After 35 years of service as a staff member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Executive Administrative Assistant Teresa Lupinek has decided to retire. In a message sent out to the UMBC community on March 1, President Freeman Hrabowski announced that Lupinek would retire on April 1, describing her as someone who “approached each of her roles with incredible professionalism, integrity, and poise.” A farewell reception was held in the Library Gallery on March 6 to celebrate her time of service at the university.
Lupinek’s career at UMBC began in January of 1984, when she took her role as an office secretary in the Biological Sciences building. She would type up letters that then-Chairman Keith Porter dictated, and also typed exams and grants for other faculty members. This work allowed her to learn how to type on a word processor, a machine similar to a typewriter but with the technological editing capabilities of the Word or Google Docs applications. “I didn’t even know where to turn it on until I was trained,” recalls Lupinek. Although she admits her tasks were serious, Lupinek enjoyed the university’s environment, describing it “as a fun place to work.”
She eventually transitioned to work in the Career Center, where she took charge of business duties and training students and staff, as well as leading graphic print production for Career Center events. Then in 2012, she became the Executive Administrative Assistant to President Hrabowski, where she “excelled in supporting the President’s Office with scheduling and the creation of meeting briefings and agendas in a highly demanding, fast-paced environment,” according to a message sent out by Hrabowski. Hrabowski also credits Lupinek for collaborating with campus leaders regarding the recognition of non-exempt staff within the Plan of Organization, “resulting in the creation of the Non-Exempt Excluded Staff Senate shared governance group.”
During her time here at UMBC, something that really stood out to Lupinek was, as she recalls, “the ongoing culture of UMBC under good leadership — first with Chancellor Michael Hooker and then with President Freeman Hrabowski — to inclusively contribute to the success of our students.” While Lupinek notes that UMBC has had its trials, she believes that the university nevertheless has held strong to these beliefs.
As for her retirement plans, Lupinek says, “I look forward to enjoying more time with family and cultivating long neglected interests.” Lupinek also hopes to see new talent stepping up to take over her role as Executive Administrative Assistant. Meanwhile, she will miss the friendships she has established over her time at UMBC, as well as witnessing “students developing their paths to accomplishing good things.” As for the legacy she plans on leaving behind, Lupinek commented on it being one of “respect, encouragement and ongoing love for learning.”