Who We Are

The Staff Senate is made up of an elected executive committee and representatives from around the University who advocate for the staff of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Staff Senate officers are elected by the Senate membership for a term of one (1) year by written or voice nomination during the last regular scheduled meeting of each year.

Staff Senate Representatives

Executive Committee

The executive committee meets a minimum of five times during each term year to:

  • Set the agenda for Staff Senate meetings
  • Prepare and submit reports on the work of the Staff Senate to the UMB President, the Council of University System Staff (CUSS), and the UMB community
  • Be a point of contact with the UMB president
  • Recommend to the Staff Senate the establishment, composition, and responsibilities of standing and/or special committees; fill irregular vacancies on committees; and recommend participation in campus committees
  • Manage the Staff Senate's annual operating budget as provided for the costs of duplicating, printing, mailing, supplies, etc.
  • Perform such functions as given by the Staff Senate
President

Kristy Novak

Presides at all meetings of the Senate, finalizes the agenda of each Senate meeting, serves as chief liaison with the UMB President, and performs other duties as assigned by the Senate.

Vice-President 

Christina Fenwick

Serves in the absence of the President, serves as Senate parliamentarian, and performs other duties as assigned by the Senate.

Communications Officer 

Ayamba Ayuk-Brown

Chairs the Senate's Communications Committee, contributes to The Elm and serves on the UMB Communications Council.

Secretary

LaToya Lewis

Responsible for recording and distributing minutes, maintains all records of the Senate, monitors the Senate’s budget and reports on its fiscal status to the Executive Committee/Senate, and performs other duties as assigned by the Senate.

Member-At-Large

Gregory Brightbill

Serves on the Executive Committee and performs duties as assigned by the Senate.

Past-President

Vacant

Serves as an advisor to the Executive Committee to provide continuity and performs other duties as assigned by the Senate.

Ayamba Ayuk-Brown, Office Manager, SON (Communications Officer)

Email:
ayamba.ayuk@umaryland.edu
Senate Committees: Executive Committee, Council of University System Staff - Alternate

Goals as a Senator:
In keeping with the UMB Strategic Plan’s theme of Inclusive Excellence, during my term I want to inspire staff members to advocate for their own career advancement within the University.  In doing this, I would love to work with HR to develop pathways for growth, specific to staff members that clearly identify categories of staff positions on campus, including salary brackets, to better outline opportunities for professional development and to support staff in advocating for this.  This will allow staff members to strategically partake in professional development that will speak to their career aspirations.  

Term Ends: 2021

 

Michael Azen, Equity and Access Investigator, Accountability and Compliance

Alternate

Email:
mazen@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator: Continue to focus on ensuring that our work atmosphere is safe, diverse, inclusive, equitable, and civil. Employee safety is of the utmost importance. My past experience in the criminal justice system and my role as the Staff Senate liaison to UMB’s Safety Awareness Committee allows me to better understand the challenges we face. When employees are recognized and rewarded for their hard work, it is more likely that they will be more productive, stay longer, and overall be more satisfied. I would like to help with employee recognition, which could include awards, additional benefits, COLA/merit increases, etc. I also would like to continue with organizing outreach events.
Term Ends:
2021

 

Emma Barkman, Lead Regulatory Research Coordinator, Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center/SOM

Alternate

Email: Amelia.Barkman@umm.edu

Senate Committee: 

Staff Senate Goals: To be a voice and advocate for the staff and will help relay any suggestions, questions, comments or concerns that are voiced to me. I also hope to be able to contribute to process improvement projects to better the University and our community. The past 2 years I served on the Communications board helping to get the senate messages out to the staff at UMB. If elected again, I would love to not only help with communications but also join the Community Outreach Committee and help to serve the surrounding area.

Term ends: 2021

Steven Boggs, Director of Law Registration, School of Law

Email: sboggs@law.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: Continue to bring a voice to the table on behalf of staff when the President and his cabinet as well as the respective deans make decisions that impact the welfare of the university and individual schools. Staff often get overshadowed by faculty and student concerns and needs so I wish to be an active voice on behalf of university staff.

Term ends: 2022

Gregory Brightbill, Leadership Education and Involvement Specialist, Campus Life Services, (Member at Large)

Email:Gbrightbill@umaryland.edu
Senate Committees:
Executive Committee

Goals as a Senator:I am very passionate about diversity education and hope to continue the positive growth the University has made in implementing inclusive practices into the institutional culture. This includes creating safe spaces for staff to discuss issues concerning discrimination and disenfranchisement. I also hope to use my skills related to event planning, marketing, and staff development to help the Staff Senate with programming initiatives that align with the overall goals of the group.

Term Ends: 2021

Kent Buckingham, Executive Director, CITS Operations, School of Dentistry

Kent Buckingham

Email: kbuckingham@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator: I would like to continue to improve communications between the staff and senior campus leadership. I have represented the Staff Senate on the hiring of a key campus leadership position and would hope to be able to help in that role again if needed. We have made strides in trying to learn what is important to the staff and to effect changes in those areas. I look forward to continuing that work.

Term ends: 2021

Perri Carroll, Project Coordinator, School of Medicine

Alternate

Email: pcarroll@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: To support the University’s commitment to diversity and help seek ways to represent the diversity on campus. I would like to work towards developing educational seminars, forums, etc. to inform university staff on current issues on campus and in the surrounding communities. I do a lot of work in community engagement and I want to ensure that our campus is aware of issues, concerns, and solutions occurring in our communities so our campus can better support everyone.

Term Ends: 2021

Taylor DeBoer, Marketing and Operations Specialist - The Grid

Email: taylor.deboer@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: Working over in the Grid, I've had the opportunity to see the community-based work that UMB does first-hand. I would love to be able to be part of UMB's continued efforts in helping provide community resources to the many communities within UMB's footprint. It should continue to be a staff priority to involve the community in as many conversations as possible and I'd love to be part of that effort. I'm also interested in helping contribute to a more inclusive, progressive work environment for UMB staff.

Term Ends: 2022

Allison Deitz, Social Worker, School of Medicine

Email:
adeitz@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator: After graduating from the School of Social Work in December 2018, I desired to continue my connection with the UMB community beyond being an alumna. My goals are to connect with other UMB staff and wider community members, listen to their needs, understand what barriers they encounter, and co-create initiatives that could sustainably help our communities for years to come. For example, even the small gesture of equitably celebrating staff’s birthdays across departments could mean a great deal to many people. Perhaps establishing a process within each UMB setting by which co-workers can nominate each other regarding the accomplishment of difficult endeavors that individuals outside of that setting may neither see nor fully appreciate, could help strengthen team cohesiveness in a setting of fact-based encouragement. I would also love the chance to learn more about how, given UMB’s diversity of disciplines, different schools could work together to better serve the larger community (e.g., working with the School of Dentistry to bring supervisory dentists and dental students to the University of Maryland Drug Treatment Center, where many patients need restorative dental work that their insurance plans will not cover).

Term Ends: 2022

 

Sharese Essien, Program Manager, School of Pharmacy

Email: seissien@rx.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Council of University System Staff - Alternate

Goals as a Senator:I have enjoyed serving this past term on the Community Outreach committee, which has been truly rewarding. I would like to continue to work on projects that staff on campus can contribute to make a difference in the lives in the communities that surround the University.
Term Ends: 2021

Christina Fenwick, Dean's Office Specialist, School of Social Work (Vice-President)

Christina Fenwick

Email: cfenwick@ssw.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Executive Committee

Goals as a Senator: I hope to continue to assist the staff senate in being the voice for all staff, while focusing on increasing shared governance in each school.

Term Ends: 2022

Jill Hamilton, Contracts and Grants Specialist, School of Pharmacy

Email:
jill.hamilton@rx.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator: One of my favorite quotes is: “We have a strategic plan, it’s called doing things.” I am not interested in showing up, just to have something to put on LinkedIn. I am interested in being an active participant and learning from others. I look forward to listening and contributing as appropriate. I am happy to help make UMB an even better place to be. I hope to leave the Staff Senate having left a positive and measurable impact on those around me and the University as a whole.

Term Ends: 2021

 

 

Shawdae Harrison, Mentoring Program, President's Office

Email: shawdae.harrison@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: I hope to become a campus leader, championing the idea that building community is what will drive our university forward. I hope to become part of the Community Outreach Committee and work closely with the CEC or organize community initiatives. As part of UMB CURE Scholars Program, I work with the lovely students and families who live in the surrounding UMB community and they share so many positive experiences that they have had being part of the UMB community. For example, having access to the CEC and workforce develop opportunities, participating in food drives, and even having a meal with faculty at monthly community lunches. I hope to support in strengthening the bond between UMB Initiatives and the West Baltimore Community.

Term Ends: 2022

Kecia Hitch, Senior Accountant, School of Medicine

Email:khitch@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator:
I would like to see reasonable stability that benefits everyone concerning parking and safety issues — especially addressing parking decisions that are equitable to our staff members and crosswalk safety. I want  to promote diversity, inclusion, and morale and to address common issues that I share with so many others on campus.

Term Ends:
2021

Thomas Hockensmith, Director, Center for Technology Services

Email: thockensmith@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: I hope to learn more about the campus, it's workings, and the outreach performed by the campus. I also hope to build relationships with the staff senators and senior leadership across campus. Once I am able to see and learn, I hope to use this information and these relationships to affect change on behalf of my staff and all UMB Staff and Faculty.

Term Ends: 2022

Sarah Hokenmaier, Program Director, School of Nursing

Sarah Hokenmaier

Email: shokenmaier@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator:
I am interested in creating and expanding opportunities for staff to become more involved at UMB, and to engage with the surrounding community. I have worked on the School of Nursing Staff Council to establish a community engagement committee and have planned regular opportunities for both staff and faculty to volunteer in the community. In my short time on the UMB Staff Senate, I have worked as a member of the Community Outreach Committee and hope to continue and expand this work at the campus level.

In addition, during my time at UMB I have been continuously impressed with all that staff members here have to offer; I would like to help create pathways and opportunities for staff to continue their professional growth as well as increase the visibility of staff expertise and accomplishments.

Term Ends: 2021

Susan Holt, Administrative Coordinator, SOM/Department of Epidemiology



Email: sholt@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Council of University System Staff (Co-Secretary)

Goals as a Senator: This past spring, there was a shooting outside my building. Some of my colleagues were caught in the middle of it. I had the privilege to take their concerns to the Staff Senate and later meet with those in charge of our public safety. As a result, we were able to better secure our building and help people feel a little more secure in their workplace. I want to continue to be an advocate for my colleagues. They know that they can call me, and I'll make sure their concerns are heard. I take that responsibility very seriously.

Term ends: 2021

Sarah Jackson, Associate Director, Donor Relations and Stewardship, Francis King Carey School of Law

Email: sjackson@law.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: I would like to strengthen both my own ties and the law school's ties to the greater UMB community. I participated in the Steps Challenge last fall and found it to be a great program that promoted both wellness and community building. I also coordinated the law school's House of Ruth Adopt-a-Family effort last holiday season, and would like to get us more engaged in the other opportunities offered through campus.

Term Ends: 2022

LaToya Lewis, Compliance Specialist, Accountability and Compliance (Secretary/Treasurer)



Email: latoya.lewis@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Executive Committee

Goals as a Senator: I hope that during this term I will serve as a means of communication and liaison among staff, faculty, students, and administration, promoting policies and practices that foster equity, diversity, inclusion, and respect as well as provide career advancement opportunities at all levels at UMB. I also look forward to serving in program initiatives that promote long-term stability, wellness, and work opportunities in the Baltimore's neighborhoods.
Term Ends: 2021

 

 

Latoya Ludd, Assistant to the Vice-President, Administration and Finance

Email: lludd@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: To build mutually-beneficial relationships with staff members across all levels of the University. I also hope to collaborate with fellow committee members on initiatives that don't just affect the University but also benefit the surrounding community. And I believe the opportunity to serve as a committee member will allow me to network and build my professional portfolio.

Term Ends: 2022

Kristy Novak, Associate Director of Student Placements, School of Nursing, (President)

Kristy Novak

Email:
knovak@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Executive Committee, Senate Liaison to UMB Faculty Senate

Goals as a Senator: I'll continue to work toward promoting professional development opportunities, acknowledging staff for their many accomplishments, enhancing communication across campus, and advocating for initiatives that positively impact staff. I also believe that it's important for each school to have a staff council and shared governance, and I will continue working with interested school leaders to get staff councils off the ground.

Term Ends: 2021

Mary Phelan, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

Mary Phelan

Email:
MaryPhelan@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Council of University System Staff - Alternate

Goals as a Senator:To help the Senate meet and exceed its communications goals and to participate in the Senate's outreach projects and to encourage more staff members to do the same.

Term Ends: 2022

 

Cody Sizemore, Associate Director, Business - URecFit


Email: csizemore@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: To build strong relationships with other departments across campus to develop a unified vision for health and well-being at UMB. It would be my goal to create an incentive program to encourage UMB Faculty and Staff to utilize these resources and recognize those individuals that go above and beyond.

Term Ends: 2022

Jenn Volberding, Assistant Director, Student Financial Planner, School of Nursing

Email:
jvolberding@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Council of University System Staff

Goals as a Senator: I hope to accomplish more staff members being nominated for the Board of Regents award and to "Bring Your Daughter and Sons to Work Day to UMB".

Term Ends: 2022

 

Priti Wakefield, Environmental Service Manager, Administration and Finance

Email:
pwakefield@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator: Being a part of the University and Environmental Service Department for more than nine months, I have noticed so many challenges that one must go through as a new member of the University. I want to change that culture, so everyone feels welcome when they come to the University.

With my degree and experience in the hotel industry where your first priority is your customers, I would like to see the University lean toward providing that kind of service toward its staff, faculty, and researchers.

Term Ends: 2021

 

Lakeisha Wilson, Program Administrator, School of Medicine

Email:
lwilson@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator:During my term it would be my goal to represent staff members and their concerns around systematic changes, change in leadership, new polices and procedures, and overall morale of staff. I think this is a good opportunity to engage staff for input on a number of growing challenges for the university. I think the Staff Senate has done a good job with disseminating information to staff. It is my goal to continue to share information but also create more collaborative groups across departments for staff engagement.

Term Ends: 2021

 

 

Lei Zhang, Lab Specialist, School of Medicine

Email:
lei.zhang@ihv.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: 

Goals as a Senator:
I am eager to learn about how the Staff Senate runs in terms of helping staff members, and I would like to be part of it besides my daily lab work.

Term Ends: 2021