Please join me in congratulating Dr. Phyllis Robinson, Professor of Biological Sciences, for being named as the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences. This three-year appointment honors Dr. Robinson for her many valuable contributions to gender equity issues across UMBC as well as for her exceptional service to the Department, the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and the University. Known for her efforts to increase the participation of women and minorities in science, Dr. Robinson co-founded the university’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group and served as a Co-PI on the UMBC NSF ADVANCE Grant, which is nationally recognized as an exemplary model for institutional transformation programs. She was honored by the UMBC President’s Commission on Women in 2012 and recently received the 2018 Marilyn E. Demorest Faculty Advancement Award for her advocacy work at UMBC.
Dr. Robinson continues to be a dedicated mentor to undergraduate and graduate students as she explores her research interests in vision science, signal transduction, and neurobiology with grant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She succeeded Dr. Lasse Lindahl as the program director of UMBC’s NIH-funded Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program, a preeminent undergraduate scholars’ program with over 100 alumni who have earned Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees. A former Graduate Program Director, Dr. Robinson was recognized for excellence in mentoring by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2002 and by the Leadership Alliance in 2006. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences in 1992, the Boston-native did postdoctoral work at Brandeis University, and received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Biology from Wellesley College.
Over the past 26 years, the UMBC community has benefitted from Dr. Robinson’s many gifts that include her passion for research, her talent for mentoring, and her compassion for others. She is eminently qualified for the honor of being a Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chair.