Five professors named Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows
Five professors have been named Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows in recognition of their exceptional commitment to their students, not only in classrooms and research labs but also with career and internship experiences. The Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows Award was established with a gift from Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., a 1978 alumnus of the college and current member of the McDaniel Board of Trustees.
Five professors have been named Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows in recognition of their exceptional commitment to their students, not only in classrooms and research labs but also with career and internship experiences.
The Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows program was established in 2017 with a gift from Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., a 1978 alumnus of the college and current member of the McDaniel Board of Trustees. Awards are conferred annually to McDaniel faculty who provide exceptional mentorship and experiential-learning opportunities to students, especially within the areas of independent undergraduate research, community-supported learning, internship support, and study-away experiences.
Engaged Faculty Fellows each receive a stipend of $5,000 per year or a course release, plus up to an additional $2,000 per year for professional development or other engagement-related work. Fellows are selected annually for a two-year period and are not eligible to reapply for a five-year period.
The 2021 Boehlke Fellows are:
Paul Muhlhauser, associate professor of English, joined McDaniel in 2012, bringing an expertise in digital technology and culture. Muhlhauser’s research interests include transmedia storytelling, social media branding, pataphysics, website design, and remixing movies together to make new stories. Muhlhauser also has served as the faculty advisor for the Asian Community Coalition since 2015 and the McDaniel Free Press from 2016 to 2017.
Muhlhauser is a leader in the field of digital rhetoric and composition with a vast knowledge of visual design and user experience as well as has extensive published works, including many co-authored with students. A teacher and mentor, Muhlhauser is known for not only preparing students for the workforce but also going the extra mile in helping them secure positions in writing and design fields.
Susan Parrish, associate professor of Biology, has had a passion for science since fifth grade and, as a first-generation college student, was inspired by her mentors that she, too, wanted to give back as a college professor. A specialist in molecular biology, Parrish and her students have studied mRNA decapping enzymes from viruses and the social amoeba as well as RNA regulation in yeast and the tiny dot chromosome of fruit flies since she came to McDaniel in 2007. During her time at the college, she has taken 21 students to professional conferences to present their research, supervised 55 senior capstone projects, and published two important papers based on coursework that included 47 McDaniel student authors.
Parrish, who was The John Desmond Kopp Endowed Professor in the Sciences at McDaniel from 2016 to 2020, is also the Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, and Pre-Veterinarian Studies advisor and faculty advisor to the Student Pre-Health Club. She is a Teaching Analysis Poll Moderator as well as serves on the Faculty Development Committee. She was also selected to participate in the Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research for six years. Parrish also was recognized with the Phenomenal Woman Award in 2009 and 2012.
Daniel Schafer, lecturer of English, has a passion for connecting the campus to the Westminster community. Through his courses, Schafer, who has taught at McDaniel since 2013, has recruited over 20 small businesses, local politicians, and the Chamber of Commerce to conduct a city-wide experiment with a goal of tracking social media use among consumers that incentivized shopping in Carroll County. Schafer also partners with local businesses and nonprofits to give experiential learning opportunities for students through other courses.
Schafer served the McDaniel College Cross Country and Track & Field teams as a volunteer assistant coach for more than two years and a faculty mentor for a year. Schafer also has spent the last two years as a member of the My Place Steering Committee and became the coordinator of My Design in May 2020. For the past two years, he has been a member of the McDaniel and Main Committee, which seeks to strengthen the partnership between the college and Westminster.
Linda L. Semu, associate professor of Sociology, is a comparative international sociologist with research, publication, and teaching focuses on the intersection of gender, international development, social change, health, race, immigration, family as well as youth, orphans and vulnerable children. Since coming to McDaniel in 2005, she has shown how her advocacy work as one of the founding members of the Malawi Washington Foundation (MWF) can prompt students to seek change. Semu was recognized with a Special Achievement Award in August 2020 by McDaniel College for her work in founding and leading the MWF and the Malawi Diaspora Network, where she assisted in cumulatively raising over $60,000 for various projects including: girls’ education, personal protective equipment for healthcare workers during COVID-19, and famine/flood relief in Malawi.
She also received McDaniel College Faculty Development Grants for five years and was inducted into McDaniel’s chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society as a 2009 honorary member for her impact in helping students in their first year. In 2006, Semu was recognized with the McDaniel College Faculty Book Award for the publication of her book titled "Nkhanza, Listening to People's Voices. A Study of Gender-Based Violence in Malawi,” which was co-authored with M. Saur & S. Hauya-Ndau. She has been involved with Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society, since 2006, and Heroes Helping Hopkins, a student group that supports the Believe in Tomorrow Children's House, since 2013. Of particular interest and in relation to this award is the work Semu has done in establishing the Urban and Community Studies minor. A key component of the minor is a service-learning colloquium, which is a culminating experience in a series of courses that students take to fulfill their minor in Urban and Community Studies. Students spend time engaging in experiential activities through supervised field work in agencies of state and local government, community service organizations, programs, and nonprofit associations in Westminster, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other surrounding areas. Semu has helped the students secure their projects or in some cases, refine and supervise their directed studies for the minor.
Michelle Young, senior lecturer of Social Work, returned to the Hill as a faculty member in 2008 after earning her bachelor’s degree from the college in 2001. Her undergraduate work at McDaniel was one of the most influential experiences of her life, where she discovered her academic path and formed significant relationships with mentors, especially as a first-generation college student. She serves as the director of Field Education, where she is tasked with finding and securing new placements for students as well as training field instructors to provide meaningful social work experiences for McDaniel’s field students.
Thanks to the versatility of her Social Work degree, Young has worked in numerous settings with individuals and families affected by eating disorders on an in-patient and outpatient level, perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, children and adolescents with a variety of mood and behavioral issues, and within the school system. Young is also the faculty advisor for Phi Alpha, the social work honor society, a faculty mentor for the Green Terror Women’s Basketball team, and a clinical trainer for Hoffman Homes for Youth in Gettysburg, Pa.