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Gallery of Winners
UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, usually works from a nomination form when he gives out Employee of the Month awards. But no notes were needed for the May 19 ceremony in the Saratoga Building, where Malinda Hughes, academic program manager in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA), was honored.
“I don’t need a write-up for you,” said a smiling Perman. He did, however, wish he had a bigger award for Hughes, who proved indispensable during the 2 1/2-year Middle States reaccreditation process.
“As I say Employee of the Month, it seems not completely sufficient for you,” he said to Hughes. “Maybe Employee of the Decade. The way you do things, which is always just to a T, what you did with Middle States, and over the couple of years preparing for it, is astounding.”
In addition to her regular duties, which include managing the interaction between OAA and UMB's schools in matters of faculty appointments, promotion, tenure, and leave, Hughes stepped up during Middle States, coordinating logistics for events ranging from retreats and town halls to the site team visit.
When the nine-member Middle States evaluation team came to Baltimore for four days on April 3, Hughes planned out every detail, from hotel accommodations to the team’s many meetings with UMB leaders, faculty, students, and staff across campus.
“I know from leading these kind of event visits, it makes all the difference how well things are organized and how the visiting team is treated,” Perman said. “In many ways, you won this for us. The least we can do is honor you with this award and the $250 that comes with it.”
In fact, Middle States evaluation team chair Denise V. Rodgers, MD, FAAFP, vice chancellor for interprofessional programs at Rutgers University Biomedical and Health Sciences, singled out Hughes for special praise when delivering a glowing preliminary report to UMB on April 6.
“We need to add a special and heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Malinda Hughes,” said Rodgers, “who coordinated our visit and attended to all of our needs while we were here in Baltimore. Malinda, please be recognized.”
The applause from that day continued at the Employee of the Month celebration, where chief accountability officer and Middle States co-chair Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MPA, added to Perman’s praise. “Malinda has been simply outstanding from the first time she came to Academic Affairs,” Ward said. “She is so capable and competent and I knew she could take the Middle States challenge from beginning to end. Thank you for the good work, especially around Middle States, but all of the good work you do that people aren’t aware of.”
Chimed in chief academic and research officer Bruce Jarrell, MD, FACS, “Malinda has this great training as a nurse, and it comes out in all of her activities. She is meticulous and at the same time always sees the important strategic question. She is a pleasure having on the team.”
Hughes, who began working at UMB in 2011, quickly pointed out she was a small part of a much greater team, with hundreds of people helping UMB to hit dozens of Middle States milestones.
“I don’t even know where to begin,” Hughes said at the ceremony. “The first person I have to thank is Roger Ward. Two and a half years ago, he sat me down and we were talking about my career goals and I said I think I want to work on Middle States and he let me run with it.
“I just want to let you know, Dr. Perman, that everyone that I contacted immediately responded with ‘happy to help. Is there anything else you need?’ So I may have coordinated the visit, but it was an army behind me that helped us.”
— By Chris Zang