Westminster resident receives prestigious Bailer Award

November 10, 2008

McDaniel College recently honored Joyce Schaum, director of Carroll County’s Victim Witness Assistance Unit, with the Joseph R. Bailer Award. Schaum, of Westminster, joins 26 former award recipients recognized for their significant contributions to the field of education.

“Joyce was selected because she embodies the qualities of a great educator and counselor: she is creative, empathetic, and sensitive; and expands her leadership and mentoring skills into the realms of the legal system, the classroom, and the art world,” said Julia Orza, associate professor of Education and coordinator of the Graduate Counselor Education Program. “Her crusade to make children feel safe and her ability to create beauty through her art are sorely needed in today's hectic and unsettled world.”

Schaum’s achievements span a variety of fields, from basket making to crime-victim assistance, from crisis counselor to trainer of therapy dogs. Most recently her experience and accomplishments led her back to McDaniel as an instructor of the lab practicum in the Counselor Education program.

After earning her M.S. in Counselor Education in 2001, she worked as a crisis counselor at Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland until 2003. In 2003, she assumed responsibility as director of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit for the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office and manages the daily operations while ensuring that crime victims and witnesses of Carroll County have all the rights and benefits afforded them under state and federal victims’ rights laws. Her responsibilities include preparing witnesses for trials, providing witness protection and relocation services, and testifying on pertinent legislation in the State Legislature. Her most recent foray into training dogs for therapy got her coverage on the “ABC World News with Charles Gibson” as part of a piece titled, “Prosecutor’s Best Friend.”

A gifted artist, Schaum earned a national reputation as an award-winning basketmaker, a business she started, owns, and runs successfully today. She has received awards at the Boston Mills Artfest, the National Craft Show, Artscape: Baltimore, the American Folk Art Show, and the Mannings national Handweaving Show, among others. Her work has been published in Country Living, Country Home, Home, and Early American Life magazines and “American Baskets” by Robert Shaw. Schaum has taught her craft from California to Colorado to Connecticut, to right here at home at Common Ground on the Hill in residence at McDaniel College.

The Joseph R. Bailer Award was established by the family of Dr. Bailer, former chair of the Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) Education Department and director of its Graduate Program from 1949 to 1971. He was a primary contributor to the growth of the program. During Dr. Bailer’s long years of service, he influenced the lives of hundreds of graduate students and many have gone on to leadership roles in educational programs both in Maryland and beyond. In this spirit of dedication and professionalism, the Bailer Award is given annually to a former graduate of the master’s program who has subsequently made a significant contribution to the field of education. The award rotates among many of the graduate programs of the College.