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Employee of Year Donates Prize to CURE Scholars

March 30, 2017

Employee of Year Donates Prize to CURE Scholars Smaller‌‌Malinda Hughes was named UMB’s Cecil S. Kelly Memorial Employee of the Year and before the ink had dried on the oversized check in her hands she was showing why she is such a special individual.

Hughes, recently promoted to chief of staff in the Office of Academic Affairs and the Graduate School, donated her $1,500 award to the UMB CURE Scholars Program, the University pipeline program that prepares West Baltimore middle schoolers for health and research careers.

"That’s Malinda," UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, told those at the Employee Recognition Luncheon after announcing what Hughes told him about the donation onstage.

As UMB’s May Employee of the Month, Hughes was automatically entered into the running for the annual award. She was recognized in May for her indispensable role in UMB’s 2 ½-year Middle States reaccreditation process.

Matt Lasecki, SPHR, chief human resources officer and host of the March 29 luncheon at the SMC Campus Center, read part of Hughes’ nomination entry. “Malinda almost single-handedly organized and executed the four-day Middle States site visit. She worked 16-plus-hour days, making sure every need of our visitors was cared for. She arranged for the meeting rooms, meals, escorts, badges, travel, copies, hotel rooms, pre-event briefings, etc. She even stayed at the hotel with them to be at their beck and call. There is no way UMB could have done this without her.”

Afterward, an emotional Hughes said she was honored just to be part of the group of dedicated, talented employees up for the award. "I ranked myself 12th of the 12. I’m just stunned," she said, wiping a tear. "I didn’t see this coming."

Asked about being the first UMB winner to donate her $1,500 prize, she said it was only fitting. "I am a UMB CURE Scholar mentor to two seventh-graders at Green Street Academy. And my office is two doors down from Robin Saunders, the UMB CURE executive director. I see how hard they work and I see the fruits of their labor by being a mentor. Donating the award money to this program will be the very best use for it."‌

Such contributions can fund buses and tickets for scholar field trips, mentor T-shirts, Thanksgiving turkeys for CURE families, funds for UMB partner schools to enter the Maryland Science Olympiad, and much more. See all the possibilities.

Please consider joining Malinda and supporting the UMB CURE Scholars Program.


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