community education.

The 2022 Transform Mid-Atlantic Global Citizenship Award was presented to Dr. Joan Serafin (Department of Political Science) in recognition of her efforts to promote global learning and engagement at FSU.

College faculty and staff continue to lead FSU’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Chapter officers for 2022-23 were Dr. Linda Steele (CAHSBS Dean’s Office), president; Dr. James Saku (Department of Geography), vice president; Dr. Matthew Crawford (Department of Chemistry), treasurer; and Dr. Eric Moore (Department of Physics and Engineering), secretary. FSU’s chapter celebrated its five-year anniversary this past year, marking the occasion by inducting its first alumni members. From CAHSBS, 14 undergraduate students, six graduate students and one faculty member were also inducted.

The performing, visual and literary arts programs in the College continue to promote cultural enrichment in the region. For example, this spring, the Department of Theatre and Dance staged Thoughts of a Colored Man, the critically acclaimed play written by alum Keenan Scott II. Scott, who wrote and produced the play in 2009 when he was an FSU student, returned to FSU to direct the play in collaboration with FSU students, faculty and alumni.

Responding to student interest and workforce need, CAHSBS faculty and staff launched several new and innovative academic programs in academic year 2022-23. The Multidisciplinary Studies program provides an online pathway to achieve a bachelor’s degree through a broad-based curriculum exploring topics in business, the arts, social sciences and humanities. The flexible format allows students to achieve their educational goals without disrupting personal, family and professional commitments. The minor in data science provides students the necessary concepts and skills to successfully apply data science and data analytics to a wide variety of fields. A collaboration between the Sociology and Management Departments, the minor in diversity and management will help students better understand the importance of diversity in the workplace, as well as help them gain knowledge about an organization and how to align its culture with the changing demographics in the United States. Finally, the fully online upper-division certificate program in strategic communication offers practical professional development in multi-platform communication strategies that will complement the work of any professional, as well as those who are communication specialists.

In the spring, the Department of Nursing was awarded a grant exceeding $1.5 million by the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Nurse Support Program II. The funds will be used to establish a four-year pre-licensure nursing program at FSU – the first of its kind in Western Maryland. In addition to the pre-licensure program, in fall 2023, Nursing will launch a new online LPN-to-BSN program.

Also launching in fall 2023 will be an innovative Master in Environmental Management program, a collaboration between FSU and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). This degree leverages the environmental studies expertise of UMCES and the diverse student body of FSU to prepare leaders who can address 21st-century sustainability challenges in the academic, government, nonprofit and private sectors.

Lastly, CAHSBS faculty and staff played a central role in establishing the Bobcat Academy, a dual enrollment program with Allegany and Garrett County Public Schools. Beginning this fall, the Bobcat Academy will offer motivated high school seniors an immersive college experience and an opportunity to earn college credits while simultaneously completing high school.

This is just a sample of the many individual and collective achievements of faculty and staff in the College. I encourage you to take some time to peruse the complete record of professional achievements. I am sure you, too, will take pride in the many accomplishments of our colleagues.

Dr. Michael B. Mathias
Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences