Founders Week Award Winners Talk About UMB’s Core Values

Founders Week Awards Winners Collage

Photo: Top row (from left): Jeffrey Hasday, Paul Shapiro, Kathleen Neuzil.  Bottom row (from left): Shantay McKinily, Yen-Pei Christy Chang, Tural Mammadli

Each year, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) recognizes our Entrepreneur, Researcher, Public Servant, Educator, and Student of the Year during Founders Week.

In recent years, we have asked the award winners which UMB core values set means the most to them: Respect and Integrity, Well-Being and Sustainability, Equity and Justice, or Innovation and Discovery. Here’s what they said:

“They all are important. Being in a work environment that promotes Respect and Integrity has allowed us to sustain an innovative drug discovery research program that, I hope, will soon provide new therapies that improve the well-being of all members of society.”
— Paul Shapiro, PhD, David J. Ramsay Entrepreneur of the Year

“My professional side is all about Innovation and Discovery and appreciates the extraordinary multidisciplinary environment provided by the schools on UMB’s campus. My human side appreciates the institutional commitment to Respect and Integrity, Equity and Justice, and Well-Being and Sustainability.”
— Jeffrey Hasday, MD, David J. Ramsay Entrepreneur of the Year

“Equity and Justice resonates with me because they are fundamental principles driving my research. We are privileged to live in an area with exceptional tertiary care. Most people in the world do not have that privilege. Prevention is key, and vaccine delivery systems are designed to reach every individual regardless of socioeconomic status, geography, age, or sex.”
— Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, FIDSA, Researcher of the Year

“Given where we are right now, Equity and Justice. I think of equity as meeting people and giving them what they need, not just equally giving things out to everyone — it’s making sure that people have what they specifically need. Equity is important, and social justice is key. We serve marginalized communities, and so we have to center race and social justice in everything that we do at the Positive Schools Center.”
— Shantay McKinily, MS, Public Servant of the Year

“I would select Well-Being and Sustainability and Equity and Justice. To me, they are interconnected ideas. Our society is witnessing increased mental illness and burnout among students and faculty. The important work we do at UMB is sustainable only if we invest in everyone’s well-being and work toward equity and justice. I care deeply about maintaining diversity and equity in the biomedical pipeline. Women and minorities are more likely to drop out of research due to a host of well-studied reasons. I consider it my mission to support all students and junior faculty, so their career planning is made using all the resources that the scientific community at-large and UMB provide.”
— Yen-Pei Christy Chang, PhD, MS, Educator of the Year

“It is challenging to pick one, but Equity and Justice is the core values set I would be most inclined to choose. As a social work researcher, my hope is that the work I engage in moves the needle to make our world a more equitable and just place for minoritized communities. The work toward achieving equity and justice for all has to go through embracing diversity in our communities as a necessary source of strength and fighting against oppression of all communities. Borrowing the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ ”
— Tural Mammadli, MSW, Student of the Year