Brian L. Watkins, M.Ed.
Brian joined the University of Maryland community as Director of Family Engagement 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 25 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.
Danielle Walker, M.S.Ed.
Danielle joined the Office of Family Engagement in February 2019. As Assistant Director, Danielle oversees marketing, communications, and publications, as well as facilitates collaborations with departments across the university. Danielle also coordinates on-campus and regional involvement and volunteer opportunities for parents and family members, and conducts assessment of programs and initiatives.
In addition to these duties, Danielle is involved with various committees, including the Student Affairs Diversity Initiative and Fall Welcome Planning Committee, and is an active member in AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education. She brings a strong background in academic advising, new student and family orientation, program development, and communications to the team.
Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Danielle served as Undergraduate Academic Advisor at the University of Texas at Dallas. She also worked in orientation and transition programs at Texas Woman's University and undergraduate advising at the University of Georgia. As a first-generation college student, Danielle earned a Master of Science in Education in educational leadership - higher education from Old Dominion University and a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. When Danielle is not on campus, you can find her catching the newest movie, exploring the DMV or traveling to see family and friends.