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

Christina Fenwick

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 

Gregory Brightbill 

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

Jill Hamilton

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

Mary Phelan

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

Past-President

Kristy Novak

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, School of Nursing (Communications Officer)

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

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: 2023

 

Irene Amoros, Director of Annual Giving & Special Projects, School of Medicine

Email:  iamoros@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: University Life, Council of University System Staff
Goals as a Senator:

Term Ends: 2022

 

Edress Brunson, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Accountability & Compliance

Email: ebrunson@umaryland.edu

Senate Committee: Community Outreach

Staff Senate Goals:

Term ends: 2022

Gregory Brightbill, Associate Director, Student Leadership & Involvement, Campus Life Services, (Vice-President)

Email: gbrightbill@umaryland.edu


Senate Committees:
Executive Committee, Board of Regents Staff Awards

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: 2023

Timothy Casey, Senior Data Analytics Specialist, School of Dentistry

Email: tcasey@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Board of Regents Staff Awards, Council of University Systems Staff

Goals as a Senator: I firmly believe that a person can achieve remarkable outcomes if all barriers to their success are removed. My goal as a staff senator is to increase access to information and resources to staff as well as ensure their voice is heard when decisions are made that may impact their work life. I am interested in adding my efforts to projects across campus as well as in the community, and to learn about and share best practices with other USM institutions. I also want to raise attention to the work of staff members that make positive impacts to the university and community.

Term ends: 2023

Taylor DeBoer, Marketing and Operations Specialist - The Grid

Email: taylor.deboer@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Community Outreach

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: University Life

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

 

Maria Drayton, IRB Analyst, Accountability and Compliance

Alternate

Email: mdrayton@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Policy & Legislation

Goals as a Senator:

 

During my term as a staff senator, I would like to participate in meetings, community outreach programs and be an ear and a voice for staff on the campus. I would love to work with the other Staff Senators to take on challenges, make improvements and maintain a positive environment in order to advocate on behalf of UMB staff regarding UMB policies and procedures.

Term Ends: 2022

Sharese Essien, Program Manager, School of Pharmacy

Email: seissien@rx.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: University Life

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: 2023

Christina Fenwick, Dean's Office Specialist, School of Social Work (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

Aaron Graham, Associate Director of Career Development, School of Law

Email: agraham@law.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Policy & Legislation, Community Outreach

Goals as a Senator:

As a member of the UMB Staff Senate, I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Senators to draw on the strengths and skills we have honed over the course of our varied careers to further improve the tight-knit community that is the UMB family. I hope to encourage respectful, earnest, and open dialogue across our campuses and to facilitate a more open and inclusive system. I also look forward to drawing on the institutional knowledge of the Senate to encourage professional growth on both the individual and campus-wide levels.

Term Ends: 2023

Jade Grant, Student Recruiter, Graduate School


Email: jade.grant@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Communications

Goals as a Senator:

My goals as a Staff Senator include staying abreast new policies and initiatives, identifying meaning ways to serve the university and West Baltimore community, as well as connecting with peers across UMB and the entire university Maryland System.

Term Ends: 2023

Jill Hamilton, Contracts and Grants Specialist, School of Pharmacy (Secretary)

Email: jill.hamilton@rx.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Executive Committee, Community Outreach

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: 2023

 

 

Kecia Hitch, Senior Accountant, School of Medicine

Email: khitch@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Community Outreach

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:
2023

Thomas Hockensmith, Director, Center for Technology Services

Email: thockensmith@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: University Life

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: 2023

Susan Holt, Administrative Coordinator, SOM/Department of Epidemiology



Email: sholt@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Board of Regents Staff Awards, Council of University System Staff

Goals as a Senator:

Staff Senate is a strong, vibrant, organization that is an important conduit between Senior Leadership and the “rank and file.”   I want to not only continue in this capacity, but to encourage others to step up and serve in the future! My goals for my term is to be a voice for my colleagues for concerns that include campus safety, and transparency regarding decisions that affect staff and suggestions that will make our campus an even better place to work. 

Term ends: 2023

Jillian Iffland, Director, Education Office Department of Neurology, School of Medicine

Email: jiffland@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Board of Regents Staff Awards

Goals as a Senator:

I want to become more immersed in the UMB community and learn how I can advocate for other staff members. I am particularly interested in how we can improve the quality of our work environment so that everyone can feel safe, productive, supported, and celebrated.

Term Ends: 2023

 

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

Email: sjackson@law.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Communications

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 Ludd, Business Operations Manager, Administration and Finance

Email: lludd@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: University Life

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

Nancy McDowell, Program Manager, School of Nursing

Alternate

Email: nmcdowell@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees:

Goals as a Senator: 

I would welcome the opportunity to give back, and I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on your board to be a part of the positive change that the Staff Senate will bring to the University. I have wealth of experience and skills to bring to the role, and I am committed to making a difference.

Term Ends: 2023

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

Kristy Novak

Email: knovak@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Executive Committee

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: n/a

Mary Phelan, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs (Member at Large)

Mary Phelan

Email: MaryPhelan@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Executive Committee

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

 

Shawnta Privette, Police Communication Operator Supervisor

Email: sprivette@police.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Community Outreach

Goals as a Senator:

To provide a different perspective regarding civilian leadership as the campus evolves.  As well as support those objected that grow the University and the surrounding community with commitment and understanding.

Term Ends: 2022

Shilpa Shah, Sr. Contracts and Grants Administrator, School of Dentistry

 

Email: sshah1@umaryland.edu
Senate Committees: Communications

Goals as a Senator:

My goal in becoming staff senate is primarily to be voice of UMB staff, I have been UMB employee for many years and enjoyed all the benefits this group and past senates had to offer and making great place to work. Now it is my time to give back to community, be a part of this vibrant group work together to achieve the common goal. I am excited for my role and to work with the group.

Term Ends: 2023

 

Shereece Singleton, Office Manager, School of Medicine

 

 

Email: ssingleton@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Community Outreach, Council of University System Staff

 

Goals as a Senator:

 

Term Ends: 2023

 

 

 

Priti Wakefield, Environmental Service Manager, Administration and Finance

Email: pwakefield@umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Policy & Legislation

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: 2023

 

Lakeisha Wilson, Program Administrator, School of Medicine

Email: lwilson@som.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Policy & Legislation

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: 2023

 

 

Lei Zhang, Lab Specialist, School of Medicine

Email: lei.zhang@ihv.umaryland.edu

Senate Committees: Board of Regents Staff Awards, Council of University Systems Staff

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: 2023