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Brian WatkinsBrian L. Watkins, M.Ed.

Brian joined the University of Maryland community as Director of Parent and Family Affairs in January 2005. He has overseen the expansion of parent and family programs and services within the Division of Student Affairs and has been instrumental in helping Student Affairs and departments across the campus develop a more cohesive approach to engaging/partnering with parents and families to support student success. Brian is also the founder and chair of the university’s Fostering Terp Success initiative.

Brian has worked in higher education and student affairs for more than 20 years in a variety of leadership positions focused on new student and family transition and support; student engagement and success; leadership development; service learning; diversity and inclusion; and communication and crisis management. Prior to joining UMD, Brian served as assistant director of Academic Enhancement at DePaul University (IL) and director of campus activities and student involvement at Arcadia University (PA). While at Arcadia, Brian also served as adjunct professor in sociology and was appointed by the president to serve on the Affirmative Action Committee.

Brian’s leadership on a national level includes serving as president of AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education (AHEPPP) and two terms on the Board of Directors. He is an active participant with the Big Ten Conference parent and family programs directors, and is a member of ACPA – College Student Educators International and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. He is frequently asked to consult with colleges and universities on creating partnerships with parents and families. Brian serves as an Expert for NBC News Learn's ParentToolkit and serves on the Board of Advisors for CampusESP.

A first-generation college graduate, Brian earned a Master of Education degree in higher education and student affairs administration from The University of Vermont and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in psychology from Hope College (MI).  Brian has received several honors and awards, including the AHEPPP Founders’ Outstanding Professional Award, University of Maryland Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Service Award, and induction into Omicron Delta Kappa.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Brian is a part-time doctoral student in American Studies at the University of Maryland. He also serves as the faculty advisor for Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at UMD and is active in the local community. He has served on PTA leadership for his son’s school, and previously served on the board of directors for Rainbow Families. Brian lives in Maryland with his husband, son, and beloved pets. He works hard to practice radical hospitality, which explains why he's a dog person.

Chandra BisnathChandra Bisnath

Chandra has more than 25 years of experience in Human Resources and joined the University of Maryland Student Affairs team in 1999. Chandra is responsible for supporting the Parent and Family Helpline, managing special projects, and providing general office management. Prior to joining the University family Chandra served as a human resource manager handling payroll, hiring, training, and supervision for staff for Marriott, Shoney's Restaurant, and Central Carwash. Chandra earned a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of Maryland University College and is enrolled in the Masters in Human Resources program. Chandra holds a number of certifications and accolades. Chandra's number one interest is her love for her family!