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Faculty and Staff

Center for Social Science Scholarship

Christine Mallinson, Director
Public Policy Building 427, 410-455-1082

Christine Mallinson is Director of the Center for Social Science Scholarship, which houses the grants administration unit, the Maryland Institute for Policy, Analysis, and Research (MIPAR). She is also Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, and Affiliate Professor of Gender, Women’s + Sexuality Studies at UMBC, where she has worked since 2006. An expert on language and educational inequality, her research examines language as a socially and culturally embedded phenomenon and seeks to dismantle notions about cultural and linguistic difference while informing policy. Past associate editor of the journal American Speech, Mallinson currently serves the chair of the Ethics committee of the Linguistic Society of America and a member of its Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology & Anthropology and an M.A. in English Linguistics, both from North Carolina State University, and a B.A. in Sociology and German from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Amy W. Barnes, Program Coordinator
Public Policy Building 428, 410-455-1857

Amy Barnes joined CS3 in March 2020 after serving as the Administrative Assistant for three years in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health (SAPH) at UMBC.  Prior to coming to UMBC, Amy spent four years working part-time for a local church, and many years at home raising her two daughters, now college-aged.  Amy received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and her master’s degree in Professional Writing from Towson University.  In her role in The Center for Social Science Scholarship, Amy is responsible for coordinating programs and events, managing Center finances, processing payroll, and procurement.  When not on campus, Amy can be found spending time with her family, taking on home improvement projects, and baking treats for family and friends.


Myriam (Alexander-Kearns) Ralston, External Relations Coordinator
Public Policy Building 404, 410-455-8457

Myriam Ralston received her Master in Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in 2014. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College of Columbia University. She got her start in the non-profit world as an AmericorpsVISTA volunteer at a community action agency in Lowell, MA, and continued to work in human services as a case manager before moving to DC for graduate school. During and after graduate school, Myriam worked at the Georgetown Climate Center, and later at the Center for American Progress, in environmental and energy policy. She joined UMBC in 2018 as the External Relations Coordinator for both the Center for Social Science Scholarship and the School of Public Policy. Myriam also teaches yoga part-time, and loves combining yoga and workplace wellness.


Fehintola Elizabeth Bright-Awonuga, Undergraduate Media Intern

Fehintola Bright-Awonuga ’22 began interning for the Center for Social Science Scholarship in Fall 2019, assisting with media for events, research projects, and other center-related endeavors. A France-Merrick Scholar, Fehintola is double majoring in Health Administration & Public Policy and Africana Studies. She is an ambassador, volunteer, and student board member for UMBC’s Retriever Essentials food access initiative, an assistant in Residential Life, and a mentor in the Shriver Living Learning Community. In 2020 she was a panelist for UMBC’s Department of Africana Studies Fourth Annual Taste of Africa roundtable event. She was also a Liberian Delegate to the 2020 International Model African Union Conference and will be the e-board treasurer for the upcoming 2021 conference. Fehintola is a Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 President’s List Honors student.


Maryland Institute for Policy, Analysis, and Research (MIPAR)

Deborah Geare, Associate Director
Public Policy Building 424, 410-455-1081

Deb Geare began her career at UMBC in 1995.  She has over 24 years of experience with MIPAR, during which time she has developed a comprehensive understanding of pre- and post-award policies and procedures required for research administration. Deb advises and assists CS3’s Director, provides leadership and management of MIPAR’s administrative operations and business processes, manages MIPAR finances, represents MIPAR within UMBC and outside agencies, oversees MIPAR’s research portfolio, and provides pre- and post-award support to faculty in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS).  Deb graduated magna cum laude with honors from UMBC with a degree in Health Administration and Public Policy  She holds several certifications in research administration and is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators.  From 2006 to 2010, Deb served as a UMBC staff senator and representative on the University System of Maryland Council of University System Staff where she was the Chair of the Board of Regents Staff awards for several years. In 2007, she received the Presidential Staff Award in recognition for her contributions and dedication to UMBC.


Carolyn Flowers, Senior Business Manager
Public Policy Building 425, 410-455-1084

Carolyn Flowers has worked in the University of Maryland System since the spring of 2011.  Carolyn began her career in research administration at the University of Maryland, College Park, serving as the Business Manager of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center before joining UMBC in February 2019. Carolyn now assists MIPAR’s Associate Director, manages MIPAR’s research portfolio, provides pre-and post-award support to faculty in CAHSS including financial and programmatic oversight, supervises and mentors grant administration staff, coordinates with administrative departments within UMBC and sponsoring agencies regarding grant administration, and develops and implements business processes. Carolyn received a B.S. degree in Business Education and holds several certifications in research administration.


Elle Trusz, Business Manager
Public Policy Building 429, 410-455-1083

Elle Trusz began her career at UMBC in 2010, where she worked in the Department of Gender, Women’s + Sexuality Studies before moving to the CAHSS Office of the Dean. As a Business Manager in MIPAR, Elle provides pre- and post-award support to faculty in CAHSS including financial and programmatic management, supervises payroll and human resource operations, oversees staff development and training, coordinates with administrative departments within UMBC and sponsoring agencies regarding grant administration, and develops and implements IT business processes.  Prior to coming to UMBC, Elle worked in the nonprofit sector and continues to volunteer her time in the Baltimore community as well as at UMBC, including serving as the Staff Co-Chair of the UMBC LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association.  Elle earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Women’s Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Community Leadership at UMBC.


Adrienne Wheeler, Business Specialist
Public Policy Building 430, 410-455-1085

Adrienne Wheeler joined the MIPAR team in March 2020, but began her career at UMBC in 2014 in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  Adrienne is responsible for all aspects of human resource and payroll activities, serves as the primary liaison to human resources and payroll, manages graduate student activities, and provides business support for procurement and financial transactions. After earning a B.A. in Jurisprudence from the University of Baltimore, Adrienne worked as a paralegal in both Baltimore and Tampa, and at the MD State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Resource Center. Adrienne is currently pursuing an MBA at University of Maryland, Global Campus, and is also a proud member of the UMBC LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association.


Jesse Mashbaum, Business Specialist
Public Policy Building 422, 410-455-1086

Jesse officially retired from UMBC after serving for 7.5 years as Business Manager for the Mathematics and Statistics Department and 8.5 years as Business Manager in the CAHSS Office of the Dean. Jesse now works part-time in MIPAR providing multi-level support for grant administration and business operations including grant and DRIF account reconciliation, providing financial reports to the Associate Director, reviewing budgets and projections for grants, and performing other financial duties as needed.

Emma Wheatley, General Assistant
Public Policy Building 422, 410-455-1086

Emma Wheatley started at MIPAR in August 2018 as a student worker and now serves as MIPAR’s General Assistant. Emma works closely with the Senior Business Manager to provide proposal support to faculty including editing and uploading proposal documents, processes graduate students’ tuition and health benefits, coordinates travel, procurement, website development, assists with the development of an RT system and Standard Operating Procedures Manual. Emma earned a B.A. in Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication from UMBC in 2019.