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August 15, 2011

Shaped by 9/11: UMBC Experts Explore Terror and Trauma

The events of September 11, 2001 changed the course of history. To some faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, particularly those early in their careers, the attacks also changed the course of their life’s work. The attacks and subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led them to study new issues and respond to new needs, from interpreting visual depictions of the War on Terror to helping new generation of veterans recover from traumatic limb loss. These UMBC faculty and staff are available to discuss topics related to the 9/11 attacks and how the university has responded to and will commemorate the day.

Rebecca Adelman, Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Studies
Telephone: 410/455-2772 (o); Cell phone available upon request
As a young researcher, Rebecca Adelman’s interests in visual culture, mass media, cultural studies of war and trauma studies were fundamentally defined by September 11. The Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by Adelman titled “Bin Laden’s Image: Looking into the Face of Evil” after Osama Bin Laden’s Death, and she was sought out for her expertise on media and images coming out of Egypt in the wake of that country’s revolution by WYPR’s “Midday with Dan Rodricks.” Adelman received her Ph.D. in comparative studies at The Ohio State University and is developing her dissertation into a book titled "The Shadow Rules of Engagement: Visual Practices, Citizen-Subjectivities, and America's Global War on Terror." The book examines the visual landscape of the war and analyzes the visual practices that institutions and actors employ to influence the struggle.

Seth D. Messinger, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Telephone: 410/455-2073 (o); Cell phone available upon request
Seth D. Messinger is a medical anthropologist specializing in the social reintegration of US military service-members following traumatic injury (particularly limb loss) sustained in Afghanistan or Iraq. His work responds to a gap in military clinicians’ knowledge: how veterans recovering from traumatic amputation refashion their senses of self and identity during rehabilitation. Messinger recently discussed military re-entry on WUNC’s “The State of Things” and published, “Getting past the accident: Explosive devices, limb loss, and refashioning a life in a military medical center,” in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, drawing on his work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Moving beyond traditional social science research, he’s also partnered with visual artist Ellen Garvens to explore through photography the everyday lived experiences of people who wear prosthetics, challenging assumptions about how technologies redefine the physical body.

Jeffrey T. Mitchell, Clinical Professor of Emergency Health Services
Telephone: 410/455-3777 (o)
Jeffrey T. Mitchell is an internationally recognized authority on psychological first aid and stress management for emergency response personnel—supporting first responders in crisis situations. Mitchell is an expert consultant to the United Nations Department of Safety and Security Working Group on Stress and he has provided EHS training and consults to the FBI, DHS, FEMA, U.S. military, U.S. Secret Service and other groups across five continents. Mitchell has authored 16 books and over 270 articles, including “America under attack: The ‘10 commandments’ of responding to mass terrorist attacks.” His writing addresses topics ranging from suicide prevention in the military, to mitigating the psychological effects of terrorism, to mental health care in police departments after line-of-duty deaths.

Chris Geddes, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Director, Institute of Fluorescence
Telephone: 410/576-5723
Each time letters containing a mysterious white powder showed up at media and government offices in the weeks after September 11, it took authorities about 48 hours to determine if the substance was anthrax. In the years since then, Chris Geddes and his colleagues have applied their groundbreaking fluorescence research to develop a new process that can be used to quickly identify such bioagents as anthrax and salmonella. The process, called Microwave-Accelerated Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence, has two stages: Microwaves are used to quickly remove genetic material from a test sample. The sample is then exposed to a laser, and it glows if the bioagent is present (this video demonstrates the process). Apart from his role as director of the Institute of Fluorescence, Geddes is a member of the National Institutes of Health Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technologies study section, and he is editor-in-chief of multiple peer-reviewed fluorescence publications.

Mark Sparks, Chief of Police
Telephone: 410-455-2872 (o)
Mark Sparks is available to speak about how emergency notification systems have evolved on college campuses over the last decade and how students at UMBC would be notified if a 9/11-scale event were to occur again, especially in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region. Chief Sparks came to UMBC from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he served for nearly 30 years. He earned a bachelor’s of science in criminal justice from the University of Delaware, and a master of applied management from University of Maryland University College.

Fritzie Charne-Merriwether, Special Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs
Telephone: (410) 455-2395 (o)
Fritzie Charne-Merriwether can discuss UMBC’s developing schedule of campus events to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Planned events include a film screening with a facilitated discussion, a service project to benefit U.S. troops and an ROTC flag presentation. The Division of Student Affairs supports learning and prepares students for success in a multicultural and increasingly global society and workforce.

Posted by chelseah at August 15, 2011 11:14 AM