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Beacon Newsletter

MAY 2020

Beacon Event

Greetings from BEACON at Salisbury University –

Somewhere in the Cloud!


COVID-19 might have forced us to telework, but it has not slowed our team at all. I am very proud of all BEACONites who pivoted, literally overnight, to a new mode of doing business. Since the start of teleworking, we have actually maintained or improved almost all of our metrics. Our current projects are on track and we are bringing new projects online. In addition, as part of our community engagement mission, we are using our applied research capabilities to guide our region's private, public and nonprofit organizations in planning for the post-pandemic "new normal." In partnership with the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, BEACON hosted three webinars on post-pandemic planning. These webinars enjoyed the support of many local and regional organizations including the Greater Salisbury Committee and the Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development (SWED). In addition, we joined forces with the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore to host four "Post-Pandemic Strategic Thinking" webinars. BEACON will be hosting 14 more webinars in the coming four weeks. We are compiling a number of ideas, best practices, strategies, etc. for the short-, medium- and long-term through these webinars, all focusing on post-pandemic economic preparedness. We have worked with Perdue School of Business faculty members Dr. Dustin Chambers, Dr. Ying Wu, Dr. Brian Hill and Dr. Leonard Arvi on some of these webinars. We also have formed 10 economic activity sector panels and four subject matter expert panels that we are moderating as part of this process. For additional information about these activities, please follow BEACON's social media platforms or those of our partners: Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.


Memo Sarah

Dr. Memo Diriker, Director                                           


(From Left) Matthew Sweeney, M.B.A.; Simin Fan, M.B.A.; Jessica Iacona, M.B.A.; Jenna Morton, B.S.-Marketing; and Gabriella Winsky, M.B.A. 

BEACON staff congratulate all of our graduating BEACONites! Thank you for all of your dedication and hard work. We wish you the best in your next endeavors.

BEACON Project News

MAC Life Bridges

MAC Life Bridges


BEACON has been retained to serve as the third-party evaluator of a new Life Bridges Project  by MAC Inc. (Area Agency on Aging). The Life Bridges Project is designed to provide person-centered care, education and supportive services to persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD), to their families and to their caregivers. The project focuses on specific populations of persons living alone with dementia and persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities with dementia or at risk. The goal is for the program to produce an enhanced dementia-capable system for Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore.

A BEACON team assigned to this project will work with the Life Bridges team at MAC, Inc. to administer a series of performance evaluation instruments and to collect programmatic data. The BEACON team’s findings will be used improve program outcomes. In addition to quarterly reports, the BEACON team will develop an interactive dashboard for the Life Bridges team at MAC, Inc. to visualize program outcomes. This will enable them to take corrective action, if needed, so that program outcomes can be improved.



Management Tool


BEACON was engaged by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to perform an update of the 2014 Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) Scenario Analysis Study. The 2014 study had also been conducted by BEACON. The objective of this update was to determine whether sufficient capacity existed to support the additional volume of poultry manure that has been created or is expected to be created as the use of the PMT transitions into Management Phase II. Under this phase, a much larger number of acres on the Eastern Shore are subject to reduced or no phosphorus applications. The study examined existing markets for manure, including bio solid and food waste impacts. It also examined the ability of the Maryland Manure Transport Program to meet the expected increases, along with the capacity of existing infrastructure for manure transportation. Land available for accepting manure under the expanded PMT rules was measured. Finally, the BEACON study team determined the status and capacity of alternative uses for the manure that could no longer be spread on the Eastern Shore. While the study findings were delivered to the Maryland Department of Agriculture a few months ago, the project will remain in its aftercare period until December 2020.


Student Spotlight: Jenna Morton

Jenna Morton

My name is Jenna Morton and I am an undergraduate research assistant in marketing with BEACON at Salisbury University. I am currently a senior finishing up my last semester and graduating with a major in marketing and minor in communication. I am from Frederick County, MD, but ever since I can remember, my family has vacationed to the Eastern Shore every year. When I toured SU’s campus for the first time, I fell in love because it simply felt like home. Over my four years at SU, I have had many great opportunities, and one of them was being fortunate enough to be hired by BEACON at the beginning of the fall 2019 semester.

At BEACON, I have been able to work on various projects, including creating videos for our campaigns, designing our monthly newsletter and running our social media pages. Having the opportunity to apply what I have learned in my marketing courses has been a very exciting and educational experience. My favorite part about working at BEACON is not only having the opportunity to apply marketing to the real world but also being able to collaborate with the other BEACONites. I have learned so much during my time at BEACON and will truly miss being a part of their wonderful team.

During my time at Salisbury, I was very involved with the Salisbury Poms Dance Team and served as the captain of the team during my junior year. I had the opportunity to choreograph the halftime shows for SU’s sporting and school events. This past year, I also was the vice president of professional development for the Marketing Excellence Club and got to plan our semi-annual networking event. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that BEACON and Salisbury University have provided me, and I am very excited to apply what I have learned upon graduation!

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Contact Information

1101 Camden Ave.

Perdue Hall, Suite 100

Salisbury, MD 21801


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SU is an Equal Opportunity/AA/Title IX university and provides reasonable accommodation given sufficient notice to the University office or staff sponsoring the event or program. For more information regarding SU’s policies and procedures, please visit .  


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