UMES President Heidi M. Anderson addresses staff and faculty during a spring campus update session on Jan. 23.

With the spring semester classes a week away from starting, University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Heidi M. Anderson updated staff and faculty on the latest successes and achievements from the first half of the school year as well as upcoming events and initiatives.

The presentation, which took place at the Student Services Center Theater on Jan. 23, lauded UMES’s notable accomplishments since classes began in late August, including recent accolades received by members of the campus community, new partnerships, ongoing capital improvements, and more.

Anderson also shared with the audience recent additions to the Hawk Family including in the academic, administrative, and athletic departments among the recent happenings.

“Part of what I wanted you to do today was to hear some of the new initiatives and some of the directions we’re exploring,” she said. “All of this means more opportunities for our campus to function interdisciplinary across the schools.”

Proceeding Anderson were the deans of the university’s five schools who provided information on new academic programs that are in development including bachelor’s programs in art therapy, music production, and online child development; master’s programs for mechatronics engineering, art therapy, fine arts, and several human ecology concentrations; and a doctorate program in engineering.

“As we move forward, all of our majors, whether they are in my school or any of the other schools, will have an emphasis on being interdisciplinary,” said Dr. Marshall Stevenson Jr., the dean of the School of Education, Social Sciences and the Arts.

In addition to that, plans were announced for initiatives such as a new holistic pathway to law school, a strategic plan to become classified as an R1 research institution, and a proposed establishment of a school of veterinary medicine with a timetable for the start of August 2025.

Also announced during the event was recent funding of programs such as UMES STEM STARS through a $2.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Initiative that will help create a program geared at emphasizing scientific discovery and innovations in biology and chemistry curriculums; $2.8 million in start-up funds for the aviation maintenance technician program to be housed at the Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport; and $1.5 million in Senate appropriations for the UMES Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to help expand its resources to help faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the community get their business plans off the ground.

Anderson closed the information session by emphasizing UMES’s positive trajectory.

“I hope you recognize … our campus is on the move,” she said. “We have this new tagline ‘we soar above and beyond,’ and we really are soaring above and we’re trying to get beyond.

“And it can’t happen without all the help of you here today, whether you are faculty or staff, student or graduate student. It takes all of us to make this work.”

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