Providing pathways for development, promotion and everything in between.

April 2020

University of Maryland loses revered artist and professor due to COVID-19

Melissa Thompson, Research Integrity Officer

Photo courtesy of the David C. Driskell Center/Maryland Today

David C. Driskell, a beloved emeritus professor at the University of Maryland and an admired African American artist, passed away on April 1, 2020. He was 88.

Driskell’s passing was due to complications of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.

He was acknowledged globally for his artistic prowess, grace, vigor and scholarship in African American Art.

He broke onto the art scene in 1976, with his pioneering exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” which recognized the neglected work of black artists from 1750 to 1950. This exhibition featured over 63 artists and 200 works that included paintings, decorative arts, drawings and more.

Driskell became a faculty member in the Department of Art at UMD in 1977 and served as its chair from 1978-1983.

In 1995, Driskell was named as a Distinguished University Professor at UMD. He retired in 1998.

His appointment as DUP was not the beginning nor end of many honors and accolades he received in his lifetime. Driskell was one of 12 recipients honored with the National Humanities Medal given by former President Bill Clinton in 2000. In 2005, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta created the David C. Driskell Prize, which is the first national award to honor and acknowledge contributions to the field of African American art. Driskell received the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Lifetime Legacy award and was appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

Overall, he played a vital role in transforming and shining a light on African American art and artists alike. His scholarship and creative work transcended many obstacles and was hard for people to overlook.

His contributions to the art world made it known that African American art was not only unique, but a critical part of the art world as a whole.

He was an art historian and also an artist who worked in many media, including collage, printmaking, watercolor, oil, acrylic, gouache, and more.

Driskell’s paintings and prints have been exhibited throughout the United States. For example, his work could be seen in the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum and multiple museums in New York City.

While devoted to creating his own art, it was also his mission to support and promote African American artists personally, and through the contributions of The David C. Driskell Center, located at UMD.

The David C. Driskell Center was established in 2001 at UMD for the study of the visual arts and culture of African Americans and the African diaspora. “The Center provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators, and scholars, who are interested in broadening the field of African Diasporic studies. The Driskell Center is committed to collecting, documenting, and presenting African American art as well as replenishing and expanding the field,” stated

Driskell was born in Eatonton, Georgia, in 1931 and grew up in North Carolina. In 1953, he finished the art program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture located in Maine.

He received his bachelor’s degree in art from Howard University in 1955 and earned his M.F.A from the Catholic University of America in 1962.

Driskell also studied art history at the Netherlands Institute for the History of Art in The Hague.

His exceptional legacy is evident in his artwork, teachings, students, The David C. Driskell Center and his family.

Driskell is survived by his wife, Thelma Driskell, two daughters, Daviryne McNeill and Daphne Coles, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Article by Jaime Williams

Awards | Recognition | Leadership Development

Faculty and Staff Accolades

Congratulations to UMD faculty and staff members who have been recognized for outstanding research, service, teaching, fellowships and more. Article and photo courtesy of Maryland Today. Read more.

Awards Drawing


ADVANCE Director Search Announcement

The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce an internal search for a new Director of ADVANCE. More information regarding this opportunity is available here. Please submit nominations and/or expressions of interest to

Calls for Participation

Keeping Our Faculties (KOF) – Year-long network of pre-tenure assistant professor women created to enhance agency in career advancement (meets monthly for two hours). Professor of Journalism, Dr. Linda Steiner, leads KOF. View the call.

ADVANCING Professional Track Faculty (APTF) – Year-long network of full-time non-tenure track (men and women) created to enhance agency in career advancement. Instructor of Biological Sciences and Assistant Dean for Science Education Initiatives in the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Dr. Kaci Thompson, leads APTF. View the call.

Diversity & Inclusion

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Distance Learning & Diversity Check-In Hours

Join the Diversity Training & Education staff for virtual check-ins. Faculty and instructors are being asked to build online communities, and that can be challenging. We invite you to a space where you can join with others to process:

  • Building and maintaining inclusive online classroom communities
  • The emotional labor required for practicing compassion in the digital classroom
  • How to identify and navigate barriers to inclusive practices
  • Using inclusive language in the digital space

Join us for these community check-in hours. All faculty and instructors are welcome. RSVP to receive the Zoom link and password:

  • Tuesdays, 4-5 pm
  • Fridays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

Teaching & Learning Transformation Center

TLTC is here to support you and your students during COVID-19. Please contact us for individual consultations, or join us for our ongoing webinars and other events on topics such as: 

  • Compassion and Connection
  • Managing Teamwork Online
  • Moving Online: Course Design and Development Retreat
  • Design Sprint for Your Online Course
  • Help! I'm Teaching Online this Summer!

To see the most current list of online events, and information on the TLTC Faculty Liaison Network Community, visit the Upcoming Events page and sign up for our weekly newsletters.

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The TLTC Faculty Liaison Network community can be a valuable resource for faculty. We encourage you to reach out to your faculty liaisons in your college to discuss your needs and feedback to the TLTC. The network provides a campus-wide structure for departments and other academic units to i) communicate their teaching and learning needs to the TLTC, and ii) to provide input and feedback toward the center’s professional development support for faculty and graduate students. The network also allows departments to stay apprised of TLTC events, programs, and services, and initiate collaborations with other units to address common areas of interest or challenges in teaching and learning. For more information and to learn who your Faculty Liaison representative is, please visit the Departmental Liaison Network site.

TLTC Active Learning Institute

July 21-23, 9am - 3pm & July 24, 9am - 12 pm

*If campus is still online in July, we will offer a shorter online institute

Deadline for applications: June 1st

How can we create courses that encourage active learning and improve student engagement, belonging, and motivation? We invite instructors to participate in a hands-on Active Learning Institute to transform their courses into an inclusive environment for participatory, engaged learning. We will apply research-based practices to the process of developing courses in this model. Through a combination of hands-on activities, feedback, reflection, presentation, and discussion, we will work through the essentials of designing online or in-class materials to facilitate deep learning.

TLTC's Active Learning Institute is open to all UMD instructors of record. Whether you are teaching face-to-face, blended, or fully online, we will help you transform your course. Upon completion of this institute, participants will receive a stipend.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Active Learning Institute webpage

The Graduate School

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the Graduate School's FAQs page for COVID-19 related information, including support resources for current and incoming students, faculty members and advisors, details on financial concerns, guidance on remote thesis and dissertation defenses, and more.

Information Technology

Learning Technology Tips from the Division of Information Technology
Screen Capture of the D-IT Homepage
  • Zoom - Review your security settings in Zoomto avoid disruptions during your meetings.
  • Honorlock - Review and share Honorlock FAQswith your students if you are planning to use online proctoring.
  • Protecting Student Privacy & Personally Identifiable Information in UMD Audiovisual Recording Systems - Learn more here.

Tips & Resources

8 Ways to Be More Inclusive in Your Zoom Teaching

By this point in the Covid-19 transition to remote instruction, you’ve probably had a few sessions on Zoom. You’ve taught a few classes, met students for office hours. No doubt more than once, you’ve seen a lot of students staring blankly at you after you pose a question. (Insert crickets-chirping sound.) Faculty members are getting a crash course in Zoom and finding it can be supremely awkward, at least at first. Read more from The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

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COVID-19 & Support Resources

OFA has provided links to various resources and information below and on our website to help you navigate faculty life and work during this time:

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity Resources

Programs & Events

April 17* - Faculty Forum: Managing Stress & Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 17 - APT Workshop: Academic Administrators

April 20* - Faculty Forum: Town Hall Meeting for COVID-19 Pandemic

April 27 - Chair Workshop: Conversation with Georgina Dodge (1-2 pm; details forthcoming)

*Registration is closed; the event is at capacity. Future dates to be determined

Visit our website for a listing of all upcoming events.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Register to attend a NCFDD writing challenge, webinar or core curriculum workshop.

Become a member of NCFDD

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