About Bobbie Laur

Bobbie Laur is the Director of the Office of Partnerships & Outreach within the Division of Innovation and Applied Research. Bobbie and her team provide a host of services that all focus on connecting community members and organizations with the resources of the university. With a passion for marketing, community engagement, and higher education policy, her blog posts focus trends, issues, and best practices in those areas.
Bobbie Laur


This morning we held our 5th Annual Awards Breakfast to honor our fantastic staff members.   This year our awards included our peer nominated and selected awards, the leading by example awards, which are selected by the Directors of the different centers, and the Excellence Award, which is selected by a committee.  The morning was filled with a lot of speeches and even more Thank Yous.  Our newest award was the “Intern of the Year” award, which was presented to Zach.  Zach Jones has been working with the Regional Economic Studies Institute Economic & Policy Analysis team for almost three years.  This picture captures just how much we love Zach!
Photo Jun 19, 10 06 36 AM


2013 Honorees Included:


Rising Star Award: Kelsey Beckett


Essential Piece: Nicole Schiraldi


You Make a World of Difference: Daraius Irani


Leading By Example: Nicole Schiraldi, Anna Orfanidis, Bernie Reynolds, Ashley Buzzeo, Jessica Grimm, Matt Koontz, Darlene Ugwa, & Bobbie Laur


Excellence Award: Jackie Gratz


Check out a quick recap video below. Congratulations to everyone who was recognized today!

Like us on Facebook to see the rest of our Annual Awards Breakfast photos.



Last week was a big week for TU as we concluded the 2012-2013 academic year by awarding 3,444 degrees during the 6 commencement ceremonies spread over May 22nd, 23rd, and 24th.


While commencement is always full of excitement, this year’s ceremonies were particularly celebratory as we unveiled the new Tiger Arena.  As one of the volunteers helping to make sure the processional goes off perfectly, I got to see the student’s reactions when they saw the arena for the first time and here’s what I heard over and over again—“Wow, OMG, it’s huge, I’m definitely coming back for games now.”


A great shot from TU photographer Kanji Takeno of the new Tiger Arena during the College of Health Professions ceremony.

A great shot from TU photographer Kanji Takeno of the new Tiger Arena during the College of Health Professions ceremony.


What’s next for these new graduates?
Based on senior surveys and historical data we project that 75% of them will either begin or continue working in Maryland.  Those that stay in Maryland will join the current 76,000 alums working in the Old Line State that are described by their employers as hard-working, prepared, and fun! We are very proud that our new graduates will meet the needs of our region’s workforce in the areas of education, nursing, cyber security, and business.   Congratulations Graduates and Welcome to the Alumni family! You are absolutely Ready to Lead!

Bobbie Laur


What are you doing on April 23rd?  If you haven’t already signed up for the Towson University Showcase, then get to it!  In its 6th year, the Showcase is an annual event focused on better connecting businesses, organizations, non-profit groups, government agencies, and community members with the people, projects, and programs at Towson University. This year we’re focusing on innovations in education that are transforming how and what our students are learning in and out of the classroom.


Our great line-up of exhibitors will be on hand to answer questions and discuss new ways of partnering. This free event includes a fantastic lunch, enlightening speakers and presentations, and great networking.


Still not convinced?  Check out this video about just a few of the projects!






1999 was a good year for Towson University, not just because it was the first year our Dance Team won the national title but because Wayne Hart joined the university as a Systems Engineer.  During Wayne’s 14 year tenure he’s transitioned up the ranks and today serves as the Director of our Office of IT Services.  Wayne’s known as the “go-to” guy for any IT issue and in his new position he’s leading the way when it comes to embracing new applications, technologies, and ways of working.  In this video he talks about his role as Director and what makes his office unique.



As the international headquarters for the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, Towson University is responsible for overseeing the organization’s programs, membership development efforts, policy agenda, and overall day-to-day activities. Since the organization’s founding in 1990, we have been producing a best practices journal Metropolitan Universities: An International Forum.


The journal has been on the cutting edge of many of higher education’s biggest issues over the past 23 years including community engagement, financial aid, economic development, faculty rewards, and education reform. The most recent issue Web 2.0 Technologies at Metropolitan Universities aims to address “how universities are currently using Web 2.0 technologies to educate students, collaborate with community members, and work more efficiently.”


I wanted to share three specific articles from the journal that I found particularly interesting:


Bobbie currently serves as the Executive Director for the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, headquartered at Towson University. The international membership organization is the longest-running and largest organization focused on supporting and growing a community of like-minded individuals and institutions who work together to develop answers to the pressing educational, economical, and social issues of the day.


As we kick-off 2013, our new name is in full effect–The Division of Innovation & Applied Research.  While a name change does represent some logistical and operational challenges, I am honestly thrilled to see the change happen.  Our new name is much more representative of the mission we’ve always had and the work we’ve always focused on.  And more importantly, it gives us a great platform to share our vision for where we’re headed.


Along with the new annual report, updated blog, and website, we created this short video to share some of our perspectives on exactly what “Innovation” means to us.



While the Baltimore Running Festival was a few weeks ago, I wanted to share a picture of some of our bloggers and staff members sporting their participation medals. We’re always talking about the “team” atmosphere that we have in the Division, but these staff members, along with some previous staff members, spouses, and friends really took it to the next level by creating three DECO Relay Teams for the 2012 Baltimore Marathon.  Congratulations to all our runners!

DECO staff members from the DECO 2012 Relay Baltimore Marathon Teams   (pictured left to right: Christina Bell, Jeremy Monn, Kierran Sutherland, Jessica Grimm, Daraius Irani, & Ardys Russakis)

Team 1:

  • Cat Irani
  • Heather Organtini
  • Stephanie Hedges
  • Luke Quell

Team 2:

Team 3:

  • Jeremy Monn
  • Ardys Russakis
  • Kierran Sutherland
  • Thomas Rumeau


I work with a lot of interesting and really smart people!  Even after seven years, I’m still blown away at what some of my colleagues can do with technology.  An area I’ve always been particularly fascinated by is GIS. CGIS, or our Center for GIS, includes a dynamic group of staff members who are always working on cutting edge technologies and applying those to real world issues and challenges our government, businesses, non profits, and citizens are facing.  But, what exactly is GIS?  CGIS has a brief answer to that here, but I know it’s still a question that puzzles many of us.

To try and get to the bottom of that question as well as what many of our talented staff members do each day, we’re launching a new video series that will highlight some of our best and brightest.  The first of these segments, features a fellow blogger, Jeremy Monn.  Here, Jeremy gives us his answer to “what is GIS?” and a little insight into what he does every day!


Last week we celebrated the inauguration of our 13th President with a week full of events including the opening of new a new science laboratory, the dedication of the international walkway, and ribbon cutting for the Institute for Well Being.

The week culminated on Friday when Dr. Maravene Loeschke was officially installed as Towson University’s 13th President.  The ceremony itself was a great blend of celebrating Towson’s history and future.  The most memorable moment for me was when Dr. Loeschke personally recognized each of the Administrative Assistants who have supported her throughout her years—while I know it meant a lot to those specific women, it also meant a lot to the hundreds of administrative staff who make such a difference everyday at TU.    You can watch the ceremony here.

The Institute for Well Being
The Institute for Well Being is made up of four primary centers that all focus on providing clinical services for the community and simultaneously hands-on experience for our students.  The centers include the (recently renamed) Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, The Wellness Center, The Speech, Language, and Hearing Center, and the Occupational Therapy Center.

Ribbon Cutting for the Institute for Well Being

On Wednesday, the ribbon was cut on their incredible new space in the Towson City Center building.  I was blown away by the facility, as was everyone else.  I heard students, community members, and faculty saying things like “this is incredible,” “what an upgrade,” “the elevators operate on ipads–whoa,” etc.  This space provides state-of-the-art learning and research opportunities for students.  Our graduate degrees in these areas have always been among our most competitive and highest ranked programs but I’m sure we’re only going to see those numbers going up!

In addition to the clear growth each of the centers are going to realize in terms of programming and participation, selfishly, I’m also excited to see what new opportunities will arise for the entire university because of our new footprint in downtown Towson.  I can’t help but crack a smile every time I see the logo on top of the building—looks great, right!

Towson’s Newly Renovated City Center Building

In January, TU’s radio station WTMD will make the move to the City Center, where they will be occupying 8,000 square footage of recording, programming, and office space.  Learn more about what’s in store for them, here.

As a side note, tomorrow marks the beginning of 2012 TU Homecoming, which means tons of student and alumni events throughout the week ending with a home football game on Saturday–Go Tigers!  However, since we’re just coming off the heels of Inauguration Week it feels like the action-packed schedule of events is really just a continuation of the celebration.


We recently sat down with the Director of TU’s Center for Professional Studies, Jeff Beeson, to hear his perspective on the future of workforce and continuing education at TU.  Anyone who knows Jeff, knows that he’s a ball of energy and ideas.  However in my opinion, one of his best traits is that he’s very much about “doing things.”  Today I saw a Walt Disney quote  that said, “the best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing;” this sums him up.  Workforce and continuing education require flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to the changing needs of the market — and these are things Jeff is exceptional at.  As Jeff says in this video, he has an incredible team around him and together they are developing dynamic new programs to meet the needs of our region and state.