Regina Bento, professor of management, is forever the optimist. Her leadership style, both with her students and colleagues, is chiefly concerned with breaking down barriers and building bridges. Merrick students can’t help but share their thoughts about how supportive she is as a teacher.
“Dr. Bento is one of the most caring and kind-hearted people I know,” said Justin Sealover, a senior information system and technology management major. “It was an honor to have her as a professor for two of my undergraduate courses. Her teaching is dynamic and effective as she incorporates different types of media and the latest industry research in all her courses. She is incredibly passionate about the subjects she teaches and even more passionate about the students learning.”
Bento’s 20-year career at the University of Baltimore is full of outstanding evaluations and life-changing sabbaticals at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, like Harvard and MIT, where she both taught and learned from faculty and students.
Bento’s bio reads like a straightforward tale of a model scholar. She completed a Ph.D. in management from MIT, and has earned numerous teaching awards and been published in some of the world’s most influential management journals. But underneath this fairly conventional storyline there is a subplot that can only be described as “Bento-esque.”
As a child growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Bento lived in material poverty, but attained scholarships to the best schools in the city. Her parents couldn’t afford to finish high school themselves, but they ignited in her a drive for reading and learning. This set her on a path to attend medical school and eventually to receive a degree in psychiatry. But ultimately, Bento chose another path, attending business school and setting out to find the commonalities between human behavior and commerce. Now, not only is she known as an academic champion on the University of Baltimore campus, she serves as the adviser to the school’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma and has been nominated for a position on the Academy of Management’s Board of Governors.
“We’re so lucky to have Regina at our school,” said Dean Darlene Smith. “She’s completely approachable, always wants to share in the joy of discovery. I watch our students just light up when she is working with them. And it’s the same with her colleagues. Regina is our definition of a great teacher.”
The mother of three and grandmother of two is now up for a new challenge: she has been appointed as senior assistant to the provost for academic planning, under the new UB 21 rubric.
"As a teacher I'm much more the curator of the world's most incredible museum and all of its exhibits," Bento told UB’s campus newsletter, The Latest, last month.
Noting how much information is on the Web—and how little of it is properly presented, let alone contextualized—she said, "If I'm doing my job, I'm inspiring my students to want to find out about all of the things that are hidden away. After all, we have much more in storage than we have on the museum walls. And if I've really succeeded with my students, then some of them will go out into the world and find the artist in themselves."
That’s Regina Bento: Determined to bring out in others the passion and excitement for the world that she has experienced ever since she was a young girl in Brazil.