Community / June 1, 2011

2011 Robert H. Smith School of Business Staff Excellence Award Winner: Rebecca Winner

Rebecca: She’s a Winner!
The Wordsmith, the Word of Smith, the Winner of Staff Excellence for 2011

Rebecca Winner & Dean AnandalingamA recipient of the 2011 Staff Excellence Award from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Rebecca Winner is used to #Winning. She’s been a “Winner” since her university days when she married her college sweetheart, Darrell Winner. She’s been poked about her last name by many, including Robert H. Smith, for whom she wrote many speeches, who frequently said, “You’re a winner!”

“Rebecca brings her ‘A’ game every day to work and has done so for seven years,” said one award nominator. Rebecca joined the staff in the Smith School’s Office of Marketing Communications in May 2004 as the senior writer and editor with primary responsibilities of managing the school’s print publications, Smith Business magazine and Research@Smith. Over the years her duties have expanded and she is involved in a wider variety of projects. As associate director of strategic communications, she's not just the wordsmith for publications, but is also the go-to person for speech writing and brand messaging … the ultimate “Word of Smith.”

“It’s rare to see someone excel so consistently but Rebecca goes for the A-plus on every project despite its size. Every job is important to her, which is amazing when you examine her workload,” said one award nominator. “Among a million other things, part of Rebecca’s job requires her to interview faculty about their academic research and then write articles, stories or news releases in a language the average person understands and enjoys. Nobody, anywhere, does this as effectively as Rebecca.”

"I really enjoy talking to faculty and alumni about their research and careers," says Rebecca. "Student profiles are fun too. They come to the Smith School full of hopes and dreams. It is inspiring to know that we are part of such a transformative experience in their lives."

Rebecca grew up in Northern Pennsylvania and went to Carnegie Mellon University where she studied creative writing. “I always wanted to be a writer,” she said, and felt lucky to have parents who encouraged her to follow her dream and not pursue a possibly more lucrative career in a scientific field. She met her husband while she was at Carnegie Mellon and they married and moved to California where he pursued his graduate degree and she worked for the L.A. Mission as the publications manager.

After that, and a short time in Florida, they moved back to the East Coast in 1998 and Rebecca worked as a grant proposal writer for non-profits in D.C. before joining the Smith School in 2004. When she started working here, her office was on the second floor of Van Munching Hall in suite 2520 for a few months. Since then, she’s been in the same office in suite 3570 for about seven years – one of only a handful of staff members to be in the same office for so long! But she’s getting ready to move across the suite to a new office in a few weeks, as we prepare to open the addition to the south wing of Van Munching Hall.

She lives nearby in Greenbelt, and likes to take advantage of the numerous cultural benefits of the D.C./Baltimore area. She has two daughters, 15 and 13, and they are frequent visitors to local museums and concerts. Her family enjoys hiking and traveling and they are looking forward to a trip to England this summer. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys the outdoors – especially gardening.

To reach Rebecca, send e-mail to

Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications

Media Contact

Greg Muraski
Media Relations Manager
301-892-0973 Mobile 

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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