Undergraduate Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs Team

Image of Dr. Wessell

Dr. Erin Wessell
Director of Recruitment and Outreach Programs
(301) 405-0287 | ewessell@umd.edu

Dr. Erin Wessell joined the A. James Clark School of Engineering in 2019 as the Director of Recruitment and Outreach Programs and has been part of the University of Maryland community since 2013. Before joining the Clark School, Dr. Wessell led recruitment, admissions, and scholarships for the Honors College as Associate Director. She also has experience in advising, student programming, curriculum development, and national fellowship advising. Dr. Wessell received her B.A. in social sciences from Pennsylvania Western University, an M.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland. A first-generation college graduate herself, Dr. Wessell enjoys working with students through the college application and selection process. She also loves to travel, especially to visit historical sites and museums with her husband and two children.

Damien Franze headshot

Damien J. Franze
Associate Director
(301) 405-9807 | dfranze@umd.edu

Mr. Damien J. Franze is the Associate Director for the Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs. In this role, he provides strategic direction, leadership, and oversight for recruitment, scholarship award processes, scholarship appeals processes, and retention strategies for the A. James Clark Scholars Program, the Clark Opportunity Transfer Scholars Program, and the Clark Legacy Scholarships and Named Awards. Damien is a dedicated student affairs educator and administrator who is passionate about working with and supporting college students. He brings a wealth of higher education experience to this position, with previous roles in student program management, advising, event planning, community development, living-learning program management, student leadership development, curriculum management, recruitment, and scholarship selection. Damien has been at the University of Maryland since 2010. He joined the Clark School most recently from the Department of Resident Life, where he led all centralized programming and events for the department, as well the implementation of the department's Community Development Strategy, which set the programming and residential experience expectations for students. Prior to his work in Resident Life, Damien held positions at the University of Maryland in the Honors College and the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, as well as at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. Damien is originally from Baltimore, MD and holds a M.Ed. in Counseling & Personnel Services - College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Digital Design from Philadelphia University. 

headshot of Guerda Mervilus

Ms. Guerda Mervilus
Coordinator for retention
(301) 405-3858 | gmervilu@umd.edu

Ms. Guerda Mervilus is the Coordinator for Retention for Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs. Guerda joined us from Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she was the program coordinator for graduate studies in Electrical and Computer Engineering and for the Masters in Telecommunications Program. Prior to joining UMD, she worked with Achieving the Promise Academy (ATPA) as a Success Coach at Montgomery College and as a Transfer Advisor at University of Maryland Global Campus. With many years of advising and supporting student programming, she is extremely passionate about assisting students in their educational journey.

Mr. Michael A. Robinson
Coordinator for recruitment
(301) 405-3793 | marobin@umd.edu

Mr. Michael A. Robinson is the Coordinator for Recruitment for the Clark Foundation Scholarship Programs and has been with the University of Maryland since 2005. His previous positions on campus include being an Academic Advisor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as well as several positions within the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. While in Admissions, he served as a Freshman Admissions Counselor, the Coordinator for Limited Enrollment Programs, Assistant Director for Transfer and International Admissions and the Associate Director of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives. His background includes undergraduate admissions and recruitment, student event planning and academic advising. He is a proud Frostburg State University alum where he earned his B.S. in Sociology.

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Dr. Christopher Cadou
(301)-405-0829 | cadou@umd.edu

Dr. Christopher Cadou is the Faculty Advisor for the Clark Scholars Program. He is a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, a Keystone Professor in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, a member of the Combustion Institute, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  Dr. Cadou has been with the University of Maryland since 2000. He has served as the Rocket Club Faculty Advisor since 2013, the Sigma Gamma Tau Faculty Advisor since 2012, a Gemstone Program Mentor from 2005-2008, and has served as Research Advisor for 17 honors projects. His research focuses on the thermophysical issues underlying and often limiting the miniaturization of combustion-based power systems, non-intrusive diagnostics for reacting and high speed flows, and engine/fuel cell integration for aerospace applications. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering and a B.A. in history from Cornell University in 1989. He subsequently received M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1991 and 1996 respectively. He was a track athlete in college (hammer throw), is a private pilot, and enjoys hiking, swimming, skiing, tennis, and golf with his wife, two children, and newfoundland dog.

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Dr. Alison Flatau
CLARK opportunity transfer SCHOLARS FACULTY ADVISOR | Department Chair, AEROSPACE ENGINNERING | Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering
(301) 405-1131 | aflatau@umd.edu

Dr. Alison Flatau is the Chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Univ. of Maryland (UMD).  She has been a faculty member there since 2002, and has served in a variety of leadership positions, including: Director of Undergraduate Program and the AIAA Faculty advisor from 2004-2009; Associate Dean of Research for the Clark School of Engineering from 2009-2015; and Director of the Graduate Program and Associate Dept. Chair from 2016-2021. She became Department Chair in 2022. Her teaching and research interests are largely in the areas of smart materials, structures, vibrations and acoustics, with emphasis on magnetostrictive actuator and sensor technologies. She was PI of an ONR MURI on magnetostrictive alloys from 2005-2010. Prior to joining UMD, she taught Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics at Iowa State University for eight years and served as a Program Director at the NSF for four years. Her experience also includes four years as a senior research engineer in the Wind Energy Conversion Systems Test Program at the National Small Wind Systems Test Center (now part of National Renewable Energy Laboratory) in Golden, Colorado. Prof. Flatau’s honors include the Clark School Faculty Service Award, WIA Engineering Educator of the Year Award, SPIE Smart Structures and Materials Lifetime Achievement Award, and ASME Adaptive Structures and Materials Systems Prize. She was a Senior Fellow at the Technical University of Dreden in Germany in 2016.  She is a Fellow of the ASME and a Fellow of the AIAA, and in 2018 was an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.

Clark Doctoral Fellows Team

Dr. Min Wu
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering | Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
(301) 405-0401 |  minwu@umd.edu 

Dr. Min Wu is currently serving as Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs for the Clark School. She received her Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 2001. At UMD, she leads the Media and Security Team (MAST), with main research interests on information security and forensics, sensing analytics and learning, and multimedia signal processing. Her research and education have been recognized by a U.S. NSF CAREER award, a TR100 Young Innovator Award from the MIT Technology Review, an U.S. ONR Young Investigator Award, a Computer World "40 Under 40" IT Innovator Award, University of Maryland Invention of the Year Awards, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer and IEEE Harriett B. Rigas Award, and several paper awards from IEEE, ACM, and EURASIP. She was elected IEEE Fellow and AAAS Fellow for contributions to multimedia security, digital forensics and signal processing. Dr. Wu chaired the IEEE Technical Committee on Information Forensics and Security (2012-2013), and has served as Vice President - Finance of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (2010-2012) and Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine (2015-2017). 

Dr. Nicholas Slaughter
Coordinator for Graduate Affairs
(301) 405-2813 |  nslaugh1@umd.edu 

Dr. Nicholas Slaughter is currently serving as Coordinator for Graduate Affairs for the Clark School and works with the Clark Doctoral Fellows Program. Prior to this role, he taught courses in literature and composition in the University of Maryland English Department and developed graduate student resources in the University Libraries. In his current position, he works with Clark School fellowship and awards programs as well as with the recruitment and success of top engineering graduate students. Dr. Slaughter earned his B.A. in English and Russian language and literature and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English language and literature at the University of Maryland.