Dr. Charles Caramello Associate Provost for Academic Affairs & Dean of the Graduate School
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    Graduate School Staff Directory





    Dr. Charles Caramello, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School
    (301) 405-0358
    Oversees graduate education at the University, chairs the Graduate Council, and supervises the administrative staff of the Graduate School.

    Jeffrey Franke, Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff
    (301) 405-4205
    Oversees administrative and financial aspects of the Graduate School, oversees admissions and enrollment, the waiver process, and publications. Enforces the policy directives of the Graduate Council and the Dean of the Graduate School.

    Dr. Alex Chen, Associate Dean for Academic Standards and Policies
    (301) 405-4901
    Primary responsibilities include Graduate Programs, Curricula and Courses (PCC), Graduate Council meetings and policies, Graduate Faculty appointments and other initiatives pertaining to academic standards and benchmarks.

    Dr. Mark Leone, Acting Associate Dean for Fellowships and Awards
    (301) 405-8767
    Administers Graduate School student fellowships and awards programs, such as Flagship Fellowships, Graduate Student Summer Research Awards, Wylie Dissertation Fellowships, and Goldhaber Travel Grants, as well as GRB/CAPA faculty awards and the Kirwan Research Prize.

    Dr. Mark Shayman, Associate Dean for Student Success
    (301) 405-8236
    Primary responsibilities include Graduate Outcomes Assessment; oversight of initiatives related to Writing for Graduate Students and RCR and Scholar Integrity; advancement of best practices in mentoring, advising, professional development, and placement; and liaison with the Division of Research on matters pertaining to post-doctoral fellows and associates.


    Dean's Office Staff

    Shama Akhtar, Senior Research Analyst
    (301) 405-0370
    Collects, manages, and analyzes internal and external data on graduate education and graduate students; acts as GS liaison with ORPA.

    Robyn Kotzker, Program Manager for Fellowships and Awards
    (301) 405-0281
    Works closely with the Associate Dean for Fellowships to coordinate all Graduate School students and faculty fellowships, awards, and prizes, including the Goldhaber Travel Award and International Conference Student Support Award.

    Kerry Lipitz, Assistant to the Dean for Special Projects
    (301) 405-0358
    Provides administrative support to the Dean on special projects, including building renovation, public relations, website redesign.

    Niambi Wilder, Communications Officer
    (301) 405-0763
    Coordinates and implements the communication strategy for the Graduate School and its partners.

    Kathleen Worthington, Assistant to the Dean
    (301) 405-0358
    Provides executive administrative support to the Dean, including special projects; coordinates office workflow, priorities, and deadlines; and oversees office management.

    Graduate Assistants
    Assists the general public and graduate program staff with Graduate School admission, policy, and procedure questions.
    (800) 245-GRAD (4723)


    Budget and Personnel

    Patty Woodwell, Director of Administrative Services
    (301) 405-0814
    Oversees daily operations of the Graduate School, as well as fellowship policy and process; responsible for Graduate School accounts and budget management; manages the University, Dean's, and Merit Fellowship Program.

    Barbara Ferguson, Manager for Fellowships and Tuition Remission
    (301) 405-0371
    Processes fellowship payments and tuition remission for graduate fellows. Serves as point-of-contact person for inquiries related to fellowships, overloads, and mandatory fees.

    Denise Best, Business Services
    (301) 405-0310
    Provides assistance for Director of Administrative Services; manages all human resource matters, travel, and purchases.

    Judith King, Program Administration Specialist
    (301) 405-0369
    Provides administrative support for tuition remission, external fellowships and transfer of funds.

    Maria P. Thomas, Coordinator
    (301) 405-0404
    Provides assistance for Director of Administrative Services; manages all human resource matters.


    Office for Graduate Diversity Initiatives

    Dr. Robert E. Steele, Director, Office for Diversity Initiatives
    (301) 405-6732
    Primary responsibility is to advance innovative recruitment, retention and support initiatives and activities targeted to graduate students from underrepresented minorities, and to develop a set of ongoing academic initiatives – such as colloquia, workshops, and lectures – that will encourage campus conversation on diversity in graduate education at UM and beyond.

    Dr. Ana Perez, Postdoctoral Fellow, Office for Diversity Initiatives
    (301) 405-4183
    Supports Director of Graduate Diversity on all diversity initiatives; oversees operational management of diversity initiatives.


    Office for Graduate International Initiatives

    Valerie Woolston, Executive Director, Office for International Initiatives
    (301) 405-4182
    Coordinates efforts to promote the Graduate School's educational initiatives in the international arena.

    Chuan Sheng Liu, Senior Faculty Advisor, Office for International Initiatives
    (301) 405-4182

    Saul Sosnowski, Senior Faculty Advisor, Office for International Initiatives
    (301) 405-4182


    Office for Graduate Writing Initiatives

    Dr. Mark Shayman, Acting Director, Office for Writing Initiatives
    (301) 405-8236
    Coordinates the Graduate School ’s academic initiatives to improve the quality of graduate student writing at UM.

    Heather Blain Vorhies, Post-doctoral Fellow, Office for Writing Initiatives
    (301) 405-9871
    Supports Director of Graduate Student Writing on all writing initiatives; oversees operational management of writing initiatives.


    Ombuds Office

    Katherine C. McAdams, Associate Professor Emerita and Ombudsman for Graduate Students
    (301) 405-3132
    Serves as an impartial, independent, and confidential resource for graduate students at the University; assists students in resolving difficulties with other students, faculty, and staff.


    Special Advisors

    John McKee, Development Officer
    (301) 405-4183
    Assists the Graduate School in developing gifts to support excellence in graduate education and research.

    Dr. Arthur Popper, Senior Faculty Advisor STEM Initiatives
    Coordinates efforts to promote and improve research, creative, and scholarly activities and initiatives, especially as it relates to Student Learning Outcomes and graduate student writing.


    Graduate Student Services

    Gabriela Kocerha, Evaluator, International Admissions
    (301) 405-7792
    Processes international student admissions; troubleshoots international admissions-related problems; assists with Programs, Courses and Curricula (PCC) and Graduate Outcomes Assessment (GOA).

    Toyin Oguntolu, Coordinator for Admissions and Graduation
    (301) 405-0827
    Processes student admissions; troubleshoots admissions-related problems, including highly technical admissions issues; assists graduate program staff with admissions and graduation issues.

    Greg Sensing, Point of Contact for Admissions
    (301) 405-6296
    Serves as initial point person for all graduate admission questions from students and programs; assists with student admissions; troubleshoots admissions-related problems; assists graduate program staff with admissions.

    Megan Van Son, Manager, Graduate Admissions
    (301) 314-4150
    Processes international student admissions; troubleshoots international admissions-related problems.

    Teddy Wu, Director, Graduate Information and Systems
    (301) 405-4181
    Oversees all aspects of Graduate School information and systems technology.