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Higher Education in Maryland

February 2008 Press Release




Maryland Higher Education Commission members

confirmed by Senate


Annapolis (February 15, 2008)


Five members of the Maryland Higher Education Commission were unanimously confirmed by the Maryland Senate today.

The Commission members who were confirmed by a 46-0 vote were Anwer Hasan, Leronia Josey, Joshua Michael, Norah Barrera Murphy and Chung K. Pak.

“I am very pleased that the Senate confirmed these five outstanding Commission members,” Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons, Sr. said. “Each brings a diverse discourse to Commission meetings and sub-committee meetings. I have an excellent relationship with each of them and am pleased they have received official confirmation.”

Commissioner Hasan is a community leader. He started the Howard County Muslim Council five years ago and now there are five councils functioning in Howard, Baltimore, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Frederick Counties. He served as a President of Howard County Muslim Council for four years and now is the President of Maryland Muslim Council, which is an umbrella organization for these five councils. He has received several awards from various organizations including Martin Luther King Howard County Commission and Maryland State Department of Education Award for community service and minority achievement award respectively.

Commissioner Josey is a Baltimore area Attorney with nearly three decades experience advising small businesses, corporations, churches, clergy, governments, and exempt organizations. She is a former USM Regent who has served on the Coppin State University Foundation and on the Board of Institutional Visitors for Frostburg State University. An honors graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, Ms. Josey recently concluded service as Chair of the Coppin State University Presidential Search and Screening Committee. Last year, 2006, she was a member of the Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

Commissioner Michael is MHEC’s student representative. He is a sophomore at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is a member of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, as well as the Honors College. Michael is planning to major in Political Science with a focus in education policy. In addition, he hopes to receive a Secondary Education certification in social studies. At UMBC, Michael serves as the Director of Community and Governmental Affairs for the Student Government Association. He has previously served as the Assistant Director of Community and Governmental Affairs (2006-2007). He is also serving his second year as one of UMBC’s two representatives to the University System of Maryland Student Council (USMSC).

Commissioner Barrera Murphy has over 20 years experience in community outreach and culturally-sensitive social marketing. She has directed award-winning communications projects on topics related to health and disease prevention for numerous government agencies, including several of the institutes at NIH, CMS, HRSA, NHTSA, EPA, and CDC, and has led public education projects in the U.S. and abroad. Barrera Murphy has extensive experience in social marketing. An expert researcher, she conducts and oversees quantitative and qualitative research projects, including programs for different ethnic groups. Barrera has been named a top Hispanic entrepreneur, and has received awards for excellence from the National Association of Government Communicators and the Health Improvement Institute.

Commissioner Pak has had a distinguished professional career as a United States Administrative Patent Judge with the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and had served as a Corporate Patent Counsel for Praxair, Inc., formerly Union Carbide Corporation. As one of the most respected patent judges at the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, he has adjudicated over 3,000 cases, many involving complex technical and legal issues. Judge Pak has also lectured at conferences and published articles on those issues. He has received the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Special Achievement Award, USPTO Outstanding Performance Award, and many other awards for his distinguished service in the area of patent and intellectual property law.


The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.

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