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April 21, 2011

UMBC Featured in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges”

Eleanor Lewis
UMBC
(410) 455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Jeanne Krier
The Princeton Review
(212) 539-1350
Jeanne@jeannekrier.com

Marisa Long
U.S. Green Building Council
(202) 552-1500
mlong@usgbc.org

UMBC is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected UMBC for inclusion in the just-released second annual edition of “The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges.” UMBC was also included in the 2010 edition.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the “Guide to 311 Green Colleges” is the only free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. Schools were chosen based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges polled in 2010 about their school’s sustainability initiatives.

“This is wonderful recognition of the strong commitment of so many students, faculty and staff to safeguarding our environment, responding to climate change and engaging as much of our community as possible in these efforts,” said Lynne Schaefer, vice president for administration and finance. “Special thanks goes to our undergraduate and graduate student government leaders, Students for Environmental Awareness, Daejayon, the Climate Change Task Force, our student sustainability interns and the many individuals who have pushed forward an aggressive agenda even in the face of limited resources.”

Since UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, UMBC has worked toward supporting green efforts in campus in a multitude of ways through the Climate Change Task Force. The group is comprised of students, faculty and staff engaged in encouraging sustainability on campus.

This fall, UMBC broke ground on its first LEED Silver building, an addition to Patapsco residence hall. The addition includes the university’s first green roof, which will also be used for research by faculty and students. UMBC has developed sustainability initiatives across campus through its dining service, Chartwells, and facilities management, among other programs, and regularly participates in green activities including the annual Ecofest, Recyclemania and the 2009 National Teach-in. Last year, students voted to increase their fees to support four sustainability interns each year to push forward environmental initiatives. The University is also finalizing a contract to have two Zipcars on campus this spring.

The Department of Geography and Environmental Systems offers academic programs in environmental studies and environmental science including master’s and Ph.D. programs focusing on environmental systems, human geography and remote sensing technology. The campus is also the field headquarters for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a federally funded urban ecology project, and is home to the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education. Its research and technology park, bwtech@UMBC, includes the U.S. Geological Survey’s regional water science center and other companies focusing on environmental research and technology.

Other departments that have sustainability-related majors and courses include biochemistry and molecular chemistry, biological sciences, biotechnology, civil engineering, economics, geographic information systems, human context of science and technology, interdisciplinary studies, marine biotechnology, marine-estuarine environmental science, philosophy, physics and public policy.

The Princeton Review first created this one-of-a-kind resource for college-bound students in 2010 with the U.S. Green Building Council, which is best known for developing the LEED standard for green building certification. This past fall, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools (www.centerforgreenschools.org) to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed and operated so that all educational facilities can enhance student learning experiences.

The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.

Posted by elewis

April 13, 2011

UMBC Hosts 4th Annual Crime Victims Rights Summit Monday, April 18, 7-9 p.m.

CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Baltimore, Md. – UMBC will host the 4th Annual Crime Victims Rights Summit on Monday, April 18, 7-9 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event, sponsored by UMBC’s Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department and Catonsville- and Arbutus-area organizations, is free and open to the public.

This year’s summit focuses on relationship violence and will address the following issues: determining who is at risk, identifying warning signs, escaping dangerous relationships and understanding bystander intervention. There also will be a discussion on the role of the victim during prosecution.

Keynote speakers are Yasmin Karimian, president of UMBC’s Student Government Association; State’s Attorney for Baltimore County Scott Shellenberger; and William D. Mitchell, president and founder of the Kristin Mitchell Foundation, which supports educational efforts that raise awareness among young adults about the dangers of unhealthy dating relationships. Mitchell’s daughter was murdered by her boyfriend while in the midst of a breakup.

Panelists are Kim Leisey, UMBC associate vice president for student affairs and chair of the Verizon Foundation Relationship Violence Prevention Grant Committee, and Deborah Miller, domestic violence coordinator for the Baltimore County Police Department.

“Recognizing the victims of crime and especially those victims of domestic violence is especially important as it affects each of us in some way,” said Karimian. “The only way we can address the issue of domestic violence as a community is if we begin to spread the word and show the support we can provide to the victims. The summit will continue this needed conversation and will open the eyes and ears of community members to signs of domestic violence while showing the strong support our community has for victims and those affected by it.”

This fall, UMBC launched a campaign against relationship violence, funded by a grant from the Verizon Foundation. The campaign includes a lecture series, campus awareness programs and a relationship violence prevention advocates group. The campus also has a longstanding Voices Against Violence program designed to address issues around domestic or relationship violence, sexual assault, and other forms of person-to-person violence, including stalking and sexual harassment.

The summit was founded to support National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the Office for Victims of Crime.

Sponsors for the April 18 event include the UMBC Police Department, the Arbutus Business & Professional Organization, Baltimore County Police Department – Wilkens Precinct 1, CCBC Foundation Catonsville, CCBC School of Justice, Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, Lansdowne Business & Professional Assocation, Saint Agnes Hospital, Soroptimist International of Arbutus, and the Wilkens Police & Community Relations Organization.

For more information, contact the UMBC Police Department at 410-455-5555.

Posted by elewis

March 3, 2011

TIAA-CREF Honors Freeman Hrabowski with 2011 Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence

CONTACT:
Jeannine DeFoe, TIAA-CREF
212-913-3501
jdefoe@tiaa-cref.org

Eleanor Lewis, UMBC
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

New York, March 7, 2011

TIAA-CREF has announced that Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has been awarded the 2011 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. Dr. Hrabowski was selected by an independent panel of judges based largely on his work to increase the representation of minority students in science and engineering and create an institutional model of inclusive excellence.

Established in 1993, the TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award is named in honor of Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, nationally renowned educator and world humanitarian. Father Hesburgh also served on the TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers for 28 years.

"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of my UMBC colleagues and students, and to have our work associated with the example of extraordinary leadership provided by Father Hesburgh. It takes all of us in the academy to build our institutions and prepare the next generation of leaders. Higher education is more important than ever before for both our nation and humankind. We know that education transforms lives," said Dr. Hrabowski.

Stephanie Bell-Rose, head of the TIAA-CREF Institute, will present the honor this afternoon at the American Council on Education (ACE) annual meeting in Washington D.C.

“Dr. Hrabowski’s leadership at UMBC and commitment to underrepresented groups in science and engineering has had a powerful impact on both the Maryland system and on higher education as a whole,” said Bell-Rose. “The Hesburgh award honors those higher education leaders who demonstrate innovative thinking, a positive impact on both higher education and society and a willingness to collaborate both within and outside the university, all of which are embodied by Dr. Hrabowski’s work.”

Dr. Hrabowski has served as president of UMBC since 1992. He has worked with campus colleagues to create a model public research university focused on building research in science, engineering, and public policy, while emphasizing undergraduate liberal arts education and creating an environment in which students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds thrive and succeed academically.

In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which in 2009 and 2010 ranked UMBC the No. 1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation. In 2009, Time magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents. UMBC ranks 2nd nationally in research funding received from NASA, ranks among the top 10 universities nationally in public policy research productivity, and is among the nation’s leading public universities in prestigious scholarly awards per capita to faculty in arts and humanities.

With Baltimore philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff, Dr. Hrabowski co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC in 1988 for minority students committed to pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. Today, UMBC is among the nation’s leading institutions in producing African American graduates who go on to complete Ph.Ds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and M.D./Ph.Ds.

The Hesburgh Award, which includes a $20,000 prize, recognizes a current college or university president/chancellor who:

• Is a visionary, demonstrating innovative thinking about strategic challenges and opportunities, sustaining the institution’s core values and mission, and adopting strategies to ensure future institutional vitality.

• Has had or is having through his/her personal involvement a positive impact on higher education and/or on society in general through his/her institutional leadership role.

• Demonstrates collaborative partnerships within the campus or externally that enhance institutional ability to achieve excellence both within the institution and for the greater good.

• Is a futurist comfortable in “stretching the envelope,” uncovering and seizing opportunities to advance the institution.

• Positions the institution to thrive in an uncertain future, anticipating trends and developing strategies to manage change.

About the TIAA-CREF Institute
The mission of the TIAA-CREF Institute is to foster objective research, build knowledge, support thought leadership, and enhance understanding of strategic issues related to higher education and lifelong financial security. For additional information, please visit www.tiaa-crefinstitute.org.

About TIAA-CREF
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization with $453 billion in combined assets under management (as of 12/31/10) and provides retirement services to the academic, research, medical, governmental, and cultural fields.

Posted by elewis

February 24, 2011

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

Bioscience and Technology Companies Join the Incubator

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to announce that early-stage companies EncephRx and Spry Enterprises have signed leases for space in the Life Science and Technology Incubator. Both companies are confident about their ability to fill a niche in their respective markets and are looking forward to reaping the benefits of their new location.

EncephRx was founded last summer by First Stage Bioventures. Aaron Heifetz, a 20-year veteran of the biotechnology industry and partner in First Stage, was chosen to be the company’s President and CEO. The company is working to develop small molecule drugs to slow or prevent the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Currently, EncephRx is conducting animal testing with the goal of completing that stage and applying for FDA permission to begin clinical trials in the next year or two. The company is using technology licensed from Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Dallas. Heifetz, who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, learned of the technology while doing background research at Johns Hopkins University.

Choosing UMBC for his new company’s headquarters was a natural choice for Heifetz, who was previously a member of the university’s Life Science Advisory Board and had facilitated meetings of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator CEO group for several years. He has also done research with UMBC professors Tony Moreira and Govind Rao. “I know the people at UMBC,” said Heifetz. “The location offers a lot of value.”

Spry Enterprises has been operating for two years, with an office in Hunt Valley, and moved into its new space several weeks ago. Partner Tony Vachino is a Catonsville resident and is excited about the company’s additional location. Spry, which specializes in utilizing semantic technologies to build analytic and information management solutions for its clients which include the federal government, is looking to hire additional employees in the areas of software development and information architecture. The availability of student interns and graduates from UMBC’s top-ranked computer science and IT programs had a large influence in the company’s decision to establish an office at bwtech@UMBC. According to Vachino, the company hopes to expand its business into the commercial space over the next few years.

“We are delighted to welcome these organizations to our Life Science and Technology Incubator program,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “bwtech@UMBC has a long history of launching successful companies and we are pleased that EncephRx and Spry Enterprises have chosen to build their business at our Incubator. We look forward to their success.”

Posted by dshapiro

February 22, 2011

UMBC Named One of Nation’s “Best Value” Public Universities by The Princeton Review

CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

UMBC is one of 50 public institutions in the United States recognized by The Princeton Review as a “Best Value College” offering a combination of educational excellence and affordability. The ranking was announced February 22 on the Today Show and in USA Today.

The honor is the third major national distinction UMBC has received from leading higher-education rankings publications this academic year. For the second year in a row, UMBC was named America’s #1 “Up-and-Coming” national university by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guide. The University was also included on Kiplinger’s Best Value Public Colleges list.

The Princeton Review recognizes UMBC, a research university with nearly 13,000 students, for attracting serious students and supporting them with undergraduate research opportunities throughout the Baltimore-Washington region and beyond. The campus location near BWI-Marshall Airport gives students access to internships with government agencies, nonprofits and leading private-sector companies.

“UMBC provides a distinctive undergraduate education to outstanding students, many of whom go on to prestigious graduate schools and professional opportunities. We’re delighted to be recognized by The Princeton Review’s list of ‘Best Value Colleges,’ ” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III.

The Princeton Review selected schools by using institutional data and student opinion surveys. Broadly speaking, it examined factors covering undergraduate academics, costs and financial aid. A school’s academic rating was derived from admissions and other institutional data and student opinion surveys.

A school’s financial aid rating was based on data about tuition, fees, room and board and need-based financial aid packages and student opinion surveys regarding award packages and the service provided by a school’s financial aid office. Approximately seventy-seven percent of students at UMBC receive some financial aid in the form of scholarships, loans and grants.

Dale Bittinger, director of undergraduate admissions and orientation, said, “Being named to the ‘Best Value Colleges’ list once again is something that we are proud of as it reaffirms, among many values, our commitment to attracting a highly diverse community of high-achieving students."

UMBC was also named a “Best Value College” in 2009 and in 2008 was ranked the second “Most Diverse Student Body” in The Princeton Review’s “The Best 368 Colleges: 2009 Edition.”

Posted by elewis

February 7, 2011

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

Research and Technology Companies Join the Research Park

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to announce that three organizations – Clear Resolution Consulting, Research Triangle Institute and the U.S. Forest Service’s Baltimore Field Station – have signed leases for space in the Research Park. All three are looking forward to reaping the benefits of their new location.

Clear Resolution Consulting, which advises companies on cybersecurity strategy, business process re-engineering and computer network operations, will occupy 2,600 square feet of space on the 2nd floor of the 5523 building and will be a part of bwtech@UMBC’s Advantage cybersecurity incubator, Cync. CEO Ayinde Stewart noted that the National Security Agency is one of his company’s customers and that he is looking forward to working with Cync sponsor Northrop Grumman to serve the technology needs of the defense community. Stewart notes that bwtech@UMBC’s location, including its federal HUBZone status, was a big selling point when choosing a location for his company. Having been familiar with UMBC and its president, Freeman Hrabowski, for many years, Stewart is pleased to have the opportunity to hire interns from UMBC’s nationally recognized computer science and IT programs.

Research Triangle Institute will move into about 2,000 square feet of space in the 5520 building. Currently a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Life Sciences and Technology Incubator, scientific program director Diana Fishbein is excited to be moving into a larger office which will allow employees to interact more closely with UMBC faculty. The nonprofit international organization, whose headquarters are in Raleigh, NC, conducts research and provides services on topics ranging from physical and mental diseases, environmental science, health care, economic development, policy and aerospace. The Baltimore branch at UMBC specializes in behavioral and neuroscience research, focusing on understanding, treating and preventing behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco addiction and a variety of other high risk behaviors. The office now employs 12 people, including several interns and one full-time hire from UMBC. “Our work involves translating science to a practical setting and there are a lot of resources toward that end at UMBC. We’re developing some really promising collaborations,” said Fishbein. One such collaboration is with both UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The two campuses are building a neuroimaging lab and the institutions are partnering with the company on a grant application for a research project proposed by RTI.

The Baltimore Field Station of the U.S. Forest Service moved into a 3,200 square-foot space on the 3rd floor of the 5523 building in mid-December. Previously located at UMBC’s Technology Research Center, the 8-employee office needed more room to grow and to host visiting scientists, according to Morgan Grove, the station director. Grove noted that the station and UMBC have a long history of collaboration, starting 13 years ago when they partnered under a National Science Foundation grant to study the sociological and ecological changes in Baltimore over a period of several hundred years. The station, which studies soil, vegetation and air quality to understand changes in sustainability in the Baltimore region and their relationship to the Chesapeake Bay, has worked with a number of faculty and students over the years and Grove is looking forward to expanding those collaborations.

“We are delighted to welcome these organizations to the Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “They each have the potential to make a large impact on UMBC and the region as a whole, and we look forward to their success.”

Posted by dshapiro

January 31, 2011

UMBC Joins Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:

Eleanor Lewis – UMBC
Office: 410-455-2065
Email: elewis@umbc.edu

Mike Raia – Office of the Lt. Governor
Office: 410-260-3888
Cell: 443-336-3032


ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 31, 2011) – UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, joined his counterparts from community colleges and public four-year institutions in Annapolis today to sign the Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans. The Compact aims to improve on-campus services for student veterans. Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown – a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, a graduate of ROTC and the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to serve a tour of duty in Iraq – convened the meeting and worked closely with veteran advocates and higher education leaders to forge the important partnerships that will ease student veterans’ transition to campus life.

During his opening remarks, Brown cited a troubling essay published in the Community College of Baltimore County student newspaper detailing a student veteran’s war experience and the College’s controversial, but necessary, decision to remove the student until a psychological evaluation could be performed as one of several catalysts to create the Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans.

“Veterans bring a unique maturity and life experience to the classroom – an experience that in most cases enhances classroom discussions and benefits every student’s learning. But as each war is different, so is every generation of veteran,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “We have an obligation to serve those who served and we must do more to ease student veterans’ transitions from combat to campus. While the urgency to sign this agreement was sparked by an atypical and unfortunate incident on one of our campuses, I am proud that higher education leaders from across the state will work together to improve the services we provide to the men and women who served on our behalf.”

The Compact calls on Maryland’s higher education community to do more for the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and seeks to ensure the educational success of veterans who choose to return to a Maryland school through greater awareness and understanding of the unique challenges student veterans face.

“The UMBC community is proud to welcome returning veterans to campus,” said President Hrabowski. “We know the transition back to the classroom can be challenging, and we are committed to supporting student veterans with access to the information and services they need to be successful.

Participating institutions pledge to designate an office or staff person as a ‘go to’ for all student veterans to help them navigate everything from GI Bill paperwork to behavioral health counseling. The Compact requires campus officials to provide training for faculty, staff and student leadership to promote greater awareness of veteran issues; and it encourages campuses to create student veteran organizations to provide incoming student veterans with necessary support from their peers who are also transitioning back into our communities.

Today’s veterans face unique challenges. Studies show that one out of five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are also more likely than veterans of any previous conflict to attempt suicide. More than 22,000 Iraq-Afghanistan veterans have returned to Maryland in recent years, and thousands more are coming home. More than 15,000 Maryland veterans received GI Bill education benefits during the fall 2010 semester – including 219 at UMBC. As more veterans enroll in college and training courses, colleges and universities – especially community colleges – must make concerted efforts to better understand the behavioral health challenges many veterans face.

Posted by elewis

December 31, 2010

UMBC Chess Team Finishes Strong to Place Second in “World Series of College Chess”


Contact: Daniel Clemens
410-852-3974
dpclemens@yahoo.com


BALTIMORE -- Battling weather-induced travel delays, illness and the nation’s top collegiate players, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) chess team turned in a strong performance to place second in the “World Series of College Chess” that concluded yesterday in Milwaukee.

UMBC earned a draw against the University of Texas-Brownsville in its sixth and final match at the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships, which began Monday. The Retrievers rebounded after a hard-fought loss in a key match Wednesday night against the University of Texas-Dallas, the eventual champion.

“It came down to the critical match against Dallas,” said Alan T. Sherman, UMBC chess director. “It just didn’t go our way.”

By finishing in the top four, UMBC qualifies for the other preeminent college chess event: the President’s Cup, scheduled for April 2-3 in Tyson’s Corner, Va. The Retrievers are defending champs of President’s Cup, also known as the “Final Four of College Chess.”

UMBC also was the Pan-Am defending champ, after capturing the last year’s title outright and earning a share of the 2008 title. Today the Retrievers found themselves in unfamiliar territory: second place.

“It feels a little like a defeat that we didn’t finish first,” Sherman said. “It’s a weird feeling.”

Said Sam Palatnik, UMBC’s associate chess director who coached the team at the tournament, “It’s not every time you can be the best in the competition. Every one was fighting and competing. It’s a good place for us. We’ll take it.”

UMBC sent two teams to the tournament and a bright spot was the fifth-place finish of the B-team. Sabina Foisor, a former A-team alternate who led the B-team in Milwaukee, won all five of her games. Against the eventual champs, Foisor, an International Woman Grandmaster from Romania, beat Alejandro Ramirez, a Grandmaster and UT-Dallas’ top player.

“Playing on the first board and going five for five [games], that’s outstanding,” Palatnik said. UT-Dallas went 6-for-6 in its team matches en route to the title. “They really had a well deserved victory,” Sherman said. “They beat all the strong teams.”

UMBC’s task in the crucial match with UT-Dallas was made tougher when one of the Retrievers top players, Giorgi Margvelashvili, played after coming down ill. Margvelashvili came up short in his match, as did Leonid Kritz, another top UMBC player.

“It definitely affected his play,” Sherman said. “If Giorgi had won his game, the outcome could’ve been different.

“Even though they play six rounds, it always comes down to a very short, critical path. A very small number of games determines the outcome. It makes it exciting and frustrating.”

UMBC faced challenges before the tournament began. Last weekend’s major winter storm led to travel delays for some team members.

But Sherman and Palatnik refused to make excuses. Challenges such as weather, travel and illness are part of the game, they said.

“If you had a choice, you’d choose not to have those things,” Palatnik said yesterday by telephone from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, site of the tournament. “But sometimes they happen.”

UMBC has won a record nine Pan-Am titles, including six outright championships to go with three co-titles.

Twenty-eight teams took part in the 2010 Pan-Am, which attracts the top college programs. The event is the most celebrated intercollegiate tournament in the Americas, open to any college or university team from North, South or Central America. Since the tourney’s inception in 1946, dozens of universities throughout the Americas have participated.

The 2010 field included teams from such far-flung schools as the University of Toronto and the University of the West Indies, as well as squads from prominent U.S. schools such as Yale, Stanford and the University of Chicago.

For UMBC, the focus now turns to the President’s Cup, where the Retrievers will square off against the University of Texas-Brownsville and Texas Tech University, in addition to UT-Dallas.

“We’ve got our ticket to the Final Four,” Palatnik said. “We’ll try our best to be ready. We need some work. The competition is much, much stronger.”

For more information on the UMBC team, contact Alan T. Sherman, director, UMBC Chess Program, 410-963-4779 (c), sherman@umbc.edu.

For more information about the 2010 Pan-Am and college chess, visit www.uschess.org or www.collegechess.org/.

Posted by elewis

November 1, 2010

UMBC Launches Campaign Against Dating Violence; Receives $25,000 Verizon Foundation Grant to Educate, Train Students, Faculty & Staff on Violence Prevention

Contact:
Eleanor Lewis
elewis@umbc.edu
410-455-2065

Sherri Cunnigham
scunningham@starpower.net
202-302-0280

College students are at a high risk of either acting as perpetrator or being a victim of dating violence – both physical and sexual. In response, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has joined a public awareness effort to stop dating violence on college campuses.

The Red Flag Campaign helps students and others in the campus community identify the “red flags” of dating violence in their friends’ relationships and intervene. In addition, UMBC has received a $25,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to launch a Violence Prevention Advocates program to educate and train students, faculty and staff on specific violence prevention efforts.

The campaign kickoff event will be held at UMBC Wednesday, November 3, 12:10-12:35 p.m. in The Commons Sports Zone (mezzanine level). Speakers will include UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, Vice President for Student Affairs Nancy Young, SGA President Yasmin Karimian, Melanie Ortel of Verizon Wireless and Diane Miles of Verizon Maryland.

The Red Flag Campaign, a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, was created with support from the Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless. Red flags posted around the campus are designed with a “bystander intervention” strategy to raise awareness and encourage the campus community to “say something” when they see the warning signs - “red flags” - for emotional or physical violence in a friend or colleague’s relationship. Accompanying posters include on- and off-campus resource information.

UMBC’s Violence Prevention Advocates Program will include relationship violence prevention education and training for volunteer student, faculty and staff advocates; a poster and speaker series; and a relationship violence prevention resource website and online campaign on UMBC websites.

“Recent tragedies related to relationship violence and bullying on campuses across the nation call our attention to these issues and remind us that no campus is exempt,” says Young. “UMBC is fortunate to have received a grant from the Verizon Foundation to raise awareness, educate the campus community on issues related to relationship and dating violence and provide information to members of our community about resources and help.”

Karimian adds, “As unfortunate as it is that we have to face and discuss issues of domestic violence, it is absolutely necessary that we have real and honest campus conversations that face this issue. I feel the need to speak out, helping others recognize the red flags that exist in every community. Relationship violence does not discriminate. Anyone can be affected, so we need to be proactive in safeguarding ourselves and our community.”

Melanie Ortel, associate director of public relations for Verizon Wireless in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., says, “It’s important for young people to know that abuse does not have to be physical to be damaging. Emotional abuse needs to be taken just as seriously, and this campaign helps us all identify it. We’re proud to fund this award-winning, effective program, which is being embraced by colleges across the nation.”

The Red Flag Campaign is a result of the combined work of students, faculty and victim advocates from nearly 20 colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.TheRedFlagCampaign.org.

Since it was launched nationwide in 2001, Verizon Wireless’s HopeLine program has collected more than 7 million phones and awarded more than $7.9 million in cash grants. No-longer-used wireless phones – all models, from all wireless carriers – are collected and accessories are refurbished, recycled or sold. Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence through grants and the donation of wireless phones and service. Phones are accepted at Verizon Wireless stores across the nation and on UMBC’s campus at The Commons. For additional program information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

Posted by elewis

October 11, 2010

bwtech@UMBC Affiliate Recognized for Innovation

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Mahi Reddy, President and CEO of SemaConnect, an affiliate company of bwtech@UMBC’s Clean Energy Technology Incubator was recognized as the Maryland Clean Energy Center’s (MCEC) Entrepreneur of the Year at its Clean Energy Summit on October 4. The award recognizes an individual or new company that brings new clean energy technologies, products or services to the market in Maryland.

SemaConnect, based in Annapolis, produces the ChargePro, a charging station for electric cars as well as web-based software for both station owners and drivers that allows them to register users, monitor use and make payments. The stations are being marketed to property managers, parking lot owners and corporations as a means of providing residents and employees with a means to recharge their electric vehicles. The company hopes that the increased availability of charging stations will encourage more people to purchase electric vehicles.

Founded last year by Reddy, a serial entrepreneur who previously owned a healthcare information technology company, the company has gained much recognition for its innovative ideas and sales potential. In addition to being honored by the MCEC, the company was a finalist in the Greater Baltimore Technology Council’s recent “Hottest Tech in Town” competition.

While its headquarters are in Annapolis, SemaConnect has a strong relationship with bwtech@UMBC’s Clean Energy Technology Incubator (CETI). As an affiliate company, SemaConnect receives guidance and networking opportunities from CETI’s entrepreneurial services staff, including Entrepreneur-in-Residence Bjorn Frogner. Said Frogner: “Mahi Reddy impressed me as a serial entrepreneur with a successful track record in starting, growing and selling a prior IT company. This experience will help him make SemaConnect successful and it will also benefit other CETI companies, since he will act as a business advisor for the CETI.”

“I am very excited and honored to have received the award,” said Reddy. “I am grateful for the support SemaConnect has received from bwtech@UMBC and the Maryland Clean Energy Center for our efforts to produce an innovative product such as the ChargePro."

“SemaConnect’s innovative work will no doubt have a positive impact on our climate and society. The Maryland Clean Energy Center is proud to recognize Mahi Reddy for his leadership in this endeavor,” said Katherine Magruder, executive director of the MCEC.

Posted by dshapiro

October 1, 2010

UMBC Announces 2010 Alumni Association Awards

CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Each year, UMBC’s Alumni Association presents annual awards to honor alumni for their professional and personal achievements and service to the University.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony Thursday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. A reception will follow.

UMBC’s 2010 Outstanding Alumni of the Year (bios follow list):

Engineering & Information Technology
Michael George ’87 Information Systems
Vice President, Amazon.com

Humanities
Vikki Valentine ’96 English
Supervising Editor (Science), National Public Radio

Natural & Mathematical Sciences
Michael Nishimura ’80 B.A. ’84 M.S. ’89 Ph.D. Biological Sciences
Professor of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina

Social & Behavioral Sciences
Chad Cradock ’97 Psychology
Director of Aquatics, UMBC

Visual & Performing Arts
Dean Alexander ’88 Visual Arts
Photographer

Distinguished Service to the University and Alumni Association
Gene Trainor ’86 Health Science & Policy and Economics
Chair, Exceptional by Example Campaign alumni committee

Young Alumni Rising Star Award
Aaron Merki ’05 Political Science
Associate, Venable LLP

Engineering & Information Technology
Michael George ’87 Information Systems
Vice President, Amazon.com

Michael George has spent the past 12 years with Amazon.com in Seattle. He started his Amazon career as director of systems and networking operations. Since then, he has held senior positions that span several areas, including director of WW third party platforms, general manager/director of WW marketplace, vice president of human resources, vice president of WW payments, vice president of spoken word audio and now vice president of a yet-to-be-announced new business. He joined Amazon in 1998 through the acquisition of the Junglee Corp. where he was vice president of business development. Prior to Junglee, he spent 14 years in the newspaper industry.

Humanities
Vikki Valentine ’96 English
Supervising Editor (Science), National Public Radio

Vikki Valentine, an award-winning science journalist, is science editor for NPR’s science unit and lead editor of NPR’s environment, energy and climate coverage. Before that, she managed the desk’s daily digital output of science, environmental, health and technology stories, and initiated major features and series. Prior to NPR, Valentine worked at Discovery.com and Baltimore Sun.com. Her writing has been published by the Smithsonian Channel, the New York Times, National Geographic, Marketplace Radio, Science and Washingtonian. She graduated with honors from the University College London Wellcome Trust Centre in the History of Medicine master’s program.

Natural & Mathematical Sciences
Michael Nishimura ’80 B.A. ’84 M.S. ’89 Ph.D. Biological Sciences
Professor of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina

Michael Nishimura has devoted his career to developing novel immunologic approaches for cancer therapy and is recognized for his talents as a scientific mentor. Building upon his strong genetics and immunology training at UMBC, he pioneered the use of retroviral vectors encoding T cell receptor (TCR) genes to engineer an individual’s own lymphocytes to be able to recognize and control the patient’s cancer cells or virus-infected cells. The first clinical trial using TCR gene modified T cells was conducted in Denmark using one of Nishimura’s TCRs targeting the melanoma protein MART-1. He serves as the vice chair for research in the Department of Surgery at the Medical College of South Carolina and has assembled a strong clinical and scientific team committed to bringing this and other novel cellular therapies to the clinic.

Social & Behavioral Sciences
Chad Cradock ’97 Psychology
Director of Aquatics, UMBC

Chad Cradock was named to UMBC Athletics’ Hall of Fame in 2004 after a stellar career as a Retriever from 1993 until his graduation in 1997 and immediately became an assistant coach, but his greater contribution to the UMBC family would begin in 2001 when he became just the second head coach of the swimming and diving program. Since he took over, the Retriever men have won nine consecutive conference championships, including seven straight America East titles, while the women have won four conference crowns. In addition, the amount of alumni giving has gone up over 1,200% during his tenure. Cradock and his staff have been named Coach/Coaching Staff of the Year six times, including being named 2010 America East Coaching Staff of the Year.

Visual & Performing Arts
Dean Alexander ’88 Visual Arts
Photographer

Dean Alexander is a photographer and the owner of Dean Alexander Productions, Inc., based in Baltimore. His work, from advertising and editorial to fine art, has taken him to over 40 countries throughout the world. Clients range from IBM and UnderArmour to non-profits such as the National Institute of Health and HealthCare for the Homeless, while his subjects range from Oprah Winfrey and Lady Sutherland (Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen of England) to Baltimore’s homeless. He has won nearly 100 international awards in his career.

Distinguished Service to the University and Alumni Association
Gene Trainor ’86 Health Science & Policy and Economics
Chair, Exceptional by Example Campaign alumni committee

Gene Trainor is chief operating officer of Foundation Capital, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm. Previously, Trainor served for 10 years as the administrative general partner and the chief operating officer for New Enterprise Associates. He has also served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn, LLC, CFO/Controller of a Mid-Atlantic venture capital firm and a member of the audit group for Ernst & Young, LLP. A certified public accountant, he received his MBA from Loyola College of Maryland. Gene serves on the board of the non-profit Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Young Alumni Rising Star Award
Aaron Merki ’05 Political Science
Associate, Venable LLP

Aaron Merki graduated from UMBC as a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar and then attended University of Maryland School of Law as the Bekman Leadership Scholar. While there, Merki founded the FreeState Legal Project, which provides legal services to low-income LGBT clients throughout the Greater Baltimore region. He was named the National LGBT Bar Association's 2008 student leader of the year. After graduating law school, Merki accepted a judicial clerkship with the Hon. Susan K. Gauvey of the United States District Court for Maryland. Now an associate at Venable LLP, Aaron's clients range from Fortune 500 companies to low-income individuals. He continues to serve as chairman of the FreeState Legal Project Board of Directors, which now includes judges, professors, elected officials and some of Walter Sondheim's closest friends.


Posted by elewis

September 28, 2010

UMBC Creating Retriever Learning Center to Enhance Academic Support for Students

CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Preparation has begun to transform an 8,000-square-foot area of UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Library into a social learning space that will facilitate student success through peer-to-peer teaching, group learning, tutoring and informal interactions among students and faculty. The Retriever Learning Center (RLC) will be completed in the summer of 2011.

The RLC will feature movable furnishings that groups can configure into study spaces, and will be located near library services, tutoring, information resources and information technology. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, consolidating late-night study space into one location and providing improved safety and security through key card access, video monitoring and other enhancements.

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski said, “The Retriever Learning Center represents another example of UMBC’s innovation in teaching and learning. We are determined to be as proactive as possible in providing an environment that encourages substantive interaction among students, faculty, and staff. It’s always encouraging to see our students learning and growing intellectually.”

The impetus for this project came from students, including the Student Government and Graduate Student Associations, who advocated for a large, open, flexible, inviting space for group study with food and drink permitted. Library planning for this project began in 2006, but was accelerated by a 2008 bequest from the estate of Richard Roberts, a founding faculty member of UMBC and former chair of the Department of Mathematics. All colleges and divisions at UMBC will be committing resources to support the project, and UMBC is working with alumni, parents, friends and foundations to secure the final funds necessary to complete this important project.

Provost Elliot Hirshman emphasized, “The creation of the Retriever Learning Center is a critical addition to the institution’s commitment to support success for all students. By supporting active learning, group discussion, and peer tutoring, and integrating the resources of the Learning Resources Center and the Division of Information Technology in a single location, the Retriever Learning Center will play a central role in supporting student success and academic excellence at UMBC."

Students look forward to utilizing the resources that the new RLC will offer. “As a scientist, I want to have strong writing skills in order to clearly convey my research results and ideas. I will definitely spend time in the Retriever Learning Center as I continue to develop into an independent researcher,” said Genaro Hernandez, Jr. ’15, computational biology.

In preparation for construction, government documents and reference materials have been moved from the first floor of the library to the lower level. The Learning Resources Center’s Mathematics Lab and Writing Center have moved to the first floor, where they will operate temporarily during the 2010-2011 academic year. The final location of these services will be in newly renovated space of the RLC.

Posted by elewis

September 23, 2010

False Report of a Shooting on Campus

September 23, 2010

To: The UMBC Community

Fr: Mark Sparks, Chief of Police

Re: False Report of a Shooting on Campus

This morning, Baltimore County Police responded to a 911 call of a possible shooting in front of the Retriever Activities Center within about two minutes of receiving the call. Both police agencies did a thorough search of the RAC and surrounding area and found no evidence of a shooting through the search or citizen interviews on the scene. The call was apparently unfounded, and is being treated as a False Report call by the Baltimore County Police Department.

An e2Campus text alert was sent out once the UMBC officers developed enough information about the call, to tell the campus the nature of the call and that it was unfounded.

Members of the campus community are encouraged to sign up for e2campus, an emergency alert text-messaging system that will permit the University to notify subscribers to any campus-related emergency (such as potential campus safety hazards or campus closures due to weather). It is compatible with mobile phones, Blackberries, "smart phones," satellite phones, e-mail, wireless PDAs and pagers. Normal text-messaging rates apply. There are no additional charges. Sign up for this important service today at http://my.umbc.edu/go/alerts.

Posted by elewis

September 21, 2010

Report Affirms Success of UMBC ACTiVATE Entrepreneur Training Program

Recent Study Details Economic Impact on Region

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

A recent report by the Sage Policy Group and the Nearing Group affirms the positive economic impact of UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program. The report concludes that ACTiVATE® creates jobs at a "remarkably low cost" when compared to benchmarks for entrepreneurial job creation and generates substantial income for local governments and the State of Maryland.

Since its inception in 2005, ACTiVATE® has trained over 100 women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions. Over 30 companies have been created as a result of the program. These companies have hired or plan to hire a total of 124 employees; the study estimates a total of 234 direct and spin-off jobs will be created as a result of the ACTiVATE® program by the end of 2011. The cost of producing each job is estimated to be about $6,000, far lower than the estimated $92,000 spent to create each job under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The study estimates that ACTiVATE® generates an average of $460,000 annually in income tax revenue for state and local governments in Maryland. An even larger impact on the state’s economy is the creation of a culture of entrepreneurship among women, a group traditionally underrepresented in the field. By increasing the number of would-be entrepreneurs and giving them the training and guidance they need, ACTiVATE® has helped move many technologies created by Maryland scientists from the lab to the marketplace. This is a necessary component to developing a knowledge-based economy.

ACTiVATE®’s success has inspired spin-offs and expansion. In April of this year, UMBC licensed the program to the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for national and international expansion. The first ACTiVATE® spin-off program was recently launched at Texas State University in San Marcos.

“We are thrilled to hear about the study’s finding,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park and a leader of the development of the ACTiVATE® program. “It affirms what we knew all along: that ACTiVATE® has tremendous economic impact, both on its participants and the region as a whole.”

Full study available here: http://www.umbc.edu/activate/SageACTiVATE_UMBCImpactStudy2010.pdf

Posted by dshapiro

August 31, 2010

UMBC Breaks Ground on LEED Silver Residence Hall Addition September 3, Noon

MEDIA ADVISORY

CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Baltimore, MD – On September 3, UMBC will celebrate the construction of its first LEED Silver building – an addition to Patapsco Hall, which is scheduled to open in fall 2011.

The event begins at noon on the lawn outside of True Grits dining hall by the construction fence (Poplar Avenue). It will include remarks by President Freeman Hrabowski, Vice President for Student Affairs Nancy Young and President of the Resident Student Association Carl Gruhn. A reception will follow.

The $14.8 million project includes:

*189 new beds

*The university’s first green roof. This roof will also be used for research by faculty and students.

*Classroom in Patapsco lobby

*New volleyball and basketball courts

*Improvements in accessibility for the disabled at Susquehanna Hall and in the existing Patapsco Hall, including new elevators

*Landscaping, outdoor gathering areas and pedestrian paths

The project designer/builder is KBE Building Corporation and Newman Architecture, PC.

A UMBC campus map (PDF) is available here: http://www.umbc.edu/blogs/parkingforum/new_parking_2010.pdf

Posted by elewis

August 6, 2010

Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium and UMBC Announce Agreement with Google

CONTACT:

Tamara Petronka
MEEC
410-455-5617
tpetronka@sis.usmd.edu

Eleanor Lewis
UMBC
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu


All MEEC Institutions Now Able to Contract for Google Apps

The Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have announced an agreement that makes Google Apps for Education available to the 189 K-12 and higher educational institutions in Maryland that are members of MEEC. Google Apps, which is free for educational institutions, currently provides email, documents, group pages, chat and other products to over eight million students.

UMBC was the lead institution working with MEEC, and will be the first campus in the USM to implement the Google suite of products under the new contract. The University worked with MEEC, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and Google to develop a contract that can be used by any MEEC member.

UMBC’s decision to migrate to Google comes after engaging in conversations with students, faculty and staff. “As we discussed options for outsourcing email with students, they overwhelmingly recommended Google because it works exceptionally well with their mobile lifestyle,” said Mike Carlin, UMBC assistant vice president of IT. “UMBC will immediately set up the 3,000 new students enrolling for classes this fall on Google email and will provide the 10,000 existing students with the option to convert their accounts over to Google in late August 2010. By the start of the spring 2011 semester, we anticipate having all students moved over to Google.”

Through this contract, UMBC also licensed Google Message Security, a secure, hosted service that provides enterprise-grade spam and virus protection and email content filtering for use with the University’s existing email infrastructure for faculty and staff this fall.

Carlin said, “This is an important change that will help keep UMBC IT resources secure. Google Message Security is one of the premier email security packages on the market. Once this is in place, all UMBC faculty and staff should see significant improvement in our ability to filter these messages and other unwanted spam.” Starting this fall, staff in UMBC’s Division of Information Technology will pilot using Google Apps for faculty and staff email and calendaring.

MEEC is now working with Google to provide MEEC members with an overview of the capabilities found in Google Apps for Education and how it can meet each institution’s needs. MEEC is a statewide K-20 Consortium, hosted by the University System of Maryland, that leverages its size to negotiate hardware, software and services contacts that can be used by MEEC members. MEEC has 189 members, including all 24 public K-12 districts, private K-12 institutions, libraries and public and private higher education institutions.


Posted by elewis

August 4, 2010

UMBC Begins a New Tradition with “Ten Days of Awesomeness”

UMBC Hillel will host High Holiday celebrations on campus for the first time this September.

“It's the right time. UMBC has come such a long way,” said Rabbi Jason Klein, director of UMBC Hillel. “It's important to deliver on students' needs where they are: on campus.”

Klein adds that the events are meant to connect with the entire university.

“It will help take campus life to a new level for everyone, not just the Jewish community,” said Klein.

During Hillel's “Ten Days of Awesomeness,” members of the UMBC community and their guests can participate in activities that include holiday services on campus, meals, spiritual prep programs and music programs. There will also be a Pentagon Memorial and DC monument night tour and a visit to UMBC’s telescope.

“Holiday celebrations are natural to do at home,” Klein said. “As we become a more residential campus, UMBC becomes a reflection of home for students.”

The events will begin in the Interfaith Center with Shabbat services and dinner September 3 at 6 p.m., followed by spiritual preparation for the High Holidays at 8:30 p.m.

Members of the UMBC community and guests that wish to sign up for meals at the events must register by August 26. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help set up, clean up, greet guests, read Torah, or have another role in any of the services should email hillel@umbc.edu for details.

For more details and information, go to: www.umbchillel.org/ten-days-of-awesomeness/

Posted by elewis

July 26, 2010

UMBC Named a “2010 Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Contact:
Eleanor Lewis
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The results, released Monday, July 26, in the Chronicle’s third annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 275 colleges and universities nationwide, including UMBC.

UMBC received high ratings in three categories:

-Collaborative Governance
-Respect and Appreciation
-Tenure Clarity and Process

“The recognition by the Chronicle is especially meaningful now,” said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. “The campus has made supporting people a priority as we face challenging times together. We are a ‘Great College to Work For’ because of the people here.”

Shared governance is one example of the value placed on collaboration and support for people at UMBC.

“The administration, faculty and staff believe that our success as a University depends on contributions and discussions from all involved,” said L.D. Timmie Topoleski, Faculty Senate president and professor of mechanical engineering. “The Faculty Senate's voice is strong, and we feel comfortable addressing difficult issues because we know the administration will be responsive. Shared governance at UMBC works because all parties see it as the pathway to continued success.”

Tim Sparklin, president of the Professional Associate Staff Senate (PASS) and administrator in the Human and Animal Protections Office, added, “The Professional Associate Staff Senate (PASS) is committed to maintaining open lines of communication among all staff, faculty and students of the university. We think it is essential to provide information and recommendations to the decision-makers of UMBC to recognize staff contributions and allow them to excel….We also take an active part in campus life by sponsoring activities that will provide an opportunity for non-work social events to encourage comradeship.”

Terry Aylsworth, acting president of the Non-exempt, Excluded Staff Senate and executive administrative assistant in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences said, “At the core of shared governance is the structural principle that University-wide committees include students, staff and faculty who act as voices for their constituents. It is at the committee level that the exchange of thoughts, concerns, and possible solutions to university challenges takes place. This unique structure encourages students, staff and faculty to be an integral part of shaping UMBC."

“Great Colleges to Work for” survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit http://chronicle.com/academicworkplace.

Posted by elewis

July 13, 2010

UMBC, Baylor Ecologists Say Current Methods for Monitoring Aquatic Life are Inadequate

Contact:
Anthony Lane
Communications Manager
(410) 455-5793
alane@umbc.edu

Current methods used to detect how aquatic life responds to environmental degradation fail to show thresholds where significant biological changes are occurring, according to an analysis by ecologists at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Baylor University.

“The measuring sticks we use are really insensitive to certain kinds of biodiversity loss,” said Matthew Baker, an assistant professor of geography and environmental systems at UMBC.

In a new paper, Baker and Ryan King, a biology professor at Baylor University, demonstrate that two prevailing methods for monitoring water quality – which consider dozens of types of aquatic insects and other invertebrates – miss abrupt declines and increases in certain species that can occur even with minimal development, such as the construction of roads, roofs and other impervious surfaces on 1 to 3 percent of land in a watershed.

“More than 40 percent of the regional species pool is declining due to very low levels of impervious cover, but we’re not detecting it with current methods.” Baker said.

Baker compared current methods to stock market indices: “The Dow Jones measures a sector of our economy, but even when it shows little or no change, people invested in particular stocks can still be making vast profits or losing their shirts.”

In a paper published earlier this year, Baker and King detailed a new method – Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN) – for detecting impacts to individual species. Baker said it essentially amounts to a “much more precise measuring stick.”

The new paper, now available online, will appear in September’s Journal of the North American Benthological Society as part of a special focus section highlighting thresholds in environmental management. Though the analysis focused on the changes caused by increased runoff and pollution from development, Baker said he believes the method could be used to get a clearer picture of the biological changes associated with many other forms of human activity, such as mountaintop mining.

On the bright side, Baker said, their method could help target the mechanisms responsible for biodiversity losses, allowing for improved low-impact development designs, and giving land managers a better indication when environmental restoration efforts are working.

Posted by elewis

July 1, 2010

Former UMBI Institutes Launch July 1 as Newly Aligned Research Centers at Partner USM Campuses

CONTACT:

Mike Lurie
University System of Maryland (USM)
Phone: 301-445-2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu

Anthony Lane
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Phone: 410-455-5793
Email: alane@umbc.edu

Adelphi, Md. (July 1, 2010) - Research centers previously aligned with the former University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) officially begin their realignment today with other institutions within the University System of Maryland (USM).

This restructuring, approved by the USM Board of Regents in June 2009, is expected to pave the way for more multi-disciplinary and collaborative research across the system and increase access to outside funding for research. It is also expected to yield a higher level of technology transfer, commercialization, and business start-ups, and thereby advance economic development statewide.

The action followed the recommendations of an ad hoc committee of regents appointed by Board Chairman Clifford Kendall in February 2009 to review UMBI's mission and organization as well as consider alternative organization options.

Following is a summary of the newly created centers, once based at the former UMBI.

*Institute for Bioscience Biotechnology (IBBR). The IBBR is a research collaboration among the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The IBBR will build upon the resources and strengths of the former Center for Advance Research in Biotechnology (CARB) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG, one of the USM's two system-wide regional centers) and the former Center for Biosystems Research (CBR) at UMCP.

Under IBBR's inaugural director, Donald L. Nuss, Ph.D., the center will focus predominantly on three complementary research areas: nanobiotechnology, drug and vaccine discovery, and pathobiology (the study of disease processes). UMCP will have administrative responsibility for the joint research center. The center will be headquartered at USG.

* Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET). IMET is a joint USM research center at which the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES); and UMB will share facilities and resources. The partner institutions will collaboratively advance research and create technologies for the protection and restoration of marine systems and watersheds, sustainable use of their resources, and improvement of human health. Yoni Zohar, Ph.D., a UMBC faculty member, will serve as IMET interim director. Russell Hill, Ph.D., an UMCES faculty member, will serve as IMET interim associate director. The center will be based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore at the former Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB).

* Medical Biotechnology Center (MBC) at UMB. The MBC is affiliated with the UMB campus, home of the University of Maryland School Of Medicine. The center's research will include health-related aspects of molecular biology and biotechnology, molecular medicine, and molecular genetics. In addition, research here will be enhanced by collaboration with the bioengineering and computational faculty at UMCP. W. Jonathan Lederer, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine, will serve as interim director. The center will be based at the UMB campus.

* Institute of Fluorescence (IOF). UMBC will have administrative responsibility for this former UMBI institute. Research is centered on the development of new leading-edge and existing fluorescence phenomena to resolve clinically, biologically and industrially important questions, such as technologies to facilitate early and rapid detection of bio-warfare agents. The institute will be based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore. Chris D. Geddes, Ph.D., will serve as director.

* Towson University Center for STEM Excellence. The center's main goal is to provide statewide leadership in supporting the USM's STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) initiatives. This center will integrate Towson University's STEM education programs to establish the Baltimore Excellence in STEM Teaching (BEST) program. It will be based at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore.

"With a focus on collaboration--across disciplines and across institutions--and with recognition of the exceptional talent within the UMBI community and the system's other institutions, this action positions USM to take fuller advantage of its system-wide strengths in the biosciences and to fuel the state's knowledge economy even more," said Kendall, the board chair.

A subcommittee of regents in 2009 reviewed UMBI's history and structure. It also solicited the views of individuals and groups, including UMBI administrators, faculty, staff, and graduate students; members of the UMBI Board of Visitors; external scientists and administrators from higher education and government; and representatives from business and economic development organizations.

As a result of its comprehensive review, the committee found that "the organization of UMBI as a geographically dispersed, free-standing entity has created intractable problems." These included the lack of scale of UMBI programs, isolation among UMBI's research centers, lack of a critical mass of graduate and undergraduate students involved in UMBI research, and administrative inefficiencies.

The board directed the USM office to complete the restructuring by June 30, 2010, the end of the 2010 fiscal year. The regents charged USM Chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan to work with the UMBI center directors and the appropriate institutional presidents on memoranda of understanding (MOUs) outlining details of the future operations and collaborations. The chancellor presented the MOUs to the board as they were negotiated during the fiscal year. The first approval occurred in October 2009 and all MOUs were approved by February 2010.

"The launch of these realigned centers provides a tremendous opportunity for the University System of Maryland to increase the volume and impact of its basic and applied research in the biosciences," Kirwan said. "This restructuring has the potential to double the research productivity of UMBI's current assets within five years. Once these assets are joined with activities system-wide, USM will play an even greater role in positioning the State of Maryland as a national and international leader in the biosciences."

Posted by elewis

June 15, 2010

UMBC Computer Science Graduate Selected to Head Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

CONTACT:
Anthony Lane
Communications Manager
(410) 455-5793
alane@umbc.edu

Ralph Semmel, who completed his doctorate in computer science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 1992, has been selected to become the next director of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL).

APL, located in Laurel, Md., has close to 5,000 employees conducting and supporting research related to national defense and security.

Semmel, who finished his degree in 1992, focused his dissertation research at UMBC on the problem of how to get information from a database without knowing beforehand how the database is structured.

“He was an extraordinary student,” said James Mayfield, who was Semmel’s thesis advisor at UMBC. “He was not only academically rigorous, but he also accomplished a lot.”

Mayfield, who now works at Hopkins’ Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, said he’s also been impressed with the leadership skills Semmel has shown during his 23-year career with APL.

Semmel will begin his new position July 1, replacing Richard Roca to become the eighth director of APL in the laboratory’s 68-year history.

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski praised Semmel’s accomplishments.

“We are extremely proud of Ralph Semmel and the leadership role he is taking at one of our nation’s foremost research centers.”

Semmel is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and he completed master’s degrees at Hopkins and the University of Southern California.

Posted by elewis

June 2, 2010

bwtech@UMBC’s Advantage Incubator Welcomes New Tenants

Technology companies join incubator program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 2, 2010

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC’s Advantage Incubator is pleased to announce that two companies have recently joined its program. Technology Security Associates and Intellibit Systems are both veteran-owned small businesses that provide technology services to both government and commercial clients. As residents of the Advantage Incubator, they will receive the benefits associated with being in a federal HUBZone in addition to the strategic location that makes it easier for them to serve their clients.

Technology Security Associates specializes in information security for weapons systems, working mostly for the U.S. Navy. The technologies developed by the company allow for secure communication between military command centers and can also be used to enhance security in the commercial sector. Tom Jarboe, co-owner of TSA with business partner Lee Bradshaw, said the company also provides services for medical and legal offices, allowing sensitive information such as patient records and legal documents to be transmitted securely.

The company, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Southern Maryland, has additional locations in North Carolina and Philadelphia. Jarboe said the company was looking to establish an office in the BWI Corridor and they felt bwtech@UMBC was an ideal location, with its proximity to Ft. Meade.

“We want to leverage the security work we’ve done in weapons communications to projects with Ft. Meade and the NSA.” Jarboe noted that Ft. Meade is the headquarters for the military’s recently-established Cyberspace Command, and that TSA is well-positioned to support the DoD’s cybersecurity needs.

Jarboe said locating at UMBC fulfills another company goal: “We need to recruit college graduates with the latest information on cybersecurity.” With UMBC recently recognized by the NSA as a Center of Academic Excellence in Education and Research, and offering an array of graduate programs in cybersecurity, information systems and computer science, there should be no shortage of qualified interns and employees for TSA.

Intellibit Systems, owned by Juan Pabellon, is an IT services consulting company. It provides professional network data communications and information technology support services to government and commercial clients. They also offer professional information technology education and public outreach services. Prior to moving to bwtech@UMBC, they were located in the Annapolis Junction area.

“We are excited to welcome these companies to bwtech@UMBC and the Advantage Incubator program. With the increased attention to cybersecurity in the I-95 corridor and throughout the state, TSA and Intellibit have a great deal of business opportunities. We look forward to helping them succeed,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Posted by dshapiro

May 27, 2010

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski Receives Honorary Degree from Harvard

Honor Recognizes Impact of Leadership at UMBC and Beyond

CONTACT:
Chelsea Haddaway, UMBC
(410) 455-6380
chaddaway@umbc.edu

May 27, 2010 – UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, is among 10 national and world leaders recognized with honorary degrees at Harvard University’s Commencement exercises in Cambridge, Massachusetts today.

Hrabowski, who has served as UMBC’s president since 1992, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard in recognition of his inspirational leadership of UMBC’s rise as a new model for American higher education and a premier training ground for the next generation of researchers and scholars. Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust hailed Hrabowski as “a galvanic force in his university’s ascent.”

Among the other honorands at Harvard this year are retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, former Howard Hughes Medical Institute President Thomas Cech and actress Meryl Streep.

“The respect our colleagues at Harvard have for UMBC as a research university is clear,” Hrabowski said. “This honor reflects on the work of a campus community that celebrates the life of the mind and believes that students from all backgrounds will excel when expected to do so and when given support.” UMBC consistently sends its graduates on to graduate and professional programs and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard in fields ranging from medicine and science to law and public policy.

Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He currently chairs the National Academies’ Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Science & Engineering Workforce Pipeline.

He has authored numerous articles and co-authored two books, “Beating the Odds” and “Overcoming the Odds” (Oxford University Press), focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science. Both books are used by universities, school systems and community groups around the country.

In 2008, Hrabowski was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, which in 2009 ranked UMBC the #1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation and fourth among all colleges and universities in the nation for commitment to undergraduate teaching. In 2009, Time Magazine named him one of “America’s 10 Best College Presidents.”

He serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Academies. He also serves on the boards of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Chair) and The Urban Institute.

Hrabowski also holds honorary degrees from more than a dozen institutions, including Princeton, Duke, Haverford College, the University of Michigan and Georgetown University.

Click here to see the presentation of the honorary degree.

Posted by brhuber

April 21, 2010

UMBC Included in "Guide to 286 Green Colleges" by Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council

CONTACTS:
B. Rose Huber, UMBC
(410) 455-8117
brhuber@umbc.edu ,

Leah Pennino, The Princeton Review
(508) 663-5133
lpennino@review.com

UMBC INCLUDED IN “GUIDE TO 286 GREEN COLLEGES” BY THE PRINCETON REVIEW & U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL

Free Guidebook Profiles the Nation’s Most Environmentally-Responsible Colleges & Universities

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL 21, 2010 – UMBC is one of the country’s most environmentally-responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected UMBC for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants - “The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges” looks at an institution’s commitment to building certification using USGBC’s LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.

“One of the key reasons UMBC has been successful in our efforts to be a sustainable campus and to begin to significantly reduce our impact on global climate is that so many students, faculty and staff have come together to work as partners in this effort,” said Lynne Schaefer, vice president of administration and finance. “Our students, faculty and staff are all passionately engaged, serving as wonderful role models for living a more sustainable life.”

Since UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, UMBC has worked toward supporting green efforts in campus in a multitude of ways through the Climate Change Task Force. The group is comprised of students, faculty and staff engaged in encouraging sustainability on campus through academics and other initiatives.

The Department of Geography and Environmental Systems offers academic programs in environmental studies and environmental science including master’s and Ph.D. programs focusing on environmental systems, human geography and remote sensing technology. The campus is also the field headquarters for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a federally funded urban ecology project. It hosts the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education, the U.S. Geological Survey’s regional water science center and two NASA centers that research Earth systems and monitor the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.

Other departments that have sustainability-related majors and courses include biochemistry and molecular chemistry, biological sciences, biotechnology, civil engineering, economics, geographic information systems, human context of science and technology, interdisciplinary studies, marine-estarine environmental science, philosophy, physics and public policy.

UMBC regularly participates in green activities including the annual Ecofest, Recyclemania and the National Teach-in (in 2009). Through engagement with Students for Environmental Awareness, these events have been well attended.

“Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. “According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this guide to help them evaluate how institutions like UMBC focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”

UMBC joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the “green” movement through their own special programs and initiatives.

The free Guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide and www.usgbc.org/campus.


How the Schools Were Chosen

The Princeton Review chose the 286 schools included in the Guide based on the “Green Rating” scores the schools received in summer 2009 when The Princeton Review published Green Rating scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks. The Princeton Review's “Green Rating” is a numerical score from 60 – 99 that’s based on several data points. In 2008, The Princeton Review began collaborating with USGBC to help make the Green Rating survey questions as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. Of 697 schools that The Princeton Review gave “Green Ratings” to in 2009, the 286 schools in the Guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile. The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this book hierarchically (1 to 286) or in any of its books based on their “Green Rating” scores.


###

Posted by brhuber

April 20, 2010

UMBC and Social Security Administration (SSA) Partner to Deliver Graduate Courses and Training at SSA

April 20, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
Senior Director, Communications
(410) 455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu

Baltimore, MD - UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and the Social Security Administration Commissioner, Michael Astrue, recently announced the creation of the SSA University Partnership Program. Beginning this fall, UMBC will offer graduate courses at the SSA, while UMBC Training Centers will begin offering non-degree training from the SSA headquarters campus this spring.

"We are excited about building a strong partnership with the Social Security Administration,” said Hrabowski. “Most of us have grown up hearing about Social Security from our parents or grandparents. In fact, few people know that the Social Security Act was signed into law 75 years ago as a way of supporting vulnerable families and older citizens. It is our honor to provide education for employees at Social Security as they work to help fellow Americans."

The partnership provides a unique opportunity for SSA employees to conveniently earn graduate credits at work, delivered by some of UMBC’s top research faculty. Qualified students who take these courses can apply for admission to full degree programs at UMBC if they choose to do so.

For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/cps/ssa/.
SSA is partnering with other local colleges, universities and vendors in addition to UMBC.


Posted by elewis

April 12, 2010

UMBC Wins Record “Final Four of College Chess” Against Strongest Field Yet

2010 President Cup's Undefeated Champions

Final_Four_Closing_087%20umbc%20team%20with%20trophy.JPG

Pictured: Associate Chess Director Sam Palatnik, Sasha Kaplan, Sergey Erenburg, Leonid Kritz, Giorgi Margvelashvili, Sabina Foisor and Chess coach Igor Epshteyn

BALTIMORE - Continuing its dominating sweep of collegiate chess tournaments, UMBC’s powerhouse chess team won a record sixth “Final Four of College Chess” April 11 in Brownsville, Texas, at the 2010 President’s Cup.

The annual President’s Cup tournament, which falls just days after the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament Final Four, determines the top U.S. collegiate chess team in an equally intense round-robin sporting competition.

UMBC defeated University of Texas-Brownsville (UTB) by just half a point to clinch its sixth title in the tournament’s 10-year history. The tournament was hosted by UTB, a newcomer chess powerhouse whom UMBC defeated Dec. 30 to win the 2009 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship (the Pan Am). UMBC has won or tied the Pan Am competition a record nine times in the past 14 years, more than any other college in the tournament's history.

“UMBC had to bring their best game ever to win against the strongest field of chess teams ever assembled at any Final Four,” said UMBC Chess Director Alan Sherman. "(UMBC chess) team captain Sergey Erenburg and Leonid Kritz played amazingly to lead their team against such tough competition."

Competition was so fierce, Sherman said, that UTB hired a top grandmaster consultant who in the months before the tournament helped the team prepare an opening trick designed specifically to trip-up Kritz, who is the highest rated college player in the Pan Am. The trap contributed to Kritz's third round defeat, but a victory by Erenburg and a draw by UMBC player Sasha Kaplan clinched the team's victory.

Collectively, the four teams fielded seven international grandmasters, one woman international grandmaster and 10 international masters. In third and fourth place respectively were Texas Tech University and the University of Texas, Dallas.

UMBC's chess team players are full-time students first and chess players second, Sherman said. Three team players have earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages and team captain Sergey Erenburg is a candidate for valedictorian this May.

UMBC's championship chess team: Leonid Kritz, a Grandmaster from Russia; Sergey Erenburg, a Grandmaster from Israel; Giorgi Margvelashvili, an International grandmaster-elect from the Republic of Georgia; Sasha Kaplan, an International Master from Israel; Sabina Foisor (alternate), a Woman International Grandmaster from Romania; UMBC Chess Coach Igor Epshteyn; and Associate Chess Director Sam Palatnik.

NPR's nationally syndicated Tell Me More interviewed Sherman April 12.

The Baltimore Sun on UMBC's record victory.

For more information on the tournament: www.collegechess.org.

For more information on the UMBC team, contact:

Alan T. Sherman, director, UMBC Chess Program
410-963-4779 (c)
sherman@umbc.edu

Posted by kavan

April 8, 2010

The Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship forms to ACTiVATE® and accelerate the growth of women entrepreneurs

Newly-formed nonprofit takes on international expansion of UMBC program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2010

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (the “Center”), a Maryland non-profit organization, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announce the execution of an exclusive license agreement for the ACTiVATE® program that will allow the Center to expand the program internationally. ACTiVATE, which was started by UMBC in 2005 with a grant from the National Science Foundation and was later supported by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and a number of local companies, is an award-winning entrepreneurship program and community for mid-career women to start and grow technology-based companies.

“As one of the program’s inaugural instructors, I have seen over 100 women go through the program to launch dozens of companies in Maryland when other programs struggled to spin out one or two,” states Center co-founder and CEO Julie Lenzer Kirk. “Over the past 5 years we’ve developed and refined methods of facilitating, training, and networking that uniquely address the needs of mid-career women in starting growth-oriented companies. Our methods are proven, and now with the launch of the Center, we will be able to support partners across the county and the globe to implement and adapt these methods, replicating our success as they launch ACTiVATE programs in their region.”

The program’s first successful launch has already taken place at Texas State University, led by former UMBC ACTiVATE instructor Terry Chase Hazell, with early results that have exceeded expectations. According to Terry, “The ACTiVATE methods and materials provided what we needed to quickly launch our program last fall and already we’re seeing results and new businesses that are getting high-level attention in Texas. Based on our initial success, we’re working with the Center to open four programs in Texas later this year with aggressive expansion planned to 20 locations within the state by 2012.”

The goal is to bring together economic development groups, universities, and women’s organizations to continue to roll out the program across key locations in the U.S. and internationally.

“Having been part of numerous start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures, I was looking for a way to give back, which is why I joined the ACTiVATE program three years ago. I immediately saw the potential to reach an untapped and growing market with a unique approach,” shares Center co-founder and President Renee Lewis. “The fact that hundreds of smart women had been through the program was impressive, but it wasn’t enough. I knew there was more that could be done if the program was approached entrepreneurially and expanded globally where women represent enormous untapped economic potential.”

“Our goal in establishing the ACTiVATE Program was to develop a national model for women’s entrepreneurship, economic development, and technology transfer,” remarked Stephen Auvil, Assistant Vice President for Research at UMBC and also one of the creators of the program. “Now that we have demonstrated success at UMBC, we are excited about expanding the ACTiVATE Program nationally and internationally, and we could not be more pleased that Julie and Renee want to champion this effort.”

The Center is being “incubated” by nationally-acclaimed venture-catalyst, Springboard Enterprises, which since 2000 has helped more than 400 women-run businesses raise in excess of $5 billion in capital. Amy Millman, Springboard’s co-founder and President, has been a supporter for the local ACTiVATE program since its inception. “It was an easy decision to partner with the Path Forward Center because of our shared goals to increase the number of women succeeding in growth-oriented businesses,” she said. “The programs the Center will be offering are greatly needed and, from what I’ve seen, uniquely positioned for success.”

Additionally, the law firm of Shulman Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., who is consistently seen as a supporter of small business in the Washington metropolitan area, has partnered with the Center as a founding sponsor. “In the Path Forward Center, Shulman Rogers recognized a partner with a common vision to support and encourage the development of successful, diverse companies and pro-actively create opportunities for entrepreneurial business women,” confirmed Shulman Rogers law partner, Nancy Regelin. “We are very proud to support Path Forward Center in these exciting endeavors.”

The Center will be holding a celebration of the launch at the Potomac, MD offices of Shulman Rogers on Tuesday, May 25th at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public although RSVP’s are requested. It is free of charge with optional donations accepted. Please visit www.PathForwardCenter.org for more information.

Posted by dshapiro

March 25, 2010

Chile Earthquake Fact-Finding Mission Finds Building Codes Saved Tens of Thousands of Lives

BALTIMORE -– A fact-finding mission sent to Chile in the aftermath of the most powerful earthquake in recent history determined that Chile’s adoption of California earthquake building codes in the early 1960s likely prevented the deaths of tens of thousands of people but did not prevent the failure of communications in the nation’s healthcare system.

A research team including Rick Bissell, director of the Center for Emergency Education and Disaster Research at UMBC, toured earthquake damaged Chile March 13 to 21 under a “rapid reconnaissance” grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate the effects of earthquake building damage on health care delivery systems. The group was part of a larger team from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and included experts from Johns Hopkins University, FEMA, the Chilean Ministry of Health and the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile.

The team found that one of the greatest obstacles to uninterrupted healthcare delivery in the aftermath of the earthquake was the complete failure of Chile’s communications system. The nation’s highly-centralized national hospital and public health system had no way to communicate other than through ambulance VHS radio relays established by emergency responders.

“It was very critical to investigate not only why Chile’s buildings held up so much better than in Haiti and many other places, but also to see how the delivery of healthcare and operation of hospitals held up in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake,” Bissell said.

The most important factor was Chile’s adoption of, with California and Japan, earthquake building codes first developed in the 1960s, and regularly upgraded since. Chile, Japan and California are among the most active earthquake areas along the Pacific Ocean basin known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire” for its volcanic and seismic activity.

Although Chile’s earthquake damage was catastrophic, destroying many roads, bridges and the homes of 800,000 people, there were fewer than 500 deaths and 500 injuries thanks to strict building codes and the fortuitous early morning timing of the earthquake, Bissell said.

The team found that no hospital in Chile suffered complete structural failure. The government of Chile reports that of 79 affected hospitals, 54 suffered minor damage, eight suffered major damage and 17 will require a complete rebuild. All affected hospitals lost power, water and communications.

Among the team’s other findings was that Chilean hospitals -- cut off from communications with their superiors -- saved lives without using patient transfer protocols typical of emergency plans for U.S. hospitals that have been damaged. Instead of closing the hospitals and transferring all patients out, all stable patients were discharged, and remaining patients and earthquake victims were moved to undamaged parts of the hospital.

“The U.S. model is to completely evacuate a hospital if it is damaged in an earthquake. But in a major earthquake such as this, thousands of square miles could be impacted, and we need to reconsider our policy of mass patient transfer, and take a stronger look at moving patients to undamaged portions of their hospital, and making room by discharging patients who are stable enough to complete their recovery process at home.” Bissell said.

--

About CEEDR

UMBC's Center for Emergency Education and Disaster Research (CEEDR) provides consulting, training, assessment, and planning services for public safety and emergency management agencies, public health agencies, and private sector organizations.

Posted by kavan

February 10, 2010

Challenging the way we look at old age

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
phone: 410-455-1896
email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE - Despite our best efforts to ignore or resist it, aging is an inevitable part of life. But Dr. William Thomas, an international authority on geriatric medicine and innovator in long term care, challenges us to welcome aging and see it for its possibilities.

Dr. Thomas, an adjunct professor at the Erickson School at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), will discuss how his interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial perspectives have changed the way we view aging, as the featured speaker in the Petrovich Lecture series sponsored by UMBC’s Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, 7 p.m., Feb. 24 in the The Commons Skylight Room at UMBC. Click here for directions and parking.

Author of “What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World,” Thomas is a passionate advocate for holistic approaches to aging and elder care. The book asserts that seniors not only have a vital role to play in society, but are also entering a distinct life stage. Thomas contends that just as Baby Boomers ended the perception of pregnancy and childbirth as a time of illness, so will they change the perception of aging as a negative time of illness, dependency, loss of self and usefulness to society.

Dr. Thomas is creator of the Eden Alternative, a philosophy and movement to deinstitutionalize long term care facilities by offering creative ways to “change the culture” of nursing homes. In spreading the Eden Alternative, Thomas saw that America's nursing home buildings were "aging faster than the people living inside them." This led him to imagine a new approach to long-term that became known as the Green House. Supported by a five-year ten million dollar grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Green House projects are being launched in all fifty states.

Dr. Thomas graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986, and he was selected by the Mead Johnson Foundation as one of the top Family Medicine residents in the country. Dr. Thomas' work and ideas have been recognized by a number of distinguished awards. He is the recipient of a three-year fellowship from the global nonprofit organization Ashoka, the 12th Annual Heinz Award for the Human Condition in 2006, the America's Award ("The Nobel Prize for Goodness"), and was honored by the Giraffe Project, which gives awards to people who "stick their neck out" to advance the common good.

Copies of “What are Old People For?” will be available for purchase at the event and for signing. For information on the event, call 410-455-2004.

Posted by kavan

February 1, 2010

Ecologists Develop New Method for Detecting Biodiversity Losses

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
o: 410-455-1896
email: kavan@umbc.edu

Ecology.jpg

BALTIMORE – Ecologists from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Baylor University in Texas have developed a new method for measuring the impact of human-caused environmental degradation on biodiversity that is significantly more precise than current methods and has revealed a dramatically lower ecological “tipping point” at which species are threatened.

For example, a decade-old analysis widely-cited by environmental professionals and policymakers suggests that it takes up to 10-15 percent of impervious surface (meaning roads, roofs, or parking lots) or about 20-30 percent developed land in a given area before local water-systems no longer sustain normal aquatic life. A new method, detailed online Feb. 1 in the British Ecological Society’s new journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, demonstrates that aquatic life actually shows significant loss of up to one-third of stream biodiversity with only 1-3 percent developed land in a watershed.

The online journal article includes a free download of a program to apply the analysis, created by co-author, and UMBC geography and environmental systems professor, Matthew Baker.

Environmental scientists are increasingly relying on statistical methods for determining thresholds, or “tipping points,” beyond which ecological systems are damaged by changes to the environment. More recently, ecologists have asked whether biological communities show similar responses – the proverbial “canary-in-the-coal-mine” test.

Accurately measuring these tipping points is important for protecting threatened species and better understanding how ecosystems respond to major changes such as global warming, coal mine leaching, agricultural pollutants or water-runoff from highly developed areas, said Baker, who with Ryan King, a biology professor from Baylor University, used stream invertebrate samples collected from Maryland tributaries by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and data from Florida’s Everglades in their analyses.

Baker said the precision of their new method is significantly greater than methods that have been widely used for the past 40 years.

A common practice by state and federal environmental protection agencies (U.S. EPA) is to rate the health of streams by comparing overall biotic life with data from “reference” streams using indices that combine various measures to provide a general scoring of health. This approach does a good job distinguishing highly degraded and relatively pristine systems, but isn’t as clear about what happens when conditions fall in between, Baker said.

“Our method of measuring response to degradation is more precise because we track the response of every species separately, and look specifically for places where the abundance or occurrence of many species changes simultaneously at a particular level of disturbance,” Baker said. “This allows us to detect, with a high level of statistical certainty, when we are approaching a point at which species are threatened, and whether the response is consistent with a community threshold.”

Posted by kavan

January 28, 2010

Middle Schoolers to Compete in FIRST LEGO League State Championship

January 28, 2010

CONTACT:
B. Rose Huber
O: 410-455-8117
C:202-360-5506

brhuber@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- Some say it “rivals American Gladiators,” but as a battle of the mind rather than the body. Welcome to the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Championship, a game of smarts, where Maryland middle schoolers learn the importance of transportation efficiency and teamwork by building motorized robots from LEGOs on Saturday, Jan. 30, 9 a.m. at UMBC.

The annual robotics competition stresses the importance of education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), helping students collaborate and develop necessary skills at an early age. UMBC professor of mechanical engineering Anne Spence has been leading the competition as part of her research efforts to raise awareness and interest in engineering career opportunities for students from Kindergarten through college.

Sixty-four teams of middle school students will compete to see who can build the best and most efficient robot. Opening ceremonies will be held at UMBC’s Retriever Activities Center and include a sports arena-style entrance by the teams, including mascots, banners, lights, music and a fog machine.

Teams will then construct robots that will be judged on the technical characteristics, performance on a series of tasks and the quality of the team’s workmanship and cooperation.

The event will also include demonstrations of robots developed during The FIRST Robotics Competition for Maryland high school students and the FIRST LEGO League robotics for ages 4-9. (The Junior League will present from 9-11 a.m., with a closing ceremony at 12:30 p.m.)

FIRST is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering.

FLL is an international program for children created in partnership between FIRST and LEGO Company in 1998.

For more information, contact Anne Spence at aspence@umbc.edu, 410-455-3308.

Posted by brhuber

January 26, 2010

iStrategy Solutions Customer UMBC Named 2009 Ventana Research Customer Leadership Award Winner

Media Contact:

Michael Urbonas
Director of Product Marketing
iStrategy Solutions
murbonas@istrategysolutions.com
781-245-5440

Eleanor Lewis
Senior Director, Communications
UMBC
elewis@umbc.edu
410-455-2065

OWINGS MILLS, MD – January 15, 2010 - iStrategy Solutions ("iStrategy"), the leading provider of higher education analytic reporting and data warehouse solutions, announced that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) was recently honored as the 2009 Ventana Research Customer Leadership Award Winner.

The Ventana Research team of global research experts annually honors organizations that have successfully integrated people, process, information and technology to significantly improve organizational performance. UMBC was recognized for its effective utilization of the iStrategy HigherEd Analytics Student Module to enable a culture of informed, data-driven decision making across the university, resulting in improved student outcomes, effectively managed course capacities, optimized student recruitment expenditures and more.

In honoring UMBC's success with the iStrategy HigherEd Student Analytics Module, Ventana Research President Mark Smith called particular attention to recent remarks by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC. "While [many online retailers] use analytics to predict what books customers will want to purchase, too few institutions are analyzing data about our students to predict the likelihood of their success," Dr. Freeman Hrabowski said. "(That's why) we are so excited about iStrategy...I can ask a number of different questions in just a few
minutes and get all the answers myself…We can now take our analysis to a
whole new level."

"UMBC is a great example of a successful higher education institution living the ideals promoted by Ventana Research: active leadership in bringing together people, process, information and technology," said Mark Max, CEO of iStrategy Solutions. "UMBC's success is strong evidence that an institutional culture that embraces fact-based decision making, combined with the widespread adoption of effective analytic reporting capabilities, will help achieve significant institutional improvements in student outcomes, enrollment management objectives, financial and HR management, advancement and much more."

To learn more about the successful use of higher education data analytics, reporting, dashboards and more to improve institutional performance by UMBC and other award-winning colleges and universities, please visit www.istrategysolutions.com/awards.html.

About iStrategy Solutions
Founded in 1999, iStrategy is the leading developer of pre-packaged data warehouse application and analytics software exclusively for higher education institutions. The iStrategy HigherEd Analytics Suite integrates out-of-the-box with Banner, PeopleSoft, and Datatel ERP systems, providing executives, managers and staff with self-service reporting, dashboards, business intelligence and more. iStrategy enables timely, data-driven decision making to improve institutional performance in student recruiting and retention; enrollment and financial aid management; budgeting, finance, human resources management, advancement and much more. The privately held firm is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland. Please learn more about the company and the success of its customers at www.istrategysolutions.com/awards.html.

Posted by elewis

December 30, 2009

UMBC Chess Team Captures Pan-Am Tournament

_MG_9250%202009%20UMBC%20chess%20team.jpg

UMBC Chess Team Stands Alone Atop World of Collegiate Chess

Retrievers take all six matches in capturing record ninth title at Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship

Contact:
Daniel Clemens
410-852-3974
dpclemens@yahoo.com


December 30, 2009

BALTIMORE – The chess team from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is back on familiar ground: The summit of the college chess world.

And this time, UMBC stands alone.

Capping a near-flawless performance over the past four days at the tournament in South Padre Island, Texas, the Retrievers topped a team from the University of Texas-Brownsville today to secure the title outright for the first time since 2005.

Today’s win completed a perfect 6-0 match record for the tournament, known as the “World Series of college chess.” UMBC’s dominant performance is all the more impressive given the high quality of the 28-team field this year, said Alan Sherman, director of the school’s chess program.

The performance is an upgrade over 2008, when UMBC shared the title with a University of Texas-Dallas team that had been on a two-year Pan-Am win streak.

Today UMBC topped UT-Brownsville’s “B” team, 4-0, to complete the march to the title. But the Retrievers most of the hard work yesterday, winning decisive matches over two of the strongest teams in college chess. The Retrievers topped UT-Dallas, 3 to 1, in the early match, and then got past UT-Brownsville’s “into today’s action. The tournament also included teams from Yale, Princeton, NYU, Stanford and University of Chicago.

“It is extremely great,” Igor Epstein, a UMBC coach, said late today in a telephone interview from the Sheraton South Padre Island Beach Hotel, where the event took place.

“We did it,” Epstein said. “We clearly were at our best.”

UMBC’s “B” team also performed well, going 4-2 and finishing sixth overall.

The players on the UMBC “A” team players are: Leonid Kritz, a Grandmaster from Russia; Sergey Erenburg, a Grandmaster from Israel; Giorgi Margvelashvili, an International Master from the Republic of Georgia; Sasha Kaplan, an International Master from Israel; and Sabina Foisor (alternate), a Woman International Grandmaster from Romania.

The Pan-Am win qualifies UMBC for the other big event on the college chess calendar: the 2010 President’s Cup (known as “the Final Four of College Chess”) on April 9-10 on the campus of UT-Brownsville.

The Pan-Am is the most celebrated intercollegiate chess tournament in the Americas. Since its 1946 inception, dozens of universities throughout the Americas have participated. The tournament is open to any college or university team from North, South, or Central America.

The Retrievers won their first Pan-Am title in 1996. They went on a five-year championship tear from 1998 to 2002, which included a tie in 2001.

More information about the 2009 Pan-Am and college chess can be found at:

http://monroi.com/2009-panam-chess-championship-home.html

www.uschess.org

Upcoming chess events at UMBC (visit www.umbc.edu/chess):

UMBC Open: February 27-28
Scholastic Spectacular: May 2

Posted by elewis

December 21, 2009

UMBC Chess Team Heads to Texas for "World Series of college chess"


UMBC chess team heading to Texas this week for “World Series of college chess,” hoping to
capture first outright title since 2005

Contact:
Daniel Clemens
410-852-3974
dpclemens@yahoo.com

December 21, 2009

BALTIMORE – As a powerhouse in the world of college chess, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is accustomed to the rigorous preparation required for taking on elite opponents.

But in getting ready for the 2009 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Team Championships this
week, the team is accounting for an uncommon foe: the flu.

The plan to get the team ready for the competition in South Padre Island, Texas, included vaccinations after two UMBC players were stricken by the flu at last year’s championships. Among the symptoms that befell players were 103-degree fevers.

“This year we hope to fare better on the health front,” said Alan Sherman, director of the UMBC
chess program and a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

UMBC fared pretty well on the chess front last year, persevering through illness to earn a share
of the title. The Retrievers registered a tie with the University of Texas-Dallas, another college
chess juggernaut and a perennial rival of UMBC.

The tournament, known as the “World Series of college chess,” runs from Sunday through next
Wednesday (Dec. 27-30) in South Padre Island, Texas.

UMBC seeks to win the title outright and reassert its dominance of the event. Before last year’s
tie, the Retrievers had won the event seven times, more than any other school.

But UMBC’s last outright win came in 2005. UTD has taken control since, winning the next two
years.

Associate chess director Sam Palatnik characterized last year’s performance by the flu-stricken
players as “heroic.” One of the players who fell ill, Leonid Kritz, said the highly competitive atmosphere helped him push through.

“My style of playing is all or nothing,” said Kritz, a 25-year-old grandmaster from Russia. “I like
winning the war.”

The Pan-Am is the most celebrated intercollegiate chess tournament in the Americas. Since its 1946 inception, dozens of universities have participated.

The tournament is open to any college or university team from North, South or Central America.

This is year’s Pan Am field is formidable, Sherman said, with the Texas Tech University and the
University of Texas-Brownsville also posting strong teams.

The Retrievers won their first Pan-Am title in 1996, and embarked on a five-year title streak
from 1998 to 2002. UMBC and UTD are among a handful of schools nationwide that attract the
world's best chess players with full scholarships.

The UMBC players
Leonid Kritz, a Grandmaster from Russia, ranked 12th in the U.S. and the highest-rated college
player in the Americas
Sergey Erenburg, a Grandmaster from Israel, ranked 19th in the U.S.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, an International Master from the Republic of Georgia, ranked 57th in the U.S.
Sasha Kaplan, an International Master from Israel, ranked 93rd in the U.S.
Sabina Foisor (alternate), a Woman International Grandmaster from Romania and the nation’s sixth-ranked woman.

Follow the UMBC team during the tournament on Twitter @UMBCchess.
For real-time updates of Pan-Am matches in progress, go to www.monroi.com.
For more information on the tournament: www.collegechess.org.

2009 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships
What: Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships
When: December 27-30, 2009
Where: Sheraton South Padre Island Beach Hotel, South Padre Island, Texas
Format: Traditional six-round Fix Roster Swiss tournament
Team makeup: Four-player teams with up to two alternates

For more information on the UMBC team:
Alan T. Sherman, director, UMBC Chess Program
410-963-4779 (c)
sherman@umbc.edu

For more information on the tournament:
Russell Harwood
(956) 882-5762 or (956) 551-0303
russell.harwood@utb.edu

Posted by elewis

December 16, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Research Park Announces New Tenants

Subway and Two Firms Lease Space in New Building


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park is pleased to announce that three tenants have signed leases totaling over 13,000 square feet of space in its newest building, 5520 Research Park Drive. The Research Group, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education and Subway Café will join current tenant RMF Engineering in early 2010.

The Research Group, a full service market research firm, and its focus group facilities and field-service division, Observation Baltimore, will move from their downtown Baltimore headquarters to an 8,000 square-foot space on the second floor of the 5520 building in March. The company is excited about the strategic location because of its convenience to BWI Airport, D.C., and downtown Baltimore, making it easy to accommodate its national client base.

"Ninety-five percent of our clients come to us from out of town. Proximity to BWI, AMTRAK, downtown Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. provides tremendous opportunities to serve our current clients better, and more importantly, attract new prospects," said Barbara Gassaway, president and CEO of The Research Group. "We are extremely impressed with the quality and environmental friendliness of the 5520 facility, and we are equally excited about the range of opportunities UMBC offers as a new academic partner."

Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT), a statewide coalition of business leaders working to improve public education in Maryland, will occupy nearly 3,500 square feet on the first floor. MBRT is excited about joining the UMBC community.

“The bwtech@UMBC Research Park offers us an ideal location to continue our mission of improving Maryland’s public schools, with a focus on science, math, engineering and technology,” said June Streckfus, executive director of MBRT. “UMBC is a standout in this area and we are excited to be on campus.”

Subway Café, which will occupy 1,600 square feet on the building’s first floor, gives the building a food service establishment and is expected to be a big selling point to future tenants. The first Subway Café opened in Alexandria, VA in the summer of 2008 and is expanding across the country. The restaurants are an upscale version of the traditional Subway concept and feature panini sandwiches, gelato, baked goods and coffee drinks in addition to the chain's traditional subs.

“We are delighted to welcome these companies to the Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “Our state-of-the-art Class A office space, located in a federal HUBZone with incentives available, is proving very attractive to many businesses.”

The 107,000 square foot building was developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) (NYSE: OFC). This is the second building COPT developed at the park; the first was the U.S. Geological Survey building at 5522 Research Park Drive.

Posted by dshapiro

December 15, 2009

UMBC Receives $83,208 BRAC Higher Education Grant

Cybersecurity Program Will Help Develop BRAC Workforce


CONTACTS:

Deborah Shapiro, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Michael Raia, Office of the Lt. Governor
410-260-3888
mraia@gov.state.md.us

ANNAPOLIS, MD - December 15, 2009 - Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown announced earlier today that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) received one of 12 BRAC Higher Education grants. The grant, made available through legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly (the Higher Education Investment Fund) in 2008, will help UMBC establish a Center for Cybersecurity Training focusing on developing regional workforce with qualifications and skills to support local cybersecurity needs, as well as national cybersecurity initiatives within the State.

Fifteen courses will be developed by UMBC Training Centers and will be targeted to employees of state and federal government agencies and contractors, active military, veterans and any others seeking job training or skill enhancement. Courses planned include Java Development for Secure Systems, Enterprise Linux Security Administration, and Securing .NET Applications and Web Services. The goal is to begin delivering pilot courses to small groups of students this spring, at either UMBC or a government or contractor location via a mobile computer lab. While it is projected that 75-150 students will be served during the pilot phase, ultimately the goal is to serve about 720 students per year.

“We want to thank Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown for their outstanding support of our efforts to build a strong education and training foundation for the BRAC workforce,” said Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of UMBC. “This grant from the Maryland Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF) will enable us to establish a Center for Cybersecurity Training which is an essential component of BRAC.”

“I applaud UMBC and the ten other institutions of higher education on their successful grant application. It is only through our partnerships that Maryland will reap every benefit of BRAC,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “Governor O’Malley and I have set clear priorities that put an emphasis on job creation and we wholly understand that our strong network of public, independent and community colleges play an important role in reach our ambitious goals.”

The 2005 decisions by the Commission on Base Realignment and Closure will create as many as 60,000 new jobs across Maryland, including jobs in communications, intelligence and other high-skilled fields. To fully grasp the potential of this expanding economy, Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly created the BRAC Subcabinet, which Lt. Governor Brown chairs. In 2008, the General Assembly passed an administration bill that funds the BRAC Higher Education Grant program. This is the second year grants have been awarded to colleges and universities across the state.

Every Maryland institute of higher learning is eligible to apply for the BRAC Higher Education Fund grants, including two- and four-year public or independent colleges or universities, Maryland research institutions, Maryland Regional Higher Education centers, and Maryland private career schools.

Posted by dshapiro

December 14, 2009

Crazy for Politics

A news blog staffed by UMBC students aims to spark high schoolers’ interest in current events.

BALTIMORE - Do you find news and current events dull, boring and confusing?

Too many young people answer yes to that question, says political cartoonist Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, who has launched a new political news blog aimed at getting high school students to tune-in to current events by using the humor and spirit of political cartooning.

The Web site, www.USDemocrazy.com, is a daily news roundup edited by Kallaugher and staffed by a team of student bloggers at UMBC. Kallaugher, an award-winning, internationally syndicated editorial cartoonist for publications such as The Baltimore Sun and The Economist, conceived the site as an artist-in-residence at UMBC’s Imaging Research Center.

Using editorial cartoons, digital animation, videos and humorous blog posts about the daily news, USDemocrazy is designed to engage high schoolers in current events, Kallaugher said. Many posts are interactive and allow comments and the blog’s text is optimized so students can easily read it when projected on a large screen.

“We want to create a daily package where teachers can flip on our Web site for just a couple minutes each day and find engaging, unpredictable, accessible and fun material that can help make subjects like social studies more entertaining,” Kallaugher said.

The site launched publicly in October with a visit by Kallaugher to Wheaton High School in Montgomery County, Md., where social studies students have been the first in the nation to test USDemocrazy in the classroom.

Wheaton’s Social Studies Head David Shaffner said the multimedia Web site comes at a perfect time for social studies teachers. Schools across the country are struggling to make social studies relevant in an age of high stakes testing in reading and math and increasing emphasis on science and technology, he said.

“Students today are plugged-in to a more visual, media-rich environment,” Shaffner said. “We need new tools to help us un-lock those brainwaves.”

Kallaugher presented USDemocrazy as the feature speaker at the 2009 National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. this November. He plans to make presentations to the National High School Model United Nations and the National Council for the Social Studies annual meetings in 2010 to reach more teachers and students. USDemocrazy will also be introduce into the classroom this spring at Kallaugher’s alma mater, Fairfield Prep in Fairfield, Conn.

Kallaugher said the blog’s also a rich education tool for college students.

His team of student writers – which he calls his “vagabonding bloggoteers” – are tasked with populating the blog with daily posts and weekly features.

“I never used to think about getting information from blogs and used to scoff at Twitter,” said UMBC junior Marc Zerfas, a financial economics and statistics major. “Now we pride ourselves as being a sort of gateway drug to current events for people who would never read the news normally.”

Features include a daily cartoon, “What’z Up Today” news roundup and feature story; a weekly “Film Festival” roundup of videos; a weekly humorous photo “Caption Contest”; and a new feature called “Three-and-a-half Questions” highlighting the expertise of people “who are smarter than us,” Kallaugher said.

“We ask a current events expert three questions in their field of interest, plus one extra credit question in an unrelated area,” Kal said.

UMBC political science professor Tom Schaller was the latest expert to answer three-and-a-half questions, featured in an audio slide show:

Interviewed recently in UMBC Magazine, Schaller said that USDemocrazy “is classic Kal: very cheeky, very fun, very visual, and very colorful. Anyone who’s been around Kal for five minutes knows he’s all those things.”

Posted by kavan

October 19, 2009

UMBC Forum Addresses Immigrant Youth Education Challenges

Students at Risk: Helping Latin American Immigrant Youth Succeed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT
-- Kavan Peterson
email: kavan@umbc.edu
phone: 410-455-1896

Screen%20shot%202009-10-21%20at%2011.25.33%20AM.png
BALTIMORE - The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is hosting a forum to address academic challenges specific to children of Latin American immigrant families on Friday, Oct. 23 at the World Trade Center in Baltimore from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and UMBC's Department of Public Policy and Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, the forum will focus on the public policy implications of interventions to help immigrant students adapt to and succeed in U.S. schools.

Featuring perspectives on the Latin American immigrant family experience in the U.S., the forum will provide insights relevant to policy makers in Baltimore and other Maryland communities that are home to growing Latin American populations.

The program will include a presentation by UMBC Professors Tim Gindling and Sara Poggio on their recent policy brief Family Separation and the Educational Success of Immigrant Children, which discusses the challenges that Latin American immigrant children face, and how schools can help immigrant students adapt and succeed.

Other speakers include:

Carola Suárez-Orozco, Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University and Co-Director of Immigration Studies@NYU
Hector Torres, President, PROSABER Emergency Management Consulting
Karen Woodson, Director, Division of ESOL/Bilingual Programs, Montgomery County Public Schools

The forum is open to the public but registration is required. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/pubpol/forums or call 410-455-8193.

The Department of Public Policy offers a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.), and a Ph.D. degree. Our major areas of focus are: educational policy, health policy, legal policy, public management, urban policy, and evaluation
and analytical methods. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/pubpol.

The Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) is UMBC’s center for applied scholarly public policy research. MIPAR links University resources with policy makers in the state and region, conducting policy studies, program evaluations and opinion research on a wide range of topics. MIPAR activities are supported by federal agencies, private foundations, and state and local governments. For more information about MIPAR, visit www.umbc.edu/mipar.

Posted by kavan

October 16, 2009

UMBC Announces 2009 Alumni of the Year and Distinguished Service Award Winners

Each year, the UMBC Alumni Association presents annual awards to honor alumni for their professional and personal achievements and service to the University. Three types of awards are given: Alumnus/Alumna of the Year awards, a Distinguished Service award, and the new Young Alumni Rising Star Award.


ENGINEERING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

James P. Clements ’85, ’91 & ’93, Information Systems, was recently appointed President of West Virginia University in Morgantown, WVa. He is the first UMBC alumnus to lead a major university. Prior to his appointment, Clements was Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Towson University (TU). A TU employee since 1989, he also served as a faculty member, Vice President for Economic and Community Outreach and Chairman of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. Dr. Clements has published and presented more than 70 papers on management, information systems and technology. The fourth edition of his project management book is used in more than 20 countries and published in four languages.

HUMANITIES

Jeffrey “Duff” Goldman ’97, History, is known for turning traditional confections into out-of-this-world creations on his Food Network show “Ace of Cakes.” After completing his UMBC degree, Goldman attended the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, Calif. His company, Charm City Cakes, has baked cakes for events including the “Kung Fu Panda” premier and the Maryland Zoo’s annual Zoomerang gala. In 2000 he was a featured speaker at UMBC’s Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. He also holds a Guinness Book record for baking the world’s largest cupcake, created in March 2008.

NATURAL AND MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES

Crystal Watkins ’95, Biological Sciences, studied at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received the David E. Rogers Award for the highest standards of professionalism, medical ethics and community leadership. Dr. Watkins’ graduate research was featured in the Wall Street Journal and led to a U.S. patent for a treatment of diabetic disorders. She has also traveled to Ghana and worked with the Princess of Ada and Ministry of Health to implement HIV/AIDS health education and prevention programs.

SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

The Honorable Jon S. Cardin M.P.P. ’96, Policy Sciences, represents residents of northwest Baltimore County in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he serves on the Ways and Means Committee. Much of his legislation focuses on election, tax and education reform. In February he was awarded the Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Legislator Award for developing legislation that gives shelters access to drugs needed to properly sedate animals prior to euthanasia. Cardin also serves as a member of the Board of Directors/Advisors for the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, the Camp Shohola Scholarship Fund, Baltimore Hebrew University, UMBC Hillel, The American Council of Young Political Leaders, Institute for Progressive Leadership and the Maryland Public Interest Law Project.

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

Laura Pasquini ’98, Visual Arts, is the director of Youth and Family Programs at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in the Washington, D.C. She oversees the operation of all classes, programs and camps for children and their families. In her time there she has redefined the overall vision and mission of the Corcoran’s after school program, Corcoran ArtReach. She installed and supported fundraising efforts for the annual ArtReach exhibit. At UMBC, Pasquini worked in the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture as an undergraduate intern where she worked to make art exhibits accessible and interesting to public school students through a series of creative projects based on gallery exhibits.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

Gustavo Matheus, Esq. LLC ’90, Biological Sciences, is always thinking of new ways to connect with UMBC alumni and is particularly interested in engaging alumni in the Washington, D.C. area. He is intimately involved in growing and maintaining the Esperanza Endowment, which supports and inspires current and future UMBC students of Latino or Hispanic ancestry and/or students who are committed to the advancement of minorities. Matheus, who practices law in Rockville, Md., mentors student members of the scholarship committee and has been instrumental in connecting with alumni who choose to support the fund.

RISING STAR AWARD

Alicia Wilson ’04, Political Science, is an associate at Gordon Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger and Hollander, LLC. Prior to her position the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, she served as a clerk for the Honorable David Young for the Circuit Court of Baltimore City. Wilson spent her third year of law school at Susan Leviton’s Juvenile Law, Children’s Issues and Legislative Advocacy Clinic. She also coached the Mock Trail team at the Baltimore Freedom Academy – a high school with curriculum and culture focused on social justice and activism.


Posted by elewis

October 1, 2009

Tracking Global Sources of Local Pollution

The National Academies of Sciences featured satellite pollution-tracking research by UMBC Physics Professor Wallace McMillan in a report released Sept. 29 urging better tracking of global air-borne pollutants.

Using the most advanced methods of atmospheric monitoring and modeling, the report, “Global Sources of Local Pollution,” documents how air pollution can be transported across oceans and continents.

As a member of the science team for NASA's Aqua satellite-based Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS), McMillan helped create a video showing plumes of carbon monoxide moving through the atmosphere to illustrate the transport of pollution around the globe.

Obtained using the AIRS, the video shows observations tracking carbon monoxide at 5.5 kilometers above the surface of the Earth. Emissions of carbon monoxide from large fires and from large urban and industrial areas, such as northeastern China, can be seen as they move with weather fronts.
View video in MP4 format
(recommended for Mac users)
View video in WMV format
(recommended for Windows users)

McMillan’s research focuses on global, regional and local measurements of pollution. Ed Olsen at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory animated the video.

Posted by kavan

September 23, 2009

Smog Blog Launches Panama Spin-Off on 6th Anniversary

09212009_calipso.jpgBALTIMORE -- The University of Maryland, Baltimore County's (UMBC) innovative "Smog Blog" air quality tracking web site celebrated its sixth anniversary Sept. 23, 2009, and recently helped launch a spin-off Central American air pollution blog based in Panama.

The U.S. Smog Blog and Panamanian SERVIR blog offer realtime analysis and an extensive archive of satellite imagery and air quality data for scientists, allowing for instant communication about important pollution events. SERVIR was created in partnership with UMBC, NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

Smog Blog entries for each site are the products of analysis by science faculty and students from UMBC, the University of Panama in Panama City and Battelle Memorial Institute, who look at incoming data from satellite sensors and merge it with information from sparsely-distributed ground-based monitoring stations. Bloggers then post images, and make daily entries, providing a sort of “one-stop shopping” for information on air pollution in North America and across the globe.

Learn more about the Smog Blog in the upcoming Winter 2009 issue of UMBC Magazine.

About the U.S. Air Quality Weblog

The Smog Blog is a daily diary of air quality in the U.S. using information from NASA satellites, ground-based lidar, EPA monitoring networks, and other monitors. Interpretation and analysis is provided by UMBC staff.

Posted by kavan

September 17, 2009

ACTiVATE® Graduate Wins Business Plan Competition

Another Graduate Among the Finalists


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Jodi Cook, a 2008 graduate of UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program, was named the winner of the annual StartRight! Business Plan Competition. The competition, run by Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), is in its sixth year and recognizes top business plans from women entrepreneurs. Cook founded Thesia Medical LLC after she completed ACTiVATE®, which trains women to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions.

Thesia Medical is developing a device to monitor patients receiving regional anesthesia. Cook, an audiologist who previously worked at the Mayo Clinic, is in negotiations with Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory to license the technology on which the device will be based. Before entering the ACTiVATE® program, Cook was involved with two different start-ups with previous colleagues. Yearning to start her own company, Cook enrolled in ACTiVATE® to acquire the skills she would need to create her own business and develop her business plan. Cook’s hospital background gave her familiarity with the FDA approval process and she looked for a medical device technology that she could build a business around.

StartRight! is the second business plan competition Cook entered and her first victory. The first place prize of $10,000 will allow her to begin building the prototype of her device once the licensing process is complete; when the prototype is built, Cook will be able to obtain funding from investors more easily. Cook noted that she also gained a great deal from the competition experience. “Having presentation experience helps when going out to investors,” she said.

Carol Covin, a member of ACTiVATE®’s Class of 2007, was named a finalist in the competition, one of eight finalists out of 40 entrants. Her company, Sky Blue Pharmaceuticals LLC, is developing a small molecule drug that is based on a natural ingredient protocol to treat solid tumor cancers. Covin was inspired to start her company after a friend with inoperable stomach cancer found success with a combination of natural ingredients used in a cancer drug developed in the early 1980s that never made it to market. After meeting an oncologist who had developed a process for bringing obscure drugs to market, Covin, a computer science engineer who had dabbled in several entrepreneurial ventures, set about compiling data on the drug’s use.

Through her research, she discovered 10 people who had used it to treat their cancers, apparently successfully. With the help of a consultant, Covin is compiling the data necessary to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA for permission to conduct a clinical trial. Using the knowledge and connections gained through ACTiVATE®, Covin developed a business plan and is now seeking investors, focusing primarily on foundations and individual investors. She affirmed that the StartRight! competition was a valuable experience as she moves her company forward. “I got good feedback about my business plan and good experience presenting.” She also noted that the continued guidance from ACTiVATE® instructors has also been invaluable.

StartRight! judging criteria are overall financial viability, the company’s management plan, the quality of an entrant’s market research and its marketing plan, and the degree of innovation and differentiation in the business model.

“The ACTiVATE® program gives its graduates the tools to develop solid business plans and present those plans to potential partners and investors. Jodi and Carol exemplify the spirit and expertise of our graduates and we congratulate them on this latest success,” said David Fink, ACTiVATE® program director.

Posted by dshapiro

September 2, 2009

Maryland Clean Energy Center Technology Incubator Network Opens First Site at bwtech@UMBC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The Maryland Clean Energy Center has partnered with bwtech@UMBC to support early stage companies working with clean energy technologies and advance green job creation in our state.

The Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator@bwtech (CETI) is the first site in a planned statewide network of clean energy incubators, which will strengthen Maryland’s Smart, Green and Growing energy economy. Katherine Magruder, executive director of MCEC said, “The Maryland Clean Energy Center is striving to partner with energy experts throughout the state in order to fulfill its mission of growing Maryland’s clean energy economy through related economic development and job creation. Because bwtech@UMBC has a proven track record of success our Board elected to work with their team to establish our first Clean Energy Incubator Network site at UMBC.”

According to Magruder, “The intention is to draw from the depth and variety of the research presence in the state, and use the incubator network to move discoveries from the bench to the bank in the commercialization pipeline.” She added, “The program seeks to provide affordable space as well as assistance with business plans, marketing, and management of intellectual property for start-up companies that are focused on a clean or renewable energy product, service or technology.”

CETI will provide services specifically tailored to the needs of companies working with solar power, wind power, geothermal, hydro-power, biofuels, as well as energy management and storage technologies. A part-time Entrepreneur-in-Residence and an advisory board of experienced researchers and executives in the clean energy sector will also provide tenant companies with assistance.

CETI will occupy about 18,000 square feet of office and wet lab space in the Biotechnology Building of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator and Accelerator, located on the south campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

CETI is a natural fit with UMBC’s strengths in environmental sciences and bwtech@UMBC’s interest in and support of environmental science companies. bwtech@UMBC already hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center and the addition of CETI will create additional opportunities for university-industry collaborations. CETI resident companies will have the opportunity to collaborate with UMBC faculty and students, as nearly all of the other bwtech@UMBC companies have done. With UMBC ranked #1 among up-and-coming national universities by U.S. News and World Report, CETI represents yet another innovative approach to enhance UMBC’s contributions to Baltimore County and the state of Maryland.

The incubator also fits with the university’s plans to build energy expertise at UMBC. Officials from bwtech@UMBC and the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC are currently working to establish an Office of Energy Policy to serve as the primary center for energy policy research in Maryland.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to establish this groundbreaking incubator,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “Maryland is positioned to become a leader in bioscience and environmental technologies, and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Initial funding for the CETI will be provided by MCEC, bwtech@UMBC, and a grant from the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development to support the Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

“bwtech@UMBC has been a leader in nurturing entrepreneurship, fostering new ideas and generating jobs in Baltimore County for nearly two decades,” said David S. Iannucci, executive director of Baltimore County Economic Development. “The Clean Energy Technology Incubator will increase its economic impact on the region.”

MCEC Board Chairman, Ken Connolly stated, “We are grateful to Baltimore County for their willingness to support this partnership with funding and certain this relationship will be successful for all involved.”

In the long term MCEC is hoping to replicate this model in partnership with other jurisdictions and their economic development agencies.

Posted by dshapiro

August 11, 2009

ACTiVATE® Announces New Program at NIH

Program Will Provide Pathway to Entrepreneurship for Postdocs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 11, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through their Partnerships for Innovation program to establish an ACTiVATE® at NIH program in Montgomery County. The program, slated to start in early 2010, will train post-doctoral research fellows from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal labs in the region to start technology-based companies.

Building on the successful ACTiVATE® program at UMBC, which trains mid-career women to start companies using technologies developed at area universities and research institutions, ACTiVATE® at NIH will provide postdocs (both men and women) with the training and support needed to start new companies in Maryland or to pursue an entrepreneurial career path.

Each year, Maryland’s workforce loses many of the highly skilled, post-doctoral fellows at NIH and other federal labs in the region as these individuals seek employment outside of the state when their fellowships are completed. The economic impact of losing these scientists, coupled with the fierce competition that they face for positions in academia, created the opportunity for a program to train researchers to pursue commercialization of their scientific findings. Giving post-doctoral fellows the skills to transform research into viable businesses will not only give them a rewarding career path and contribute to the growth of Maryland’s life sciences industry, but will also advance medical science by moving technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Following the original ACTiVATE® program model, ACTiVATE® at NIH will recruit both postdocs and individuals from the business community as participants so they can form interdisciplinary teams to pursue opportunities for start-up companies. The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, a key partner in the program, will receive funding under the award to offer ACTiVATE® at NIH at their Shady Grove campus in Rockville. The program will span one calendar year, with classes held one evening per week and one Saturday per month. Program participants will be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs and others from the business community.

Through a partnership with the NIH Office of Technology Transfer, participants will have the opportunity to evaluate technologies from NIH and other federal labs as part of the program. Other program partners include Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), Montgomery College, Human Workflows LLC and the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.

“We are pleased to expand the ACTiVATE® model to Montgomery County and to offer the program to the talented group of scientists working as postdocs at NIH and other federal labs in the region. In the course of four years, the program at UMBC has trained 92 women and launched over 25 companies; we hope to bring that same success to this new venture,” said Stephen Auvil, assistant vice president for research at UMBC and a co-principal investigator on the NSF award.

“REDI has long supported efforts to capitalize on the talent in our federal labs, and ACTiVATE® at NIH is an excellent opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technologies and keep Maryland at the forefront of the life sciences industry. We will work closely with our partners to ensure the success of this program,” said Sally Sternbach, executive director of REDI. “We look forward to growing these companies in our local economy.”

Posted by dshapiro

August 4, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Announces New Incubator

Program Targets Small Disadvantaged Businesses


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to announce a new incubator located in Class A office space within the bwtech@UMBC Research Park. The Advantage Incubator@bwtech opened for business last week with four new tenants. The new incubator is designed for early-stage companies that are minority-, women- or veteran-owned and have substantial business activities aimed at providing technology-related products and services to state and federal agencies.

The founding tenants are Premier Management Corporation, a network security consultant for NSA and other federal agencies; Farfield Systems, a provider of IT and systems engineering services and training; CardioMed Device Consultants, a regulatory consultant for medical device companies; and the Nixon Group, a multi-faceted company with experience in healthcare and financial services. Alex Euler, bwtech@UMBC’s associate director of business development, reports that there has been much interest from the business community. In addition to the four companies above, several other companies have made inquiries. “Businesses that contract with the federal government are still experiencing growth, despite weakening in the overall market,” said Euler. “The Advantage Incubator’s proximity to a number of federal agencies and research centers such as NSA, NIH, FDA, NASA and DOD is a great asset. Client companies also benefit from the park’s federal HUBZone and state Enterprise Zone designations.”

The founding four are looking forward to expanding their businesses and taking advantage of the benefits the Advantage Incubator has to offer. Semih Oktay, president of CardioMed Device Consultants, is happy to be back at UMBC, having earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the university in 1993. He cited the location, with its proximity to the airport, as a key factor in his decision to relocate, noting that many of his company’s clients are from out of town. Oktay is also looking forward to hiring student interns in the future and notes that UMBC’s corporate training facilities will allow him to offer training to client groups.

Greg Tyler, vice president for business development and recruiting for Farfield Systems, a service disabled veteran-owned small business, noted that the incubator’s HUBZone designation was the primary reason for his company’s move. The company, founded in 2002, specializes in training and intelligence analysis in the area of information systems. Most of its contracts are with the Department of Defense, but Tyler said the company is branching out to private sector clients as well. Tyler also noted that Farfield is looking forward to establishing relationships with UMBC faculty and students and plans to hire students to fill its staffing needs.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to create a new incubator within the research park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “This is a unique program that allows clients to operate in a Class A environment, with shared reception areas, conference rooms and university resources. Combine that with our HUBZone status and experienced entrepreneurial services team, and it is clear that we are providing tremendous value to these companies.”

Posted by dshapiro

July 7, 2009

Judah Ronch Begins Tenure as Interim Dean of UMBC’s Erickson School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2009

CONTACT:
Eleanor Lewis
Senior Director, Communications
410-455-2065
elewis@umbc.edu


Judah Ronch Begins Tenure as Interim Dean of UMBC’s Erickson School

BALTIMORE -- On July 1, Judah Ronch, a nationally known researcher whose work focuses on strength-based approaches to aging and aging services, began serving as Interim Dean of the Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

The Erickson School is the first program in the nation to integrate management science, public policy and the study of human aging. The School’s goal is to educate leaders and build new knowledge to improve society for mid-life and older adults.

Most recently, Ronch served as director of the School’s undergraduate program. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Yeshiva University. He has served on the faculty at Vassar College, in the Department of Internal Medicine at Vassar Brothers Hospital, and as the Executive Director of the Brookdale Center on Aging at Hunter College. He also consults for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Ronch will be responsible for building the School’s undergraduate, graduate and executive education programs. “With the aging of 78 million Baby Boomers in the U.S., and millions more around the world, new approaches that promote their need for an active, engaged later life focused on comprehensive wellness will be needed,” said Ronch. “As a result, there will be many, many opportunities for creativity and fulfilling careers in this growing field. The Erickson School's unique educational approach integrates learning about the processes of aging, policy issues that will impact all of society, and how managers and leaders in the private, public and not for profit sectors will achieve the most effective answers for the future.”

--Enrollment continues to grow in the School’s B.A.in the Management of Aging Services program and its courses. The B.A. program now has fully developed tracks in aging, policy and management and works with each student to arrange a substantive internship in an aging-related field. The School is beginning the process of creating online versions of all courses required for the major.

--Prospective student interest is strong for the third Master’s in Aging Services cohort that begins in spring 2010. The School continues its cohort-learning framework and is also modifying its curriculum to integrate further aging, policy and management topics. Beginning this fall, the M.A. program will include additional faculty from the Baltimore-Washington policy, healthcare and business communities to increase student exposure to the perspective of practitioners and new course sections for both senior and emerging leaders.

--Five executive education courses for the seniors housing and care industry will be offered in the 2009-10 academic year on Navigating Change in Financially Challenging Times, Management and Operations, Sales and Marketing, Business and Strategy, and Finance. The School will also offer custom executive education tailored to the culture and needs of particular organizations.

For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson.

Posted by elewis

June 25, 2009

ACTiVATE® Graduate Wins ICOY Award

Two bwtech@UMBC Incubator Companies Named Finalists


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 25, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The ACTiVATE® program congratulates 2006 graduate Kris Appel, whose company, Encore Path, was honored at the ninth annual Maryland Incubator Company of the Year (ICOY) Awards on June 16. Encore Path was the winner in the Technology Transfer category.

Appel started her business upon completion of bwtech@UMBC’s year-long ACTiVATE® program, which trains mid-career women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies licensed from area universities and research institutions. Appel is one of 92 women trained in the program’s first four years. Over 25 companies have been launched by ACTiVATE® graduates. Encore Path develops stroke rehabilitation technologies and recently launched sales of the Tailwind arm rehabilitation device, based on technology licensed from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

“The ACTiVATE® program provided me with the knowledge and mentoring I needed to start my own business. I am honored that my company is considered among the best early-stage companies in Maryland and I look forward to its continued growth and success,” said Appel.

“This award affirms the value of the ACTiVATE® program in producing successful companies. We congratulate Kris on what she has achieved with her company and have no doubt that Encore Path has a very bright future,” said David Fink, the ACTiVATE® program manager.

Encore Path, is based at the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore. Two current bwtech@UMBC incubator companies, Amethyst Technologies and Columbia BioSystems, were ICOY award finalists in the Technology Services and New Incubator Company categories, respectively. Amethyst Technologies provides cGMP compliant services for organizations engaged in FDA-regulated activities and Columbia BioSystems is developing products in the field of molecular nano-diagnostics, using molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for the rapid detection of pathogens such as MRSA. Amethyst is owned by 2007 ACTiVATE® graduate Kimberly Brown.

Posted by dshapiro

June 8, 2009

CUERE Wins Grant to Combat Urban Runoff into Bay

BALTIMORE -- UMBC'S Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) is one of 24 projects to receive a total of $12.9 million in grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to the local streams, creeks and rivers that flow to the Chesapeake Bay.

CUERE received $312,177 to address polluted runoff from compacted soils in parks, school yards, athletic fields, residential lawns and inner city vacant lots in Baltimore City and County. The center and its project partners will develop technical specifications needed to incorporate subsoiling -- a type of deep tilling that breaks up compacted soil, allowing more water to soak in -- around Gwynns Falls, Herring Run, Henry Run and Watershed 263 in Baltimore City.

The grant was awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, which provides up to $1 million to innovative and cost-effective projects that dramatically reduce or eliminate the flow of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

View the full list of grantees here.

Posted by kavan

June 2, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

Technology and Bioscience Start-Ups Join Incubator Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC is pleased to welcome Pearl Life Science Partners, Quantum Medical Metrics and Amidus to its incubator program. All three companies are optimistic about their ability to fill a need in their respective industries and achieve success.

Pearl Life Science Partners, founded in August of 2008, is working on developing a platform that uses a modified viral particle vaccine technology to increase the efficacy of vaccines. CEO Mark Pittenger reports that the company is in the process of applying for grants and looking for larger investors. Its goal is to secure $1 million of financing that will allow it to complete the pre-clinical studies needed to obtain grants for human research and testing.

Pittenger, a cell and molecular biologist, noted that the Incubator’s location, lower cost and proximity to both the UMBC campus and other companies were the main factors in the company’s decision to make bwtech@UMBC its headquarters. “The variety of the companies at the Incubator is great. Everyone knows someone we should meet. There are very smart people here and there is a lot of interaction.” Pittenger also noted the strength of the bwtech@UMBC management team: “The staff has helped other companies before and is very experienced. They’ve introduced us to the people we need to talk to set up our business.”

Tom Beck, the chief technology officer of Quantum Medical Metrics and a Catonsville resident, agreed that bwtech@UMBC’s location and its proximity to the UMBC campus were important to his company. Quantum, founded last September, has already hired one student intern and is developing relationships with faculty members. Beck also praised the staff and facility: “They treat you well here and provide highly professional advice and services to novice entrepreneurs. The facility meets our needs and is much more affordable than other incubators.”

Quantum is developing an advanced dual energy x-ray imaging system that can measure bone strength using three-dimensional engineering analysis and will be able to image patients whether they are lying down or standing up. Beck pointed out that this technology has applications for children as well as adults, because of the low radiation the system will use. In addition to measuring bone density to diagnose conditions such as osteoporosis, the system could also be used to evaluate problems in the growing skeleton. The company has licensed technology from Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab and is seeking development funds from NIH, the U.S. Army, NASA and other sources.

Amidus, founded just two months ago, is a consultancy offering marketing and technology services, focusing on conferences and other business events. Co-founder Pranay Kohli says the company’s goal is to “offer a fresh, unique and personalized user experience.” He noted that there are over 13,000 business events each year in the U.S. and that Amidus is in a position to offer much value.

When looking for a location for their young company, Kohli and his partner Pat Pathade visited other incubators but felt bwtech@UMBC had the most to offer. Besides the convenient location - both live in Howard County - they wanted the opportunity to collaborate with UMBC faculty and students. Said Kohli: “This is a knowledge industry. We need an educated workforce.” He also noted that the level of support offered to early-stage companies at bwtech@UMBC was important to Amidus.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to welcome these three companies,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We feel each has great potential for success in the future and we look forward to helping them achieve their goals.”

Posted by dshapiro

April 10, 2009

Sen Ben Cardin to Speak at UMBC April 14

blcphoto2.jpg.jpegUMBC will host Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) on Tuesday, April 14, for a discussion asking "Can We Save the Environment and the Economy?"

The discussion, sponsored by the Public Policy Graduate Student Association, will take place at 2 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.

Senator Cardin served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986 and as Speaker from 1979-1986. He represented Maryland's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987-2006. In 2006, he was elected by the people of Maryland to succeed Paul Sarbanes in the U.S. Senate. As a Senator, he serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, Judiciary Committee, Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Budget Committee and Small Business Committee. On the Judiciary Committee, Senator Cardin chairs the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee, and on the EPW Committee he chairs the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee for the 111th Congress.

Posted by kavan

April 7, 2009

ACTiVATE Program Recognized Internationally

Program Cited As One of Three “Good Practices” Programs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

The ACTiVATE® program has been recognized by a European organization as one of three “Good Practices” programs that train women entrepreneurs. ACTiVATE®, a year-long program at bwtech@UMBC that trains women to be entrepreneurs, is the only U.S-based program of the three honorees; the others are the MEETS program in Cambridge, UK and the NEnA program in Halle, Germany.

The recognition was given by the organizers of FemStart, a partnership of six European universities formed in 2006 to study female entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship training programs at universities. There is an ongoing concern in Europe that women are underrepresented in university entrepreneurship programs. Given that entrepreneurship and small businesses are important generators of jobs and economic activity, there is a strong interest in encouraging women to pursue entrepreneurship. FemStart organized a series of six conferences in various European cities over the past two years to study entrepreneurship programs that have been successful in attracting female participants, particularly those in science and technology. ACTiVATE® administrators presented at five of these conferences, which in total attracted over 500 participants across Europe.

In recognizing the “Good Practices” programs, FemStart noted that ACTiVATE® and the other programs “were well-accepted and received very positive feedback from the participants.” The organization also recognized that in the U.S., as in the UK and Germany, “support of university-based and high tech start-ups has a longer tradition.”

Stephen Auvil, assistant vice president for research at UMBC who is one of ACTiVATE®’s co-principal investigators, presented at three conferences: “Attending the FemStart conferences showed us how much interest there is in successful programs that train female entrepreneurs. It was an honor to be able to share ACTiVATE®’s successful model with the European academic and business communities.”

Said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and the ACTiVATE® program director, who presented at two of the other FemStart conferences: “We are very proud of this latest recognition for ACTiVATE®. It affirms that the program is a worldwide leader in producing successful women entrepreneurs in the science and technology fields.”

ACTiVATE® is a joint program of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, the UMBC Office of Technology Development, and the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. The year-long program utilizes technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions and trains mid-career women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies. In the first four years of the program, ACTiVATE® has trained 92 women and has launched over 25 companies. ACTiVATE® was initially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Current sponsors include the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Venable LLP, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Miles & Stockbridge PC, Whiteford, Taylor, and Preston LLP, and SB and Company LLC.

Posted by dshapiro

March 31, 2009

bwtech@UMBC Welcomes New Companies

New Technology Companies Join Incubator Program


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 31, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Science Systems and Applications, Inc. and Premier Management Corporation are the latest companies to establish residence at the bwtech@UMBC Incubator. Both technology companies are government contractors and are optimistic about their prospects for growth and success.

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) performs work under contract for NASA and other government agencies. The Calibration and Validation Office (CVO) at bwtech@UMBC evaluates ocean color data from satellites and field operations to determine its validity. The data is used to determine water composition and ultimately, the degree of climate change on the planet. The CVO’s director, Stanford Hooker, notes the increased attention to global warming and expects interest in the CVO’s work to increase.

The CVO was originally located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Prince George’s County, but as the contract requirements grew, they began searching for a larger space between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. They chose bwtech@UMBC because of the wet lab space available and its close proximity to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, as they often host scientists from around the world. In addition, NASA’s existing research relationship with UMBC (one of the CVO’s six employees is a UMBC assistant research scientist) was also a factor.

Premier Management Corporation began in 2004 as a financial consulting firm, and has recently begun to focus on the areas of cyber crime and network security, performing services for NSA and other government agencies. In collaboration with UMBC, the company is developing technologies to detect vulnerabilities and attacks via the Internet in government computer systems. Company CEO Marcus Board reports that the 18-employee company has hired one intern from UMBC and he hopes to hire more in the future.

Board was referred to bwtech@UMBC by Andre Gudger, CEO of Solvern Innovations at UMBC’s Research Park. Board and Gudger had recently collaborated on a project, and Board says that he was impressed with the Incubator facility during his tour. He is looking forward to taking advantage of the resources the Incubator provides to help his business grow.

“bwtech@UMBC is delighted to welcome these two companies,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We have a strong track record of producing successful technology companies and we are confident these companies will benefit tremendously from our program.”

Posted by dshapiro

March 25, 2009

Solvern Innovations Establishes Center of Excellence

Facility Will Train DoD Staff on Managerial Issues


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Solvern Innovations, a bwtech@UMBC Research Park company that specializes in comprehensive research and development products and solutions, acquisition and business management services, and training and technology development, has established a Center of Excellence. The Center, located one floor below the company’s headquarters, will train Department of Defense employees and contractors in business management, acquisition, logistics and procurement processes.

According to Solvern CEO Andre Gudger, the Center is the first in the federal government to focus on business management. In addition to training, the Center will function as a think tank, with more than 10 employees performing research and development on effective techniques for business management, acquisition processes, procurement and logistics. Solvern has been operating the training side of its business for three years, but only recently completed the two-year process required as an accredited Center of Excellence.

“We have worked hard to become a world-class solutions provider to the Department of Defense, where employees and contractors can come and gain the knowledge needed to accomplish their mission,” said Gudger, who is a graduate of UMBC.

“Solvern Innovations has strived to be a leader in its field. The company has a unique approach by teaming senior staff, who have up to 40 years of contracting and acquisition experience, with recent college graduates who are skilled and trained in areas such as business process management, earned value and project management. As a result, Solvern produces products and processes that are both innovative and practical. We are proud of Solvern for achieving the Center of Excellence designation and are pleased that the company has chosen to locate its new facility at our Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Posted by dshapiro

March 10, 2009

Darwin Birthday Bash

UMBC History Professor Sandra Herbert helped kick-off Charles Darwin's bicentennial celebration on his 200th birthday, Feb. 12, 2009, with a speech at the Library of Congress.

Herbert, one of the world's leading Darwin authorities, gave a lecture on her book “Charles Darwin, Geologist,” which explores how geology changed Darwin and how Darwin changed science.

An excerpt of Herbert's speech can be viewed below. The full lecture will be featured on CSPAN's Book TV in April. Learn more about Herbert's Darwin research here.

Posted by kavan

January 7, 2009

Incubator Welcomes New Companies

Start-Ups Look Forward to Using Incubator Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2009

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


The bwtech@UMBC Incubator welcomed three new companies recently. Noxilizer, PsychNostics and Kydes Pharmaceuticals moved into the Incubator during November. Each is optimistic about its future growth and is confident that the resources provided by the Incubator will help them achieve their goals.

Noxilizer, which was founded in 2004, has grown out of partnerships with Incubator companies Aurora Analytics and Athena Environmental Sciences. The company was using one of Aurora’s labs for its operations at bwtech@UMBC and recently leased its own office and lab space. The company is pioneering the development of a unique sterilization technology that will revolutionize two major sterilization markets - hospitals and biotherapeutics. For the multi-billion dollar hospital infection control market, Noxilizer is developing a sterilizer for sensitive high-tech instruments (such as endoscopes) which are increasingly used in minimally invasive surgical procedures. In the biotherapeutics market, Noxilizer’s room-temperature system has shown great potential to be an enabling technology for a wide range of products, including antibodies, proteins, drug-device combination products, nanoparticles and implants. Not only will Noxilizer technology expand company pipelines, it will also reduce the cost to manufacture many life-saving products.

David Opie, Noxilizer’s vice president of research and development, said the bwtech incubator has been the ideal facility for Noxilizer. “By collaborating with other incubator companies, including Aurora Analytics and Athena Environmental Sciences, Noxilizer has been able to grow very efficiently. Our team thrives in the collegial atmosphere at the Incubator, and the location near BWI airport is very convenient.”

PsychNostics, founded in 2004 and previously located at a lab in Columbia, is developing a blood test to diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder. Company CEO Alagu Thiruvengadam, a neuroscientist who was previously a visiting faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, proudly noted that it is the first test of its kind. He has one patent and another one is pending. His goal is to bring the test to market and is in the process of talking to potential investors. Although he lives in Columbia, Thiruvengadam chose to locate further north at bwtech@UMBC after he toured the facility and was impressed with the management team and the support services offered. He plans to take advantage of the networking opportunities and other advisory services.

Kydes Pharmaceuticals, founded in 2004 by Stephen Dordunoo and previously headquartered in his house, specializes in developing drugs in the areas of pain management, women’s health and oncology. Dordunoo is looking to establish partnerships with larger pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize drugs. His decision to move his company to the Incubator was motivated not only by his need for more space and lab facilities, but also the support services offered to the companies as well as the affordable rents compared to other area incubators. Dordunoo was also glad to find a small space with the opportunity to grow into additional space at the same location.

“The bwtech@UMBC Incubator has a strong track record of launching successful companies,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are delighted to welcome these growing companies and look forward to supporting them as they establish themselves in the marketplace.”

####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (_http://www.bwtechumbc.com_) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

December 15, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Companies Chosen As Future 50

Companies To Be Honored By Smart CEO Magazine

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

December 15, 2008

Two companies located at bwtech@UMBC, Next Breath, LLC, and Solvern Innovations, have been selected by Baltimore’s SmartCEO magazine for this year’s Future 50 companies. Companies are chosen based on their growth in staffing and revenue. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on January 8.

Next Breath, a graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program, is a contract services provider to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies that bring new inhalation and nasal products to market. It provides services ranging from pre-clinical formulation development to analytical testing in support of submissions made to regulatory agencies. The company, now in bwtech@UMBC’s accelerator program, was founded in 2001 and currently employs 21 people.

“Next Breath has achieved steady growth and success since its founding,” said Julie Suman, the company’s president. “We are honored to be recognized by SmartCEO for our achievements and our future potential.”

Solvern Innovations, located at bwtech@UMBC’s Research Park, was founded in 2003 by UMBC graduate Andre Gudger and two business partners. It provides innovative comprehensive research and development products and solutions, acquisition and business management services, and training and technology development to clients in both the public and private sectors. The federal government makes up the majority of Solvern’s client base. Currently, the company has 120 employees, most of them based at client sites around the country.

“Solvern Innovations has always strived to be an industry leader and provide our clients with innovative solutions through our great staff. We are proud of this recognition by SmartCEO and look forward to continuing our growth,” said founder and CEO Gudger.

“Our companies have contributed a great deal to our region’s economy and Next Breath and Solvern Innovations are perfect examples of that,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. “We congratulate them on this latest recognition and wish them continued growth and success.”

#####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

Posted by dshapiro

November 24, 2008

Blue Wave Semiconductors Receives SBIR Grant

Funding Will Allow Company to Develop Nanotechnology Materials

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

November 24, 2008

Blue Wave Semiconductors, Inc., a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The $478,000 grant, which begins this month, will help the company develop nanomaterials for commercial and national security applications.

Founded in 2000 by R.D. Vispute, a research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park, Blue Wave’s mission is to become a leader in semiconductor and optoelectronic devices and systems through innovative research and development techniques. Since June 2004, the company has been headquartered at bwtech@UMBC.

The grant from the NSF will be used to develop nanotechnology materials for bright ultraviolet (UV) lighting applications that are used in national security applications, medical devices, biological analysis tools, ultraviolet-based secure communications, space sensors, UV curing and UV disinfection/sterilization of water. These applications require UV sources with precise output wavelengths and high power.

“I am glad that the NSF has recognized the potential of our project,” said R.D. Vispute, CEO of Blue Wave Semiconductors. “This grant puts the company in the position to embark on an exciting phase in our research. We are confident that our work will provide great value to the semiconductor industry and the scientific community.”

“Blue Wave Semiconductors is performing innovative research with the potential for application in a variety of industries,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are pleased with the support the NSF is providing through this award.”

####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

Posted by dshapiro

October 29, 2008

ACTiVATE Graduate Receives Prestigious Award

Biotech Entrepreneur Honored at International Competition


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2008

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Mona Jhaveri, a 2005 graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program, was the North American honoree at the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, presented October 17 at the annual Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville, France. Jhaveri is the founder and CEO of Foligo Therapeutics, which develops molecular-based products to improve the detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.

Five awards were presented, each to a female entrepreneur from a different continent. The winners receive $20,000 (USD) and have the opportunity to receive free mentoring from consultants at Cartier, McKinsey and INSEAD (France-based business school) for one year. The awards ceremony is part of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, an annual conference for female entrepreneurs created in 2005 by French businesswoman Aude Zieseniss de Thuin. This year, 1200 women from around the world attended the three-day event, which featured lectures, panel discussions and brainstorming sessions.

“Foligo is the embodiment of my dream,” said Jhaveri. “I have always wanted to play a part in solving major problems affecting women's health. This award will allow me to continue working toward that goal.”

Said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and the ACTiVATE® program director: “We are very proud that Mona’s vision has been recognized with such a prestigious award. Her goals are representative of the dedication and passion that ACTiVATE® graduates have brought to the businesses they have founded.”

ACTiVATE® is a year-long program that utilizes technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions and trains women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies. In the first three years of the program, ACTiVATE® has trained 72 women. To date, 15 companies have been founded by ACTiVATE® graduates.


Posted by dshapiro

August 12, 2008

Plant Sensory Systems Receives DOE Grant

Funding Will Allow Company to Develop Plants with Increased Seed Oil for Biofuels

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Plant Sensory Systems, a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The nine-month, $100,000 grant began July 1. The grant will help the company test new genetic modifications on its laboratory plants to divert carbon into seed oil more efficiently.

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Kathleen Turano last July, Plant Sensory Systems is a biotechnology company that develops technologies to improve agricultural productivity. The company plans to license its technologies to seed and agricultural biotechnology companies.

The grant from the DOE will be used for research on genetic modifications that will enhance the ability of plants to convert carbon to oils, thereby making the seeds they produce more oil-rich. Once extracted from the seeds, the oils could be used in either cooking oils or biodiesel production, which is consistent with the DOE’s objective to create alternative fuel sources. The company is currently using Arabidopsis plants in its research activities; if successful, it will start testing its hypotheses on canola plants.

If the company experiences success in its research and shows that the project is feasible, it will be eligible to apply for a Phase II, two-year grant from the DOE.

“We are glad that the DOE is supporting our project to develop alternative fuel sources,” said Kathleen Turano. Added Frank Turano: “We are excited about this grant and the opportunity to continue our research that we hope will benefit not only the DOE, but society in general.”

“Plant Sensory Systems is engaged in groundbreaking work in the field of agricultural technology and alternative fuel sources,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are pleased that the DOE has recognized the potential of its research with this award.”


About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

August 6, 2008

UMBC/NASA Research on Beijing Olympics Smog in the New York Times

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC Science & Tech News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's long-standing partnership with NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center to monitor global air quality is in the media spotlight today, as the world's attention focuses on the start of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China and the effects of the city's air pollution on athletes and spectators.

Simon Carn, an assistant research scientist at UMBC's Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), was quoted in an Aug. 6 New York Times "Dot Earth" blog post. "Dot Earth" is a blog about the earth, the environment and sustainability by noted science writer Andrew Revkin.

Revkin's post looked at comparisons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels in the U.S., Europe and China. SO2 is the pollutant that contributes to acid rain, and has been banned for years in the U.S. and Europe.

Carn and colleagues in the SO2 Monitoring Group of UMBC JCET/Goddard Space Flight Center studied how satellite images and analysis of the SO2 levels in the air over the three continents showed how China's emphasis on economic growth and lack of expensive, Euro/U.S.-style "smokestack scrubbing" technology for coal-burning power plants and anti-SO2 regulations have left China with backwards-in-time air quality compared to the West.

UMBC/NASA also partner on the "Smog Blog," a daily look at U.S. and global air quality using NASA satellite data. The Smog Blog has also been keeping a close eye on Beijing's air.

Posted by crose

August 5, 2008

New UMBC Information Systems Project Management Certificate Offers IT Professionals "Recession-Proof" Credential

Computer World Ranks Project Management in Top 20 Hot, Secure Job Fields

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Starting this fall, UMBC will offer an undergraduate certificate in Project Management for Information Systems, a field Computer World magazine’s online publication recently listed as one of the top 20 “recession-proof” IT jobs in America.

“This is almost a complete turnaround from the economic downturn of 2000,” said Andrew Sears, professor and chair of information systems at UMBC. “Today, employers view skilled IT professionals as indispensable to their business, even during an economic slump.”

Project management is one of the fastest-growing professional disciplines in the U.S. Organizations in more than 160 countries rely on project management to create and update IT systems for business and government agencies due to rising costs and complexity for large-scale IT projects.

According to Computerworld magazine’s July 14, 2008 online publication, project management is ranked 11th among the top 20 “recession-proof” professions offering “very good employment prospects.” The employment outlook for project managers referenced in Computerworld comes from a July ranking published by McClean, Va.-based JobFox.com.

“The project management certificate reflects what is really happening in the IT jobs landscape,” said Sears. “It’s interesting that several other IT fields were also listed on the ‘recession-proof’ jobs list. These are exactly the types of relevant, stable career prospects for which we prepare UMBC students.”

The certificate, open to all majors, is designed primarily for students pursuing a B.S. in Information Systems and can be included within the current degree program. The 12-credit curriculum combines existing IS courses and allows students to gain critical knowledge needed to lead successful projects.

Degree-seeking students enrolled in the certificate will also obtain essential skills in key areas such as systems analysis and design, and project modeling, planning, scheduling and controlling. Students adding this certificate to existing skill sets provided by their majors will increase their level of focused study in Project Management and Information Systems and also enhance their employment prospects in this growing discipline.

For more information, please visit www.is.umbc.edu or call 410-455-3206.

Posted by crose

August 4, 2008

bwtech@UMBC's Newest Building Welcomes First Tenant

Engineering Firm Will Occupy Prime Space

CONTACT:
Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC Research Park Corporation is excited to announce the signing of the first tenant in its newest building, 5520 Research Park Drive. RMF Engineering, a Baltimore-based firm with expertise in mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, infrastructure and aquacultural engineering, will occupy 28,000 square feet on the building’s third floor. The company has several offices around the country; bwtech@UMBC will serve as its headquarters.

RMF is nationally recognized for the analysis, planning and design of complex buildings and campus utility generation and distribution systems, and has expertise in the evaluation of renewable energy strategies, alternative energy solutions and green initiatives. The company currently employs about 100 people at its Baltimore headquarters, and plans to expand its staff to 130 by the end of 2009, following its relocation. The vast majority of RMF employees have technical backgrounds, and UMBC has been a significant source of talent for the company in recent years. RMF has regularly hired UMBC students as interns, and has placed a number of graduates in permanent full-time positions. Following its move in January 2009, the company plans to expand its recruiting activities on campus.

RMF also has plans to collaborate with UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology by assisting in curriculum development, consulting with faculty and guest lecturing in engineering courses. In addition to its work with students and faculty, RMF intends to take advantage of the professional development courses offered by UMBC Training Centers at bwtech@UMBC.

“We are thrilled to welcome RMF to the Research Park,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, Research Park Corporation. “RMF has a history of collaboration with UMBC, and we are excited for that to expand as the company grows.”

“RMF is positioned for growth and expansion. We are delighted to be establishing our headquarters at bwtech@UMBC and believe the new location gives us access to the talent and facilities we need to take our company to the next level,” said Duane Pinnix, president, RMF Engineering.

The 107,000 square foot building was developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) (NYSE: OFC). This is the second building COPT developed at the park; the first was the U.S. Geological Survey building at 5522 Research Park Drive.

####

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

June 12, 2008

UMBC Receives Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Study Sickle Cell Disease

New Connections Initiative seeks to link the Foundation to a new cadre of scholars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- A grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will support University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Assistant Professor of Psychology Shawn Bediako in a study of how adults with sickle-cell disease manage workplace absenteeism and limited access to health care.

The research is intended to inform policymakers on the types of social support services needed by adults with sickle-cell disease (SCD), a debilitating genetic blood disorder that disproportionately affects minorities.

“Due to wide health care disparities among low-income minorities, adults with sickle-cell disease make up a particularly vulnerable and under-represented population,” said Bediako, who co-chairs the Maryland Statewide Steering Committee on Services for Adults with Sickle-Cell Disease.

Although Maryland has an estimated 3,400 SCD patients, the state’s only service provider for adults with SCD is the Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell Clinic for Adults. Moreover, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene does not provide support services for SCD patients once they become adults.

By exploring data from a national 10-year longitudinal study of SCD patients compiled by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bediako will examine the employment status of adults with SCD and the rates at which they can access and use health care and mental health services. Bediako will use the data to create a computer model projecting unemployment rates among SCD patients in Maryland during the next decade.

Social work intervention by certified genetic counselors and psychological counselors is critical to treating adults with SCD, Bediako said. Job counseling and support services are also important because many SCD patients lose their jobs due to illness-related absenteeism. Unemployment rates among SCD populations can reach 70 percent, he said.

African-Americans are the largest high-risk group for SCD in Maryland. The state has the fourth largest African-American population in the U.S.

Approximately 1-in-400 African-American babies is born with some form of sickle-cell disease and approximately 1-in-10 African-Americans is a carrier for abnormal hemoglobin that could lead to some form of sickle-cell disease in their children.
The $55,000 grant Bediako received to conduct the study was awarded through RWJF's New Connections Initiative, created three years ago to expand the organization's diversity of research by supporting underrepresented scholars and research topics. Twelve such grants are awarded annually.

New Connections is a competitive award for scholars who have historically been underrepresented in research activities. For more information about The New Connections Initiative, go to www.rwjf-newconnections.org

About UMBC:

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

About RWJF

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. The Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects that may trigger important breakthroughs in health and health care. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and health care. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

Posted by kavan

April 30, 2008

‘From Need to Know’ to ‘Need to Share’: UMBC to Lead Six Campus-Team to Turn 9-11 Commission Intel-Sharing Reforms into Technology System

$7.5-million, Five-Year DoD Grant Partners UMBC With Purdue, Michigan, Illinois, Others

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


A six-campus team of computer scientists led by UMBC has been awarded a $7.5 million, five-year grant from the Department of Defense to turn the 9-11 Commission’s recommendations for better sharing of classified data between U.S. intelligence agencies, military and homeland security officials into a workable, secure technology network.

The team is led by a principal investigator Tim Finin, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering (CSEE) at UMBC. It also includes UMBC professors Anupam Joshi, Yelena Yesha, Hillol Kargupta and Alan Sherman, who add expertise in advanced networks, data mining and information security.

The UMBC team is partnered with researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, University of Michigan, University of Texas at San Antonio, and University of Texas at Dallas. The grant was awarded as part of the Department of Defense’s Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, which takes a more long-term, interdisciplinary approach to solving scientific problems.

Many pieces of the 9-11 plot puzzle weren’t recognized until after the attacks due to inability or reluctance by intelligence agencies to share information. The 9-11 Commission Report recommended that the traditional U.S. intelligence culture of “need to know” be shifted to “need to share.”

The goal is to build software and network systems that allow the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies, homeland security and other organizations to share information dynamically and securely. The project hopes to help the U.S. better defend against future terror attacks, while protecting intelligence sources and methods as well has enforcing appropriate privacy policies.

According to Finin, the project will prove useful beyond the homeland security sphere. “There are plenty of real world problems that we can work on that are not classified, such as balancing patient privacy with making sure the right doctor in an emergency can quickly access their medical records,” Finin said. “Many of the principles of this research can apply to everyday scenarios where information is shared with the right people and protected from the wrong people, such as your family photo albums on Flickr or your credit history.”

“We want to create the science behind the idea of need to share,” said Joshi. “We’ll be weighing what should be shared with whom and asking if we can balance the utility of sharing something with the risk of its getting disclosed.”

“We want to find how to maximize our ability to share information while following pre-defined policies that protect privacy, ensure appropriate use and maximize accuracy,” said Finin. “It is a challenging task that will not be completely solved in the next few years, but we can make significant progress and advance the state of the art.”

More info online:

http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/

Posted by crose

April 21, 2008

UMBC Forum Looks ‘Beyond the Housing Crisis’

Marc Steiner to moderate panel featuring Federal Reserve economists and Md. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE – UMBC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will host a panel discussion April 28 exploring how the subprime mortgage meltdown has spilled into the financial sector and shaken everything from local neighborhoods to the U.S. and global economy.

Baltimore radio personality Marc Steiner will moderate a panel at UMBC’s campus featuring three Federal Reserve Bank financial experts and Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Thomas E. Perez. The event, “Beyond the Housing Crisis: Understanding the Subprime Mortgage Meltdown’s Increasing Impact on the U.S. Economy,” will be held in the Engineering Building, Lecture Hall 5, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by a reception. For directions and information visit: http://www.umbc.edu/pubpol/subprime

The forum is a rare public event featuring Federal Reserve financial experts, including Robert E. Carpenter, a professor of economics at UMBC and a Senior Financial Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; Dale T. Klein, a Senior Financial Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; and Breck Robinson, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and an associate professor at the University of Delaware in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy.

The panel will address core economic problems stemming from the housing crisis, including issues such as:

• How defaults in subprime mortgages brought Wall Street to its knees and continue to threaten the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
• How Maryland political leaders are addressing skyrocketing foreclosures across the state.
• How the current housing crisis compares with previous housing market downturns.
• How the lending crisis is putting a strain on local and state government finances.

According to Klein, an expert on financial trends in the housing and commercial real estate markets, defaults in adjustable-rate subprime loans are at 21.7 percent and rising as of December 2007, compared with 13 percent at the height of the last recession in 2002. Defaults in prime adjustable-rate loans are also up sharply to 6.09 percent in December 2007, compared with a 4 percent peak in 2002.

“By any indicator the current housing downturn far exceeds damage to housing markets experienced during the last recession,” Klein said.

In addition, problems in the housing market now are threatening to spill into the commercial real estate and construction market, which could have a crippling impact on the economy, Klein said. Such a downturn may be “the next shoe to drop in the subprime meltdown,” he said.

Carpenter, an expert on structured finance markets, will address the complex “securitization” process, which is one of the core problems that has staggered Wall Street. Securitization is the process by which mortgage lenders can pass the risk of defaults to investors by repackaging and selling loans as “mortgage-backed securities.” According to Carpenter, fallout from defaults in subprime mortgages have now spiraled into many other asset markets and created a global problem.

“The subprime meltdown is an ongoing economic problem that has spread throughout Wall Street and the global financial sector,” he said.

Homeowners and commercial real estate developers aren’t the only ones having trouble getting loans, said Robinson, who is an expert on state and local government finances.

“It’s getting just as hard for your local government to get a loan as it is for you,” Robinson said.

Robinson will discuss how the credit crunch caused by the subprime meltdown is putting increased pressure on state and municipal finances by damaging the credit-worthiness of municipal bond insurers. This damage results in rising borrowing costs for communities and declining interest rates, which makes it difficult for governments to finance deficit spending.

Perez will address the housing crisis in Maryland and legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Martin O’Malley intended to provide immediate aid to homeowners facing foreclosure and prevent future housing crises. The new measures will lengthen the foreclosure process in Maryland by 150 days, toughen criminal penalties for mortgage fraud and reform predatory lending practices.

The forum is sponsored by the UMBC Departments of Economics and Public Policy, the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis & Research (MIPAR) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Posted by kavan

Plant Sensory Systems Receives SBIR Grant

Funding Will Help Company Test Plant Modifications

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Plant Sensory Systems, a resident of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The $100,000 grant, which is a six-month grant (referred to as Phase I) that takes effect July 1, will help the company test new genetic modifications on its laboratory plants. The research is a crucial first step in creating plants that are more productive and environmentally-friendly.

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Kathleen Turano last July, Plant Sensory Systems is focused on creating plants that are more nitrogen use-efficient as well as drought-resistant. More efficient use of nitrogen, the main ingredient in fertilizer, means less run-off into rivers and streams. Increased drought resistance could reduce crop losses significantly in drought years. Eventually, the Turanos hope to license their technologies to seed and biotechnology companies.

This is the first grant the company has received and will enable the Turanos to test their hypotheses regarding a genetic modification to plants that will increase the production of GABA, an amino acid that has been shown to affect plants’ response to drought conditions as well as their nitrogen absorption. By increasing the amount of GABA, the plant could withstand drought better and require less nitrogen to grow. Currently, the Turanos’ experiments are being done on the Arabidopsis plant; if successful, they would start testing crop plants such as canola.

If the Turanos experience success in their research and show their plant engineering concepts are valid, they will be eligible to apply for a Phase II, two-year grant from NSF once their Phase I grant period is completed.

“We are confident our research will help us create better plants that will benefit the agricultural industry, consumers and the environment,” said Kathleen Turano. Added Frank Turano: “We are very pleased with this grant and the opportunity to take our research to the next level.”

“Plant Sensory Systems is engaged in groundbreaking work in the field of agricultural technology,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC. “We are pleased that NSF has recognized their potential with this award.”


####

bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

April 7, 2008

Traxion Therapeutics Receives TEDCO Grant

Funding Will Help Company Develop Pain Medications

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Traxion Therapeutics, a bwtech@UMBC Incubator company, has received a grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the state’s leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. The $74,018 award, from TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF), will help finance the young company’s development of new medications to treat neuropathic pain. Currently, the company is working with pain researchers at the University of Maryland Dental School to assess the viability of its lead product, TXT-0200.

Neuropathic pain afflicts more than 10 million Americans. Sales of prescription drugs for neuropathic pain are increasing at roughly 7 percent each year. Traxion has assembled a diversified portfolio of novel, proprietary small molecule products to address this market opportunity. These products use more selective, mechanism-based approaches which exploit recent scientific discoveries in order to develop more effective, better tolerated treatments for neuropathic pain. Traxion plans to take these products through to Phase II proof of concept studies and then enter worldwide corporate partnerships for later-stage development and commercialization.

Founded in 2005, Traxion is yet another company successfully launched through the bwtech-affiliated ACTiVATE program. Traxion CEO Kerrie Brady is a member of the program’s class of 2005. ACTiVATE, which trains women with significant business or technical experience to start companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions, has graduated 72 women and launched 15 companies since its inception three years ago.

“Traxion is a pioneer in developing more effective medications to treat neuropathic pain and improve the lives of the people it afflicts. We are grateful for the support of TEDCO and look forward to eventually bringing our products to market,” said Brady.

“Traxion is developing several new products for the treatment of intractable pain. We are pleased that TEDCO has recognized the potential of their work and is providing this stimulus for the growing health care industry in the Baltimore region,” said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC.

“TEDCO was created to help early stage companies with promising technologies grow and succeed. Traxion fits this purpose perfectly as there is a great deal of potential for the company to leverage research findings to develop groundbreaking medicines,” said Renée Winsky, president and executive director of TEDCO. “Already the company has made great progress and TEDCO is proud to support its ongoing work.”


bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent entity, was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State. TEDCO’s role is to be Maryland’s leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology. TEDCO connects emerging technology companies with federal laboratories, research universities, business incubators and specialized technical assistance. For the fourth consecutive year, TEDCO was recognized as the most active early/seed stage investor in the nation in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine.

Posted by dshapiro

April 2, 2008

“Dust Busting” the Moon

UMBC/NASA Goddard Scientist to Study Electrically Charged Lunar Dust
to Aid Robotic and Human Exploration


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


Timothy Stubbs, a scientist at UMBC and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, has won funding for a project that sounds like equal parts Ray Bradbury and early David Bowie: studying how electrically charged dust moves across the moon and how it could be a hazard to humans and robots exploring the lunar surface.

Stubbs was selected by NASA to join the science team for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, being built at Goddard and scheduled for launch later this year. The LRO is NASA's first step in plans to return humans to the moon by 2020. Stubbs is an assistant research scientist with UMBC’s Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center.

Most of the evidence for a lunar dust “atmosphere” dates back to the Apollo mission era. NASA scientists analyzing images returned by the Surveyor landers noticed a ‘horizon glow’ close to the surface after lunar sunset, believed to be caused by sunlight scattered by ultra-tiny (smaller than a few microns – a millionth of a meter) dust particles. While astronauts in orbit observed a high-altitude horizon glow (over 62 miles high) just as their spacecraft was passing out of the shadow of the Moon.

According to the “dust fountain” model developed by Stubbs and colleagues at NASA Goddard, the high-altitude dust grains inferred from the horizon glow are probably highly-charged and have been lofted upward by electric fields close to the lunar surface. Once above the lunar surface electric field, the dust grains then fall back toward the Moon under gravity, with their trajectories resembling the arc of a water fountain.

Like the rest of the lunar soil, the dust was created over billions of years by the countless impacts of tiny meteorites. It gets its electrical charge from the sun’s ultraviolet light, X-rays and the moon’s surrounding plasma (electrified gas of ions and electrons) environment. The dust’s electrostatic charge makes it move about the moon’s surface and also gives it a static-cling stickiness that can be hazardous to astronauts and their equipment.

The tiny dust fragments are sharp and jagged since there is no air or water on the moon to smooth them over time. The dust was a nuisance to the Apollo astronauts, sticking to their spacesuits and tracking inside their spacecraft.

But what was a minor annoyance for the relatively brief Apollo missions could be dangerous during the next-generation, long-duration missions being planned by NASA. Astronauts who regularly inhale the sharp dust fragments over time could develop lung diseases similar to those caused by asbestos or coal dust. The dust could also cause problems with sensitive equipment and instruments.

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be directly involved with NASA’s return to the moon, as well as very excited about all the great new science that will be achieved with this historic mission,” said Stubbs.

Stubbs’ project will use instruments on the LRO and other spacecraft to measure how much lunar dust there is and map the moon’s electric fields to better understand when and where the dust is most likely to be a problem for the manned missions planned for 2020 and beyond.

Posted by crose

March 24, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Company Receives GBC Award

Next Breath Honored for Innovation and Industry Leadership

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Next Breath, LLC, a bwtech@UMBC Accelerator company, received the Entrepreneurship Award at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 3rd annual Bioscience Awards presentation on Tuesday, March 18 at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Julie Suman, the company’s co-founder and president, accepted the award at the presentation, which was attended by approximately 150 leaders from the Baltimore region's bioscience industry and research community.

Next Breath, a graduate of bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program, is a contract services provider to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies that bring new inhalation and nasal products to market. It provides services ranging from pre-clinical formulation development to analytical testing, in support of submissions made to regulatory agencies. To date, 55 pharmaceutical companies worldwide have sought Next Breath’s services to support their drug development efforts. The company currently employs 17 people.

Suman, a registered pharmacist who holds a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, founded Next Breath in 2001 with partner and vice president Shailaja Somaraju. Suman was previously a pharmacist consultant with PAREXEL’s clinical pharmacology research unit, a research assistant at the University of Maryland’s Department of Pharmaceutical Science and an intern at Magellan Laboratories. Somaraju also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and was previously a project manager at the University Pharmaceuticals of Maryland.

Winners of the 2008 Greater Baltimore Region Bioscience Awards were selected by a panel of judges from among 22 nominees submitted by businesses, bioscience advocates, higher education institutions and government agencies. The criteria for the Entrepreneurship Award included: goals reached through perseverance; a company orientation toward greater risk taking behavior; high utilization of a new system, products or best practices in achieving results; evidence of entrepreneurial leadership to achieve company goals; and commitment to the greater Baltimore region and/or business community.

“Next Breath has always strived to be an innovator and an industry leader. It has been exciting to watch the company grow and achieve success. I am thrilled to see the company recognized by the local bioscience community for its achievements,” said Suman.

“We’ve had an exemplary track record of success over the years with our bioscience companies. It’s an honor for our companies to be nominated, and certainly for Next Breath to win the entrepreneurship award against a very competitive field,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

Other bwtech@UMBC nominees for the Bioscience Awards were Kris Appel, President & CEO of Encore Path, Inc. (Best New Product or Progress Award), Paul Silber, Former President/CEO & Founder of In Vitro Technologies, Inc. (President’s Award) and Stephen Auvil and the bwtech-affiliated ACTiVATE program (President’s Award).


####

bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

March 3, 2008

ACTiVATE Graduates Recognized for Business Plans

Three Graduates Are Among Nine Finalists in Rockville Business Plan Competition

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu


Three recent ACTiVATE graduates, Kym Wong (Class of 2007), Loleta Robinson and Colleen Nye (Class of 2006), have been selected as finalists in the StartRight! Business Plan Competition. The competition, run by Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), is in its fifth year and recognizes top business plans from women entrepreneurs. Wong’s 3DeLux Images and Robinson and Nye’s Syan Biosciences are among nine businesses in the finals. Both businesses were launched upon their founders’ completion of the ACTiVATE, a UMBC program that trains mid-career women to start their own businesses based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions.

This is the first business plan competition Wong has entered. Her business, which focuses on using a scanning system developed at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab to create three-dimensional images for online retailers, is in the preliminary stages of development. If feasibility studies prove successful, she will move ahead with the licensing process. Wong has twenty years of experience in business, including e-commerce, and after spending much of her career building new businesses for others, she decided it was her turn. “When I heard about the ACTiVATE program, it seemed like a very good fit,” she says. After her successful presentation of her business plan at the conclusion of the program, the program’s faculty encouraged her to enter StartRight!.

Nye and Robinson’s Syan Biosciences is working with a technology developed at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute to create a diagnostic platform that uses biomarkers to diagnose diseases such as cancer and heart disease. They are hoping to eventually license their technology to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. They also plan to make their own products based on the platform. Nye, a chemical engineer with an M.B.A. degree, and Robinson, a physician who also holds an M.B.A., entered StartRight! last year with a business plan based on a different technology that they were ultimately unable to license. Entering this year’s competition allowed them to receive advice on their new business model. “The competition is a great opportunity to get feedback and to network,” says Nye. “We knew the competition would be a good forum to get feedback on our new plan.”

According to Lynne Benzion, the associate director of REDI and administrator of StartRight!, 33 entries were submitted for this year’s competition. She notes that the 4 criteria for judging the business plans are overall financial viability, the company’s management plan, the quality of an entrant’s market research and its marketing plan, and the degree of innovation and differentiation in the business model. To be eligible to enter, businesses must be at least 51% women-owned, operating for two years or less and located in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC.

Entrants compete for cash and prizes: the first place winner earns $10,000, courtesy of sponsor Eagle Bank. The second place award is $5,000, courtesy of REDI, and the third place award is $2,500, courtesy of sponsor Foster, Soltoff & Love, a Bethesda-based financial planning and employee benefits consulting firm. The top three entrants also receive varying lengths of services from virtual office solutions provider Intelligent Office. Winners will be announced April 1 at the 2008 Women in Business conference at the Marriott North Bethesda Conference Center.

Benzion notes the established partnership between REDI and the ACTiVATE program. In return for REDI’s publicizing of ACTiVATE in the Rockville area and referring candidates to the program, ACTiVATE encourages its graduates to enter the StartRight! competition. In addition to the opportunity to win seed money for their business, the competition deadline gives graduates a target by which to complete their business plans. “Working with ACTiVATE extends our reach up to Baltimore and gives us good competitors. Anytime we can connect to another area [of Maryland], it makes the competition better.”

“We place an intense focus on helping our participants design sustainable businesses and solid business plans,” says Julie Lenzer Kirk, ACTiVATE’s lead instructor. “ACTiVATE graduates have created a force of technology entrepreneurs who have raised the bar for the StartRight! competition. We're hoping one day that ACTiVATE alumnae will take all three top spots.”


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UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges

Posted by dshapiro

February 21, 2008

Gates Cambridge Scholarship to Send UMBC Physics Major on Path of Newton, Hawking

Philip Graff is UMBC’s Second Consecutive Winner of Prestigious Full Scholarship to Cambridge


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


UMBC senior physics major Philip Graff will follow the path of science greats Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking to Cambridge University as the second UMBC student in the past two years to win the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, one of the world’s most selective academic awards.

Graff, who will pursue a Ph.D. in physics, was one of just 45 U.S. winners chosen from more than 600 applicants and 119 finalists. Graff is UMBC’s second consecutive Gates Cambridge Scholar, following alumnus Ian Ralby ‘02, who won in 2007. Other U.S. winners for 2008 included students from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton and other prestigious universities.

The Gates Cambridge was created in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donated $210 million to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust. The award fully funds one to four years of graduate study in any field at Cambridge University.

The Gates Scholarship is too young to have become a household name like the Rhodes Scholars Program (established in 1902) or the Marshall Scholarships (established in 1954). But like the Marshall and Rhodes, the Gates only accepts the cream of the academic crop. The Gates Scholarship is expected to grow into one of the world’s most recognizable programs over time thanks to the high quality of its winners and the program’s unique emphasis on public service and research career paths.

Graff, a native of Manalapan, NJ, came to UMBC on a full scholarship through the University Fellowship program and is a member of the Honors College. Graff, who maintains a 4.0 G.P.A., plans to attend Cambridge but was also accepted at other prestigious universities including MIT and the University of Illinois. After graduation and post-doctoral study, Graff plans a career as a university professor and researcher.

For Graff, the Cambridge experience will be an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest physicists (such as Isaac Newton) and hopefully to meet a personal hero, Stephen Hawking of “A Brief History of Time” fame.

“It’s said that Cambridge has been home to more Nobel Prize winners than all of France, so it’s an amazing honor to study there.” Graff said. “I consider Hawking one of the great minds in the field, so I really hope to meet him.”

An astrophysicist, Graff studies what gravitational waves (caused by the interactions of binary stars and other massive bodies) can tell us about the large scale structure and history of the universe. He created a computer model of quasar radiation as an undergraduate at UMBC and worked with one of the world’s most sensitive scientific instruments, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), during a National Science Foundation fellowship at Caltech. His quasar work is the topic of a research paper currently under refereeing with the Astrophysical Journal.

Graff has also been highly involved with campus life at UMBC, serving as president of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, Director of Student Advocacy with the Student Government Association and a teaching assistant. In the little spare time he has, he enjoys playing video games, watching movies and playing ultimate Frisbee.

Science runs in the family for Graff; his older brother is an aerospace engineer. “My parents always pushed us, but beyond a certain point it becomes self-motivated,” said Graff. “We had a pretty normal childhood; I played little league and was on the bowling team and my brother was active in Boy Scouts. But we did do pretty well in science fairs,” Graff said.

Graff hasn’t had much time to reflect on his achievements to date, but does recall with amusement a favorite family report card story. “My first grade math teacher said I didn’t understand mathematical concepts but was just memorizing,” he said. “So I guess I showed her.”

About the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program:

In October 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a donation to the University of Cambridge of $210 million to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust.
The gift funded in perpetuity an international scholarship program to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. The Trustees are required to award scholarships on the basis of a person's intellectual ability, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others.

Following interviews held in Annapolis, Maryland, on 8 and 9 February 2008, the Gates Cambridge Trust announced that scholarships for study at the University of Cambridge were awarded to 45 American students. Over 600 students from the United States applied for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year and 119 of them were interviewed at St John’s College and the United States Naval Academy.

For more information about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program, please visit www.gatesscholar.org.

Posted by crose

February 14, 2008

Plant Sensory Systems Joins bwtech@UMBC

Company Developing Innovative Agricultural Technologies

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Plant Sensory Systems, an agricultural biotechnology company, has chosen the technology incubator at bwtech@UMBC as its headquarters. The company’s owners, Kathleen and Frank Turano, felt the services and support offered by bwtech@UMBC were an ideal fit for their young company’s needs.

The Turanos founded Plant Sensory Systems in July and moved to the incubator at the end of December. Currently, the company is working on two projects: making plants that use nitrogen more efficiently and creating plants that can produce more sugar or plant oils to aid in the production of biofuels. “If we can make plants that use nitrogen more efficiently, then farmers won’t have to use as much fertilizer. Not only will this save costs, but there will be less nitrogen run-off into streams and rivers,” explained Frank Turano.

At the moment, their focus is on genetic research using a laboratory model plant. Their long-term goal is to license their technologies and/or partner with seed or agricultural biotechnology companies to apply the technologies they develop to a variety of crops. They are currently talking to seed companies to establish relationships.

The Turanos’ interest in biological research and sensory systems is an outgrowth of their professional experience: Frank is an associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at George Washington University (he has resigned, effective in May 2008) and Kathleen was formerly a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After interviewing at several incubators, they chose bwtech@UMBC as the place to launch their business. “They have a solid track record of launching companies and offer a host of business support services to help companies get off the ground,” said Kathleen Turano.
Both Turanos plan to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain advice and share experiences with the CEOs of the other incubator companies at the variety of networking events offered at bwtech@UMBC.

“Plant Sensory Systems represents exactly the type of early-stage company that we hope to attract to our incubator program”, said David Fink, bwtech@UMBC’s director of entrepreneurial services. “The Turanos bring strong scientific credentials from local research institutions. Their projects are very innovative and the company has great potential to benefit the Maryland economy.”

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.


Posted by dshapiro

February 6, 2008

Amethyst Technologies Joins bwtech@UMBC

Growing Company Seeks to Carve Out Market Niche

Deborah Shapiro
Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Amethyst Technologies, a growing company specializing in services for life science companies and research organizations, has set up shop at bwtech@UMBC’s technology incubator. The company’s owner, Kimberly Brown, hopes to capitalize on the location and establish business relationships with the life science companies located at the incubator.

Amethyst, originally founded as Cell Systems, Inc., in 1992, provides overall management, implementation, and execution of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) compliance systems. These services include equipment calibration and validation, quality management software, process validation, qualification and design services for clean rooms and high purity utility systems, and environmental monitoring system management. Its clients include hospitals, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, biological repositories, and federal government labs and research institutions. The Incubator and Accelerator at bwtech@UMBC is the headquarters for numerous early-stage life science companies, so the location presents multiple business opportunities for Amethyst.

Setting up operations at bwtech@UMBC was a natural move for the company. Brown, who has owned Amethyst for about a year, is a recent graduate of UMBC’s ACTiVATE program, which teaches mid-career women with significant business or technical experience how to start companies using technologies developed at universities and other research institutions.

A chemical engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, Brown was unique among most ACTiVATE participants in that she already owned a company at the time she began the program. However, she notes that the knowledge of marketing, finance and intellectual property laws that she gained from ACTiVATE has been essential to her success as an entrepreneur: “ACTiVATE provided the knowledge and awareness to have a successful business. You can have a good product, but you also need to know how to run a company. Now I know how to protect my business.”

In addition to the business opportunities for Amethyst at bwtech@UMBC, Brown and her company will benefit from the support and networking that the incubator provides. In addition to monthly networking events for CEOs and senior managers, the incubator offers an array of business support services that include market analysis and strategic planning guidance and assistance with grant funding applications. Companies also have direct access to UMBC’s technology transfer office and an abundant supply of students, graduates and faculty that are ready to serve early-stage companies.

Brown’s long-term goals for her company are “to become an industry leader in both the private and public sector” as well as develop a product line focused on patient safety and environmental responsibility and provide “green” services to create environmentally friendly clean rooms and labs.


####

bwtech@UMBC (http://www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by dshapiro

January 31, 2008

UMBC’s Tom Schaller on WJZ Channel 13 Super Tuesday

Tom.jpg UMBC’s resident expert on presidential elections, Tom Schaller, will appear on WJZ Channel 13 news to comment on “Super Tuesday’s” Feb. 5 primary elections.

Schaller will appear on all major news updates from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. to provide expert political commentary on the results of the night’s presidential primary elections. An unprecedented 24 states hold primaries or caucuses on this date with 52 percent of all pledged Democratic Party delegates and 41 percent of Republican Party delegates at stake.

"Never before in American electoral history have we had a primary with so many delegates at stake on the same day and with both party's nominees still uncertain," said Schaller.

Thomas F. Schaller is associate professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of “Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats can win without the South.” The Jan. 20 New York Times Sunday Magazine cited "Whistling Past Dixie" and recognized Schaller as the “political scientist and liberal blogger (who) won over a lot of his fellow progressives with an entire book devoted to the premise that Democrats should ignore the South and instead focus their finite resources … on the West and Southwest.”

Schaller is a weekly national political columnist for The Baltimore Sun, and has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, The New York Sun, The Boston Globe, The Washington Examiner and Salon, and has appeared on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, MSNBC's Hardball, National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation and Morning Edition, PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

Posted by kavan

January 24, 2008

Dr. Bill Thomas’ Transformative ‘Green House’ Featured on the Newshour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Dr. Bill Thomas, outspoken nursing home reformer and professor of aging at the Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, was featured on the Newshour on PBS Jan. 23 in a special report on his innovative Green House project to transform nursing home care.

Click here to watch on streaming video.

Thomas’ Green House project is a radically new approach to long term care where nursing homes are torn down and replaced with small, home-like environments where people can live a full and interactive life. Launched as a pilot project in 2003, there are now 35 Green Houses up and running on 13 campuses across the country. In partnership with a nonprofit, NCB Capital Impact, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is spending nearly $10 million to replicate the model nationwide.

Thomas, an internationally-recognized authority on eldercare, was interviewed by Newshour health correspondent Susan Dentzer while visiting one of his ‘Green Houses’ in Lincoln, Neb. The twelve-minute story highlights innovative characteristics of the Green House concept, which is intended to de-institutionalize long-term care by eliminating large nursing facilities and creating close-knit communities of patients and caregivers.

The Green House model is designed to be a home for nine to 12 elders. It blends architecturally with neighboring homes, includes vibrant outdoor space, and utilizes aesthetically appealing interior features. Each elder has a private room or unit with a private bathroom. Elders' rooms receive high levels of sunlight and are situated around an open kitchen and dining area. There are no nursing stations

“We've always insisted in the Green House that there be one big table, because that makes a meal into a community experience, where food and companionship come together,” Dr. Thomas told the Newshour.

The Green House model has been endorsed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In June 2007, researchers at the University of Minnesota released a longitudinal study of the first group of Green Houses, built in Tupelo, Miss. It showed residents received equal or better quality of care than in traditional nursing homes and they reported a higher quality of life. The average charge for residents at Green Houses is comparable to the cost of traditional nursing homes.

Click here to learn more about the Green House Replication Initiative.

About Dr. Thomas

William H. Thomas, M.D. is a geriatrician and a visionary with an international reputation as one of the leading authorities on the future of aging and longevity. He is founder of the Eden Alternative, a global nonprofit organization, and a professor at the Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where is teaching his innovative concepts on reforming long term care. He lives in Ithaca, NY, with his wife, Judith Meyers-Thomas, and their five children.

Dr. Thomas has published a half a dozen books, the most recent of which is What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World. The book, which American Medical Writers Association named it the “Book of the Year” in 2005, explores the virtues concealed within the necessity of aging.

In conjunction with his books and research projects and advocacy, Dr. Thomas has been interviewed by a broad range of television, radio and print media including CNN, 48 Hours, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Fast Company ,The New York Times, Washington Post and Newsweek Magazine Time Magazine, The CBS Early Show, and was chosen by US News World Report Magazine as one of "America's best leaders."

About the Erickson School

The Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was created with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder Erickson Retirement Communities, and matching state funds. The School integrates aging, management, and policy in each of its programs, with a strong emphasis on preparing leaders for the 21st century. The School offers credit and non-credit educational programs at the undergraduate, masters, and executive levels.

Posted by kavan

January 23, 2008

Kafui Dzirasa ’01 in Ebony Magazine

Ebony magazine featured Kafui Dzirasa ’01, Chemical Engineering, in its “30 on the Rise” collection of 2008 Young Leaders of the Future.


Ebony magazine featured Kafui Dzirasa ’01, Chemical Engineering, in its “30 on the Rise” collection of 2008 Young Leaders of the Future.

Dzirasa earned his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Duke, where he is a fourth-year medical student and postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Neurobiology at the Duke Medical Center. The magazine cited several of his UMBC achievements, including his studies as a Meyerhoff Scholar and a conference championship in the long jump. Ebony also noted that he received Duke’s Somjen Award for Outstanding Dissertation Thesis.

The “30 on the Rise” section, in the February 2008 issue, is available to registered Ebony subscribers at www.ebonyjet.com/ebony/.

Posted by elewis

January 16, 2008

UMBC’s ACTiVATE Program Receives Prestigious Award

Recognition Affirms Program’s Status as a Leading Innovator in Educating Entrepreneurs


CONTACT: Deborah Shapiro, Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

ACTiVATE, a program of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) that trains mid-career women to start and manage technology ventures, was honored by a leading national entrepreneurship organization last Saturday. The program received the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s (USASBE) award for Best Specialty Entrepreneurship Education Program. Presented at the organization’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, the award was based on each program’s innovativeness, uniqueness, quality, effectiveness, comprehensiveness, sustainability and transferability.

Stephen Auvil, director of UMBC’s Office of Technology Development, Vivian Armor, director of UMBC’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, and Julie Kirk, ACTiVATE lead instructor, represented ACTiVATE at the conference.

“The winner is the one program that demonstrates a fresh approach to adding new meaning to entrepreneurial education,” said judging panel member Stan Mandel, an executive professor at the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University and director of the school’s Angell Center for Entrepreneurship. “This was clearly demonstrated by UMBC in the ACTiVATE program—a great concept, implemented well, with outstanding participants.”

“ACTiVATE has become a model of innovation for teaching and mentoring entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled to be recognized by a leading organization in the field of entrepreneurship,” said Ms. Armor.

ACTiVATE is a year-long program that utilizes technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions and trains women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies. In the first three years of the program, ACTiVATE has trained 72 women. To date, 15 companies have been founded by ACTiVATE graduates.

Said David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and the ACTiVATE program director: “We felt there was a need for a new way to teach entrepreneurship and increase the commercialization of technologies. In just three years, ACTiVATE has already had a tremendous impact on the local business community.”

An acronym for Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures Through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs, ACTiVATE is a joint program among Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, Office of Technology Development and the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT). Sponsors include the National Science Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, Constellation Energy, Wachovia Bank, Lion Brothers and Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT).

“The ACTiVATE program is just one part of UMBC’s commitment to entrepreneurship, technology transfer and workforce development,” noted Mr. Auvil, who is also one of the program’s architects. “It encourages the development of new technology companies and supports women who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial career.”

Classes are held on Monday evenings, from January through December, and one Saturday per month at the bwtech@UMBC Incubator near UMBC’s main campus in Catonsville. Six of the companies founded by ACTiVATE graduates have entered bwtech@UMBC’s incubator program.

About UMBC:

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by crose

January 14, 2008

UMBC Peaceworker Alumni Remain Engaged in Baltimore Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- While nearly 85 percent of Shriver Peaceworker Fellows at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) originally come from outside the Baltimore region, 60 percent have settled and remain engaged in service careers in local communities.

"With 100 percent of Peaceworker alumni continuing in public service careers and more than half staying in our region to engage in community service careers, the Shriver Peaceworker Program is proving to be a 'creative-class' infusion for the City," said Program Director Joby Taylor '05, Ph.D. language, literacy and culture.

The Peaceworker program at UMBC's Shriver Center was founded in 1994 by Sargent Shriver, who will be honored in an upcoming PBS documentary to be aired nationally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21, 2008. The film, American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver, celebrates a man who is little known among today's generation, but has had an indelible impact on our society.

Few people have had a greater impact on public service in America than Shriver, who founded and directed the Peace Corps under President John F. Kennedy. Both men envisioned a powerful impact of RPCVs on American society, and as a native Marylander, Shriver realized this vision concretely in the establishment of the Peaceworker program at UMBC, with an urban problem-solving focus on the Baltimore region, Taylor said.

One hundred returning Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) have participated in UMBC's Peaceworker program after completing their missions abroad. The program combines graduate studies at area universities with service jobs in local communities.

"Shriver's genius in the Peace Corps and Peaceworker programs was his ability to marshal a sense of 'practical idealism,' which is optimism about making a difference matched with realism about the hard work this involves," Taylor said.

Peaceworker alumni working in the Baltimore region include:

Erin Hood '07
Graduate Degree: UMBC Master's Degree in Public Policy focused on Human Services, with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management.
Peace Corps Volunteer: Jamaica.
Peaceworker Fellowship: UMBC Coordinator for Service and Volunteerism to foster student's sense of social responsibility through community service.
Where she is now: Director of Development, Community Mediation Program, Baltimore City

Brian Greenan '05
Graduate Degree: UMBC Master's Degree in Intercultural Communications focused on Spanish language study and Latin American history and politics
Peace Corps Volunteer: Niger
Peaceworker Fellowship: Centro de la Communidad, serving Baltimore's growing Latino community. As a mayoral fellow and then with the Downtown Partnership, he provided direct outreach to homeless persons in the downtown area for which he was given a commendation by the Baltimore City Council.
Where he is now: Organizer with Neighborhood Housing Services

Sarah Morris-Compton '07
Graduate degree: UMBC Master's Degree in Public Policy focused on Human Services Policy
Peace Corps Volunteer: Turkmenistan and Kenya.
Peaceworker Fellowship: Coordinator of a service-learning project that linked college Web design classes to non-profit organizations at the University of Baltimore's School of Information Arts and Technologies
Where she is now: Program Associate for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore working on large-scale state child welfare and juvenile justice system reform.

Posted by kavan

January 3, 2008

bwtech@UMBC Expands Staff

New Additions to Marketing and Business Development Team


CONTACT: Deborah Shapiro, Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park is pleased to announce the expansion of its marketing and business development team with the addition of Deborah Shapiro, Marketing Manager, and Alex Euler, Associate Director of Business Development.

Shapiro will provide marketing support and strategy development to UMBC’s entrepreneurial initiatives, including bwtech@UMBC, the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, the ACTiVATE program, and UMBC’s technology commercialization enterprise. She has a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Maryland.

Shapiro was previously the Public Relations Manager for Thomson Prometric, and has successfully developed marketing and promotional strategies with both online and traditional media.

Euler will assist tenant companies with their marketing and business strategy needs, and will recruit tenants for bwtech@UMBC's properties. He will also facilitate interactions between the university and bwtech@UMBC businesses and work to increase overall awareness of bwtech@UMBC within the broader business community.

Euler has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UMBC and is working on an M.S. in Biotechnology Management at the University of Maryland. He was previously the Communications Manager for MdBio/TCM, a statewide trade association for high-technology and life science companies, and has extensive experience working with regional economic development groups and administering programs designed to support early-stage biotech companies.

About bwtech@UMBC:

bwtech@UMBC (www.bwtechumbc.com) is a 71-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It comprises the technology business Incubator and Accelerator, home to over 30 early-stage high-tech and life science companies, and the Research and Technology Park, with a total development capacity of 350,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. bwtech@UMBC offers collaboration with university faculty and students, and enjoys a strategic and convenient location, close to downtown Baltimore, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Washington, D.C. bwtech’s annual economic impact on the state is estimated to be over $300 million.

Posted by crose

December 20, 2007

Elliot Hirshman Appointed Provost of UMBC

Chief Research Officer at George Washington University and Alumnus of Yale, UCLA
to Lead UMBC’s Academic Program


CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Photo Caption: Elliot Hirshman is UMBC's new provost. (Click on photo to download high-resolution image).

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has appointed Elliot Hirshman as its next provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Hirshman joins UMBC after serving as chief research officer at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he was previously chair of the Department of Psychology.

Hirshman, who earned his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at UCLA and his undergraduate degree summa cum laude in economics and mathematics from Yale, will lead UMBC’s academic program, including instruction, research and academic support services. His appointment, effective July 1, 2008, concludes a national search that began in August with the assistance of Greenwood and Associates, a leading executive search firm.

Before joining the George Washington faculty in 2002, Hirshman chaired the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver. He began his academic career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989, rising to the rank of full professor while at that institution.

“My colleagues and I are delighted to welcome Dr. Hirshman to the UMBC community,” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski. “We are all very impressed by his reputation as a fine scholar, teacher and leader in both public and private universities. He is an important addition to the University and to Maryland.”

While at Chapel Hill, Hirshman was recognized by the late Michael Hooker, then chancellor there (and former UMBC president), who nominated him for the American Council on Education Fellows Program. Through that program, he participated as a fellow in the Provost’s Office at Arizona State University and, subsequently, served as special assistant to the provost at Chapel Hill.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as UMBC’s next provost,” said Hirshman. “UMBC’s reputation as a national leader in educational programs, diversity initiatives, research innovation and public-private partnerships makes the provost’s position an especially exciting opportunity. I look forward to working with President Hrabowski, the University’s academic and administrative leadership teams and UMBC’s exceptional faculty, students, staff, alumni and external partners to further enhance the University’s highly regarded educational, research and service programs.”

Hirshman is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and has served as the associate editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition(2000-2006) and Psychonomic Bulletin & Review(1998-2000). He will hold the rank of full professor in the UMBC Department of Psychology.

UMBC’s current provost, Arthur Johnson, will serve until June 30, 2008, before returning to the faculty after 10 years as provost. Johnson and Hirshman will collaborate during the coming semester to ensure a smooth transition.

Posted by crose

December 18, 2007

Alex. Brown Center Receives Major Gift

Barnhill Gift Will Help Aspiring Entrepreneurs

CONTACT: Debbie Shapiro, Marketing Manager
410-455-1509
dshapiro@umbc.edu

Mike Lurie, Media Relations Director
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE, MD – The Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has received a pledge of $250,000 from one of the center’s most active leaders, Gregory Barnhill. Mr. Barnhill, a partner with Brown Advisory Securities, has served as chair of the center’s external advisory board for more than two years and has been a member of its board for four years.

This gift from Mr. Barnhill, his wife Lisa and son Scott, advances the Alex. Brown Center nearly to the halfway point of its $10-million fundraising goal, which includes a $2-million matching grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Funds raised will enable the innovative center to enhance its programs and educational offerings for students and faculty.

Established in 2000 with a grant from the Alex. Brown Foundation, the center seeks to provide students and faculty with opportunities to learn about and experience entrepreneurship. Its goal is to infuse entrepreneurial thinking throughout the campus and across all disciplines. Programs include academic courses, skill-building workshops, internships with local business leaders, and an annual business plan competition. Current course offerings include Entrepreneurship for IT and Careers in Music. Workshops are held each summer for university faculty in a variety of disciplines; this summer’s offering will be geared to faculty in the humanities.

While a strong focus on entrepreneurship is unusual for a university without a business school, the Alex. Brown Center strongly reflects UMBC’s entrepreneurial spirit and experience in economic development. Since its founding, the center has helped numerous students and faculty transform their ideas and expertise into viable business opportunities. One such business is Legendary Studios, a game and simulation development company founded by two students that now resides at UMBC’s technology business incubator.

“Mr. Barnhill’s generosity will allow us to enhance our programming and continue to support students interested in launching their own business ventures,” said Vivian Armor, director of the Alex. Brown Center. “Mr. Barnhill has been a valued supporter of the Alex. Brown Center for many years and we are grateful for his commitment to the center’s mission.”

"Lisa and I have been around—and been inspired by—entrepreneurs our whole lives,” said Mr. Barnhill. “We believe strongly in the importance of exposing young people to entrepreneurship, and know that this gift to UMBC and the Alex. Brown Center will make a big impact on developing future leaders."

UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski added, "It takes entrepreneurial leadership to inspire new entrepreneurs. We are honored to receive this gift and very excited about the opportunities it creates for our students."

Mr. Barnhill has a long history of civic involvement in the Baltimore area. He has donated his time and leadership skills to numerous organizations, including the Maryland Historical Society, Greater Baltimore Medical Center Foundation, Harbor Hospital, St. Paul School Board of Trustees, and Ocean Race Chesapeake.

For more information about the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, please contact Vivian Armor at armor@umbc.edu, or via phone at (410) 455-5740.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by crose

December 12, 2007

UMBC Among 12 Universities Chosen by HHMI to Launch Nationwide Science Education Initiative

Professors Sandoz, Caruso to Give Freshmen Early Genomics Research Experience


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has chosen UMBC as part of a collaborative network of 12 colleges and universities to teach a new, hands-on genomics course aimed at involving more U.S. first-year college students in authentic research.

The course is the first major initiative from HHMI's Science Education Alliance (SEA), which seeks to enhance science education and inspire new generations of scientists. The year-long research course will be part of the SEA’s Phage Genomics Research Initiative. HHMI received 44 applications and selected 12 institutions for the Initiative.

UMBC biological sciences professors Jim Sandoz and Steve Caruso will work with UMBC’s Honors College to develop a fall 2008 course for freshmen science and non-science majors. Students in the class will collect soil samples on campus and use sophisticated lab and computer-based genomics and gene sequencing techniques to identify new bacteriophages. Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are common forms of viruses which infect bacteria and could offer insight into some types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

“SEA takes the best ideas from the individual teaching experiments that HHMI has supported over the past 20 years and makes them broadly accessible to scientists and educators around the country,” said Michael Summers, professor of biochemistry and HHMI Investigator at UMBC. “UMBC has been at the forefront of science education, especially in enhancing retention rates among minority students, so it’s both exciting and appropriate that UMBC is part of these new efforts,” said Summers, who is the only HHMI Investigator at a Maryland public university. “We have a lot to learn from our colleagues in the SEA consortium, but we also have much to offer.”

SEA represents a new, more active involvement by HHMI in catalyzing change in science education. HHMI is committing $4 million over the program’s first four years and staffing SEA with its own employees. SEA will provide up to three years of support from HHMI to assist with faculty training, computing and DNA sequencing services for the course.

“The initial institutions we have selected represent a broad sampling of high quality higher education,” said Peter J. Bruns, vice president for grants and special programs at HHMI. “Although diverse in size and location, all participating schools share a desire to bring authentic discovery to freshman instruction. I am impressed by their commitment to the project and eagerly wait to see what a working alliance of such a diverse, yet commonly committed community, will yield.”

The other universities chosen for the 2008-2009 program are: Carnegie Mellon University, The College of William & Mary, Hope College, James Madison University, Oregon State University, Spelman College, the University of California, San Diego, the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the University of Mary Washington and Washington University in St. Louis.

Based at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus in Northern Virginia, SEA aims to build a collaborative network of U.S. scientists and educators to develop and distribute new instructional materials and methods while encouraging students to produce real research results. HHMI built SEA based on over two decades of supporting science education and research.

For more information, please visit http://www.hhmi.org/grants/sea/

Posted by crose

December 6, 2007

UMBC’s ‘ACTiVATE’ Program Looking to Train Women Entrepreneurs

National Award-Winning Program Teaches Female Professionals to Take Maryland Universities’ Technologies to Market


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE, MD – ACTiVATE, UMBC's award-winning training program for female entrepreneurs, is recruiting for its next class.

Originally funded with a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, ACTiVATE’s goal is to form start-up companies based on technologies developed at UMBC, Johns Hopkins, the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the University of Maryland College Park.

In its first three years, ACTiVATE has trained 90 women in entrepreneurship ands and its graduates have formed 12 new companies.

ACTiVATE recently received national acclaim and state-level investment. In late October, the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) gave the program its 2007 Innovation Award and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) gave ACTiVATE a $50,000 grant to help continue its mission.

Companies started by ACTiVATE graduates include:

-- EncorePath, built on a unique rehab technology for stroke victims developed by University of Maryland, Baltimore physical therapists;

-- Foligo Therapeutics, which has received significant funding as it focuses on new treatment therapies for ovarian cancer;

-- and Traxion Therapeutics, a biotech firm developing new drugs for chronic pain.

There are two remaining information sessions scheduled for women with significant business or technical backgrounds who are interested in ACTiVATE:

Monday, December 10, 2007
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Rockville Economic Development Office (REDI)

95 Monroe Street
Rockville, MD 20850


Tuesday, January 8, 2008
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Courtyard Room
techcenter@UMBC

1450 South Rolling Road
Baltimore, MD 21227

ACTiVATE classes will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Monday evenings, starting on Feb. 4, 2008.

More information online: www.umbc.edu/activate

About ACTiVATE
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) ACTiVATE* is a year-long program to train women with significant technical or business experience to be entrepreneurs and to create start-up companies from inventions from Maryland research institutions and federal agencies. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and is supported by Constellation Energy, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and Wachovia Bank. Admission to the program is competitive.

*ACTiVATE – Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs

Posted by crose

November 27, 2007

Dr. Gene Cohen Explains Why Brains Get Better With Age

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- Contrary to long-held beliefs that brain power inevitably declines as we age, the mind actually experiences a surge of creativity and brain function well into the second half of life, says Dr. Gene Cohen, MD, PhD, who will present his groundbreaking research on “Creativity and Aging” at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), on December 3.

Sponsored by the Erickson School at UMBC, Cohen will speak at the University Center Ballroom at 10 a.m. Cohen is director of George Washington University’s Center on Aging, Health & Humanities and author of the book The Mature Mind: the Positive Power of the Aging Brain. Drawing on the latest scientific research as well as in-depth interviews with older women and men, Cohen has demonstrated for the first time how there are actually positive changes taking place in our minds as we age.

In his presentation, Cohen, 63, will explore how late-blooming artists such as Grandma Moses, Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe reached their creative peak late in life. He will explain how the mind gives us “inner pushes” of creativity and positive change throughout adult life.

According to Cohen, not only can older brains produce new brain cells, but the latest research shows that the brain can draw on areas of itself underused in earlier years, compensating for effects of aging. From age 60-80, the brain’s information processing center achieves its greatest density and reach. And the brain has the capacity to “re-sculpt” itself as certain genes are activated by experience as we age.

Cohen is at the forefront of a movement to focus attention on the capacity for positive change and creative expression in the second half of life, rather than on aging as a problem.

About Gene Cohen

Cohen, a graduate of Harvard and Georgetown University medical school, earned a doctorate in gerontology from the Union Institute. He was the first chief of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Center on Aging, and served as acting director of the National Institute on Aging and coordinated Alzheimer’s-disease programs at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Cohen is founding director the Washington, DC-based think tank Center on Aging, and is past president of the Gerontological Society of America. He now directs George Washington University’s Center on Aging, Health & Humanities. He is also a professor of behavioral sciences and psychiatry at GW.

About the Erickson School

The Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was created with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder Erickson Retirement Communities, and matching state funds. The School integrates aging, management, and policy in each of its programs, with a strong emphasis on preparing leaders for the 21st century. The School offers credit and non-credit educational programs at the undergraduate, masters, and executive levels.

Posted by kavan

November 26, 2007

Ecologists Remap the Biosphere to Include Humans

No Such Thing as Pristine Nature Any More, Say UMBC, McGill Researchers


Photo Caption: Ecologist Erle Ellis has helped design a new way of mapping the Earth to include human impact.

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE and MONTREAL – Pristine wilderness is a thing of the past and it’s time to adjust our vision of the biosphere accordingly, say a team of American and Canadian eco-geographers in new research published today.

Erle Ellis, associate professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at UMBC, and Navin Ramankutty, assistant professor in McGill University’s Department of Geography and Earth System Science Program, used global data from satellites and land management statistics to map a new system of “anthropogenic biomes” or human biomes, that describe the biosphere as it exists today, the result of human shepherding and reshaping of ecosystems. Their map provides a 21st century challenge to the classic images of Earth's wild ecosystems that appear in nearly every ecology and earth science textbook.

Their research will be published in the Nov. 26 issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment together with maps viewable in Google Earth and Google Maps at the Encyclopedia of Earth (a sort of Wikipedia for earth scientists and ecologists) and a printable classroom wall map for use by ecologists, educators and the public.

“The fact that an area is now covered by forests depends more on human decisions than it does on climate” said Ellis, who has studied anthropogenic landscapes in the field across rural China since 1992. He was inspired to investigate human landscapes globally during a research sabbatical at the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institute of Washington at Stanford University.



Photo Caption: Ellis has studied human biomes in rural China since 1992.

“The classic biomes, such as tropical rainforests or grasslands, were based on differences in vegetation caused by on climate,” said Ellis. “Now that humans have fundamentally altered global patterns of ecosystems and biodiversity, these biomes are rarely present across large areas any more. It is time for our map of the biosphere to reflect this new reality- that nature is now embedded within human systems” said Ellis.

Another key message from Ellis and Ramankutty was that ecologists should turn their focus to the changing ecosystems right underneath their feet. “A section of our paper is entitled ‘ecologists go home,’” said Ramankutty, an expert on global agriculture’s connection to environmental change. “Ecologists go to remote parts of the planet to study pristine ecosystems, but no one studies it in their back yard,” he said.

“We can no longer study ecology while ignoring humans,” Ellis said. “Humans are now as much a part of nature as the weather and human and ecological systems are so intricately linked that focusing just on nature gets in the way of conserving nature for future generations. We need to sustain positive interactions between human systems and ecosystems, not avoid these interactions. Focusing on so-called wilderness areas ignores more than four-fifths of Earth’s ice-free land. Ecologists need to do more research in places where humans live,” said Ellis.

Other key findings of the research:


  • More than three-quarters of our ice-free land surface is human altered. Wildlands cover just 22 percent of ice-free land today, and most of this land is barren and relatively unproductive.

  • Rangelands are the largest anthropogenic biomes, followed by cropland and forested biomes.

  • More than 80 percent of people live in dense settlements and village biomes, though these cover just seven percent of the Earth’s ice-free land surface. Village biomes are about five times as extensive as urban biomes and are home to about a quarter of Earth’s human population.

  • Anthropogenic biomes are mosaics. Instead of distinct vegetation or land-use types, anthropogenic biomes are complex mixtures of different land uses (settlements, crops, pastures, forests) that are classified by degree and type of human influence. For example, village biomes, which are found mostly in Asia and Africa, are crowded networks of towns and rural settlements embedded in intensively managed croplands and rice paddies alongside patches of less disturbed vegetation in hilly areas.


UMBC’s national reputation for excellence in earth and environmental science is growing. According to Thomson Scientific's Science Watch, UMBC's geoscience research ranked third nationally in citation impact for 2001-2005. The only other U.S. universities producing more frequently cited geoscience research papers were Harvard University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

UMBC ranks third nationally in NASA research funding and is home to two major collaborative NASA earth science research centers and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Maryland/Delaware/D.C. Water Science Center.


Posted by crose

November 19, 2007

UMBC Experts Discuss “Mental Illness and the Campus Community”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- Faculty and staff experts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will discuss “Mental Illness and the Campus Community” at this year’s Mosaic Roundtable, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) program. The free, public event will be held Tuesday, November 27, 4-6 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

In the wake of Virginia Tech University’s deadly shooting rampage, colleges nationwide have made campus security a top priority and have been reexamining policies dealing with students affected by mental illness.

But some critics at UMBC say that looking at mental health issues in the context of Virginia Tech’s massacre perpetuates a false stigma equating mental illness with violent outbreaks. Instead, college campuses need to encourage open dialogue about the facts of mental illness and the need for increased services for those impacted by depression and mental disorders, said INDS Director Patricia Lanoue.

“Substance abuse, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and other dimensions of mental illness have been a growing problem on college campuses nationwide,” LaNoue said.

LaNoue called the statistics sobering: 37 percent of college students reported they felt “so depressed it was difficult to function,” in a 2006 National Student Health Survey. Seven percent of college students have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, according to recent research conducted by UCLA. Suicide is among the top three leading causes of death for people ages 10 to 24 and the average onset age for most severe types of mental illnesses is 18 to 24, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

In addition, 92 percent of college counseling directors believe that the number of students with severe psychological problems has increased in recent years, according to the National Survey of Counseling Center Directors conducted by the International Association of Counseling Services in 2006. The survey found that 40 percent of students who seek campus counseling services have “severe psychological problems.”

UMBC Counseling Services data indicate that the most common mental health issues reported by UMBC students are anxiety/stress disorders, depression, academic problems, relationship problems and time management problems, said J. Lavelle Ingram, director of University Counseling Services, who will speak at the Mosaic Roundtable about behavioral indicators for mental illness and appropriate responses.

The media plays a large role in promoting inaccurate stigmas and stereotypes of people with mental illness, said Carolyn Tice, an associate dean in UMBC's department of Social Work, who will also speak at the Mosaic Roundtable. Events such as the Virginia Tech massacre often result in media frenzies. Also, a survey conducted for the Screen Actors’ Guild found that characters in prime time television portrayed as having mental illness are depicted as the most dangerous of all demographic groups.

Conversely, research indicates that people with psychiatric disabilities are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators. Researchers at North Carolina State University and Duke recently reported that people with severe mental illness – schizophrenia, bipoloar disorder or psychosis – are two and half times more likely to be attacked, raped or mugged than the general population.

“One in three Americans will experience a form of mental disorder at some point in their lives,” LaNoue said. “The Mosaic Roundtable, created to address complex issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, is one way we can contribute to sharing knowledge and provide an opportunity for the campus community and the public to ask questions.”

Also speaking at this event:

Charles Milligan, executive director of the Center for Health Program Development and Management, will discuss patient confidentiality and counselors’ responsibilities in protecting the safety of third parties.

Carlo DiClemente, professor of psychology, will address addictions and the overlap between drinking, drug use and mental illness, as well as how abuse can contribute to emotional programs and mental illness.

For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/mosaic.

###

UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with professors on real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by kavan

October 26, 2007

UMBC’s ‘ACTiVATE’ Program to Receive National Award, TEDCO Funding

Program Trains Female Entrepreneurs to Take Maryland Universities’ Technologies to Market


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

ACTiVATE, an innovative program based at UMBC that trains female entrepreneurs to take technologies developed by Maryland universities to market, will receive a national honor and an investment from the state today.

The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) will award its 2007 Innovation Award to ACTiVATE today at the AURP’s national conference in St. Louis. Also today, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) announced a $50,000 grant to help ACTiVATE continue its mission.

“We are thrilled that UMBC and the ACTiVATE program was recognized by AURP with this year’s Innovation Award,” said Renée Winsky, president and executive director of TEDCO. “The program has proven to be instrumental in growing the number of women entrepreneurs commercializing groundbreaking research being developed in labs throughout the state and starting new businesses. In fact, we are so thrilled with the success of the program that TEDCO is providing a $50,000 grant award to UMBC to expand our continued support of the effort.”

“It is wonderful to have TEDCO support this effective technology entrepreneurship training program,” said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. “ACTiVATE gives opportunities to women who are underrepresented as entrepreneurs while strengthening tech commercialization from Maryland’s research universities.

“AURP’s Innovation Award is a great honor for our program which we believe is well-deserved, since in the past three years, ACTiVATE has trained over 70 women who have formed 12 companies,” Hemmerly said.

Hemmerly is a past president of AURP and was instrumental in the establishment of ACTiVATE. She also recently received the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year award for her efforts to grow the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, which includes a high-tech business incubator, accelerator, research park and other UMBC entrepreneurial ventures.

Originally funded with a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, ACTiVATE’s goal is to form start-up companies based on technologies developed at UMBC, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the University of Maryland College Park. In its first three years, ACTiVATE participants have evaluated 97 technologies from Maryland research institutions and formed 12 new companies.

ACTiVATE was recently cited by the National Science Foundation's 2007 Government Results and Accountability (GRPA) Performance Assessment Report. The annual report highlights best practices and programs from all fields of science and engineering supported by the NSF.

Companies started by recent ACTiVATE alumnae include: EncorePath, built on a unique rehab technology for stroke victims developed by University of Maryland, Baltimore physical therapists; Foligo Therapeutics, which has received significant funding as it focuses on new treatment therapies for ovarian cancer; and Traxion Therapeutics, a biotech firm developing new drugs for chronic pain.

EncorePath recently received $74,345 from TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF). EncorePath’s founder and president Kris Appel has won first prize in business plan competitions from the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington-Baltimore and the Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI).

The ACTiVATE Program is recruiting for its next class beginning in February 2008. Women with substantial business or technical backgrounds interested in applying for the competitive entrepreneurship training program should visit www.umbc.edu/activate for more information.

About ACTiVATE
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) ACTiVATE* is a year-long program to train women with significant technical or business experience to be entrepreneurs and to create start-up companies from inventions from Maryland research institutions and federal agencies. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and is supported by Constellation Energy, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and Wachovia Bank. Admission to the program is competitive. For additional information about the ACTiVATE program, please see www.umbc.edu/activate.

*ACTiVATE – Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs

About Maryland TEDCO:
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent entity, was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State. TEDCO's role is to be Maryland's leading source of funding for seed capital and entrepreneurial business assistance for technology transfer and development programs. TEDCO connects emerging technology companies with federal laboratories, research universities, business incubators and specialized technical assistance. For the fourth consecutive year, TEDCO was recognized as the most active early/seed stage investor in the nation in the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit www.MarylandTEDCO.org.

Posted by crose

October 24, 2007

The “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour” Comes to Baltimore for a Town-Hall Meeting on the Nation’s Unsustainable Fiscal Policy

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker will head a public forum on the campus of UMBC featuring federal budget analysts from across the political spectrum.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

CONTACT
: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- On Monday, Oct. 29, U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker comes to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) for the Maryland stop of the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour, a nationwide series of town hall forums focusing on the threats posed by the nation's long-term fiscal challenges. The event, sponsored by the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, will include a panel of analysts from The Brookings Institution and The Heritage Foundation and will be open to the press and public.

“One thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that our nation's current fiscal policy is not sustainable over the long-term,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition. According to Bixby:

“Our childrens' economic future is at risk, which is something no one wants. Changing course will require hard choices such as scaling back future entitlement promises, increasing revenues to pay for them, or -- most likely -- a combination of both. Because these choices are politically difficult, the active involvement of the American people is critical. Without greater understanding of the problem among the public, community leaders, business leaders and home state media, elected leaders are unlikely to break out of their comfortable partisan talking points and unlikely to find solutions. That is why we began the nationwide Fiscal Wake-Up Tour. As demonstrated by the recent election result, voters are tired of partisan gridlock. This gives both parties an opportunity and a duty to begin working together on the real problem we face. Ensuring a sound fiscal future for our children should certainly be high on their list.”

David Walker is the nation's top account and head of the GAO (Government Accountability Office), Congress' watchdog agency. He is frequently featured in the national media, most recently on CBS News 60 Minutes and Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, featured below:

What: Public Forum and Reception

Where: Engineering Building, Lecture Hall 5
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
(Click here for directions)

When: Monday, October 29, 2007
5:00 PM Public Forum
6:30 PM Reception

Who: U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker
Robert L. Bixby, The Concord Coalition
Doug Elmendorf, Brookings Institution
Stuart Butler, Heritage Foundation

For more information call 410-455-2916 or email FiscalWakeUp@umbc.edu.

Panel members will be available to the media before and after the event. For a complete press packet, visit: http://www.concordcoalition.org/events/fiscal-wake-up/press/07-atlanta-pp.html

For information about David Walker's participation, please contact the GAO Office of Public Affairs, 202-512-4800. For information about the forum, please contact Jonathan DeWald, Communications Director of The Concord Coalition, at 888.333.4248 or 703-894-6222.

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About The Concord Coalition

The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to informing the public about the need for generationally responsible fiscal policy

About UMBC

UMBC is a public research university integrating teaching, research, and service to benefit the citizens of Maryland. UMBC provides undergraduate programs in economics and political science and graduate programs in economic policy analysis and public policy. The Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program at UMBC supports talented undergraduate students who want to become effective leaders in government, non-profits, corporations and the community.

Posted by kavan

October 15, 2007

"Learn More": Television Ad Campaign Displays Energy Behind UMBC Scholarship and Campus Activity

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Oct. 16, 2007

BALTIMORE -- After welcoming a record 12,000 new and returning students this fall, UMBC plans to build on its success with an advertising campaign that aims to have even more people experience the public research campus.

The campaign, developed by Baltimore marketing and design firm idfive, will launch October 15 with a television ad in the Baltimore and Washington markets. The spot – titled “Learn More” – offers a highly visual 30-second tour showing the surprising range of students, professors, programs and activities on campus. The commercial also uses an animated map to emphasize the campus’s location near BWI airport.

The television ad can be viewed by clicking http://www.idfive.com/clients/umbc/30sec_spot/

“When people visit UMBC, they are amazed by the energy of the campus and the variety of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students alike,” says Lisa Akchin, associate vice president for marketing and public relations. “The campaign will accelerate this process by bringing the campus to the attention of many more people.”

The new advertising message is part of a three-year, $2.2 million marketing investment made by the university to build undergraduate enrollment and attract more students to professional master’s and certificate programs. The campus, already well-known for its science and engineering programs, especially seeks to build the number of students enrolled in humanities, arts and social sciences programs, says Akchin.

Sean Carton, idfive’s chief strategy officer and a 1990 graduate of UMBC, is especially eager to get the word out that students at the campus get a great education and have fun doing it. “To know UMBC is to love it,” says the former English major turned entrepreneur. “As people learn more about the UMBC experience, they’ll love it too.”


Posted by crose

September 20, 2007

Research Indicates Investing to Reduce Child Poverty Pays Off

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 20, 2007

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Recent research indicating substantial economic benefits from investing in programs to reduce child poverty will be discussed by top policy researchers and child advocates Sept. 21 at the World Trade Center, in a public forum sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Department of Public Policy.

The economic circumstances in which children grow up have important effects on their success as adults. Recent research indicates that in addition to being justified on moral grounds, spending to improve the conditions in which poor children are raised provides substantial economic returns to the child and society.

From 8 to 10 a.m. Sept. 21, a panel of public policy researchers and child advocates will discuss this intriguing research and the available evidence regarding the effectiveness of different programs and policies that can improve key elements of a disadvantaged child’s life.

Moderator:
Patrick McCarthy
Vice-President for System and Service Reform, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Panelists:
Hathaway Ferebee
Executive Director, Baltimore's Safe and Sound Campaign

Harry J. Holzer
Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Marvin B. Mandell
Professor of Public Policy, UMBC

The forum is free and open to the public but advance registration is required. Call 410-455-8193, email policyforum@umbc.edu or visit www.umbc.edu/pubpol/forums.

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About UMBC

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a major research university in the Baltimore-Washington area. Its proximity to both federal and state government offices provides an ideal setting for training in a public policy program, internships and employment opportunities.

The Department of Public Policy offers a Master of Public Policy, a Ph.D. degree, and advanced graduate certificates. Our major areas of focus are: health policy; evaluation and analytical techniques; public management; social policy; and urban policy. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/pubpol or call 410-455-3201.

Posted by kavan

September 19, 2007

Professionals Across Industries Attracted to Unique Masters Degree Program in Aging Services

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The first class of graduate students in the Erickson School’s new Masters in the Management of Aging Services (MAgS)program at UMBC includes professionals as varied as company CEO’s, nursing administrators, retirement community directors, marketing executives, publishers and the executive directors of aging departments in Baltimore City, Harford and Baltimore County.

Unlike any other graduate degree, the MAgS program weaves together disciplines in management, public policy and the study of human aging. Integrating these core disciplines combines skills and knowledge necessary for leaders creating and providing products, services and making policy for older adults, said Erickson School Dean Kevin Eckert.

“From healthcare and housing to finance and development, the Masters in Management of Aging Services is designed specifically to prepare individuals for leadership roles unique to the 21st Century,” Eckert said.

Designed for working professionals, the program is offered in a 15-month executive masters format. The program begins with an intensive one-week session Sept. 23-29, followed by sessions every two to three weekends and concludes with an integrative capstone exercise addressing a relevant issue for each student’s specific organization or agency. The program has attracted 27 students from eight states who will attend as a single cohort and graduate together in December 2008.

With America’s population of 65 and older expected to skyrocket to 77 million by 2030, there will be unprecedented opportunities and challenges to meet the needs of older adults.

"With the launch of the master's program, the Erickson School is positioned to prepare many of the nation's leaders in the aging field," said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III.

As part of the school’s mission to change the way society thinks about aging, the master’s program will kick-off with an unconventional course designed around Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. The play, about a dying patriarch who tears down his family with him, offers universal insights to the controversies and concepts of aging in our society, says world-renowned geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, a professor at the Erickson School and an international authority on geriatric medicine and aging.

“King Lear is a fabulous study for these students because it shows the consequences of failing to understand and appreciate the true nature of old age,” Thomas said in an interview on National Public Radio Sept. 7. “Although it can seem very dramatic and tragic, it’s not far off from what a lot of people experience as they encounter conflict between generations in old age.”

The MAgS program will be lead by a group of nationally recognized scholars and professors specializing in each of the Erickson School’s core disciplines of management, policy and aging. Distinguished faculty include:

• Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard-educated physician, international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare and self-proclaimed “nursing-home abolitionist.”
• Dr. Judah Ronch, a national expert on geriatric mental health issues and a pioneer of reforms in the long-term care and aging services industry.
• Joseph A. Gribbin, Ph.D., an Associate Commissioner on loan from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and expert on the nation’s social insurance programs.
• William E. Fulmer, Ph.D., a national expert on organizational strategy and service excellence, a former senior vice president of the Executive Development Center of the Harvard Business School and former dean of University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business.

For more information, click here to download the MAgS brochure.

###

About The Erickson School:

The Erickson School grew from a unique partnership between two visionaries, John C. Erickson, Founder and Chairman of Erickson Retirement Communities, and UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. They recognized that a public research university with a strong emphasis on public policy— as well as one of the nation’s largest gerontology doctoral programs—was an ideal home for a school intended to touch

every phase of aging in America. Launched with a $5 million gift from the Erickson Foundation, the institution they created integrates aging, management, and policy in each of its programs, with a strong emphasis on preparing leaders for the 21st century. The School offers credit and non-credit educational programs at the undergraduate, masters, and executive levels. Through a federally funded center, the School also conducts intensive research to address the pressing practical and policy issues of our nation’s rapidly growing aging population.

Posted by kavan

September 17, 2007

UMBC Biotech Entrepreneur Paul Silber Named Baltimore’s Extraordinary Tech Advocate for 2007

CONTACT:

Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Paul Silber, a biotech entrepreneur with roots at UMBC, has been named the 2007 “Baltimore’s Extraordinary Technology Advocate” award winner by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council (GBTC).

Silber is the former President and CEO of In Vitro Technologies (IVT), one of the first companies to start and grow on campus through the UMBC incubator program. In 1990, Silber began IVT as a true, by-the-bootstraps startup in Texas and shortly thereafter moved the operation to UMBC.

IVT has since grown to an international business with over 70 employees and remains the anchor tenant of UMBC’s high-tech business incubator facility, techcenter@UMBC, today. IVT, which provides an alternative to animal testing for biotech, drug and pharmaceutical firms, was sold to Celsis International in 2006 for $30 million but remains a vital part of UMBC and Baltimore’s entrepreneurial community.

"In Vitro Technologies (IVT) truly started it all - bio in Greater Baltimore," said GBTC Executive Director Steve Kozak in a press release. "And Paul Silber has been an active leader, if not THE leader, of this region's biotech community for years. Entrepreneur, mentor, advisor, angel investor - he's been there…for everyone, always, all the time. The GBTC would like to congratulate Paul on this very well-deserved honor. We couldn't have picked a better leader or a better person for this prestigious award."

"Paul Silber has grown In Vitro Technologies from two people in a trailer on the edge of our campus into a global success," said UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski, who is also a past recipient of the BETA award. "Along the way, Paul and IVT have truly helped put UMBC and Baltimore on the world's biotech map.

"Even after achieving so much, Paul and IVT continue to give back to the community by mentoring other entrepreneurs, hiring UMBC graduates and sponsoring blood drives on campus," said Hrabowski. "The entire UMBC family is delighted to congratulate Paul on this well-deserved honor."

Silber will be presented with the BETA Award at the GBTC’s signature annual tech showcase event, TechNite, to be held on Wednesday, October 24, 5:15 - 8:30 p.m., at the Baltimore Convention Center (One West Pratt Street in Downtown Baltimore).

Tickets for TechNite are $155 for GBTC members and $185 for non-members. To register or for more information, contact the GBTC at 410-327-9148 or visit the TechNite website at: www.gbtechcouncil.org/technite2007.

Posted by crose

September 7, 2007

Renowned Geriatricians Using Shakespeare's King Lear to Teach Grad Students in Aging Services

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The Shakespeare tragedy of King Lear, a dying patriarch who tears down his family with him, offers universal insights to the controversies and concepts of aging in our society, says world-renowned geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas, a professor at the Erickson School at UMBC, an honors university in Maryland.

Thomas, a visionary with an international reputation as an authority on geriatric medicine and aging, plans to teach King Lear to graduate students this fall in the Erickson School’s newly-launched master’s program in the Management of Aging Services. Thomas will team-teach the innovative course "Aging 600: Concepts and Controversies in Aging," with Judah Ronch, also a professor at the Erickson School and expert on geriatric mental health.

“King Lear is a fabulous study for these students because it shows the consequences of failing to understand and appreciate the true nature of old age,” Thomas said in an interview on National Public Radio Sept. 7. “Although it can seem very dramatic and tragic, it’s not far off from what a lot of people experience as they encounter conflict between generations in old age.”

Just look at driving, Thomas said.

“All the angst and anger and tribulation in King Lear comes close to what can happen when children try to take the keys away from Mom or Dad,” Thomas said.

Thomas discussed his innovative approach to teaching graduate students in aging services on Baltimore National Public Radio affiliate WYPR 88.1 FM’s “Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast.” Click here to listen to the interview or click here to read the transcript.

Although unconventional, Thomas said using Shakespeare to launch a graduate program in aging services would help teach students to see old age in a new way.

“We have to teach leaders who are coming up in our field how to see old age as a time of growth and development, which really positions aging services along side education as a field that focuses on human development,” Thomas said.

###

About Dr. Bill Thomas

William H. Thomas, M.D. is a geriatrician and leading authority on the future of aging and longevity. He is founder of the Eden Alternative, a global nonprofit organization, and a professor at the Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Most recently he developed the Green House, a radically new approach to long term care where nursing homes are torn down and replaced with small, home-like environments where people can live a full and interactive life. In 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a five-year ten million dollar grant to support the launch of Green House projects in all fifty states. He lives in Ithaca, NY, with his wife, Judith Meyers-Thomas, and their five children.

Posted by kavan

Professor Judah Ronch to Chair Undergraduate Academics at the Erickson School

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMOREProfessor Judah Ronch is taking the lead in undergrad academics at the Erickson School at UMBC as the newly appointed academic program chair for the undergraduate major in the Management of Aging Services (MAgS).

Ronch will have overall responsibilities for the academic integrity and day-to-day management of the new undergraduate major and will answer directly to the dean. In just its second year, the MAgS undergraduate degree has attracted 54 majors and enrolled more than 170 students in its courses.

“Building an engaging and innovative undergraduate degree program was critical to the successful launch of the Management of Aging Services major,” said Erickson School Dean J. Kevin Eckert. “With his experience as an innovator in the field of aging services, Judah Ronch will help guide the program as it grows to meet the demands in leadership of our aging population.”

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About Judah Ronch

Judah Ronch is a nationally-renowned expert on improving the treatment and mental well-being of elders. Ronch has researched and written extensively on the debilitating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and has pioneered major reforms in the long term care industry to improve the mental health of older adults and the working conditions of those who care for them. He most recently served as vice president of Mental Health and Wellness for Erickson Retirement Communities in Baltimore. His numerous publications include the books “Culture Change in Long-term Care,” “Mental Wellness and Aging,” and “Alzheimer’s Disease: A Practical Guide for Those who Help Others.”

Posted by kavan

August 27, 2007

New Book Finds Racial Segregation Persists in East Coast "Megalopolis"

“Liquid City” is the first book to examine the social, economic and demographic changes in one of the largest city regions of the world over the past half century.

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Nearly one in six Americans lives in “Megalopolis,” the densely-populated Northeast corridor along I-95 from Boston to Washington, D.C. A new book examining the evolution of the “Main Street of the Nation” finds that high rates of racial segregation have remained a stubbornly solid fact of metropolitan life over the past half century.

In “Liquid City: Megalopolis and the Contemporary Northeast”, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Professor John Rennie Short finds that all racial groups maintained high rates of segregation since 1960 despite massive changes in population growth and distribution.

Most striking are findings that blacks and whites have become much more segregated today than in 1960, “a staggering finding given the decline of many of the formal and explicit practices of racial discrimination,” wrote Short.

Short offers a new analysis of segregation by examining spatial distribution of racial groups down to the county level throughout the Northeast. He found increased segregation between blacks and whites from 1960 to 2000; stable and high levels for whites and Asians, blacks and Asians, and blacks and Hispanics; and a slight decline in segregation levels between whites and Hispanics, likely due to the recent influx of new Hispanic immigrants.

Short examines how racial prejudice and outright housing discrimination helped entrench racial segregation as blacks migrated to Northeastern urban centers and whites fled to the suburbs. Suburbanization of good blue-collar jobs and the deindustrialization of cities created a stark urban underclass which persists today, especially in majority-black cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“Lack of jobs, services and poor education made it increasingly difficult for the next generation living in central city Megalopolis to move up and out, creating funnels of failures that persist today,” Short said.

Geographer Jean Gottman used the term "Megalopolis" to denote the Boston-to-Washington corridor in 1957 in his seminal book, “Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States.” In Liquid City, Short juxtaposes Gottman's work with his own examination of the region's social, economic and demographic evolution. Particularly important is Short's use of the 2000 census data and his discussion of Megalopolis as a source of identity for the area's forty-nine million inhabitants.

The book focuses on five main aspects of change in the region: population redistribution from cities to suburbs; economic restructuring as exemplified by the suburbanization of employment; the role of immigration; patterns of racial/ethnic segregation; and the processes of globalization that have made Megalopolis one of the world's most influential economies.

Liquid City: Megalopolis and the Contemporary Northeast” is published by Resources For the Future Press.

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About the author

John Rennie Short is a professor of Geography and Public Policy at UMBC, where he specializes in urban issues and globalization. He has published twenty-eight books and numerous academic papers and has received research awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Geographic Society, and the Social Science Research Council.

Posted by kavan

August 23, 2007

IBM Award to Help Establish Multicore Supercomputing Center at UMBC

‘Orchestra’ of Powerful Processing Chips Will Drive Geoscience, Medical Imaging, Aerospace and Financial Services Research

CONTACTS:

Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Jason Stolarczyk, IBM
206-508-4785
jrstolar@us.ibm.com

Photo Caption:
According to UMBC computer scientists Milt Halem (left) and Yelena Yesha (right), the Multicore Computing Center will give UMBC researchers access to some of the world's most powerful information engines.

Note to Media: High-resolution versions of these photos are available for download at http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/MC2Photos/


BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and IBM today announced a new collaboration to create The Multicore Computing Center (MC2), a unique facility that will focus on supercomputing research related to aerospace/defense, financial services, medical imaging and weather/climate change prediction. IBM awarded UMBC a significant gift to support the development of this new center, which researchers describe as an “orchestra” of one of the world’s most powerful supercomputing chips.

The MC2 will bring to UMBC a high-performance computational test laboratory based on the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.), jointly developed by IBM, Sony Corp., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) and Toshiba Corp. This ground breaking processor is used in products such as SCE's PlayStation3 and Toshiba's Cell/B.E. Reference Set, a development tool for Cell/B.E. applications, as well as the IBM BladeCenter QS20.

Cells have a wide range of capability – able to serve as engines for image and video-intensive computing tasks like virtual reality, simulations and imaging for aerospace, medicine and defense; high-definition TV and high-speed video for wireless devices; and highly complex physics based computer models to better predict weather, climate change and biochemistry.

Today’s announcement is the latest development in a strong, long-time partnership between IBM and UMBC. IBM employs over 100 UMBC alumni, and UMBC faculty have received numerous IBM research awards and fellowships over the past decade.

The MC2 at UMBC is expected to focus on supercomputing research related to aerospace/defense, financial services, medical imaging and weather/climate change prediction.

One of the challenges for researchers at the MC2 will be making clusters consisting of hundreds of the powerful information engines run effectively together. “Cell processors are groups of eight very fast, independent but simple PC’s with their own tiny memory all on a single chip each with its own leader,” said Milt Halem, director of the MC2 and professor of computer science at UMBC.

“The challenge is choreographing all the chips to work efficiently in parallel. It’s like a distributed orchestra with 224 musicians and 28 conductors connected with head phones trying to play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony together,” said Halem, who retired in 2002 from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he served as Assistant Director for Information Sciences and Chief Information Officer.

"The Multicore Computing Center highlights UMBC's role as a national leader in information technology research and education, and will contribute to Maryland's economic growth and national security," said Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC.

“We are so pleased to become an early adopter of this revolutionary shift in semi-conductor chip design,” Halem said. “UMBC is committed to growing its computational science expertise and hopes this collaboration with IBM will allow the university to become a national leader in the applications of future multicore computers as they grow more massive.”

UMBC is a member of IBM’s Academic Initiative, a program sponsored by IBM to upgrade IT skills for a more competitive workforce. Through the Academic Initiative, IBM works with more than 2,200 institutions, 11,000 faculty members and 650,000 students worldwide to build integrated business, science and technology skills to be applied in today’s global economy.

"The opening of the UMBC Multicore Computer Center is yet another example of how IBM innovations are being used to help further the advancement of research and science that benefits business and our communities," said Rod Adkins, senior vice president of development & manufacturing, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "We are convinced of the endless possibilities that can, and will, emerge from this type of collaborative relationship, and are proud to play a role in the launch of the new information technology research center."

In the future, UMBC and IBM officials plan to collaborate on new interdisciplinary research possibilities in chemistry, mathematics and other fields of engineering and information technology.

The Multicore Computing Center is expected to be installed and operational by fall 2007.

About the College of Engineering and Information Technology at UMBC:

UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology (COE&IT) is focused on becoming a national leader in engineering and IT education, research, entrepreneurship and diversity. According to National Science Foundation data, UMBC consistently ranks among America’s top research universities in undergraduate IT degree production. The College has built a national reputation for increasing IT gender diversity thanks in part to the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), called “the best resource for women on the Web” by ABC News. In 2005, UMBC was honored by the Accredited Board for Engineering and Technology for producing more minority faculty than any other U.S. institution. The College is home to 2200 undergraduates in eight bachelor’s degree programs and nearly 800 graduate students enrolled in nine MS and eight PhD programs. The College’s talented, committed and accessible faculty secure over $13 million in annual research expenditures to advance the frontiers of discovery and innovation and make UMBC a powerful force in engineering and information technology. For more information please visit www.umbc.edu/engineering

About IBM:

For more information about IBM, please visit http://www.ibm.com.

Posted by crose

July 24, 2007

UMBC Energy Economics Expert Invited to Governor’s Summit

Prof. Tim Brennan will sit on the Energy Demand Roundtable to discuss ideas and policies to overcome Maryland’s energy challenges.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2007

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Economics Professor Tim Brennan, a nationally recognized expert on energy economics, will participate in the Governor’s Energy Summit on Wednesday, July 25, in Annapolis, Md.

Called by Gov. Martin O’Malley to spearhead his strategic energy plan, the summit will be 1 to 5 p.m. in the Miller Senate Office Building and will include Gov. O’Malley, and the state's top energy officials.

Brennan will sit on the Energy Demand Roundtable to discuss how best to reduce statewide energy consumption. As the only academic participating, Brennan will provide non-ideological expertise on the economics of energy policy.

“The most important thing that has to happen is to allow consumers to see electricity rates that reflect what electricity really costs, including the overall environmental costs and cost spikes during peak demand times,” such as hot summer afternoons, Brennan said.

Brennan is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at UMBC and a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a Washington, D.C.-based institute on the environment and energy. Along with electricity markets, his research interests include antitrust, regulatory and environmental economics, telecommunications, intellectual property, and ethics in public policy. Brennan coauthored Alternating Currents: Electricity and Public Policy, which looks at the complex economic and regulatory policy issues raised by the restructuring of the electricity industry. During 1996-97 he was the senior staff economist for regulatory policy for White House Council of Economic Advisers, and during 2006 he held the T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics at the Canadian Competition Bureau.

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Posted by kavan

July 19, 2007

UMBC Graduate Student’s Team Wins Top Prize in Global Voting System Design Contest


Punchscan Team Wins $10,000, HP Laptop at “VoComp”


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Punchscan, a team including UMBC computer science graduate student Rick Carback, took the grand prize in VoComp, an international voting system design contest held July 16-18 in Portland.

The Punchscan team, which also includes undergraduate and graduate students from George Washington University and the University of Ottawa, received $10,000 donated by voting tech firm Election Systems & Software (ES&S), a laptop computer donated by Hewlett-Packard and other prizes.

Punchscan also took the awards for best presentation, best critique of a competition system, best election technology component and best implementation. The contest was organized by UMBC professor of computer science and information assurance expert Alan Sherman.

Punchscan faced off against teams of researchers from the U.S., Canada, Poland and the U.K. The first-of-its-kind competition was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, ES&S and Hewlett-Packard.

For the complete results and more information about VoComp, please visit www.vocomp.org.

Posted by crose

July 13, 2007

UMBC Student in Global Contest for Most Trustworthy and Accurate Voting System

“VoComp” Offers International Research Teams Over $10,000 in Prizes from Voting & Tech Firms

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

PORTLAND, Oregon – Four teams of researchers from the U.S., Canada, Poland and the U.K. face off July 16-18 at the Portland Hilton in the finals of the VoComp University Voting Systems Competition, a global search to make voting machine technologies more trustworthy and accurate. The first-of-its-kind competition is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the voting technology company Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) and Hewlett-Packard (HP). The winning team will receive a $10,000 grand prize provided by ES&S along with other prizes from HP.

UMBC computer science graduate student Rick Carback is a member of Punchscan (www.punchscan.org), a team that also includes members from George Washington University and the University of Ottawa. Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury will give introductory remarks at VoComp and will invite attendees at the National Association of Secretaries of States annual summer meeting (held at the same venue) to visit the competition.

VoComp marks the first time a major voting company has supported this type of open-ended academic research. “VoComp is stimulating innovation and student involvement in the technology of democracy.” said Alan Sherman, a professor of computer science at UMBC and the organizer of VoComp.

In the spirit of transparent democracy, each of the four finalist voting systems is open-source, meaning the computer code is published and thus able to be verified as secure and improved upon, similar to the popular grassroots computer operating system Linux.

“This is something that has been called for by many but not realized until now,” Sherman said. “The competition framework also serves to demonstrate what may be a better way to vet and choose voting systems,” said Sherman, who also teaches a course on electronic voting systems.

At the competition finals, each team will carry out a mock election and critique the other systems in front of the judges. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Three of the VoComp systems are based on a new, end-to-end (e2e) secure technology, which enables each voter to verify that his or her vote was correctly recorded and tabulated. This new technology promises to increase assurance in voting results compared to popular paper trail technologies such as precinct-count optical scan.

The VoComp conference will also offer the introductions of several other new voting technologies from some of the top academic and corporate researchers in the field. For more info please visit www.vocomp.org.

Posted by crose

July 12, 2007

UMBC IT Enrollments on Rebound

Outreach Efforts to High School Students, Counselors Have Fall
Enrollments Up for Freshmen & Females


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Undergraduate enrollments in UMBC's Department of Information Systems (IS) are on the upswing for fall 2007, particularly among young women. The enrollment increase is a positive sign in light of a recent national decline in college students entering information technology majors and is partly due to the department’s efforts to educate high school students and counselors about the various IT disciplines of study, the truth about outsourcing and the improved job market for IT majors.

Nationwide, newly declared computer science majors plummeted to 8,000 in the fall of 2006, from 16,000 in 2000, according to the Computing Research Association. According to UMBC IS department figures, the fall 2007 semester will bring a 40 percent increase in new freshmen (41 enrollments) over the department’s previous four-year average (28).

Equally noteworthy is the fact that the department’s fall freshman class will comprise 41 percent women up from a 23 percent average over the previous four years. In an industry that is still typically dominated by men, the number of women enrolling as first year students in UMBC IS programs is up approximately 150 percent from the past four years.

UMBC is one of the largest producers of undergraduate IT degrees in the nation, according to the U.S. Deptartment of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Historically, UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) has worked to close the IT gender gap through education and outreach efforts. One of CWIT’s primary goals has been to encourage more women and girls to prepare for careers and become leaders in information technology.

Andrew Sears, chair of information systems at UMBC, believes the enrollment jump is due in part to his department’s advocacy and outreach initiatives over the past two years. Many universities and companies have been working to get the message out that IT industry demand for skilled graduates has rebounded strongly from the dot-com crash and economic downturn of the 90’s. A recent American Electronics Association report said the U.S. technology industry added 150,000 jobs in 2006 and starting salaries for new college graduate with computing degrees average about $52,000 a year.

“We believe there is a serious disconnect between the reality of today’s strong job market for information tech majors and the perceptions of many high school counselors, educators and the families of would-be IT students, so we’ve been working hard to reach them,” said Sears.

“This year’s fall enrollments in our B.S. in Information Systems and B.A. in Business Technology Administration programs combined are encouraging and nearly equal our 2002 high water mark, so we are hopeful that the message is getting through,” said Sears.

UMBC’s Information Systems department has embraced a proactive, grass-roots approach to IT education advocacy. “We felt it was important to talk with high school education professionals about what IT is really all about, the number and variety of jobs that are available and how our degrees prepare students for these exciting opportunities,” said Sears. “In the last two years we have devoted departmental energies and resources not to hype IT, but to share facts.”

The IS department held its first “IT Discovery Event” in 2006, where high school career and college counselors and technology education leaders were invited to a half-day seminar covering topics like the difference between information systems and computer science and the IT job growth projections and variety of career options in the industry. Nearly 50 high school counselors from the Baltimore/DC region attended and more than one-third expressed interest in scheduling separate group visits to the IS department for their students. The department also has had representatives invited to events that, in the past, were reserved for college admissions professionals to talk about IT curricula and job prospects.

Sears defines his department’s hands-on approach pretty simply. “No one can tell our story like we do,” he said. “Our goal is to get the facts into the hands of guidance and career counselors, prospective students, and the parents of these students. This will help them better understand the vast array of opportunities that are available, the skills that they really need to succeed and the fact that an IT career is much more than sitting in front of a computer all day.”

Posted by crose

June 25, 2007

Two UMBC Students Receive Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Columbia Natives Patricia Ordóñez, Jason Reid to Pursue Ph.D.s at UMBC, MIT

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu
Note to Editors: Click on photos below to view or download high-resolution version of image.



BALTIMORE — Patricia Ordóñez, a UMBC second year graduate student, and Jason Reid, a UMBC class of 2007 graduate, both from Columbia, MD, have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSFGRF), which are among the most competitive and prestigious academic awards for American college students as they begin graduate studies. Both students are products of UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology.

The NSFGRF is a three-year award that funds tuition and an annual stipend to support graduate studies for students showing the potential to contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovations in science and engineering. About 1,000 were awarded across the U.S. this year.

Ordóñez, who received a B.A. in Hispanic and Italian Studies in 1989 from Johns Hopkins University, began to pursue her career in computer science attending UMBC part-time in the fall of 2001. She was admitted to the graduate school full-time in the fall of 2005 and will remain at UMBC to pursue a Ph.D. in her field as well as continue research developing medical applications using pervasive computing to help personalize operating rooms for patients and surgeons.

“I would be crazy to leave such an encouraging and supportive environment,” she said. “I love being somewhere where the president of the university greets you as he walks by and takes a personal interest in the students.”

Reid, who received a B.S. in mechanical engineering, will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue an M.S./Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and conduct research in the use of robotics to accelerate rehabilitation in stroke and spinal cord injury patients.

“The NSF award is great because you can work on pretty much anything that interests you,” said Reid. “While I look forward to embarking on the new experiences and challenges of the future, I will always appreciate my time spent at UMBC.”

A Meyerhoff Scholar, Reid also received a Society of Automotive Engineers Scholarship, the UMBC Mechanical Engineering Alumni Award and the Hillel of Greater Baltimore President’s Award. Reid’s winning research proposal for the NSFGRF came from his work in the lab of UMBC mechanical engineering professor Dwayne Arola, with whom he studied ways to improve dental tools and practices for senior citizen patients as the enamel of their teeth grows brittle with age.

For Ordóñez, the award makes her doctoral dreams obtainable. “Without it I think I would have settled for the masters rather than the PhD because I am 40 years old and have the financial responsibilities of a 40-year-old,” she said. “Now I have the financial support I need to focus solely on my research.”

Ordóñez, part of the UMBC computer science and electrical engineering department’s eBiquity Research Group, thanked UMBC faculty members Anupam Joshi, Marie desJardins, Renetta Tull, Tim Finin, Penny Rheingans, Janet Rutledge, Charles Nicholas, Krishna Sivalingam, and Marc Olano for supporting her in her graduate studies and Shon Vick in her undergraduate studies.

Posted by crose

June 15, 2007

Retirement Living TV-Funded, UMBC-Produced Digital Storytelling Project Wins Bronze Telly Award for Outstanding Video Production

Collaborative Project Involves Charlestown Retirees and UMBC Students






CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

COLUMBIA, MD - A pioneering and unique Digital Storytelling Project funded by Retirement Living TV (RLTV) has won a Bronze Telly Award. The prestigious Telly Award cites the Digital Storytelling Project as being among the world's best in local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as among the finest in video and film production. This year's Telly Awards received over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

The Digital Storytelling Project combines the efforts of RLTV (http://rl.tv/ ), UMBC and Charlestown Retirement Community. It partners a UMBC undergraduate student (hands-on with the media technology) with a Charlestown resident (autobiographical story and narrative) to produce 2-3 minute video stories. Drawn from the life experiences of the residents, the stories combine narration, animation and photography.

The award-winning digital stories can be viewed at:
www.umbc.edu/oit/newmedia/studio/digitalstories/ctds.php?movie=CT_digitalstoriesatCT.flv

or at www.rl.tv/Community/Digital Stories

The Digital Storytelling Project is the nation's first three-way partnership between a media company, a university and a retirement community. UMBC students team with Charlestown residents to create a series of 17 digital stories and music in short movies to be shared with others.

Charlestown residents work closely with student partners, acting as author and creative director of their individual story. Each student brings their own style and talents to the project, helping to create some unique examples of intergenerational storytelling. The project is organized and supervised by UMBC's New Media Studio.

"We are honored that the television industry has recognized the hard work that went into producing these fascinating digital stories," said Brad Knight, president of RLTV. "The digital stories are reality TV at its finest. They provide a rich, intergenerational experience for Charlestown residents and UMBC students.

"Winning an award like the Telly is significant in that it acknowledges that stories drawn from the life experiences of retirees with a wider audience," said Knight. "It is also gratifying that the award recognizes the entire collection of work from the Charlestown project. It is very much a group process and every story enriched the experience."

Retirement Living TV, a cable network dedicated to informing, involving and inspiring people aged 55 and over, was launched in September 2006. RLTV is comprised of shows covering topics including health, lifestyle, finance and politics. The Retirement Living TV network roots are in Erickson Retirement Communities, the National Institutes of Health, non-profit research foundations, the Erickson School of Aging Studies and leading gerontologists across the country. RLTV is committed to changing the perception on aging, and strives to develop innovative and entertaining television for a mature viewing audience. For more information, visit http://www.rl.tv/.

Posted by crose

June 5, 2007

Health Crisis Brewing In Overcrowded ER’s

Experts discuss strategies to relieve strain on Maryland emergency rooms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2007

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Solutions for improving delivery of hospital emergency room services and reducing bottlenecks that cause long waits for emergency care will be debated by public policy and health experts Thursday, June 7 at the World Trade Center, in a public forum sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Department of Public Policy and the Center for Health Program Development and Management (CHPDM).

As bed supply has decreased and uninsured patients increasingly look to emergency rooms for non-emergency care, emergency departments in Maryland and around the nation are becoming more and more crowded. Some experts characterize the situation as a health care crisis.

“Emergency departments in hospitals are stretched to the breaking point, threatening a critical part of our health-care safety net,” said UMBC Public Policy Professor Nancy Miller, who will moderate the forum “The Impact of Emergency Department Use on the Health Care System in Maryland.” The forum will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the World Trade Center, Baltimore, in the Constellation Room on the 21st Floor.

Recent national reports have concluded that America’s hospital-based emergency care system is on the verge of collapse at a time when one-in-three Americans visit emergency rooms every year. Seriously ill people often wait hours to receive critical care and can wait up to two days to be admitted to a hospital bed, according to reports by the Institute of Medicine.

The strain on emergency services is especially severe in Maryland. A report released in December by the Maryland Health Care Commission found that visits to Maryland emergency departments increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2003, compared to a 9 percent increase observed nationwide.

Healthcare experts are calling for system-wide reforms, without which they warn emergency care systems will be unable to manage day-to-day emergencies, let alone large disasters or epidemics.

Attend this forum to join in a discussion with health and public policy experts about strategies to improve the delivery of emergency room services. Panelists include:
• Pamela W. Barclay, Director, Center for Hospital Services, Maryland Health Care Commission.
• Linda DeFeo, Emergency Department Administrative Consultant.
• Deborah E. Trautman, Director of Nursing for Emergency Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Interim Vice President of Patient Services, Howard County General Hospital.
• Maryland Delegate Dan K. Morhaim from Baltimore County.


###

About UMBC

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a major research university in the Baltimore-Washington area. Its proximity to both federal and state government offices provides an ideal setting for training in a public policy program, internships and employment opportunities.

The Department of Public Policy offers a Master of Public Policy, a Ph.D. degree, and advanced graduate certificates. Our major areas of focus are: health policy; evaluation and analytical techniques; public management; social policy; and urban policy. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/pubpol or call 410-455-3201.

The Center for Health Program Development and Management, located at UMBC, works with public agencies and nonprofit community-based agencies in Maryland and elsewhere to improve the health and social outcomes of vulnerable populations in a manner that maximizes the impact of available resources. For more information, visit www.chpdm.org or call 410-455-6854.

Posted by kavan

May 29, 2007

UMBC/NASA Study Shows Increasing Snowmelt in Greenland

New Area the Size of Maryland Starts to Melt Each Year; Long-term Satellite Data Showed First-Ever High Altitude Melting in 2002

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Some sobering findings on the extent of Greenland's melting ice sheets were published today as part of a long-term study of earth observing satellites’ data by researchers with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

Marco Tedesco, a scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) of UMBC and NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, was lead author of a study published in the American Geophysical Union's journal Eos. By using a new method for detecting melting snow from satellites, Tedesco found that in 2006 Greenland experienced more days of melting snow and at higher altitudes than the previous trends from the past 18 years.

Tedesco used a new method for detecting melting snow based on readings from the Special Sensor Microwave Imaging radiometer (SSM/I), an instrument aboard the U.S. Air Force’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft. The SSM/I can see through clouds and can measure data without sunlight. Tedesco has tracked the data annually since 1988, allowing him to study big-picture trends in the duration and extent of Greenland's snowmelt.

Certain areas of Greenland were melting over 10 days longer than average in 2006. Greenland’s 2006 melt index, or the number of melting days times the melting area, continued on an upward trend seen in data from 1988 to 2005.

Results from another study by Tedesco published on Geophysical Research Letters on January 2007 show that the year 2002 showed signs of extreme melting. “We identified an extreme melting event in June 2002 that showed for the first time in 18 years snow melting in inner Greenland at high altitudes,” said Tedesco.

“During the same year, over 80 percent of the entire Greenland ice sheet surface experienced at least one day of melting. This corresponds to an area the size of France, Spain and Italy put together,” he said. The area experiencing at least one day of melting has been increasing since 1992 at a rate of 35,000 square kilometers per year, or about two percent of the entire Greenland surface. “That means that, on the average, every year since 1992 an area equivalent to the state of Maryland has been subject to new melting,” Tedesco said.

Left: UMBC JCET Researcher Marco Tedesco

According to Tedesco, tracking melting snow in Greenland, which contains enough water to raise global sea level by approximately 7 meters, is important for several reasons. “Although wet and dry snow look similar, they absorb sun’s radiation in a different way, with melting snow absorbing three to four times as much energy as dry snow, greatly affecting Earth’s energy budget,” said Tedesco.

“Also, melting snow produces liquid water that will seep down to the interface of ice and bedrock, lubricating the ice sheet and increasing the speed with which ice moves,” Tedesco said. “This means that ice might react to a warm climate faster than thought, contributing more rapidly to sea level than previously thought.”

Posted by crose

May 16, 2007

President Hrabowski Featured on Cover of The Presidency, the ACE Magazine for Higher Education Leaders


CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE – UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, who delivered the keynote address at the American Council on Education (ACE) 2007 Annual Meeting, is pictured on the cover of the spring 2007 issue of The Presidency, ACE’s magazine for higher education leaders.

In an entry titled, “The Access Imperative,” President Hrabowski discusses how higher education “can ensure that students from all backgrounds (can) not only enroll in college, but also excel. The president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County says finding answers to this question are imperative for our nation.”

The higher education community considers the annual ACE keynote address, known as the Robert H. Atwell Lecture, to be one of the year’s most important public speaking events.

For a photo reproduction of the The Presidency, a synopsis of President Hrabowski’s address and information on how to acquire this issue of the magazine, see http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/Presidency/S07_Hrabowski.htm.

The article is adapted from President Hrabowski’s address, which he delivered on Feb. 11, 2007. The address can be read at http://www.umbc.edu/aboutumbc/president/access_imperative.html.

Posted by crose

President Hrabowski to Deliver Commencement Address at Wheaton College; Will Receive Honorary Degrees from Wheaton, Haverford College

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE – UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski will address the Class of 2007 during Commencement exercises at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19.

Joining President Hrabowski on the dais will be honorary degree recipients Deborah Bial, president and founder of the Posse Foundation; Robert Herbert, op-ed columnist for The New York Times; and Kathleen O'Donnell, a Massachusetts attorney and member of the Class of 1977. President Hrabowski will also receive an honorary degree (Doctor of Letters).

President Hrabowski will receive an honorary degree from Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., during its Commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 20. The college awards four honorary degrees each year “to men and women who have distinguished themselves in letters, the sciences, or the arts. Many recipients are noted for their contributions to the overall betterment of humankind and/or Haverford College.”

For more information regarding President Hrabowski’s address to the Class of 2007 at Wheaton College, see http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/news/pr20070124a.html.

For more information regarding President Hrabowski’s honorary degree from Haverford College, see http://www.haverford.edu/commencement/main.htm#honorary_degree_recipients.

President Hrabowski will address the Class of 2007 during undergraduate Commencement exercises at California State University, Los Angeles at 8 a.m. (PDT) Saturday, June 9.

Posted by crose

May 10, 2007

Antidepressants Study by Public Policy Professor Dave Marcotte Featured in The Atlantic

Study finds suicide rates fall significantly within countries as antidepressant sales increase.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson
Office: 410-455-1896
kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – An innovative study on the impact of antidepressants on suicide rates co-authored by Associate Professor Dave Marcotte of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is featured in the June issue of The Atlantic.

Marcotte’s research examined the effects of antidepressants on suicide mortality rates in 26 countries over 25 years. The largest-ever study of international patterns of suicide and antidepressant therapy found a significant decline in suicide deaths in countries with the fastest growth in sales of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.

According to the study Anti-depressants and Suicide, an increase of one pill per capita (about a 12 percent increase over sales in 2000) results in a 5 percent drop in suicide deaths. The study concludes that expanding access to treatment and SSRIs is a more cost-effective method to limit suicide mortality than many other public-health interventions.

The study follows a series of recent government warnings that question the safety of SSRIs, which are among the most widely prescribed medications in the world. Since 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required “black box” warning labels on antidepressants saying they may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents. These warnings were just updated on May 2, 2007.

However, Marcotte and his co-authors argue that randomized clinical trials – which are the basis for the FDA’s findings – have produced conflicting findings over whether SSRIs impact suicide rates. Such trials are a poor way to examine the impact of SSRIs on suicide rates because the samples are too small to yield statistically significant results and “exclude those at highest risk for suicide,” the study found.

“The inability of clinical trials to resolve this question, and the FDA warnings have created intense controversy within medicine. Analyses like ours are the most promising way to shed light on a question of immense importance,” said Marcotte, an associate professor of public policy and researcher at the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC.

The study, which was co-authored by Jens Ludwig of Georgetown University and Karen Norberg of the Washington University School of Medicine, was first released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in February.

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Posted by kavan

May 7, 2007

Sophomore Wins National Essay Contest on Health Care Policy

Political Science major analyzes health care as issue for 2008 presidential race

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kavan Peterson

Office: 410-455-1896
kavan@umbc.edu


Shane Spencer
Sophomore, Political Science

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County's (UMBC) Department of Political Science is pleased to announce that sophomore Shane Spencer won first place in the national KaiserEDU.org 2007 Student Essay Contest in the undergraduate category.

Spencer, a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars majoring in political science and media and communications studies, tied for first place out of a field of more than 60 undergraduate student entries in the health policy essay competition sponsored by the nonprofit Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. KaiserEDU.org is a project of the foundation designed to provide students and faculty interested online access to data, research, analysis and developments in health policy.

Click here to read Spencer’s essay “The Dark Horse’s Preventative Approach,” which outlines a health care policy platform for a hypothetical presidential candidate. The first place prize is $1,000.

“We received essays from students enrolled in a broad range of disciplines from universities across the United States,” said Drew E. Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Within this competitive pool (Spencer’s) essay detailing the Dark Horse’s Plan stood out as exceptionally insightful, thorough, and well-researched.”

More than 250 undergraduate and graduate students submitted essays to the 2007 KaiserEDU.org essay contest. Essays were judged by a panel of professionals, including Michael McCurry and Scott McClellan, former White House press secretaries, Judy Feder, dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

###

Shane Spencer
As part of the Sondheim Scholars program Shane volunteered weekly during her freshman year at My Sister's Place, a women's day shelter in Baltimore City. Shane also ran in the 2006 Baltimore and 2007 Virginia Beach marathons. Shane will be interning with a federal agency this summer and then will study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in the fall of 2007. After graduation in May 2009, Shane plans to go to law or graduate school and work in administration or urban planning.

Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program at UMBC
The Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program supports a diverse pool of talented undergraduates to become effective leaders in government, non-profits, corporations and the community.

Posted by kavan

May 2, 2007

Paramedics and Emergency Responders Nationwide Holding Inaugural Critical Care Transport Symposium

Three-day event focused on latest techniques and technologies for transporting the critically injured by ambulance, helicopter or planes.

CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson

Office: 410-455-1896
Cellphone: 443-739-3052
kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Dozens of Emergency Medical Technicians Paramedics (EMT-P), nurses, physicians and ambulance and medevac flight crews from around the country will descend on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) campus May 5-7 to attend the inaugural Critical Care Transport Symposium hosted by UMBC's Department of Emergency Health Services.

The conference will focus on the treatment of critically ill or injured patients while in transit by ambulance, helicopter or airplane. Sessions on Saturday and Sunday will focus on adult patients and the latest technologies and treatments for heart attacks, head trauma, massive blood loss and other conditions. Monday’s sessions will focus on pediatric and neonatal issues, such as pain medication use on children and fetal monitoring during transport. The symposium will be held at UMBC’s Technology Research Center (Located south of the campus circle -- click here for a map and directions).

Advances in treatments and technologies for transporting the critically injured are important because victims of crashes and other traumatic injuries face the highest risk of death while in transit to a hospital, said Crista Lenk Stathers, a medevac paramedic in Baltimore and Pennsylvania and Director of Professional and Continuing Education for UMBC’s Department of Emergency Health Services (EHS).

“It’s exactly at the point when we get the patient stabilized and into an aircraft or ambulance and take off that the patient decides to take a downward spiral and crash,” Stathers said.

Featured on Saturday will be a demonstration of the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) infant transfer device. The Baby Pod II, created by CooperSurgical, provides a temperature-stable and shock-absorbent environment for infant transport. Stathers is one of the many medevac crews to use the Baby Pod II to transport infants to and from the various pediatric facilities throughout Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.

Other topics covered will be the latest treatments for heart attacks, containment of infectious diseases, missed trauma injuries and new mobile Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) to keep the heart pumping during transport. Speakers include specialists from the Brain Trauma Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Washington Medical Center. For a detailed schedule and to register contact Kavan Peterson: 410-455-1896 or kavan@umbc.edu.

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About the Department of Emergency Health Services
UMBC’s Department of Emergency Health Services is the country’s largest and most experienced program offering undergraduate and graduate education in emergency health, disaster response, counterterrorism, public health and other public emergency response services. It is also the nation’s largest provider of professional and continuing education for emergency medical professionals, providing certification through 44 universities nationwide.

Posted by kavan

April 3, 2007

UMBC’s Isaac Matthews Named Arthur Ashe Jr. 2007 Sports Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine

Meyerhoff Scholar Mechanical Engineering Major Honored for Balancing Academics, Athletics and Leadership

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
Office: 410-455-5793
Cellphone: 443-690-0307
crose@umbc.edu

Isaac Matthews
, a senior mechanical engineering major and a four-year track and field letterman at UMBC, has been named the 2007 “Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year.” The national honor places him on the cover of the April 5 Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

Matthews, a native of Oxon Hill, MD, and a graduate of Oxon Hill High School, is a Meyerhoff Scholar at UMBC with a 3.88 G.P.A. He serves as treasurer for UMBC's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and gives motivational talks to NASA Sharp students. He is well known on campus as a dedicated mentor and tutor to young African-American middle and high school students and as an accomplished cello player.

Matthews will graduate in May with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and has already been accepted to several prestigious engineering graduate programs including MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Michigan and Illinois.

In the Diverse cover story, he discussed his lifelong quest to shatter stereotypes about black students and the challenges of mentoring the younger generation. “There are more black doctors than there are basketball players, but you don’t see the image… As the numbers increase, as you have more black engineers, professors, that image can be defeated by the numbers,” said Matthews.

LaMont Toliver, director of the Meyerhoff program at UMBC, described Matthews in the Diverse profile as “the prototype for a scholar-athlete… with the potential to be the Paul Robeson of our time. He’s that well rounded.”

David Bobb, head track and field coach at UMBC, said in the same story that Matthews “epitomizes the student-athlete because he always puts academics first.” Matthews’ athletic achievements include finishing seventh in the 2005 America East Indoor Championships 800-meter run, placing eighth in the 2004 America East Outdoor Championships and being named a Toyota Athlete of the Week in 2003.

The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars awards are given annually by Diverse: Issues in Education magazine to the female and male athletes in America who best combine athletic and academic excellence with community activism. To be included, students have to compete in an intercollegiate sport; maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2; and be active on their campuses or in their communities. The magazine also ranks teams from around the U.S. in different sports based on their collective GPAs.

Matthews shares the cover of the April 5 issue of Diverse with women’s winner DeCarol Davis, a basketball player with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. For more information on the awards, visit www.diverseeducation.com.

Posted by crose

March 30, 2007

UMBC Public Policy Professor Don Norris Invited to Testify at Congressional Hearing

Norris called as expert witness on voting security

CONTACT:
Kavan Peterson

Office: 410-455-1896
Cellphone: 443-739-3052
kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- Dr. Donald Norris, professor of public policy and director of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC, testified March 23 in a hearing for the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Elections on the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007.

The bill, H.R. 811, would require all states to bring back paper ballots as the official record in elections. Click here to read a transcript of Norris' testimony.

MIPAR serves as UMBC’s premier center for applied scholarly research on significant issues of public policy and links the analytical resources of the University with public policy makers in the state and region.

Norris has been the director of MIPAR since 1989. He also directs the National Center for the Study of Elections (NCSE) within MIPAR, which focuses on issues involving election administration, election technologies and related matters. He holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia. He is a specialist in public management, urban affairs and the application, management and impacts of information technology in public organizations.

Posted by kavan

March 27, 2007

Virtual Middle School Girl 'Jennifer Webb' to Headline Computer Mania Day, May 5 at UMBC

Actors, Animators to Bring Digital Role Model to Life for Hundreds of Middle School Girls, Parents, in Day of Hands-on, High-Tech Fun

Middle school girls of Maryland, the star of the show is a digital version of you!

Jennifer Webb is her name and even though she is a 3-D, digitally animated puppet, she can flip her ponytail, IM, download and prepare for a career in computer technology. In fact she is just like the hundreds of middle school girls from around the state who will be able to interact with her live at Computer Mania Day at UMBC on Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Computer Mania Day is an annual day of free, hands-on, high-tech, fun activities for adults and kids sponsored by UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT). The half-day event helps to get girls interested in technology and computing careers while helping parents and teachers learn how to help prepare their kids for college and technical careers and keep them safe online. While boys are welcome, the focus is on girls because of their continuing under-representation in engineering and information technology fields.

While fashion designers, astronauts, and journalists have been celebrity keynote speakers at past Computer Mania Days, this year the program decided to take a cue from UMBC’s Imaging Research Center (IRC). The IRC recently combined their computer animation and digital puppetry skills with the wit and pen of former Baltimore Sun and current Economist magazine political cartoonist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher to transform his drawings of President George W. Bush into 3-D, interactive, English-mangling life.

IRC faculty and student animators led by visual arts professor/filmmaker Lee Boot will team with faculty and student puppeteers and actors led by theatre professor/master puppeteer Collette Searls to make Jennifer Webb come alive. The development team will study videotape of middle school girls from previous Computer Mania Day events to get the slang, mannerisms and fashions of their target audience down pat.

“Jennifer Webb represents cutting edge technology that can figuratively and literally talk to girls to get the message across that technology is fun,” said Claudia Morrell, director of CWIT.

Jennifer Webb will address and take questions from a panel of business leaders representing Northrop Grumman, AT&T, and Dell as well as attendees at 10:30 a.m. in the UMBC Retriever Activities Center. Later in the day, animators will discuss how bringing Jennifer Webb to life taught real-world lessons with a panel discussion, behind-the-scenes video, and for a few lucky girls, a chance to make the puppet come to life!

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious and do not want to be labeled as “geeks” or “nerds.” Girls also make up only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

At Computer Mania Day, students can sign up for hands-on workshops led by positive female role models from UMBC along with business, government and education leaders. The day is designed to give a broad introduction to how various careers use information technology.

Girls’ events highlights include “Get Down With Robomaniacs,” “Google’s Googol of Opportunities,” and “Great Pictures From Pixels.” All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways including a laptop computer.

Computer Mania Day also offers resources for parents and teachers, including workshops on how to prepare your kids for college, getting girls interested in tech careers and keeping kids safe online.

Admission to the event is free, but registration is required in advance. Adults and children should visit www.computer-mania.info to register.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
Hi-resolution, color images of Jennifer Webb and the Computer Mania Day logo are available online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/JenniferWebb.jpg
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/CMDlogo.jpg

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Dr. William Thomas, Erickson School Professor of Aging Services and Innovative Authority on Eldercare, to Appear on WYPR’s “The Marc Steiner Show”

Thomas to discuss his contributions to improving “elder care” and his book What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson, UMBC News
Office: 410-455-1896
Cellphone: 443-739-3052
kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Dr. William Thomas, professor of aging services at the Erickson School at UMBC and an innovative authority on eldercare, will be a featured guest on WYPR-88.1 FM's “The Marc Steiner Show” on Tuesday, March 27.

In a live broadcast from noon to 1 p.m., Thomas will discuss his revolutionary ideas about why we should embrace aging, as well as his book “What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World.” Named 2005 “Book of the Year” by the American Medical Writers Association, it explores the virtues concealed within the necessity of aging. On air comments for the March Steiner Show can be e-mailed to thesteinershow@wypr.org or listeners can call 410-662-8780 during the show.

About the Erickson School:
The Erickson School was established at UMBC in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson Retirement Communities. It offers a B.A. and M.A. in the Management of Aging Services, as well as Executive Education programs. The Center for Aging Studies at the Erickson School provides cutting edge applied research.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

Posted by elewis

March 26, 2007

UMBC Dean of Engineering & Information Technology Receives International Honor

Society of Manufacturing Engineers Recognizes Warren DeVries’ Accomplishments with Albert M. Sargent Progress Award

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


Photo Caption: Warren DeVries.
Click on the image above to download a high-resolution photo of Dean DeVries.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the world's leading professional society serving the manufacturing industry, named Warren R. DeVries, dean of engineering and information technology at UMBC, the 2007 winner of the SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award today for his significant accomplishments in the field of manufacturing processes, methods and systems.

The SME recognized the recipients of the 2007 SME International Honor Awards at its International Awards Gala which took place in conjunction with SME's Annual Meeting and WESTEC 2007 Exposition and Conference.

“To be recognized by your colleagues is always a great honor. During a time of change in the world and in the manufacturing profession, receiving the Albert M. Sargent Progress Award makes me eager to take up the challenge of education and innovation as the engines that will drive 21st century manufacturing enterprises,” said DeVries.

DeVries is a leader in the national push for excellence in engineering education and is also well known in his field for his pioneering research in material removal processes and manufacturing systems. Prior to coming to UMBC to lead its College of Engineering and Information Technology, he served as the National Science Foundation’s Division Director for the Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation.

DeVries came to the NSF on assignment from Iowa State University, where he was a professor and then chair of the department of mechanical engineering. He has also held faculty positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

DeVries has served on the Board of Governors and as Senior Vice President for Engineering for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and on the Board of Directors and as President for the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He is a Fellow of both the ASME and the SME.

About the SME International Honor Awards:

The SME International Honor Awards recognize exceptional personal accomplishments and contributions to the field of manufacturing engineering in the areas of manufacturing technologies, processes, technical writing, education, research, management or service to the Society. SME members and non-members are encouraged to nominate individuals from industry, academia and government who have made a notable impact in these areas.

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March 23, 2007

Dr. William Thomas, Erickson School Professor of Aging Services and Innovative Authority on Eldercare, to Appear on WYPR's "Maryland Morning"

Thomas to discuss his book “What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World”

CONTACT: Kavan Peterson, UMBC News
Office: 410-455-1896
Cellphone: 443-739-3052
kavan@umbc.edu

Dr. William Thomas, Professor of Aging Services at the Erickson School at UMBC and an innovative authority on eldercare, will be a featured guest on WYPR-88.1 FM's “Maryland Morning With Sheilah Kast” on Monday, March 26.

In a segment scheduled for broadcast at 9:20 a.m., Thomas will discuss his book “What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World.” Named 2005 “Book of the Year” by the American Medical Writers Association, it explores the virtues concealed within the necessity of aging.

About the Erickson School:

The Erickson School was established at UMBC in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson Retirement Communities. It offers a B.A. and M.A. in the Management of Aging Services, as well as Executive Education programs. The Center for Aging Studies at the Erickson School provides cutting edge applied research.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

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March 21, 2007

Arch-Rivals Prepare for Rematch in Final Four of College Chess

Short-Handed UMBC in for a Fight Against UT-Dallas


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The opening rounds are over and millions of men’s college basketball fans eye the upcoming Sweet 16 round, brackets either intact or destroyed. While these multitudes focus on the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and which schools will advance this weekend to the Final Four, a quieter but equally intense rivalry will be underway March 24-25 in Dallas.

One of college sports' top rivalries will be on once again as America's top four chess powerhouses - the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), Duke University and Miami Dade College - face off in the Final Four of College Chess.

In a rare occurrence, all four teams from last year’s Final Four return to battle this year. The participants in the Final Four are determined by the standings in the Pan Am Intercollegiate Chess Tournament, held in December 2006.

UTD and UMBC are the undisputed top two teams in the nation and among only a handful of American colleges that offer full scholarships to top chess players from around the world and hold pep rallies to celebrate victories. UMBC, fresh off its 2005 victory over UTD in the Pan Am Tournament, the top annual competition in college chess, relinquished the 2006 Pan Am to UTD when the event moved for one year to Washington, D.C.

UMBC will be without its top player, Alex Onischuk, who will be playing in a top-level international tournament in his native Russia. Sergey Erenburg, who won the UMBC Open tournament earlier this month, will take Onischuk’s place, anchoring Board 1 for the Retrievers.

“Without Onischuk, it will be a very close fight between UTD and UMBC,” said UMBC chess program director and professor of computer science Alan Sherman.

In 2003 and 2004, UTD has bumped UMBC off the college chess throne with two nail-biter, half-point victories in the Pan Am. Dozens of national and international universities participate annually in the Pan Am, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and the Universities of Chicago, Peru and Toronto. Yet UTD remains the only team able to consistently turn back UMBC.

Fans can follow the Final Four of College Chess live online at the Internet Chess Club Web site, www.chessclub.com, or at www.monroi.com.

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February 22, 2007

Cash-Prize Contests, Lessons from Pros to Mark Entrepreneurship Week at UMBC

Erickson Speech, Business Idea Contests Highlight Events as UMBC Spreads Entrepreneurial Spirit Across Campus

Photo Caption: Read more about UMBC's entrepreneurial community online.

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Real world lessons and real cash prizes will highlight Entrepreneurship Week USA activities at UMBC next week as the University builds on momentum from a recent $2 million grant from the Kauffman Foundation to spread entrepreneurship education and training across campus.

Two business idea competitions for a total of $4,000 in cash prizes kick off the week on Monday, Feb. 26. The first contest is a student business plan competition with $1,000 at stake.

Later that day the “Fillmaster Challenge” begins. The contest offers a $3,000 prize for the best idea on an alternative market niche for a precision purified water dispenser system developed by Fillmaster Systems, Inc. The device currently helps pharmacists prepare reconstituted drugs more accurately and safely, but could easily adapt to other uses.

Real-world lessons from experienced entrepreneurial experts fill out the rest of the week as Retirement community and media entrepreneur John Erickson, founder and CEO of Erickson, Inc., will speak to students. Erickson’s latest venture, Retirement Living TV, a network aimed at those ages 55 and older, recently expanded to reach over 26 million households nationally through DirecTV as his retirement communities continue to expand nationwide. Erickson speaks from noon to 1 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 28, in UMBC’s Commons building room 312.

Earlier in the week, Ellen Hemmerly, executive vice president of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, will speak on the successful growth of techcenter@UMBC and bwtech@UMBC, the University’s on-campus, high-tech business incubator and accelerator programs. The incubator and research park have grown from concept to a high-demand location for startup and emerging tech companies in the region.

A recent, independent economic impact study of the techcenter and research park documented 841 direct jobs at the two facilities, which support more than 2,000 total jobs statewide and generate $2.1 million in income and property taxes for counties in the Baltimore region. Hemmerly will speak in The Commons room 331 from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 27.

"The Kauffman grant allows us to take entrepreneurship programming to the next level," said Vivian Armor, director of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at UMBC. Armor hopes the week’s activities expand awareness that entrepreneurship can be found beyond traditional definitions of business.

“Entrepreneurship can play an important role in all disciplines," Armor said. "Faculty and students pushing the envelope in science and technology, breaking new ground in the creative arts or crafting new solutions to society's problems can all be entrepreneurs. Some people don't even realize what they are doing is entrepreneurial."

For a full schedule of Entrepreneurship Week USA events at UMBC, please visit www.umbc.edu/entrepreneurship.

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February 12, 2007

UMBC Theatre Faculty in the News

UMBC's Department of Theatre faculty and alumni recently received favorable reviews in the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and the Washington City Paper.

A production directed by Xerxes Mehta, professor of theatre, was reviewed in the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post. The double bill of one-act plays by Harold Pinter--The Collection and The Lover--also included set and costumes by Elena Zlotescu, associate professor of theatre, and Lynn Watson, chair and associate professor of theatre, was dialect consultant.

The Pinter plays were produced by Rep Stage, the professional theatre company in residence at Howard County Community College. The new artistic director of Rep Stage is theatre alumnus Michael Stebbins.

In addition, Assistant Professor of Theatre Colette Searls' direction of Vigils at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC was favorably reviewed in the Washington Post and Washington City Paper.

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February 7, 2007

Andrew Sears, UMBC Information Systems, Discusses Booming IT Job Market on Maryland Public Television

Andrew Sears, chair and professor of UMBC's Information Systems department, was recently an in-studio guest for Maryland Public Television's "Business Connection."

Sears discussed how the information technology (IT) job market is doing much better than conventionally thought. According to Sears, trends like decreased outsourcing, increased hiring and even signing bonuses for talented IT grads all add up to a booming IT job market for the Class of 2007.

Sears was invited by the show's producers based on UMBC's growing reputation as a statewide and national leader. According to the January 2007 issue of Computing Research News, UMBC ranks # 2 in IT degrees awarded by major US research universities. UMBC also continues to be the largest producer of information technology graduates in Maryland.

To watch the video online, visit the UMBC Informations Systems department's website.

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TV Growing Up Fast at UMBC

Feb. 16 Open House to Celebrate Retirement Living TV’s New $1.3 Million UMBC Studio as Students Get Into the Action

MEDIA ADVISORY:

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

It’s lights-camera-action at UMBC as Retirement Living Television (RLTV), the fast-growing, first-of-its-kind, cable network devoted exclusively to people age 55 and over, has transformed the university’s on-campus TV studio from dusty to dazzling thanks to over a million dollars in new equipment.

UMBC will celebrate its strengthening partnership with Retirement Living TV on Friday Feb. 16 with an open house event featuring UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski, Erickson founder and CEO John Erickson and RLTV president Brad Knight. UMBC communications faculty and students will be on hand as RLTV production staff demonstrate the revamped studio and discuss the programs produced there.

RLTV began as a media offshoot of Erickson Retirement Communities and has since grown to reach 25 million U.S. households thanks to national broadcast partnerships with DirecTV and Comcast. The network recently began producing two programs -- “The Voice” and a yet-to-be-named advocacy show -- at the UMBC studio.

UMBC communications students will soon get hands-on experience as six interns from different disciplines are set to begin work in the studio. RLTV airs daily in the Baltimore area on CN8 The Comcast Channel and on DirecTV.

WHAT: An Open House of the new, $1.3 million Retirement Living TV Studio at UMBC, featuring interview opportunities with RLTV, UMBC and Erickson executives along with UMBC students and faculty and RLTV production staff. See demonstrations in the Control Room and tour the facilities.

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 16, noon-2 p.m.
WHERE: In the studios on the second and third floors of Academic IV Building, A Wing, UMBC.

The refurbished studio has already increased internship opportunities for UMBC students and will further research collaboration between the University and the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC. RLTV will eventually broadcast its programming from a new $20 million TV production and information technology facility currently under construction at bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park.

For more information on Retirement Living Television, visit rl.tv.

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January 22, 2007

UMBC Political Scientist Tom Schaller on “The Colbert Report”

Watch the video online.

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Can Tom Schaller, UMBC’s resident expert on national politics and an associate professor of political science, handle the “truthiness?"

Schaller and his latest book Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, took the national stage Monday night as a guest on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

For the record, host Stephen Colbert, a native of Charleston, S.C., didn't put Schaller "on notice" or tell him his advice for Democrats to forget the South and focus on the Midwest and Interior West states was “just plain wrong."

Watch the video online.

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December 30, 2006

UMBC Qualifies for Final Four of College Chess at Pan-Am

UMBC-Hosted Tournament Draws Positive Media Coverage

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) chess team qualified for the "Final Four of College Chess" by placing third in the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championships, “The World Series of College Chess," held this weekend in Washington, D.C.

The top four U.S. teams at the Pan Am will advance to the Collegiate Final Four round-robin tournament to be held in Dallas on March 24 and 25, 2007. Other qualifying teams were UT-Dallas, the winner of the 2006 Pan-Am, along with Miami-Dade College and Duke University.

UMBC was the host for a successful 2006 Pan-Am tournament that drew media interest from around the nation and region, including the New York Times, an Op-Ed and feature in the Baltimore Sun and a Washington Post story.

Adithya Balasubramanian, a 10th grade player from Tabb High School in York County, Virginia, was the winner of the scholastic tournament at the Pan-Am. He is the top-rated junior player in Virginia and qualified for a four-year scholarship from UMBC with his victory.

More information online: www.umbc.edu/chess/Pan-Am2006

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December 19, 2006

Kevin Eckert, Dean of The Erickson School, to Appear on WYPR's "Maryland Morning"

Eckert to Discuss Innovative School's New Undergraduate Major in Management of Aging Services

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


BALTIMOREKevin Eckert, Dean of The Erickson School at UMBC, will be a featured guest on WYPR-88.1 FM's “Maryland Morning With Sheilah Kast” on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

In a segment scheduled for broadcast at 9:20 a.m., Eckert will discuss The Erickson School's new undergraduate major in the management of aging services, the first of its kind in the country.

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December 15, 2006

‘Cuban Cyclone,’ ‘Polish Magician’ and ‘Kiev Killer’ Descend on the Nation’s Capital

Reigning Champion UMBC is Host for Pan-Am Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, Dec. 27-30 at Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The “Cuban Cyclone,” the “Polish Magician” and the “Kiev Killer” bring their take-no-prisoners game plan to Washington on December 27.

They are determined to keep the title they reclaimed last year in Miami, when the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) won its record seventh title at the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championships, “The World Series of College Chess.”

Intercollegiate chess won’t land players on the “jacked-up” segment of a football television network near you. It won’t inspire a contract holdout, develop a left fielder with home-run pop or prevent an NFL wide receiver from “talking trash.”

Nonetheless, intercollegiate chess is intense. Its competitors are fierce. Mental acumen and physical stamina are essential. UMBC, a place where pep rallies for the chess team are routine, is serious about continuing its reign as national collegiate champions.

UMBC features such recruits as American freshman Ryan Goldenberg of West Haven, Conn., and colorfully nicknamed grandmasters such as Katrina “the Kiev Killer” Rohonyan of Ukraine, Pawel “The Polish Magician” Blehm and “The Cuban Cyclone” Bruci Lopez.

The competition runs December 27-30 at the Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., near the intersection of K Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Admission is free and spectators are welcome.

The Pan-Am is one of the world’s most celebrated intercollegiate chess tournaments. Since its 1946 inception, five years before Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World,” dozens of universities throughout the Americas have participated.

The 2006 Pan-Am includes teams from Yale, Duke and Dartmouth. Its international flavor is embodied by such schools as the University of Toronto, the Catholic University of Peru and Miami Dade College, a rising chess power thanks to an influx of top Cuban players.

The tournament is open to any college or university team from North, South, or Central America. The tournament also includes the Pan-Am scholastic team individual and team championships for students in grades 1-12. The top individual scholastic winner will be offered a four-year scholarship to UMBC, a $69,416 value.

On Dec. 27 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., the weekend kicks off with a fast-paced exhibition match with a top cash prize of $1,000. The match will feature live, play-by-play commentary from chess authorities master Craig Jones and former UMBC player senior master William “The Exterminator” Morrison.

Among the highlights for UMBC at the 2005 Pan Am were a sweep of Harvard and victories over archrival the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), winner of the previous two Pan-Am titles.

The Retrievers won their first title in 1996 and then embarked on a five-year championship streak from 1998 to 2002. UMBC and UTD are the undisputed top two teams in the nation, and among only a handful of schools nationwide that attract the world's best chess players with full scholarships.

The top four teams from the Pan-Am will go on to face each other in the Final Four of College Chess to be held March 24 and 25, 2007 in Dallas.

More information online: www.umbc.edu/chess/Pan-Am2006

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December 14, 2006

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Awards $2 Million to Fund Entrepreneurship at UMBC

Initiative Seeks to Develop Entrepreneurs Outside of Business, Engineering Schools

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has been awarded a $2 million grant to build UMBC entrepreneurship programs across the campus, joining a select group of colleges and universities receiving funding for entrepreneurship endeavors through the Kauffman Campuses Initiative.

The Kauffman Foundation initiated the three-year-old Kauffman Campuses Initiative to catalyze entrepreneurship programs outside of business and engineering schools. The Kauffman Foundation grant complements two substantial commitments already received by UMBC to support its Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. The first commitment is $1 million from Constellation Energy Group. The second is $1 million from the Herbert Bearman Foundation to establish The Bearman Family Chair in Entrepreneurship at UMBC.

The Kauffman Foundation grant acknowledges the success and potential of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, created six years ago through a gift of $1 million from the Alex. Brown Foundation to develop a leading university entrepreneurship center for the Baltimore region.

UMBC has developed three broad strategies to make entrepreneurship education a common and accessible experience for students in all majors: exposure of students and faculty to entrepreneurs and their expertise, creation of formal education opportunities and development of programs to give students and faculty experience in entrepreneurial settings.

UMBC, recognized for its culture of entrepreneurship education despite the absence of a business school, joins a prestigious group of institutions selected by the Kauffman Foundation for funding. The others are Arizona State University, Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, New York University, Purdue University, Syracuse University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UMBC learned of its selection after a campus delegation, led by President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, presented its proposal before an independent panel of judges at Kauffman Foundation headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., on December 12.

“This partnership gives UMBC the opportunity to take entrepreneurship programming to the next level,” says Vivian Armor, director of the Alex. Brown Center. “It will allow UMBC to expand course offerings for current undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals. It will improve programming that exposes students and faculty to important entrepreneurial concepts. Finally, the partnership will help develop systems to support individuals as they work to launch successful business ventures or address urgent challenges facing our communities through social entrepreneurship.”

The Alex. Brown Center supports the kind of entrepreneurial creativity and action exemplified by the creation of OpenPosting.com, the first online classified community for college students. Students Wan Hsi Yuan and Jason Servary, members of the Center’s student-run CEO Club, created the site. It has 1,500 registered users and receives roughly 4,000 page views per day.

Entrepreneurship at UMBC also thrives via the Alex. Brown Center’s summer entrepreneurship institute. In summer, 2006, UMBC’s first Faculty Summer Institute was held for eight faculty members representing the departments of music, dance, theater and visual arts. The institute was created to broaden faculty exposure to concepts of entrepreneurship and integrate into their curricula career development skills, internships and mentoring relationships with established entrepreneurs.

Participation by faculty was determined based upon proposals that demonstrated interest in learning more about entrepreneurship. Winning proposals from faculty included the exploration of marketing and audience development initiatives, the development of courses to help students understand professional careers in the arts and arts and non-profit organization management.

The Center also serves as one of the University’s partners in the ACTiVATE program, funded by the National Science Foundation to address the unique needs of accomplished women interested in starting technology companies. Eight women in the ACTiVATE program, established two years ago, now lead their own tech companies.

The Alex. Brown Center’s activities are complemented by such other initiatives as techcenter@UMBC and bwtech@UMBC, which offer specialized support geared specifically toward research and technology businesses. Through UMBC’s Shriver Center, a national leader in promoting community-based service and internship programs, businesses are introduced to undergraduate and graduate students interested in internship experience in career-related fields.

“The Alex. Brown Center augments the excellent education UMBC offers by giving students the proper toolset to interface with business leaders in their field of choice,” said Greg Barnhill,” chair of the Alex. Brown Center Board of Visitors and partner and member of the board of Brown Advisory Securities. “We offer students guidance on how to deal with people on a daily basis, compose quality written communication and verbalize opinions effectively.”

The grant is awarded with the expectation that UMBC will raise an additional $8 million toward entrepreneurship programs during the next five years.

The Kauffman Campuses Initiative began in 2003 with $25 million in funding to eight schools that provided entrepreneurship education within liberal arts, engineering and other non-business programs.

Selection of this latest round of Kauffman Campuses schools was based on a series of criteria, including the ability to generate a partnership with other foundations and funders and the potential to create new representative models.

“Our initiative is creating a cultural change and making the entire university system more entrepreneurial,” said Kauffman CEO Carl Schramm. “We want all students, not just those in business schools, to see the value of thinking like entrepreneurs. We want them to be able to recognize and seize opportunity when it presents itself, no matter what field they find themselves in.”


About the Alex. Brown Center

Established in 2000 through a gift of $1 million from the Alex. Brown Foundation, the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship is the hub of entrepreneurial-based activity at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It provides an active link between the academic community and the corporate environment. Since its inception, the Center has worked closely with the Baltimore business community to create one of the leading university centers for entrepreneurship in the country housed at a mid-sized university. Information about the Alex. Brown Center is available at http://www.umbc.edu/entrepreneurship.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Information about the Kauffman Foundation is available at www.kauffman.org.

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November 27, 2006

UMBC Astronomer Helps Discover Possible New Black Hole

Previously Unknown Black Hole’s Speed, Power Surprises NASA, European Space Agency Team



Illustration Caption: An artist's impression of a possible new black hole ripping gas and matter from the star it orbits.

Click on the illustration to view a European Space Agency gallery of images and animation related to this story.


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

An international team of astrophysicists including Volker Beckmann of UMBC/NASA-Goddard has discovered a possible new black hole near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The previously unknown black hole surprised scientists by suddenly “switching on,” emitting strong pulses of radiation as it began consuming gas from the star it orbits over 26,000 light years away from our solar system. The discovery, detailed in a letter published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, was made using NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) satellites.

In an ESA press release, Roland Walter, an astronomer at the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre and lead author of the research results, said "The galactic center is one of the most exciting regions for gamma-ray astronomy because there are so many potential gamma-ray sources.”

Beckmann, a research assistant professor at UMBC’s Joint Center for Astrophysics and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, was part of the team who used NASA's Swift satellite and ESA's INTEGRAL satellite to spot the tell-tale gamma ray outburst. The research team includes scientists from Switzerland, France, Belgium, Poland, the United States and Spain.

According to Beckmann, potential new black holes are scarcer than commonly thought. “We know about 10 stellar systems in which we’re pretty sure that there's a black hole involved, and 10 more are good candidates,” he said. “What really surprised us was the intensity of the radiation it emitted and how quickly it became an obvious black hole candidate.”

The team found that the black hole’s unusually strong gravitational pull ripped off layers of the star it orbits, drawing them into its maelstrom. “We’re not sure why this black hole is letting off occasional bright outbursts of radiation instead of a steady stream,” said Beckmann, “But we suspect these powerful emissions are caused by big chunks of the star’s matter falling into the black hole.”

"This detection was possible because of the capability of NASA's Swift satellite to respond quickly to new objects showing up in the sky,” said Neil Gehrels, chief of NASA/Goddard’s Astroparticle Physics Laboratory and leader of the Swift satellite team.

The possible new black hole has drawn the attention of the international astronomy community, having been viewed by all major X-ray telescopes in space including: NASA's Chandra telescope, the Japanese JAXA and NASA collaboration Suzaku and the ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray satellite.

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November 20, 2006

Erickson Technology, Broadcast Divisions to Build at UMBC Research Park


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today that Erickson Retirement Communities will construct a $20 million building at the university’s on-campus research and technology park bwtech@UMBC. Erickson will move its information technology (IT) department, its adult living national broadcast network Retirement Living TV (RL-TV) and its private charitable foundation to the 110,000 square-foot building, expected to be completed by mid-2008.

The move will increase research collaboration and internship opportunities between the Erickson organization and UMBC students and faculty in The Erickson School and visual arts, communications and information technology programs.

The Erickson School at UMBC grew out of Erickson founder John Erickson’s vision for interdisciplinary research and education to improve life for older adults. Since its start in January 2005, the School has launched an undergraduate major in management of aging services, expanded an executive education program for senior housing and care professionals and is planning a professional master’s program.

Current research partnerships between The Erickson School and the Erickson organization include developing new computer technology applications for seniors’ housing, support for three gerontology doctoral students’ studies of older adult health and well-being and proposals to make selected Erickson communities National Institute on Aging research sites.

"We look forward to expanding our partnership with UMBC in a way that will help us to more effectively shape the future of aging studies in the United States and to enhance the operational components of our company that will help to redefine it," said John Erickson, chairman and CEO of Erickson Retirement Communities.

“UMBC is delighted to strengthen our relationship with Erickson Retirement Communities,” said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. “Together we will shape innovative approaches combining healthcare, public policy, information technology and communications to meet the needs and interests of the aging Baby Boom generation.”

RL-TV will house its corporate headquarters and three production studios in the new facility. The network recently signed a national broadcasting agreement with DirectTV to expand its viewing audience to over 24 million homes. Retirement Living TV produces programming focused on health, finance, politics and living for people over the age of 55. RL-TV recently partnered with UMBC’s New Media Studio to produce pilots for two programs and is expected to collaborate further with UMBC’s Imaging Research Center and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Erickson’s IT department will work with UMBC on advanced research in health informatics, real time data applications, information assurance, data security and wearable computing. The department will move 60 professionals and a high bandwidth data center to the new building and is expected to hire 10 to 15 UMBC graduates per year as the company grows.

Founded in 1998, the Erickson Foundation funds research projects aimed at improving best practices in active aging and aging with choices. The Foundation is currently conducting research on walking studies, ergonomics, balance control, nursing, memory and other senior wellness and lifestyle issues.

The Erickson facility will be the fifth bwtech@UMBC building. Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, says demand for office and lab space at UMBC remains strong.

"Many outside businesses and emerging tech firms from our incubator continue to express interest in locating on our campus," Hemmerly said. "We continue to welcome companies that seek all the advantages of growing their business at UMBC."

Construction is underway for the park’s third building, a new home for the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) MD/DE/DC Regional Water Science Center. Ground is expected to be broken for the fourth building -- an 110,000 square-foot, $22 million multi-tenant facility-- in the first half of 2007. Both the USGS and multi-tenant buildings are being developed by Corporate Office Properties Trust.

About Erickson:

John Erickson launched Erickson Retirement Communities with the 1983 opening of Catonsville, Maryland’s Charlestown, now the nation’s largest campus-style retirement community. Today, Erickson Retirement Communities operates 16 campuses housing more than 18,000 people in eight states. Two more communities are set to open in the near future. The company is noted for its progressive approach to recruitment, training and development, and has broadened its business lines with the addition of a managed health plan for residents. Mr. Erickson has also shown his commitment to the interests of individuals over the age of 55 with his September 2006 launch of Retirement Living, a television and Internet media company. More information is online at www.EricksonCommunities.com and www.RL.TV.

About bwtech@UMBC:

bwtech@UMBC is a state-of-the-art, 41-acre research and technology community. UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of other U.S. parks and the vision of the late Michael Hooker, UMBC president from 1986-1992. The first building was completed in 2001. To date, UMBC’s research park and technology incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO.) bwtech@UMBC is part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for job creation.

Posted by crose

November 1, 2006

Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture Exhibition on MPT 11/1

The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture's "Raymond Loewy:Designs for a Consumer Culture" exhibition will be featured on MPT's "ArtWorks This Week" on Wednesday, November 1. Professor David Yager, the Center's executive director, gives a tour of the exhibit and a look into the mind of industrial designer Raymond Loewy. For more information, visit www.mpt.org/artworks/thisweek.

For more information on the exhibition and upcoming arts events at UMBC, visit www.umbc.edu/arts.

Posted by elewis

October 31, 2006

University Teams to Kick Off Voting Technology Competition

Computer Science Students from UMBC, George Washington, Stanford, Others Hope Contest Yields Ideas for More Secure Electronic Voting

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


WASHINGTON, D.C. – As worries increase about the reliability and security of electronic voting machines a week away from the General Election, a team of computer science students and professors from UMBC and George Washington University will announce on Thursday at the National Press Club the start of a new national competition aimed at sparking ideas for better electronic voting technology while raising college students’ awareness of the political process.

Organized by UMBC professor of computer science Alan Sherman and funded by the National Science Foundation, the University Voting Systems Competition (www.vocomp.org) will take place throughout the academic year.

The UMBC/GW team will compete against teams from Stanford, Rice, Newcastle (UK), Wroclaw (Poland), and other universities to design and implement innovative voting technologies. Teams must post their voting system designs online in January 2007 for review by peers and a panel of judges including IT experts from Microsoft, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and MIT.

Teams that advance to the next round of competition will be required to demonstrate their systems in a student government or similar real-world campus election in May. Five finalist teams will be chosen to travel to Portland, Oregon, on July 16-18, for the final competition which will include a judged mock election along with academic presentations, critiques, and invited lectures by national experts on voting.

According to Sherman, an expert on cryptology and the security of voting systems, the judging criteria include reliability, security, privacy, ease of use for voters and election officials, and accessibility to the disabled.

“There is a need for better voting technologies that are more secure, reliable, accountable and easy to use.” Sherman said. “This competition will inspire innovation and involvement, and establish the feasibility of competitions as a way to gauge the security of voting systems.”

PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS:
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006
2 - 3pm
National Press Club,
529 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20045

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October 24, 2006

UMBC's ACTiVATE Program to be Featured on "The Digital Spin" With Mario Armstrong

Women Entrepreneurs Training Program is Focus of WEAA 88.9 FM Show, Wed., October 25, 7-8pm


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's ACTiVATE program, which trains women from business and science backgrounds in entrepreneurship, will be the focus of the Wednesday, Oct. 25 "Digital Spin With Mario Armstrong" show on WEAA 88.9 FM.

Stephen Auvil, director of UMBC's Office of Technology Development (OTD), and ACTiVATE participants Kris Appel and Eva Mitter will be Armstrong's guest for the show.

ACTiVATE is a year-long, competitive program to train women with significant technical or business experience to be entrepreneurs and to create start-up companies from inventions from Maryland research institutions and federal agencies.

Armstrong covers technology for Baltimore & Washington-area National Public Radio affiliates and television stations. He is also co-founder of the Urban Video Game Academy.

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UMBC Names 12 Business, Science Leaders to College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Advisory Board

Biotech, Pharma, NASA, and NSA Execs to Advise College, Build Connections

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the appointment of 12 leaders selected from the Mid-Atlantic region’s business and scientific community to serve on the Dean’s Advisory Board for UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

The Board will help expand awareness of the College’s programs, research and resources and strengthen partnerships with public and private research laboratories, key industry leaders and policymakers. Board members, who will serve three-year renewable terms, will advise the Dean on critical issues including workforce education and training; academic program and curriculum development; faculty recruitment; collaborative research funding; and opportunities for students and alumni.

“UMBC is fortunate to have the counsel of such a diverse group of outstanding scientists and businesspeople,” said Geoffrey Summers, Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at UMBC. “The Board will strengthen the College’s connections with top researchers in bioscience, medicine, homeland security and environmental and space science — fields vital to economic growth, innovation and opportunity in Maryland and beyond.”

The Board will be chaired by biotech entrepreneur and UMBC alumnus Sheldon Broedel, Ph.D. Broedel is a co-founder and CEO/CSO of AthenaES, a biotechnology products and services firm located at the University’s on-campus business incubator, techcenter@UMBC. Broedel, who received his doctoral and master's degrees in Microbial and Molecular Genetics from UMBC, has 19 years of industrial experience, holds three issued patents and has designed and launched 68 products. He also serves on the Science Advisor Board for Villa Julie College and is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine’s department of Microbiology and Immunology.

“It is an honor to serve my alma mater alongside a team of exceptional minds from government and business,” said Broedel. “Like me, they know from experience that UMBC is a place committed to scientific excellence, with talented faculty and students eager to share their skills with industry.”

The other Board members announced today are:

Ron Baker, Manager, Cosmetic Claim Development & Support, Procter & Gamble;

Paul Behrens, Director of Physiology, Martek Biosciences;

April Brys, Manager, Biosciences, Battelle;

Stacey Franklin, Vice President, BioTech Primer;

Peter Hughes, Chief Technologist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center;

Peter Kiener, Senior Vice President of Research, MedImmune;

Alvin LaVoie, Director, Emerging Technologies, Rohm and Haas;

Jerry Skotnicki, Director, Chemical and Screening Sciences, Wyeth Research;

Terry Turpin, Chief Scientist, Essex Corp;

Nancy Welker, Chief Technical Officer, National Security Agency;

George Young, VP, Business Development, GRACE Davison.

UMBC’S College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. The College has more than 100 full time faculty members, and includes approximately 1500 majors in 7 undergraduate programs and 280 graduate students in 13 graduate programs. These four departments administer close to half of the Ph.D. programs at UMBC. Research expenditures currently are nearly $13M per year. More information online at http://www.umbc.edu/CNMS/

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October 17, 2006

Managed Care Boosts Access to Health Services for Children Enrolled in Maryland Medicaid

UMBC Researcher Todd Eberly Wins National Dissertation Award

CONTACT: Anne Roland, UMBC Public Policy Department
410-455-8457
anne@umbc.edu

The Maryland Medicaid managed care program has had a positive impact on the receipt of preventive health services by black, white, and Hispanic children and adolescents, as well as black and Hispanic adults, according to a new study from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Following a nationwide trend, Maryland implemented the HealthChoice managed care program in 1998 as a means to control Medicaid costs. Under managed care, the state contracts with private insurers to provide preventative health care services to Medicaid enrollees, such as well child visits, immunizations, and physicals. However, there had been conflicting research on whether managed care meets the needs of socially vulnerable populations, particularly minorities.

Medicaid currently covers 600,000 Maryland residents, including 30 percent of the state’s children. Studies have shown that a significantly larger percentage of black and Hispanic Americans are covered by Medicaid than white Americans, but these populations make less use of routine health procedures and services. These disparities in the use of health care services are significant because studies have shown that a lack of preventive care puts disadvantaged populations at greater risk of serious health problems later in life.

Todd Eberly, a researcher at the Center for Health Program Development and Management at UMBC, analyzed health care data for Medicaid clients in Maryland before and after the adoption of managed care to determine whether the program has had any impact on the preventive care use.

He found that Maryland’s managed care program has had a positive impact on the receipt of primary preventive care by black, white, and Hispanic children and adolescents, as well as black and Hispanic adults. All children and adolescents experienced increases in the use of preventative health services, but increases for black and Hispanic youths were significantly greater than for their white peers.

“The improvements for minority youth were particularly noteworthy,” said Eberly, “because children are especially vulnerable. Access to preventive care is key to the promotion of good heath and quality of life.”

Eberly, who received his Ph.D. in Public Policy at UMBC in 2006, conducted the research for his dissertation, which has been selected for the 2006 Annual Dissertation Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). He will receive his award this week in Minneapolis at the NASPAA Annual Conference.

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Dr. Bill Thomas, Innovative Authority On Aging, Offers Lecture At Erickson School On Nov. 9

Developer Of The “Eden Alternative” And “Green House” Approach To Long-Term Care To Deliver 7 P.M. Lecture



CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Dr. Bill Thomas, an international authority on later life and eldercare, will deliver a talk, “What Are Old People For?” at The Erickson School on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

Thomas has been long recognized as an innovator in formulating approaches to long-term care. Thomas has brought plants, dogs, cats and birds into nursing home facilities to share with patients. This unique approach, known as the Eden Alternative, shifted attention toward enhancing the emotional well-being of residents.

Thomas is focused now on a new endeavor, the Green House Project. With a five-year, $10 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he is developing a plan to replace more than 100 nursing homes in the United States with groups of smaller homes. Each will house eight to ten residents in private rooms. The grant will result in the creation of Green House projects in all 50 states.

The lecture will take place on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. To RSVP and for further details, please contact The Erickson School toll-free at 1-877-853-0439 or e-mail Kristanna Jones at krista@umbc.edu.

Recently, U.S.News & World Report described Thomas as a “revolutionary” thinker whose “startling common-sense ideas and his ability to persuade others to take a risk” bring critically needed approaches to the science of aging.

“Bill Thomas is a pioneering thinker who inspires legions of people who have committed their study and careers to the business and science of aging,” said Dr. J. Kevin Eckert, dean of The Erickson School. “We know that his lecture will be another inspiring evening and are delighted to present it at The Erickson School.”

Thomas graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986, and he was selected by the Mead Johnson Foundation as one of the top Family Medicine residents in the country during his three-year residency at the University of Rochester. He earned board certification in Family Medicine in 1992 and added a certificate in Geriatrics in 1994. Thomas also maintains a part-time appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine for Upstate Medical Center.

Thomas is the recipient of a three-year fellowship from the global nonprofit organization Ashoka, which searches the world for individuals with unprecedented ideas for community change. He won the America's Award, established by Norman Vincent Peale and sometimes called "The Nobel Prize for Goodness" in 1997.

Thomas has published six books, including "What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World." Named 2005 “Book of the Year” by the American Medical Writers Association, it explores the virtues concealed within the necessity of aging. Thomas also recently authored "In the Arms of Elders: A Parable of Wise Leadership and Community Building."

His books "Learning from Hannah" and "LifeWorth Living" explore the concept of the Eden Alternative and its impact on long-term care. Thomas is currently working on a book about the relationship between aging, health and healing.

About The Erickson School:

The Erickson School was established at UMBC in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.


More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

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October 12, 2006

CommUniversity Fest to Give Whole Family Free Samples of UMBC

Fun, Free Events to Expand Minds, Move Bodies Oct. 21



CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Note to Media: High-resolution photos are available for download at the bottom of this advisory.

UMBC is throwing the biggest party in its 40-year history on Saturday, Oct. 21, and the public is invited to enjoy CommUniversity Fest, a day of free activities for all ages reflecting UMBC's diverse mix of arts, culture, athletics and intellect.

Feed Your Head with thought-provoking lectures and discussions by UMBC faculty on topics ranging from politics and infinity to parenting and rock n’ roll. Or put the fun back in “fundamental laws of physics” with a hands-on engineering lesson using balls, hot-air balloons and biplanes.

Soak Your Senses in free arts exhibits, audio tours and gallery crawls, plus live music and dance performances by alumni and student groups.

Cruise Down Memory Lane with a classic car show or savor the spirit of the Orioles 1966 World Series victory with Baltimore Sun sports columnist Peter Schmuck.


Playtime for Kids of All Ages features face painting, carnival games, rock climbing wall, moon bounce, a soccer clinic by Baltimore Blast players, a parade of 40 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and a giant-size chess challenge against members of UMBC’s world championship team.

Event Details:

UMBC CommUniversity Fest
Saturday, Oct. 21
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Erickson Field
(in front of Albin O. Kuhn Library & across from Erickson Hall)
UMBC
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250

All events are free and open to the public. Free parking on campus. Rain or Shine.

For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit http://www.umbc.edu/communiversity/ or call 410-455-8000.

Note to Media:
High resolution photos & captions related to this advisory are below. Click on the smaller photo to access a high-resolution copy. Contact Chip Rose, UMBC News, at 410-455-5793 or crose@umbc.edu if any questions about downloading.

Caption for photo above:
UMBC's mascot dog will lead 40 other Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and volunteer owners and breeders from across the region in the "March of the Retrievers." The parade of 40 dogs starts at the "True Grit" status outside UMBC's Retriever Activities Center on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 12:15 p.m., continuing to the Commons and ending at the Soccer Field.

Caption for photo above:
UMBC professors Anne Spence (left) and Taryn Bayles put the fun back in "fundmental laws of physics" as they present "Balls, Balloons, and Bi-Planes: Hands-on Engineering for the Whole Family," from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday on UMBC's Erickson Field.


Caption for Photo Above:
UMBC student dance performances are among the many arts and culture events open to the public at CommUniversity Fest.

Caption for photo above:
At 1 p.m., UMBC Men's Soccer takes on Hartford University, followed by a soccer clinic led by UMBC Alumni, now pro players for the Baltimore Blast.

Posted by crose

October 3, 2006

UMBC Public Policy Professor Don Norris to Appear on WBAL-TV 11, Discuss African-American Vote in State Elections

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Dr. Donald Norris, professor of public policy and director of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC, will appear from 11:30 a.m. to Noon on Sunday, Oct. 8 on the WBAL-TV (Ch. 11) program 11 TV Hill.

Norris will discuss the importance of the African-American vote in various Maryland political races as the Nov. 7 general election approaches.

MIPAR serves as UMBC’s premier center for applied scholarly research on significant issues of public policy and links the analytical resources of the University with public policy makers in the state and region.

Norris has been the director of MIPAR since 1989. He holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia. He is a specialist in public management, urban affairs and the application, management and impacts of information technology in public organizations.

Posted by mlurie

September 28, 2006

Barak, Woodward, Gore Headline 'The Maryland Forum' Speaker Series at UMBC

Sept. 28, 2006

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Forum, a prestigious speaker series at UMBC in partnership with the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (AAACCC), will debut this fall with an appearance by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24.

The Maryland Forum, held at the UMBC Retriever Activities Center, continues with three other notable speakers:

• Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Bob Woodward (7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8)
• Former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken, Jr. (April, 2007, TBD)
• Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore (7 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2007)

“Our campus is delighted to be the host site for The Maryland Forum. Our mission as a public research university includes stimulating the intellectual and cultural life of the region. Therefore, we are also pleased that our partnership with The Maryland Forum will continue to build UMBC as a destination for cultural programming,” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski.

Tickets for UMBC faculty, students and staff for each speaker are $5 (cash and campus ID account only) and can be obtained at the information desk in The Commons, beginning Oct. 9. When presenting their ticket, UMBC faculty, students and staff must show their UMBC identification card.

For the general public, tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-49-FORUM, online at www.themarylandforum.com and by mail at AAACCC, P.O. Box 346, Annapolis, MD 21404. Prices are $100 for the series and $35 for a single lecture. UMBC alumni are offered the opportunity to buy up to two tickets at a discounted price of $85 (series) or $25 (single lecture).

The Maryland Forum offers an opportunity for the general public to interact with world leaders, Pulitzer Prize winners, former national and international statesmen and authors in an informal setting with a central, convenient location.

“Growing and nurturing the mind knows no jurisdictional boundaries,” said AAACCC President Bob Burdon. “We are grateful to UMBC and President Hrabowski for forming this partnership with us.”

Proceeds from the speaker series will benefit the AAACCC educational foundation, which supports education programs and scholarships throughout the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan region.

Posted by mlurie

September 27, 2006

UMBC, U. Maryland & USRA Join Forces with NASA Goddard to Create New Center for Space Science and Technology

Partnership Builds on Astrophysics, Other NASA Research at UMBC


CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu



Picture Caption: Jane Turner (left) and Ian George of UMBC's Joint Center for Astrophysics in the UMBC Physics Building telescope dome.

The team of UMBC, the University of Maryland, College Park and the Universities Space Research Association has been selected by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to establish and operate the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST).

CRESST will bring together NASA Goddard researchers and scientists from the Maryland campuses and USRA to build upon the many capabilities and strengths in space science of the participating organizations. CRESST research will initially focus on the study of neutron stars, black holes, and extremely hot gas throughout the universe. The Center also will work to increase the involvement of minority and women scientists in space science research and to facilitate university student participation in such research.

The Center will be supported through a five-year cooperative agreement from NASA with funding anticipated to be $7.5 million per year. A five-year extension is possible. The university partnership group will operate and provide funding for a management/scientist support office.

"This is a great day for Maryland,” said Maryland Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. “The creation of CRESST is the kind of collaboration between our universities and government laboratories that fosters discovery, innovation, creates new technologies, new ideas and helps Maryland remain a world class center for space science and exploration. As the Senator that funds NASA and our other great federal science agencies, I applaud the creation of this institute and hope to expand cooperation among our universities and government laboratories to keep Maryland competitive."

"This is a fitting reward for UMBC's investment in astrophysics, and a great opportunity to expand the research and educational activities performed here,” said Ian George, director of the Joint Center for Astrophysics and associate professor of physics at UMBC. “This award further bolsters UMBC's position in only its 40th year as one of the leading research universities in the mid-Atlantic region,” George said.

In support of NASA strategic science mission objectives, CRESST will carry out observational, experimental, and theoretical research in three general areas:

-- The Sun and Solar System, stars, galaxies, and the universe at large;

-- The informational and computational sciences related to the unique needs of data systems required to interpret space science data;

-- The development of technology required to achieve these scientific challenges.

CRESST is the latest addition to UMBC’s relationship with NASA. UMBC is ranked 13th nationally among all universities in research funding received from NASA. UMBC is already home to several other multimillion-dollar NASA research centers in collaboration with the Goddard Space Flight Center, including the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center, the Joint Center for Earth Systems and Technology (JCET), the Center for the Advanced Study of Photonics Research (CASPR) and the JCA.

According to George, NASA partnerships like CRESST will help bring more internationally-recognized space scientists to UMBC. “UMBC scientists are making major contributions to currently flying NASA high-energy astrophysics missions like the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL), and the forthcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission, scheduled to launch in August 2007,” George said.

George noted that UMBC scientists were also involved in the NASA Swift and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) missions. “What’s really exciting is the impact CRESST will have on students, “said George. “UMBC has recently started both undergraduate and graduate-level astrophysics courses, so CRESST will help us to expand astrophysics education and research.”

About Space Science at the University of Maryland, College Park:

Through its highly regarded departments of astronomy and physics, the University of Maryland, College Park brings to this collaboration internationally recognized expertise in many areas of space science, including high-energy astrophysics, galaxy structure and dynamics, star formation, planetary science, space physics, gravitational theory and particle astrophysics. Maryland also has a long history of collaboration with the Goddard Space Flight Center in research and educational programs.

About USRA:

The Universities Space Research Association is a national consortium of 100 universities established in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences. USRA operates programs and facilities in space-related science, technology, and related education. USRA has been an important participant in space science at NASA Goddard for many years, working alongside NASA researchers in conducting space science research, leading-edge instrumentation and technology development, and effectively communicating space science news and information to the educational community and the general public. For more information, go to www.usra.edu.

Posted by crose

September 19, 2006

Brad Simpson on WYPR's Marc Steiner Show, September 20, Noon

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Assistant Professor of History Brad Simpson is scheduled to be a guest on WYPR's (88.1 FM) Marc Steiner Show on Wednesday, September 20 at noon. Simpson, who teaches the history of U.S. foreign relations and international history at UMBC, will discuss President Bush's speech to the United Nations and the war in Iraq.

For more information on the show, please click here. Audio archives of past stories are posted after their original air date.

Posted by elewis

September 13, 2006

TWO EXECUTIVE EDUCATION COURSES OFFERED AT ERICKSON SCHOOL OF AGING STUDIES: OCT. 24-27, NOV. 1-4

“FINANCE, UNDERWRITING AND INVESTMENT ANALYSIS” AND “DEVELOPMENT” TO ANCHOR FALL SCHEDULE

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) teams once again with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) to offer a set of Executive Education courses. The series continues at UMBC with two sessions, “Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis” on Oct. 24-27 and “Development” on Nov. 1-4.

"‘Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis’ and ‘Development’ combine several of the most important ingredients of successful seniors housing and care,” said Kevin Heffner, CAE, CFRE, who recently joined the Erickson School of Aging Studies as its new Director of Executive Education.

“Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis” is led by Ray Braun, President, Chief Operating Officer & Financial Officer of Health Care REIT, Inc.

The course, scheduled for Oct. 24-27, is designed for lenders and equity investors as well as financial professionals within management and development companies. The course will compare seniors housing and care facilities to other real estate asset classes. It will also explore the issues of business-versus-real estate components and how to measure each.

“Development” is led by Phil Golden, Chief Operating Officer of Brightview Senior Living. The course, scheduled for Nov. 1-4, is designed to examine the entire development process of the professionally managed company.

The course includes a thorough overview of complex aspects of the seven segments of the development process. It also examines the critical roles of strategy, market and consumer research, financial feasibility and site selection.

Assessment of the difference between project-financing viability and market viability will be a central component of the sessions.

“Ray Braun of Health Care REIT and Phil Golden of Brightview Senior Living are two of the most respected leaders in their fields,” Heffner said. “The two programs promise to provide attendees with knowledge, real-world experience, and networking opportunities that they simply cannot get anywhere else.

“We're very fortunate,” Heffner added, “to have Ray and Phil leading the teaching teams. ‘Finance’ and ‘Development’ are two of the signature courses of The Erickson School's Executive Education program.”

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:

The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

For further details, please call the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC at 443-543-5622.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

# # #


Remaining 2006 NIC Executive Education Courses
At the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

Sales and Marketing
Led by David Smith, President, One on One, Service to Seniors
September 18-21, 2006

Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis
Led by Ray Braun, President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Health Care REIT, Inc.
October 24-27, 2006

Development
Led by Phil Golden, President and COO, Brightview Senior Living
November 1-4, 2006

Organizational Excellence and Continuous Quality Improvement
Led by Tony Ingelido, Vice President, Asbury Services, Inc.
TBA

Risk Management TBA

Posted by mlurie

September 8, 2006

UMBC LAUNCHES SHERMAN “STEM” TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM

$5 MILLION GIFT FROM GEORGE AND BETSY SHERMAN
FUELS INITIATIVE TO TRAIN SCIENCE AND MATH TEACHERS FOR URBAN SCHOOLS;
KICKS OFF $100 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN, LARGEST IN UMBC HISTORY


CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – A leadership gift of $5 million from George and Betsy Sherman will fund the Sherman STEM Teacher Training Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a program that will dramatically increase the number of UMBC graduates who move immediately into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching careers in at-risk and challenged schools in Baltimore City and throughout Maryland. The gift is a cornerstone of UMBC’s new $100 million capital campaign, the largest in the University’s history.

Through the Sherman STEM Teacher Training Program, UMBC seeks to become one of the nation’s leading institutions for training STEM teachers to work in at-risk schools. The program will provide scholarships for undergraduate and transfer students and fellowships for recent college graduates or mid-career professionals pursuing UMBC’s Master of Arts in Teaching.

“There is no more important education issue right now to the U.S. and to Maryland than getting more students interested in science and math,” said Dr. Geoffrey Summers, dean of the UMBC College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. “In fact, if we add four physics teachers per year in Maryland public schools, we will double the rate of physics teachers that Maryland currently produces.”

The Sherman gift anchors a $100 million capital campaign ― chaired by John Erickson, CEO of Erickson ― which will seek endowment gifts, annual gifts, grants and gifts-in-kind to support academic initiatives strategically important to the development of UMBC, the region and the nation. The campaign will launch publicly in September with $63 million already raised.


A report from the National Academies designed to assess America’s ability to compete in the 21st century, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” calls for the recruitment of 10,000 new science and math teachers each year through competitive scholarships in math, science and engineering that lead to a bachelor’s degree accompanied by a teaching certificate.

George Sherman, retired president and CEO of Danaher Corporation and his wife, Betsy, a former teacher, chose UMBC as a partner to improve K-12 STEM education in urban schools. The $5 million gift began with $1 million to support the existing Sherman Family Teacher Scholars Program in the UMBC Department of Education.

A university widely recognized for its excellence in technology, science and teacher training, UMBC is well-positioned to fulfill the Shermans’ vision. Within five years, UMBC will host 50 Sherman Scholars (undergraduate students) and 10 Sherman Fellows (graduate students) annually. The inaugural Sherman STEM cohort will be assembled for fall, 2006 from existing UMBC students whose studies are concentrated in the STEM disciplines.

“World events of the past five years have further weakened one of our nation’s most competitive advantages: our ability to train, produce and retain graduates in science and technology,” George Sherman said. “The international marketplace is clearly growing and developing at a faster pace than we are right now. To win this race, we must start training tomorrow’s talent today. UMBC’s leadership and faculty are superb and are providing the fresh thinking needed to address contemporary issues.”

Said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, “This leadership gift from George and Betsy Sherman reflects the generosity and vision of two people closely connected to our campus for a long time. It demonstrates their commitment to preparing teachers for the youth in America and their confidence in UMBC’s ability to train teachers who will improve the quality of science and math education in Maryland.”

Summers, dean of the College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences, added, “Students get to college and don’t realize what a rewarding career teaching can be. Moreover, a very small percentage of science teachers actually earned their undergraduate degree in science. This program will allow us to work with students early in their college career and develop their interest in teaching math and science in public schools where the need for such education is great.”

For an overview of the UMBC $100 million capital campaign, click here.

Posted by mlurie

September 5, 2006

UMBC Computer Science Research in Wired Magazine

eBiquity Group's Research Part of Article on Spam Blogs

Research on detecting "splogs" by UMBC Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Professors Tim Finin, Anupam Joshi and Tim Oates and PhD students Pranam Kolari and Akshay Java was cited in an article in the September issue of Wired Magazine.

Splogs are spam weblogs that are automatically generated to host advertisements or to raise the rank or affiliated web sites. The UMBC eBiquity Group recently published a study showing that more than half of the active English language blogs were actually splogs and has a number of ongoing blog related research projects.

Posted by crose

August 29, 2006

Anne Spence on WYPR 88.1 FM's "Maryland Morning," Wednesday, Aug. 30

Mechanical Engineer to Discuss Improving Science, Math Education in Baltimore County Schools

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Anne Spence, UMBC assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is scheduled to be profiled at 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30 during Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast on WYPR-88.1 FM. She will discuss her ongoing leadership role with the UMBC-BCPS STEM Partnership.

The partnership between UMBC and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) is an innovative project that facilitates the implementation, testing, refinement and dissemination of promising practices for improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) student achievement. The project also facilitates teacher quality and retention in selected high-needs elementary, middle and high schools in Baltimore County Public Schools.

Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast airs from 9-10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays on WYPR-88.1 FM. More information about the program is available at http://www.wypr.org/MD_Morning.html. Audio archives of past stories are posted after their original air date.

Posted by crose

Anne Brodsky on WYPR's "Marc Steiner Show" Wednesday, Aug. 30

Advocate for Muslim Women to be Part of Show on Afghanistan

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Anne Brodsky, UMBC associate professor of psychology and director of the Gender and Women's Studies program, is scheduled to be part of a panel of experts on Afghanistan for the noon to 1 p.m. hour of WYPR 88.1 FM's "Marc Steiner Show" on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Brodsky has traveled and worked with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and other women's rights groups in the Middle East for over five years. She is the author of "With All Our Strength," which chronicles her work with the group as Afghan women risked their lives to seek work, education and basic human rights under the Taliban regime.

Posted by crose

August 15, 2006

$1.5 Million NIH Grant Boosts UMBC's Research on HIV, Cancer

Powerful Instrument to Be Shared by Other UMBC Labs Studying Retroviruses

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Dan Fabris, associate professor of chemistry at UMBC, is one of just 14 researchers nationally to receive a NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) High-End Instrumentation grant announced today.

The $1.5 million grant will fund the purchase of an extremely powerful, high-resolution, mass spectrometer that greatly boosts UMBC's capabilities to analyze nucleic acids for research on drug resistance by HIV, other retroviruses and cancer.

The Fabris lab was the only one in Maryland to receive the NIH NCCR instrumentation grant this year, making UMBC one of just a handful of U.S. institutions to have such a powerful mass spectrometer.

The custom built instrument, a hybrid, 12 Tesla quadrupole-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (Q-FTICR) mass spectrometer, won't arrive at UMBC for another six months or so. It will be shared by several other labs at the University working on research that could lead to new and more effective inhibitor drugs for AIDS therapy.

"This is extremely exciting for many of us at UMBC," said Fabris, who has studied the nucleic acid structure of HIV since joining the faculty of the Chemistry and Biochemistry department in 1999. "We are particularly happy that this grant will not only expand our lab's capabilities, but will also benefit the work of other researchers in UMBC's departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Sciences and possibly other labs in the Baltimore area."

"The High-End Instrumentation program provides numerous investigators access to essential equipment, often benefiting entire research communities and dramatically advancing their research projects," said Barbara M. Alving, M.D., Acting Director of NCRR, in an NIH press release. "These awards spur the kind of scientific discoveries necessary for the development of treatments for a broad spectrum of diseases."

Other NIH NCCR High-End Instrumentation grants went to hospital labs in Boston and university labs at Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, U. Cal Santa Barbara, U. Penn., Yale and others.

Posted by crose

August 14, 2006

New Web Site Encourages Maryland Voters to Look and Learn

UMBC Public Policy, Information Technology Experts Team Up With State Board of Elections for Voter Info Site

CONTACT: Anne Roland, UMBC Public Policy Department
410-455-8457
anne@umbc.edu

A new web site at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County uses state-of-the-art technology to help voters in Maryland access information that will help them make decisions about voting in the upcoming 2006 Primary and General Elections. The web site, called the Maryland Voter Information Clearinghouse (mdelections.umbc.edu), is a joint project of the Maryland State Board of Elections and UMBC’s National Center for the Study of Elections (NCSE). SBE asked researchers at UMBC to design new publicly accessible, easily searchable databases for voter information.

“It’s where, who, and how,” said NCSE Director and Professor of Public Policy Donald F. Norris. “The site is actually three separate databases that each give Maryland voters information to help them learn where to vote, who is running for office, and how candidates are financing campaigns.”

“We initiated the Center last summer with the goal of using the academic and research capabilities of UMBC to apply expert analysis, study, and educational techniques to the various programs at the State Board of Elections,” said Linda Lamone, State Administrator of Elections. “This project is a good example of how well that partnership is working. UMBC’s multi-disciplinary approach to this project has lead to a terrific outcome for all Maryland citizens.”

Visitors to the site can look up information on candidates for federal and state offices, and search the state’s campaign finance database, which includes publicly available reports on campaign finance activity for all candidates, political action committees (PACs), and parties. Registered voters, after entering required information, can verify their voter registration information, learn their voting districts, and find their polling places.

"These web-based tools leverage departmental expertise in the areas of database design and implementation, human-centered computing, and accessibility, providing a great opportunity for Information Systems faculty and students to apply what we teach in the classroom to develop important tools for the citizens of Maryland,” said Andrew Sears, Chair and Professor of Information Systems. Dr. Sears is Associate Director of NCSE.

The National Center for the Study of Elections is a center within the UMBC Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis & Research (MIPAR), in partnership with UMBC’s Department of Information Systems, the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and the State Board of Elections. The Center provides technical assistance and research support to the State Board of Elections, and also conducts studies about voting technologies, election administration, and other issues related to voting and elections. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/mipar/ncse.

Posted by crose

August 4, 2006

Inaugural Wyeth Fellow Announced as UMBC and Wyeth Research Finalize Partnership

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Wyeth Research, having signed a formal agreement establishing a three-year partnership, have awarded the inaugural Wyeth Fellowship to Orrette R. Wauchope, a Ph.D. candidate studying synthetic organic chemistry.

The partnership includes graduate fellowships for talented students conducting research in fields of joint interest to UMBC faculty and Wyeth scientists.

Students selected for the two-year fellowships will be designated Wyeth Fellows and will receive an annual stipend and mentoring support from an industry scientist at Wyeth Research.

As the inaugural 2006 Wyeth Fellow, Wauchope was recognized as a rising Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Wauchope will have the opportunity to present his or her research findings to a group of senior scientists at Wyeth Research. His doctoral research is being conducted under the guidance of Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and a 2006 Jefferson Science Fellow for the U.S. Department of State.

Wauchope’s research focuses on the design and methodological development of chemical agents that potentially serve as anticancer, antiviral and antiparasitic catalysts. Wauchope is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Brooklyn College, where he majored in chemistry.

“Orrette has a keen interest in the use of synthetic organic chemistry to solve problems in medicinal chemistry,” said Dr. Jerauld S. Skotnicki, senior director of chemical and screening sciences with Wyeth Research. “His Ph.D. project with Professor Seley-Radtke is quite challenging and will enable him to enhance, apply and expand his interests and skills.

“As the Wyeth mentor, I am looking forward to the interactions and to contribute to their program. The Wyeth Fellowship exemplifies the ideal partnership of two innovative cultures from two distinct sectors, bringing out the best in people and their science.”

The Wyeth-UMBC partnership includes a three-year commitment to Gold-Level sponsorship for UMBC’s annual life science symposium - A Look Ahead: Futures in Biomedical Research. A signed memorandum of understanding between UMBC and Wyeth was completed on July 25, 2006 at the Wyeth Research facility in Collegeville, Pa. An additional Wyeth Fellow will be selected in the second year of the partnership.

“I am privileged to have mentoring support from the scientists at Wyeth,” Wauchope said. “I will have the opportunity to share and discuss aspects of my research in an industrial setting with chemists who possess years of experience.”

Wyeth, headquartered in Madison, N.J., is a global leader in pharmaceuticals, consumer health care products and animal health care products. The company is a leader in the discovery, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life people worldwide. With research and development programs focused on small molecules, vaccines and biotechnology, Wyeth is exploring more than 60 new therapies for medical conditions such as diabetes, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

UMBC is a mid-sized, public research university located between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. UMBC is a major center for cutting-edge research in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The campus is home to more than 20 research centers and institutes.
UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. These four departments administer close to half of the Ph.D. programs at UMBC. The College has more than 100 full time faculty members, and includes approximately 1500 students in 7 undergraduate programs and 280 students in 13 graduate programs. Research expenditures currently top $13M per year.

For inquiries directly to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals:
Gerald Burr
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Office: 484-865-5138
Cell: 484-686-6998
Email: burrg@wyeth.com

Posted by crose

EXECUTIVE EDUCATION COURSES CONTINUE AT ERICKSON SCHOOL OF AGING STUDIES, SEPT. 18-21

“SALES AND MARKETING” TO BE LED BY DAVID SMITH

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) teams once again with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) to offer a set of Executive Education courses. The series continues at UMBC on Sept. 18-21 with a four-day seminar, “Sales and Marketing,” led by David Smith.

David Smith is president of One On One, Service to Seniors, a consulting group based in St. Louis, Mo. Mr. Smith has nearly 20 years of hands-on sales and marketing experience and is also co-owner, developer, and manager of the The Gatesworth at One McKnight Place and Parc Provence, both nationally acclaimed senior housing communities in St. Louis.

A number of high caliber guest lecturers from the senior living industry will join Smith in facilitating discussions on best practices.

The four-day, interactive course focuses on how to generate higher occupancies and faster fill rates using better marketing and sales practices. Specific course work includes discovering customers’ wants and needs, segmenting markets through research, understanding the relationship of pricing and value, and obtaining honest feedback.

Students also learn about the science of promotion and how to develop leads, design an effective marketing plan and use successful selling techniques.

Finally, the best way to manage the marketing and sales process is discussed, including the use of mystery shopping and sales training.
Smith has been a regular contributor to the NIC Executive Education program at the Erickson School. He is also a frequent lecturer and presenter at NIC, ALFA, ASHA and other industry conferences.

Instructor Profiles:

Anthony Mullen
Chair, Research Committee
National Investment Center

Anthony J. Mullen brings almost twenty years of experience in seniors housing and care to NIC. He has been an executive officer in three major companies within the industry, and was the founder and CEO of Traditions of America, a mid-Atlantic builder of active adult communities, which he sold in 2000. He has experience across the entire spectrum off the continuum of care.

Mr. Mullen was also a founder of the NIC, where he served on the Board and Executive Committees for 12 years.

Mr. Mullen has been one of the industry's leading applied researchers, and has developed key industry guidelines for understanding penetration rates for general feasibility purposes. He has published several groundbreaking articles in the field and has won awards for his pioneering research on absorption rates.

A certified public accountant, Mr. Mullen holds a Master's degree from Drexel University and an undergraduate degree from St. Joseph's University.


Daniel P. Rexford
Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales
Erickson Retirement Communities

Mr. Rexford is the Executive Vice President of Marketing. He is responsible for developing and implementing the marketing and sales strategies for all Erickson continuing care retirement communities.
He also served as the Executive Director of Charlestown, Erickson’s flagship community in Catonsville, Md. He originally joined the company in 1990, as the Director of Marketing for Charlestown.
Prior to joining Erickson, Mr. Rexford managed the marketing and operations for two companies that provided technical services to the National Cancer Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Treasury, General Services Administration, and Department of Defense.

Brian C. Swinton
Retired, Executive Vice President
Sunrise Senior Living

Brian Swinton has been an industry pioneer and leader for the past 19 years. Starting in 1986, he headed the team that created Marriott’s Brighton Gardens, one of the nation’s most successful assisted living concepts, while at the same time he headed the sales and marketing efforts for the entire Marriott Senior Living Division—the nation’s leading provider of quality tier senior living at the time. He also spearheaded the successful Marriott CCRC prototype, Stratford Court, and was a key executive in the development of life care communities (i.e. The Fairfax, The Quadrangle, The Colonnades), senior condominiums (i.e. The Jefferson), and senior cooperatives (i.e. Maplewood) for Marriott.

Following a successful 7 year stint at Marriott, Brian joined The Forum Group team as Senior Vice President in 1993 and again spearheaded the development of another assisted living mainstay, the cottage concept, Hearthside (now MapleRidge), and successfully headed the sales and marketing, product development and construction aspects of the company resulting in the company’s sale to Marriott in 1996.

Mr. Swinton joined Sunrise in 1996 as Executive Vice President where he once again headed the sales and marketing efforts, as well as market feasibility, customer and employee satisfaction and product development. He also headed the innovative Sunrise concept, At Home Assisted Living, currently in major markets around the country.

Brian has served in various industry positions including Chairman of the National Council on Senior’s Housing (NCOSH), an affiliate of the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). He also served as a director and vice president of the National Association of Senior Living Industries (NASLI) and participated in dozens of conferences speaking on a variety of industry topics.

Mr. Swinton holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with Distinction from Harvard Business School specializing in Marketing and Real Estate.

Margaret Wylde, Ph.D.
President/CEO
ProMatura Group, LLC

Margaret Wylde began conducting research on mature consumers more than 25 years ago. ProMatura Group, LLC, the company founded by Wylde, has played an integral role in understanding what mature consumers want and practically applying this information to seniors housing, service sector, retailers and consumer product developers. Wylde’s mature market, senior housing, product research and development experience includes work for Fortune 100, and start-up corporations, for large companies and single proprietorships, for national associations, and state agencies (see list of Clients). Wylde’s knowledge and expertise of senior housing business issues come from practical day-to-day experience. During her career Wylde has designed, developed and managed seniors housing properties.

Wylde’s knowledge of the senior housing industry is widely recognized as being among the industry’s best. Her contribution to the industries serving mature consumers has been to conduct both proprietary and publically disseminated research. Recent research completed by ProMatura include: a study of 1,056 independent living residents and the communities they chose; a comparative study of independent living residents and a matched sample of household who have chosen not to move to an age-qualified community; a multi-year study of 4,500 60+ households to learn their awareness, knowledge, attitudes and opinions about seniors housing; a study of 12,600 satisfaction surveys from residents of independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing communities; surveys of 1,023 residents of assisted living communities throughout the 48 contiguous states, and a survey of 1,500 adults between 45 and 64 years of age about their responsibilities for parents and other relatives. These studies, and dozens more, were completed for the American Seniors Housing Association, the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC) and the Assisted Living Federation of America. NIC is the premier organization that focuses specifically on financing senior housing developments and the myriad of issues that affect how these properties are financed.

Wylde serves on the Boards of Directors of the American Society on Aging, the National Association of Home Builders Seniors Housing Council and LifeSpec Cabinet Systems, Inc. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Center for Universal Design at Florida State University, and the Association of Marketing & Sales Executives in Senior Housing. Wylde was a Forum Group Board member during its successful acquisition by Marriott Senior Living Services. Her other professional affiliations include the International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the American
Seniors Housing Association, the American Statistical Association, Assisted Living Federation of America, American Marketing Association, Human Factors Society of America, and the Gerontological Society of America.

Wylde has authored four books, dozens of technical papers and articles, and is a prolific contributor to trade and business publications and scholarly journals. Her most recent books include Boomers on the Horizon: Housing Preferences of the 55+ Home Buyer published by Builder Books in 2002, Building for a Lifetime: The Design and Construction of Fully Accessible Homes published by The Taunton Press. She is a frequently sought after speaker, providing keynote addresses to many different audiences.


Specific Areas of Expertise: finding answers and putting information to work; mature consumers, attitudes, opinions and behaviors; research design and analysis; practical application of primary and secondary research to the design and development of seniors housing communities, technology use by mature adults, human factors of older adults, Federal regulations of accessibility.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:
The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

For further details, please call the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC at 443-543-5622.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

# # #


Remaining 2006 NIC Executive Education Courses
At the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

Sales and Marketing
Led by David Smith, President, One on One, Service to Seniors
September 18-21, 2006

Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis
Led by Ray Braun, President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Health Care REIT, Inc.
October 24-27, 2006

Development
Led by Phil Golden, President and COO, Shelter Properties
November 1-4, 2006

Organizational Excellence and Continuous Quality Improvement
Led by Tony Ingelido, Vice President, Asbury Services, Inc.
TBA

Risk Management
TBA

Posted by mlurie

August 1, 2006

Warren R. Devries is New Dean of Engineering & Information Technology at UMBC

Former National Science Foundation Official to Pursue Business Partnerships, Innovation

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the appointment of Warren R. DeVries, former National Science Foundation official and department chair of mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, as its new Dean of Engineering and Information Technology (IT).

DeVries is a leader in the national drive for excellence in engineering education and is also well known in his field for his pioneering research in manufacturing processes and systems. Since 2002, he has served as Division Director for the NSF’s Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation, where he led a staff of 15 and managed an annual budget of $65 million. DeVries came to the NSF on assignment from Iowa State University, where he was a Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

DeVries said he believes that UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology will thrive in the 21st century by developing: diverse knowledge-enabled graduates, faculty and staff who advance the frontiers of scholarship and innovation to benefit society, and partnerships with government and industry to create new opportunities that have an impact beyond the bounds of the campus.

DeVries, whose initial responsibilities at the NSF included work with the Small Business Innovation Research program, said that he would like to use his experience to spur innovation through education, research and industry partnerships, especially with small or startup technology-based firms.

DeVries said he first became acquainted with UMBC programs and faculty during a visit to the campus over a decade ago. “I saw that exciting things were really starting to happen here,” he said. Another strong impression was that “When you come into UMBC’s campus, the Research and Technology Park is right at the front door. I think that’s very interesting and an important opportunity,” DeVries said.

“I’d like to work with faculty and staff building on UMBC’s reputation for integration of education and research covering the whole spectrum of innovation, from discovery of new knowledge and creativity to that first commercial step of a small technology businesses,” DeVries said.

“This isn’t only important for the economic vitality of Maryland and the nation, but because knowledge and people are key to the research-education-innovation cycle its part of the University’s mission," said DeVries. "Students benefit too, since according to NSF data, the largest fraction of science and engineering graduates today, about 36 percent, are employed by small technology-based firms.”

Another of DeVries’ priorities will be giving students a multidisciplinary education that prepares them to be competitive in today’s global economy. He pointed out that the College of Engineering and Information Technology’s name is indicative of the multidisciplinary opportunities in the College at UMBC.

“In order for our students to have a good life and career, we first need to provide a relevant and solid education,” DeVries said. “We’ll need a truly global view so that our graduates not only have good career opportunities, but also aspire to be leaders in their chosen fields.”

In addition to being a member of the Iowa State faculty, DeVries has also held faculty positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison. DeVries has supervised 11 Ph.D. students and nearly 40 M.S. students, and he has overseen more than $4 million in total research and educational contracts and grants.

He has authored or co-authored numerous technical papers, as well as two textbooks, and taught graduate and undergraduate courses. He received his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and also received a B.S. in Letters and Engineering from Calvin College.

DeVries has served on the Board of Governors and as Senior Vice President for Engineering for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and on the Board of Directors and as President for the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He is a Fellow of both the ASME and the SME.

DeVries replaces Dr. Shlomo Carmi, who served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology and Professor of mechanical engineering since 1996. Carmi, who was the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Senior Vice President for Engineering Education from 2003 to 2006, will continue to serve UMBC as a member of the mechanical engineering faculty. DeVries begins his appointment at UMBC August 1.

Note to Media:
To download a high-resolution, color photo of Dr. DeVries, please click on the image at the top of this release.

Posted by crose

July 26, 2006

NASA Scientists Conduct Census of Nearby Hidden Black Holes

UMBC Astrophysicist, International Team, Searching X-Ray Sky

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Scientists on a quest to find hidden black holes in the local universe have found surprisingly few.

The observation implies that if these hidden black holes exist - and most scientists are convinced they do - they must be from the more distant, earlier universe, a concept that has interesting implications for galaxy evolution.

This work constitutes the first census of the highest-energy part of the X-ray sky, where the most dust-enshrouded black holes are thought to shine. A team from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., conducted the census, comprised of nearly two years of continuous data from the European Space Agency's International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, or INTEGRAL, satellite.

"Naturally it is difficult to find something we know is hiding well and which has eluded detection so far," said Volker Beckmann of Goddard and the Joint Center for Astrophysics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, lead author on a report in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal. "INTEGRAL is a telescope that should see nearby hidden black holes, but we have come up short."

The X-ray sky is thousands to millions of times more energetic than the visible sky familiar to our eyes. Much of the X-ray activity is from black holes violently sucking in gas from their surroundings.

Recent breakthroughs in X-ray astronomy, including a thorough black hole census with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, have all dealt with lower-energy X-rays. The energy range is roughly 2,000 to 20,000 electron-volts. Optical light, in comparison, is about 2 electron volts.

The INTEGRAL survey is the first of its kind to glimpse into the largely unexplored higher-energy, or "hard," X-ray regime of 20,000 to 40,000 electron-volts.

"The X-ray background, this pervasive blanket of X-ray light we see everywhere in the universe, peaks at about 30,000 electron volts, yet we really know next to nothing about what produces this radiation," said co-author Neil Gehrels of Goddard.

The theory is that hidden black holes, which scientists call Compton-thick objects, are responsible for the peak at 30,000 electron volts. These X-rays are so energetic that they would penetrate even the most dust-enshrouded black holes yet remain beyond the range of powerful lower-energy X-ray observatories such as Chandra.

High-energy light in general is harder to focus than optical and lower-energy (longer-wavelength) forms of light. As a result, INTEGRAL doesn't have the resolution to make sharp images like Chandra and Hubble can.

"Basically, the higher you go in energy, the harder it is to detect faint sources," said Chris Shrader of Goddard, another co-author. "This is why no hard X-ray mission has been able to study many individual objects in the distant universe. That would require a next-generation telescope. But INTEGRAL is now the first to resolve the local universe."

INTEGRAL can obtain an unbiased count of black holes in the local universe by virtue of seeing even those that are hidden. Of all the black hole galaxies that INTEGRAL detected---that is, galaxies with supermassive black holes in their cores actively accreting gas---about 40 percent were unobscured black hole galaxies, called Seyfert 1 galaxies. About 50 percent were somewhat obscured black hole galaxies called Seyfert 2 galaxies. And less than 10 percent were the heavily shrouded "Compton thick" variety.

This implies that if hidden black holes make up the bulk of the X-ray background, they aren't local. Why? One reason could be that, in the modern local universe, these black holes have had time to blow away the gas and dust that once enshrouded them, leaving them unobscured. This liberation of gas and dust would have its consequences; it would blow away to influence star and galaxy formation elsewhere.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Beckmann said. "In a few more months we will have a larger survey completed with the Swift mission. Our goal is to push this kind of observation deeper and deeper into the universe to see black hole activity at early epochs. That's the next great challenge for X-ray and gamma-ray astronomers."

Simona Soldi and Nicolas Produit of the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre near Geneva, Switzerland, also participated in this result.

This release courtesy of NASA Goddard News.

For images, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/integral_blackholes.html

Posted by crose

July 25, 2006

ERICKSON SCHOOL OF AGING STUDIES KICKS OFF "HOT TOPICS" SERIES ON AGING TRENDS

CHARLES LONGINO, JR., PH.D., ASSESSES MIGRATION OF OLDER AMERICANS


CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

July 25, 2006

BALTIMORE – The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) introduces its “Hot Topics” series, an ongoing resource regarding aging issues and trends available for easy access by researchers and the general public. The series can be accessed at anytime at www.umbc.edu/erickson.

The inaugural “Hot Topics” installment, Migration of Older Americans: Where and Why, is offered by Charles F. Longino, Jr., Ph.D., and Visiting Professor to the Erickson School. Longino’s research has unearthed trends in the movement of older Americans that should be of interest to developers, planners and bankers, politicians and scholars.

A thorough understanding of migration trends among the aging population, Longino argues, depends on knowing who moves and why they move.

Widely known and celebrated for his work on the migration of people ages 60 and older, Longino assesses the threads common to older people more likely to make an interstate move. They are independent, have moved previously for career-related reasons and now make a relocation decision focused more on the place than the people.

The reasons older members of the population relocate for retirement, Longino says, “depend on the jelling of four factors: 1) demographic particulars (age, gender, race); 2) economic and health resources; 3) previous experience traveling; and 4) ties to people and places at the origin and the destination.

Longino argues that planners are well-advised to be armed with a realistic appraisal of the attractiveness of existing and planned communities and an understanding of the older people they can hope to attract and keep. With that knowledge, planners can be assured that retirement housing and related services can provide an environmentally friendly industry and the income, jobs and new citizens likely to help enrich their new community.

Longino is the president of the Gerontological Society of America, past president of the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education and served for four years as the editor of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. The second edition of Longino’s book Retirement Migration in America is due to be published in the near future. The publisher of more than 140 scholarly articles, Longino is the Washington M. Wingate Professor of Sociology at Wake Forest University where he directs the Reynolda Gerontology Program.


About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:
The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson Retirement Communities. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

For further details, please call the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC at 443-543-5622.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

# # #

Posted by mlurie

July 7, 2006

$2.9 Million National Science Foundation Grant Funds New UMBC PhD Training Program in Urban Water, Environment

Grant to Provide Multidisciplinary Training for 20 PhD Students Over 5 Years

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded UMBC a $2.9 million grant to establish a new doctoral student training program in “Water in the Urban Environment.”

The NSF funding, part of a highly competitive and nationally prestigious Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, will provide 20 Ph.D. students with annual stipends plus assistance with tuition and fees as UMBC recruits and trains teams of graduate students in the ecology, economics, engineering, public health and policy impacts of urbanization on the Chesapeake Bay region’s water resources.

The “Water in the Urban Environment” Ph.D. training program will involve 32 faculty members from nine UMBC departments and six partner institutions. Like all IGERT programs, the UMBC training will emphasize an interdisciplinary team approach for Ph.D. students. The program includes internships in industry, government, and non-governmental organizations.

“The NSF IGERT program is nationally recognized as a mark of academic excellence,” said Claire Welty, director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education at UMBC. “This grant puts UMBC’s environmental programs on the national map in graduate environmental education and offers Marylanders a superb environmental educational opportunity right in their own back yard.”

According to Welty, “We’ve already recruited four outstanding students for the Fall 2006 semester– from North Carolina, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia -- and will recruit an additional five for fall 2007,”

The program takes advantage of UMBC’s longtime research partnerships with public agencies, nonprofits, and private consultants in the field of urban environmental and hydrology studies, as well as the proximity of Baltimore to the Chesapeake Bay. UMBC is home of the field headquarters of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of two urban sites in the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research network. In June, UMBC broke ground for the US Geological Survey’s Maryland/Delaware/District of Columbia Water Science Center new home at bwtech@UMBC, the university’s on-campus research and technology park.

The UMBC program is one of approximately 20 new IGERT awards granted this year by the NSF. For more information on the NSF’s IGERT programs, visit www.igert.org.

Posted by crose

June 27, 2006

UMBC, USGS to Celebrate Groundbreaking of Water Science Center

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Researchers, Officials
to Mark Site of Tech Park’s 3rd Building Thursday

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County celebrates a milestone for science in the state’s public interest Thursday as it breaks ground for the new home of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Maryland-Delaware-Washington, D.C. Water Science Center at bwtech@UMBC, the University’s on-campus research and technology park.

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, and other federal, state and local government officials will join UMBC and USGS environmental scientists at 5523 Research Park Drive, the future site of the one-story, 24,000 square-foot facility for a groundbreaking ceremony starting at 11:30 am.

Construction of the USGS building is scheduled to begin later this month. The real estate development firm Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) is managing construction of both the USGS building and a 110,000 square-foot, four-story, multi-tenant building at bwtech@UMBC, the park’s fourth of five planned buildings.

The USGS center employs over 60 scientists and support staff, who are expected to strengthen collaborative work with UMBC and U.S. Forest Service scientists who monitor the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the health of the region’s water supply, rivers and streams.

The USGS’s decision to move from its previous location in White Marsh was strongly influenced by the longtime research partnership between USGS and UMBC’s Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, Center for Urban and Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the U.S. Forest Service and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study.

According to UMBC and USGS officials, the move will give USGS scientists easier access to student employees, labs, scientific instruments, and university researchers. It is expected that UMBC science and engineering students will benefit from on-campus opportunities to combine classroom training with hands-on research experience.

UMBC’s formal connection with USGS goes back to 1997, the beginning of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research Project whose field headquarters are located on the UMBC campus. BES, which was renewed for another six-year term in 2004, makes Baltimore’s streams, rivers and water quality among the most highly monitored in the country thanks in large part to an extensive network of USGS equipment and personnel.

The USGS building is the latest in the progress of bwtech@UMBC, Maryland's first university research park, and the only research and development park in Baltimore County. The 41-acre park's first building was completed in 2001 and is occupied by RWD Technologies. The second building was completed in 2004 and is fully leased to 15 entities. The park’s first two buildings were sold to Merritt Properties for $22.5 million in December, 2005.

Posted by crose

June 26, 2006

HEFFNER NAMED DIRECTOR OF EXECUTIVE EDUCATION AT ERICKSON SCHOOL OF AGING STUDIES

JOINS ERICKSON SCHOOL FROM THE BEACON INSTITUTE

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Kevin D. Heffner, CAE, CFRE, an executive with the Beacon Institute, has been selected as the new Director of Executive Education for the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Heffner brings to the Erickson School of Aging Studies considerable experience and expertise in senior care. He will coordinate a program of executive education courses offered by the Erickson School for leaders in the seniors housing and care industry.

The Executive Education Program at the Erickson School is presented in partnership with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC), a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991.

“The National Investment Center welcomes Kevin to this position. He brings a proven track record, interpersonal and leadership skills and the desire to help make this a world-class program,” says Tony Mullen, Research Director at NIC. Mullen served as Acting Director of Executive Education during the search process.

Heffner has led the Beacon Institute, a charitable organization founded to encourage quality of life and quality of care for seniors, since its inception nine years ago. The Beacon Institute is the largest senior-case association in the greater Maryland/Washington D.C. region. He oversaw the development of its Handelman Learning Center, a site in Columbia, Md., that hosts more than 70 educational programs each year. Heffner also developed the Mid-Atlantic Wellspring Program, a nationally acclaimed quality-care improvement model.

“I look forward to leading the growth of the Executive Education Program at the Erickson School,” Heffner says. “The 2006 series of NIC Executive Education sessions is just one example of the resources our program delivers to leaders in our industry. We are eager to continue the cultivation and growth of this tradition.”

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:
The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson Retirement Communities. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

For further details, please call the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC at 443-543-5622.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

# # #


2006 NIC Executive Education Courses
At the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing and Care
Led by Brian Swinton, Retired, Executive Vice President, Sunrise Senior Living
February 22-25, 2006

Management and Operations
Led by Chris Hollister, CEO, Southern Assisted Living, Inc.
Date: May 17-20, 2006

Sales and Marketing
Led by David Smith, President, One on One, Service to Seniors
September 18-21, 2006

Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis
Led by Ray Braun, President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Health Care REIT, Inc.
October 24-27, 2006

Development
Led by Phil Golden, President and COO, Shelter Properties
November 1-4, 2006

Organizational Excellence and Continuous Quality Improvement
Led by Tony Ingelido, Vice President, Asbury Services, Inc.
TBA

Risk Management
Led by Allen Lynch, Partner, Nixon Peabody, LLP
TBA

Posted by mlurie

June 14, 2006

Wyeth Research and UMBC Form Partnership

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Wyeth Research have formed a three-year, multi-level partnership. The partnership will include graduate fellowships for talented students conducting research in fields of joint interest to UMBC faculty and Wyeth scientists and a three-year commitment to support UMBC’s annual life science symposium as a Gold-Level sponsor.

Wyeth’s sponsorship of the symposium, A Look Ahead: Futures in Biomedical Research, will provide direct support for the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at UMBC. The annual life science symposium features nationally recognized speakers, promotes the research of UMBC students, and attracts hundreds of scientists, educators and biotechnology business leaders.

“Wyeth’s contribution to UMBC is outstanding. They are an ideal partner for UMBC in the life sciences, demonstrating a strong commitment to scientific excellence, diversity and higher education,” said Dr. Geoffrey Summers, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

The students selected for the two-year fellowships will be designated Wyeth Fellows and will receive an annual stipend and mentoring support from an industry scientist at Wyeth research.

The 2006 Wyeth Fellowship will be awarded to a rising, second- or third-year Ph.D candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Each Wyeth Fellow will have the opportunity to present his or her research findings to a group of senior scientists at Wyeth Research.

“We are very pleased to be working with UMBC at this new level,” said Dr. Parimal Desai, Vice President, Analytical & Quality Sciences at Wyeth. “UMBC produces some of our most promising new scientists. Our experiences working with UMBC students and faculty have been excellent.”

UMBC and Wyeth have established a steering committee to identify promising areas of research and expand collaborative relationships between Wyeth scientists and UMBC faculty and students. The steering committee will build on the momentum of Wyeth’s active recruiting of UMBC students for internships and full-time positions.

Wyeth, headquartered in Madison, NJ, is a global leader in pharmaceuticals, consumer health care products and animal health care products. The company is a leader in the discovery, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life people worldwide. With research and development programs focused on small molecules, vaccines and biotechnology, Wyeth is exploring more than 60 new therapies for medical conditions such as diabetes, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

UMBC is a mid-sized, public research university located between Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. UMBC is a major center for cutting-edge research in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The campus is home to more than 20 research centers and institutes.

UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences includes the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. These four departments administer close to half of the Ph.D. programs at UMBC. The College has more than 100 full time faculty members, and includes approximately 1500 students in 7 undergraduate programs and 280 students in 13 graduate programs. Research expenditures currently top $13M per year.

For inquiries directly to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals:
Gerald Burr
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Office: 484-865-5138
Cell: 484-686-6998
Email: burrg@wyeth.com

Posted by mlurie

June 12, 2006

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Awards $2.2 Million to HHMI Scholars Program at UMBC

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380 office
443-695-0262 cellphone
Email: mlurie@umbc.edu

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded a $2.2 million teaching grant to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to further develop the HHMI Scholars Program, a science education initiative that focuses on students from diverse backgrounds.

The HHMI Scholars Program provides a summer “bridge” structure that helps freshmen make a smooth college transition. During their freshman year, Hughes Scholars rotate through several labs and eventually choose a "home" laboratory in which they will do long-term research. The summer before their sophomore year, they start working in that lab. Scholars also complete at least one summer of research with an HHMI investigator elsewhere in the country, usually before their junior year. Each scholar also has the option of spending his or her junior year as an exchange student in the lab of another HHMI investigator.

Hughes Scholars also provide math and science tutoring for elementary and high school students in Baltimore to inspire the next generation of science majors. They might also tutor fellow UMBC undergraduates.

UMBC is one of 50 universities in the nation to receive an HHMI grant in this round of funding. The first UMBC Hughes Scholars supported by an undergraduate science education grant from HHMI graduated from UMBC in 2005. All three students have gone on to Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs at Stanford University, The Johns Hopkins University, and Case Western Reserve University. Five additional students recently graduated and all have been accepted into a Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. or M.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, and Cornell University.

"They're not just getting into graduate programs, they’re getting into the very best programs," said Michael Summers, the only HHMI investigator at a Maryland public university and director of the Hughes Scholar Program at UMBC. Of 25 Hughes Scholars so far, 23 are African American. While many Hughes Scholars are from Maryland, students also come to the program from as far away as California, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Hughes Scholars will interact with students who are in the UMBC Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, a program open to high-achieving high school seniors with an interest in pursuing doctoral study in the sciences or engineering and advancing minorities in the sciences and related fields.

“With this support, some of the brightest young students who are interested in biomedical research and issues of diversity will have the opportunity to focus on their studies and research while undergraduates and work with some of the nation’s best biomedical researchers,” Summers said.

Hughes Scholars are selected as incoming freshmen. An HHMI grant provides funds for summer research and travel to scientific meetings. The grant also covers tuition and room and board for their first two years of college. Tuition, room and board are covered for the students' junior and senior years through a federal grant.

Before classes start, Hughes Scholars attend a summer program to familiarize themselves with the campus and the research being done at UMBC.

“Summer bridge programs—a component of several of the new grants—are particularly important in helping minority students make a successful transition to the world of the research university,” said Peter J. Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. “Individualized mentoring and early research experiences with working scientists also are vital components of a university education that prepares undergraduates for graduate school and careers in science. The universities want to offer their students these opportunities, and HHMI is pleased to help them do so.”

In selecting recipients of the new grants, HHMI reviewed 158 applications. A panel composed of leading scientists and educators, including HHMI professors and an invited 214 HHMI investigators, reviewed the applications.

“We believe it is vital to bring fresh perspectives to the teaching of established scientific disciplines and to develop novel courses in emerging areas, such as computational biology, genomics, and bio-imaging, said Thomas R. Cech, HHMI president. “Our grantee universities are providing hands-on research experiences to help prepare undergraduates, including women and minorities underrepresented in the sciences, for graduate studies and for careers in biomedical research, medicine, and science education.”

A nonprofit medical research organization, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist. The Institute, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is one of the largest philanthropies in the world, with an endowment of $14.8 billion at the close of its 2005 fiscal year. HHMI spent $483 million in support of biomedical research and $80 million for support of a variety of science education and other grants programs in fiscal 2005.

Posted by crose

UMBC Scientists Spot the Greatest of Great Balls of Fire

Contact:
Chip Rose

410-455-5793 office
443-690-0307 cellphone
Email: crose@umbc.edu



A research effort led by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has found a comet-like ball of gas over a billion times the mass of the sun hurling through a distant galaxy cluster over 500 miles per second. This colossal "ball of fire" is by far the largest object of this kind ever identified.

Dr. Alexis Finoguenov and Prof. Mark Henriksen of the UMBC Department of Physics and visiting UMBC scientist Dr. Francesco Miniati discovered the gas ball with a European X-ray satellite called XMM-Newton.

The gas ball is about three million light years across, or about five billion times the size of our solar system. It appears from our perspective as a circular X-ray glow with a comet-like tail nearly half the size of the moon. This observation is described in the Astrophysical Journal.

"The size and velocity of this gas ball is truly fantastic," said Finoguenov, who is an adjunct assistant professor of physics at UMBC and an associated scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Extra-Terrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. "This is likely a massive building block being delivered to one of the largest assembly of galaxies we know."

The gas ball is in a galaxy cluster called Abell 3266, millions of light years from Earth, thus posing absolutely no danger to our solar system. Abell 3266 contains hundreds of galaxies and great amounts of hot gas that is nearly a hundred million degrees. Both the cluster gas and the giant gas ball are held together by the gravitational attraction of unseen dark matter.

"What interests astronomers is not just the size of the gas ball but the role it plays in the formation and evolution of structure in the universe," said Miniati, who worked on this data at UMBC while visiting from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Abell cluster 3266 is part of the Horologium-Reticulum super-cluster and is one of the most massive galaxy clusters in the southern sky. It is still actively growing in size, as indicated by the gas ball, and will become one of the largest mass concentrations in the nearby universe.

Using XMM-Newton data, the science team produced an entropy map, which is a thermodynamical property that allows for the separation of the cold and dense gas of the comet from the hotter and more rarefied gas of the cluster. This is based on X-ray spectra. The data show with remarkable detail the process of gas being stripped from the comet's core and forming a large tail containing lumps of colder and denser gas. The researchers estimate that a sun's worth of mass is lost every hour.

"In Abell 3266 we are seeing structure formation in action," said Henriksen. "Dark matter is the gravitational glue holding the gas ball together. But as it races through the galaxy cluster, a tug-of-war ensues where the galaxy cluster eventually wins, stripping off and dispersing gas that perhaps one day will seed star and galaxy growth within the cluster."

XMM-Newton was built by and is operated by the European Space Agency.

For images and more information about the result, refer to http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMWD1AATME_index_0.html.

For a directory of high-resolution images, refer to: http://universe.nasa.gov/press/xmm

Special Thanks to Christopher Wanjek at NASA-Goddard News for this release.

Posted by crose

May 19, 2006

UMBC Set to Graduate 1,200 Students

46th Commencement Ceremonies Award Degrees to 1,000 Undergraduates, 200 Graduate Students on May 24, 25

MIT Physicist/Author,
Hopkins Neuroscience Pioneer are Speakers


CONTACTS: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380 office
443-695-0262 cellphone
Email: mlurie@umbc.edu

Chip Rose
410-455-5793 office
443-690-0307 cellphone
Email: crose@umbc.edu

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will award degrees to over 1,000 undergraduates and 200 graduate students from the Class of 2006 during the University’s 46th commencement ceremonies to be held Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25.

The UMBC Class of 2006 includes students accepted by prestigious graduate programs at some of the world’s top universities, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, King’s College London, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago, Tufts University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan.

UMBC graduates have also secured jobs with a wide spectrum of corporations, nonprofits and government agencies, including Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Science Applications International Corporation, T. Rowe Price, Mercantile Bank, Xerox and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Graduate student commencement will be held Wednesday, May 24 at 10 a.m. on the UMBC campus at the Retriever Activities Center. Dr. Alan Lightman, a physicist and author and adjunct professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree for his significant contributions to the literary, scientific and education communities. Lightman’s 1993 novel, "Einstein's Dreams," was an international bestseller and has been translated into 30 languages.

The undergraduate ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 25, at 1 p.m., at the 1st Mariner Arena in downtown Baltimore. Dr. Solomon Snyder, distinguished service professor of neuroscience, pharmacology and psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree for his research accomplishments in neuroscience.

Snyder’s discoveries and techniques for identifying receptors for neurotransmitters and drugs have resulted in major advances in molecular neuroscience and drug design. He shared the prestigious Albert Lasker Award in 1978 for the discovery of the brain’s opiate receptors and, in 2003, received the National Medal of Science, the United States’ top scientific recognition.

Dr. Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the undergraduate ceremony for his achievements as a scholar, teacher and advocate for the advancement of higher education.

Brodhead, an expert in 19th-century American literature who has written or edited more than a dozen books, arrived at Duke after a 32-year career at Yale University. He has been involved with national higher education issues as a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum, a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation and a Presidential appointee to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. His scholarly work has been honored by his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Amber McGuigan, UMBC’s 2006 valedictorian, will also speak at Thursday’s ceremony. McGuigan, a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar who maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. as a double major in social work and economics, recently completed a year-long internship in the children's program at the House of Ruth Maryland. McGuigan is a native of Blackwood, N.J. and graduated from Highland Regional High School.

The Co-Salutatorians are Joe Howley, an ancient studies major from Silver Spring, M.D., and Roxann Brooks, a biological sciences major from Chesapeake, V.A. Howley, a Rhodes Scholar nominee and graduate of Montgomery Blair High School, will pursue graduate studies in classics at the University of St. Andrews. Brooks, a graduate of Norfolk Academy and a Meyerhoff Scholar, will pursue a doctorate of veterinary medicine and a Ph.D. in the veterinary scientist training program at the University of California, Davis.

For more information on UMBC Commencement Ceremonies, please visit:
http://www.umbc.edu/commencement

Posted by crose

May 2, 2006

UMBC, Johns Hopkins, Join Princeton in Multi-Million NSF Engineering Research Center

Advanced Research in Mid-Infrared Spectrum Could Yield Sensor Breakthroughs for Medicine, Environment, Military, Homeland Security

CONTACTS: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380 office
443-695-0262 cellphone
Email: mlurie@umbc.edu

Chip Rose
410-455-5793 office
443-690-0307 cellphone
Email: crose@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE– The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and The Johns Hopkins University are part of a newly announced multimillion-dollar National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center based at Princeton University that is expected to revolutionize sensor technology, yielding supersensitive devices that can detect minute amounts of chemicals found in the atmosphere, emitted from factories or exhaled in human breath.

The goal of the Center’s research is to produce devices that are so low in cost and easy to use that they transform the way physicians monitor patients, states track air quality, governments guard against terror attacks and scientists understand the evolution of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Other partner institutions with Princeton, Johns Hopkins and UMBC are Rice University, Texas A&M University and City College of New York. NSF and industrial funding for the Center could exceed $40 million over 10 years. NSF funding started May 1 with $2.97 million for the first year.

The center – named MIRTHE, for Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment – will combine the work of about 40 faculty members, 30 graduate students and 30 undergraduates from the six universities. The center also is collaborating with dozens of industrial partners on technology commercialization and is partnering with several educational outreach partners to apply MIRTHE research in improving science and engineering education.

“The sensors we are creating will be portable and easy to use,” said Claire Gmachl, associate professor of electrical engineering at Princeton and MIRTHE’s director. “Today’s state-of-the-art sensors are very sensitive, but require an expert to operate and are bulky and expensive. Our vision is to make sensors with the same or better level of sensitivity at a fraction of the size and cost.”

Sensor technologies developed by MIRTHE team members are expected to have a variety of commercial, military and educational applications. UMBC is home to several NASA-Goddard related atmospheric, environmental and earth science research centers and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, where MIRTHE technologies should improve monitoring of pollution in the soil, water and air. Another potential application is an “invisible fence” sensor system that can vastly improve detection of chemical and biological hazards for military troops in the battlefield and homeland security first responders.

MIRTHE is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, one of several interdisciplinary centers located at universities across the United States. The centers are among the foundation’s largest and most prestigious grants.

MIRTHE team members’ expertise ranges from fundamental science to applied technology. Work on MIRTHE at UMBC will be led by MIRTHE deputy director Anthony Johnson, a past president of the Optical Society of America and director of UMBC’s Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR).

“This is an exciting day for engineering research in the Baltimore-Washington region” Johnson said. “With seven faculty researchers each from The Johns Hopkins University and UMBC, this is incredible news for science in the state of Maryland.”

As deputy director of MIRTHE, Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge on the design, workings and manufacture of next-generation sensors based on novel optoelectronic materials. These sensors will be capable of detecting chemical and biological molecular markers in the mid-infrared portion of the spectrum.

Other UMBC researchers on the MIRTHE team include: L. Michael Hayden, chair of physics; Yanhua Shih, professor of physics; Joel Morris, Curtis Menyuk and Fow-Sen Choa, professors of computer science and electrical engineering; and Claire Welty, director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education.

Johns Hopkins researchers involved in MIRTHE include: Terence H. Risby of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Katalin Szlavecz, a geologist and lecturer at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Robert Brown of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine in the School of Medicine; Jacob Khurgin of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering; Charles Lowenstein and Steven Solga of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine; and Michael Trush of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

MIRTHE’s other key mission is in education – working to train a new and diverse generation of engineering students in the U.S. The center will incorporate extensive efforts to engage college and K-12 students in hands-on science and engineering projects, with major outreach programs taking place at UMBC, City College of New York and Princeton.

At UMBC, MIRTHE will link with the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, which is recognized nationally as a model for preparing high-achieving undergraduate students, particularly African-Americans, for research careers in science and engineering. Johnson also has extensive experience with K-12 optical science education outreach to under-represented minority students through his work with the Optical Society of America’s Hands-On Optics (HOO) program.

PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), which is also sponsored by the NSF, will focus on the cultivation, retention and successful graduation of graduate students from populations that are underrepresented in MIRTHE’s core disciplines,” said UMBC’s PROMISE Director Renetta Tull.

The work of creating the successful proposal to the NSF already has established a sense of community among the participants. “We are delighted to be partnering with Princeton and the other fine institutions in the Engineering Research Center’s critical work,” said Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC.

Posted by crose

May 1, 2006

Grasmick to Be Honored for Fighting Tech Gender Gap at UMBC’s Computer Mania Day

Fashion Designer Cynthia Rowley to Link High-Tech, High Fashion
For 100’s of Middle School Girls Saturday

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE - State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Grasmick will be honored for her contributions to fighting the gender gap in information technology this Saturday at UMBC’s fourth annual Computer Mania Day event. Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley headlines the day of free, fun, hands-on activities which brings hundreds of middle school girls from across Maryland for tech career path inspiration by women role models from industry and academia.

The Center for Woman and Information Technology (CWIT) at UMBC, which addresses and rectifies women's under-representation in information technology and enhances the understanding of the relationship between gender and IT, will present the Joan Korenman Award to Grasmick during the start of the day’s activities at 10:10 AM in UMBC’s Retriever Activities Center.

The Joan Korenman Award is named for the founder of CWIT and honors an individual or group of individuals who have supported, promoted, and encouraged girls and women to strive to achieve personal and professional growth through the use of, employment in, or leadership in information technology or a related field, where women are traditionally underrepresented.

“I’m thrilled to be a recipient of the Joan Korenman Award this year,” said Grasmick. “I continue to encourage women to persevere in their efforts to achieve their objectives. We must strive to have equity in all fields, including those that are technology based. I truly believe that we should continue to create and sustain pathways for all individuals to enter and remain in Information Technology or a related technology field.”

Many Baltimore-Washington area technology firms give financial and volunteer support to Computer Mania Day, which they see as an effective way to increase gender diversity in high-tech industries.

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious and do not want to be labeled as “geeks” or “nerds.” Girls also make up only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

"We are thrilled to continue our support of CWIT and its goal to encourage students', especially girls', interest and involvement in information technology," said Jennifer Jones, Sales Vice President for AT&T, who will present the award to Grasmick.

"Computer Mania Day demonstrates that science and computer skills not only facilitate our fast-paced, 24/7 connected lives, these skills enhance job performance and improve efficiencies across all industries,” said Jones. “This message is especially important to share with our nation's young people so that the U.S. will not continue to lose its competitive advantage in the global marketplace." The AT&T Foundation is a sponsor of Computer Mania Day.

"There is no greater imperative for protecting the future technological strength and security of our nation than getting today's primary and secondary-school children interested in math, science and engineering-related disciplines,” said James F. Pitts, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. “That's why we at Northrop Grumman strongly support activities such as Computer Mania Day at UMBC." Katherine A. Gray, VP of F16 Sensor Systems at Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems, will give the welcoming address to Computer Mania attendees.

Rowley, whose signature designs are found in Cynthia Rowley boutiques, better department stores and specialty stores across the U.S. and globe, has won multiple awards from The Council of Fashion Designers of America. Her creations have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. She is also the co-author of a best-selling series of books on personal and home style and an entrepreneur.

At Computer Mania Day, kids will get the chance to meet Rowley and participate in workshops led by positive female role models from UMBC along with business, government and education leaders. Girls’ events highlights include “Hardware Rocks,” “Google of Opportunities,” digital art and imaging, and the physics of do-it-yourself hot air balloons. Adult workshop highlights include how to prepare your kids for college, “Computers 101,” and “Cyber Safety: Keeping Your Child Protected Online.” All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways like the HP iPAQ, Dell USB Memory Key and Cisco Routers.

EVENT DETAILS: Saturday, May 6, 2006. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Check-in at UC Ballroom, UMBC. FREE lunch included. All adult and student attendees MUST register ahead of time online at www.computer-mania.info. To sign up or for more information, visit www.computer-mania.info or call 410-455-8433.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
A hi-resolution, color photo of Cynthia Rowley is available online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/CynthiaRowley.jpg

About the AT&T Foundation:

The new AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. The new AT&T Foundation will provide more than $60 million in 2006 in charitable contributions, thereby placing it among the top five largest corporate foundations in the country. The new AT&T Foundation combines over forty years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.

Posted by crose

April 24, 2006

COPT to Develop Second Building for bwtech@UMBC Research Park

110,000 Square-Foot Building to be Multi-Tenant Facility

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC's on-campus research and technology park, bwtech@UMBC, and Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) announced today that COPT will build and own a second building at the park.

The 110,000 square foot, four-story office building will located at 5520 Research Park Drive on ground leased from UMBC Research Park Corporation and will target large and small technology companies as tenants. The total construction cost of the project is projected to be approximately $22 million.

“We are very pleased to further our relationship with UMBC by being given the opportunity to develop a second building for their expanding research and technology park and to create more critical mass for COPT within the park,” said Randall M. Griffin, President and CEO of Corporate Office Properties Trust.

This building will be adjacent to a development project recently announced within bwtech@UMBC which is the 23,500 square foot new home for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center located at 5522 Research Park Drive. This would bring COPT’s total square foot ownership in the park to 133,900 square feet.

bwtech@UMBC was Maryland's first university research park and is the only research and development park in Baltimore County. The 41-acre park's first building, completed in 2001, is occupied by RWD Technologies. A second building, completed in 2004, is fully leased.

About COPT:
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) is a fully integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on the ownership, management, leasing, acquisition and development of suburban office properties located primarily in submarkets within the Greater Washington, DC region. As of December 31, 2005, the Company owned 183 office properties totaling 14.6 million rentable square feet, which included 18 properties totaling 885,000 square feet held through joint ventures. The Company has implemented a core customer expansion strategy that is built around meeting, through acquisitions and development, the multi-location requirements of the Company’s existing strategic tenants. The Company’s property management services team provides comprehensive property and asset management to company owned properties and select third party clients.

COPT’s development and construction services team provides a wide range of development and construction management services for company owned properties, as well as land planning, design/build services, consulting, and merchant development to select third party clients. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OFC. More information on Corporate Office Properties Trust can be found on the Internet at www.copt.com.

About bwtech@UMBC:
bwtech@UMBC is a 41-acre research and technology community at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). bwtech@UMBC has a total development capacity of up to 330,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. The USGS building will be the third of five planned state-of-the-art buildings containing over 300,000 square feet of office and wet lab space. The park’s 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001. The second building, a 60,000-square-foot multi-tenant building, is fully leased with tenants including The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, software maker BD Metrics Inc., healthcare media and education firm Med-IQ, the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, the engineering/design firm Edwards & Kelcey, and UMBC’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.

UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of other U.S. parks and the vision of the late Michael Hooker, UMBC president from 1986-1992. To date, UMBC’s research park and technology incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO.) bwtech@UMBC is part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for job creation.

Posted by crose

April 18, 2006

Executive Education Courses Continue at Erickson School of Aging Studies, May 17-20

"Management and Operations" to be Led by CEO of Southern Assisted Living, Inc.

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE - The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) teams once again with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) to offer a set of Executive Education courses. The series continues at UMBC on May 17-20 with a four-day seminar, "Management and Operations," led by Chris Hollister, CEO of Southern Assisted Living, Inc.

The seminar is the latest in a series of four-day Executive Education
seminars which the Erickson School at UMBC will host in 2006. A complete
schedule and overview of the full 2006 series is available at the bottom
of this advisory.

Although "Management and Operations" can be completed as a non-credit
course, industry executives also may complete this course for credit
toward one of two new graduate credit options. Executives can take this
course for 3 credits, or they can complete it as part of their
enrollment in the 4-course graduate certificate in Seniors Housing
Administration. (Those interested in the graduate-certificate option
should contact Dr. Leslie Morgan for further information at 443-543-5622.)

"Management and Operations" is designed to examine best practices in the
management and operations of the professional seniors housing and care
company. It begins with an explanation of the diversity, size and
complexity of the industry. It proceeds to focus on the science of
management and ethical leadership as it applies to the field, and the
importance of strategic thinking, obtaining a sustainable competitive
advantage through uniqueness, lower cost or better objective value, and
providing economic value above the cost of capital.

Chris Hollister is co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Southern Assisted Living, Inc. (SALI). SALI is the largest provider of
assisted living services in the state of North Carolina and one of the
top 20 assisted living providers in the nation.

Before founding SALI, he held various management positions in the assisted living and seniors
housing industry for over 19 years and continues to be a frequent
speaker at regional and national conferences. He served on the board of
the Assisted Living Federation of American (ALFA) from 2000-2004,
serving as Treasurer from April, 2002 to April, 2004. He received a BS
in Economics from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Fuqua School
of Business at Duke University. Guest speakers will include a variety of
other experts from the seniors housing and care industry.

"Management and Operations" will examine the crucial role of employee
engagement, loyalty and service quality in detail, with the necessary
passion for understanding residents and achieving resident loyalty. The
role of corporate culture, organizational excellence and performance
measurement, including the balanced scorecard, are explained in the
context of delivering service quality and clinical outcomes in health care.

The course proceeds to examine operations of the various functional
areas including the role of management information systems and
technology. It also addresses best practices in food service,
hospitality, maintenance, social activities and other areas.

The course concludes with an examination of financial management and
reporting and the critical role of risk management in an increasingly
regulated, litigated and competitive environment.

NIC is an active partner with the Erickson School of Aging Studies at
UMBC and works closely with the Erickson School on numerous initiatives.
NIC brings to this seminar and the rest of the 2006 Executive Education
series a legacy of expertise in the field of senior living executive
development. The series will be held on the grounds of the Erickson
School, known for training emerging industry leaders in the burgeoning
seniors housing and care business.

"The 'Management and Operations' course offers an opportunity for executives to
enhance their credentials with graduate credits while focusing on best practices in
the management and operations of the professional seniors housing and care company,"
says Tony Mullen, Acting Director of Executive Education at the Erickson School and
the NIC Research Director.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:

The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April
2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of
Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional
education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging
Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit
organization that has been the leading source of business and financial
information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six
years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations,
management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality
for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research
university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in
research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one
of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

For further details, please call the Erickson School of Aging Studies at
UMBC at 443-543-5622.

More information online at:

http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

Remaining 2006 NIC Executive Education Courses At the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

Management and Operations
Led by Chris Hollister, CEO, Southern Assisted Living, Inc.
Date: May 17-20, 2006

Risk Management
Led by Allen Lynch, Partner, Nixon Peabody, LLP
June 7-10, 2006

Sales and Marketing
Led by David Smith, President, One on One, Service to Seniors
September 18-21, 2006

Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis
Led by Ray Braun, President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial
Officer, Health Care REIT, Inc.
October 24-27, 2006

Development
Led by Phil Golden, President and COO, Shelter Properties
November 1-4, 2006

Organizational Excellence and Continuous Quality Improvement
Led by Tony Ingelido, Vice President, Asbury Services, Inc.
TBA

Posted by crose

April 3, 2006

Drs. Hrabowski, Summers Share Success Strategies for Producing Minority Scientists, Engineers

'Preparing Minority Scientists, Engineers' Appears in Science Magazine

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – President Freeman Hrabowski and Dr. Michael Summers of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), have published an article in the March 31 issue of Science Magazine, "Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers," that examines successful strategies for educating minority scientists and engineers in college and fostering their pursuit of doctorates and medical degrees.

The authors begin by noting that well-prepared minority students are originally interested in pursuing scientific or engineering careers, but far too few of those students actually graduate with degrees in those subjects. Students who entered UMBC's Meyerhoff Program, for example, were twice as likely to earn a science or engineering bachelor's degree and 5.3 times more likely to enroll in post-graduate study, when compared to those who were accepted to UMBC's Meyerhoff Program but attended other institutions.

Hrabowski and Summers then identify several factors necessary for minority student success, such as involving the students in scientific research projects as early as possible.

The Meyerhoff Program (named after its founders, Baltimore philanthropists Robert and his late wife Jane Meyerhoff), focuses on producing bachelor's degree recipients, particularly African-Americans, who go on to doctoral programs in science and engineering. UMBC is leading the nation as a producer of minority scientists who have gone on to earn Ph.D.s and medical degrees. Meyerhoff students with completed advanced degrees now number 44 with Ph.Ds or M.D.-Ph.Ds, 72 with master's degrees and 32 with medical degrees.

Meyerhoff Program alumni include a clinical fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Harvard Medical School, a post-doctoral fellow in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Medical School and a research and development scientist at Eastman Kodak.

Dr. Michael Summers, professor of chemistry/biochemistry and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at UMBC, has worked closely with Meyerhoff Scholars in the course of his research on the application of nuclear magnetic resonance to studies of the structure and function of proteins.

Hrabowski and Summers identify five elements in achieving positive outcomes in retention and development of minority scientists and engineers. Those elements are recruiting a substantial body of high-achieving minority students with interests in math and science; offering merit-based financial support; providing an orientation program for freshman; recruitment of active research faculty to work with the students; and involvement of students in scientific research projects early in their undergraduate careers.

Posted by crose

UMBC Wins 2006 College Chess Final Four

Without Top Player, National Champs Rise to Occasion, Defeat Arch-Rivals

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

DALLAS – While the Cinderella story of George Mason University men’s basketball ended this weekend, the nearby University of Maryland, Baltimore County‘s (UMBC) chess team emerged from the “Final Four” of college chess with a hard-fought victory over its arch-rivals the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) at the 2006 President’s Cup Tournament.

UMBC claimed the title with a final score of nine to UTD’s eight. Emerging national chess power Miami-Dade College placed a respectable third with five points. Duke University found the chessboard less hospitable than the basketball court, coming in last with two points.

International Grandmaster Pawel “The Polish Magician” Blehm was the hero for UMBC, leading his team to victory in the absence of UMBC’s top player and U.S. individual chess champion Alex Onischuk.

“Pawel really rose to the occasion on Board One,” said UMBC chess program director and associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering Alan Sherman. “He defeated two grandmasters with decisive play.”

Other UMBC players who performed solidly in the “Final Four” included Pascal “The Frenchman” Charbonneau, Bruci “The Cuban Cyclone” Lopez, Women’s International Grandmaster Katerina “The Kiev Killer” Rohonyan, and first alternate Beenish “The Indian Tiger” Bhatia.

UMBC and UTD are two of just a handful of U.S. universities to offer full scholarships for chess. As the recognized national powerhouses in their sport, they share a competitive fire on par with North Carolina vs. Duke in college basketball or the NY Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox in major league baseball.

UMBC and UTD have traded the “Final Four” title in a series of close matches since the event began six years ago. UTD claimed the title for the first two years, but UMBC since went on to win the last four in a row. Unlike most chess tournaments, the “Final Four” is a team round-robin format.

The teams qualified for the “Final Four” by being the top four finishing U.S. teams in the Dec. 2005 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, the Western Hemisphere’s most prestigious college chess competition. UMBC’s victory in the 2005 Pan Am was even tougher than the “Final Four,” with only a half-point deciding the outcome over UTD. UTD claimed the Pan-Am title in 2004 and 2003 and tied UMBC for first in 2001 and 2000.

UMBC will host the 2006 Pan Am tournament this December in Washington, DC.

Posted by crose

March 29, 2006

UMBC Student Featured on PBS Newshour Tonight

UMBC student Joe Jones, founder of the Center for Fathers, Family and Workforce Development, will appear on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer" tonight, March 29, 2006.

UMBC student Joe Jones, founder of the Center for Fathers, Family and Workforce Development, will appear on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer" tonight, March 29, 2006.

"Newshour" airs locally at 6 p.m. on Maryland Public Television (Channel 22) and WETA in Washington (Channel 26). For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/newshour.

3/30/06 Update:

Jones is one of several commentators offering analysis following reporter Ray Suarez' "Losing Ground" feature on "the plight of black men, who have not kept up with the income, health, education, civil justice and civic engagement of other groups."

To hear the report (and Jones' comments), visit http://audio.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/newshour/expansion/2006/03/29/20060329_black28.rm?altplay=20060329_%20black28.rm.

Posted by fritz

March 28, 2006

Gigabytes of Glamour: Fashion Designer Cynthia Rowley to Help UMBC Make Tech Savvy Girls in Style

Award-Winning Designer to Lead Hundreds of Middle School Girls, Parents,
in Day of Hands-on, High-Tech Fun: Computer Mania Day, May 6

CONTACT: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

If there’s one sure way to get more girls interested in
technology careers, just show them how computers help design some of the
world’s most glamorous clothes.

Cynthia Rowley, one of America’s most honored fashion designers, will
show hundreds of middle school girls, parents and teachers from across
Maryland how high technology helps create high fashion clothes worn by
supermodels as she headlines Computer Mania Day at UMBC on Saturday, May 6.

Rowley, whose signature designs are found in Cynthia Rowley boutiques,
better department stores and specialty stores across the U.S. and globe,
has won multiple awards from The Council of Fashion Designers of
America. Her creations have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Glamour,
Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. She is also the co-author of a
best-selling series of books on personal and home style and an entrepreneur.

Computer Mania Day is an annual day of free, hands-on, high-tech, fun
activities for adults and kids sponsored by UMBC’s Center for Women and
Information Technology (CWIT)
. The half-day event helps to get girls
interested in technology and computing careers while helping parents and
teachers sharpen their own computer skills. While boys are welcome, the
focus is on girls because of their continuing under-representation in
science, technology, engineering and math.

Research shows that the information technology (IT) gender gap opens as
early as the middle school years, when girls are most image-conscious
and do not want to be labeled as “geeks” or “nerds.” Girls also make up
only 14 percent of Advanced Placement students in computer science, a
key to success in IT-related fields at the college level.

At Computer Mania Day, kids will get the chance to meet Rowley and
participate in workshops led by positive female role models from UMBC
along with business, government and education leaders.

Girls’ events highlights include “Hardware Rocks,” “Google of Opportunities,” digital art and imaging, and the physics of do-it-yourself hot air balloons. Adult workshop highlights include how to prepare your kids for college, “Computers 101,” and “Cyber Safety: Keeping Your Child Protected Online.” All attendees will have the chance to win great giveaways like the HP iPAQ, Dell USB Memory Key and Cisco Routers.

EVENT DETAILS:
Saturday, May 6, 2006.
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Check-in at
UC Ballroom, UMBC. FREE lunch included for students. All adult and student attendees MUST register ahead of time online at www.computer-mania.info. To sign up or for more information, visit www.computer-mania.info or call 410-455-8433.

NOTE TO MEDIA:
A hi-resolution, color photo of Cynthia Rowley is available online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/PhotoGal/CynthiaRowley.jpg

Posted by crose

January 30, 2006

EXECUTIVE EDUCATION COURSES RETURN TO ERICKSON SCHOOL OF AGING STUDIES, FEB. 22-25

“BUSINESS AND STRATEGY OF SENIORS HOUSING & CARE”
MARKS START OF ONGOING 2006 SERIES

CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) teams once again with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) to offer a set of Executive Development courses. The series begins at UMBC on Feb. 22-25 with a four-day seminar, “The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care.”

The seminar is the first of seven, four-day Executive Education seminars that the Erickson School at UMBC will host through Nov. 4, 2006. A complete schedule and overview of the full 2006 series is available at the bottom of this advisory.

Although the initial seminar, “The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care,” can be completed as a non-credit course, industry executives also may utilize two new graduate credit options. Executives can take one course for 3 credits, or they may enroll in the 4-course graduate certificate in Seniors Housing & Care. (Those interested in the graduate-certificate option should contact Dr. Leslie Morgan for further information at 443-543-5622.)

“The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care” provides historical, philosophical and management overviews of the entire continuum of long-term care, from independent housing to skilled nursing. The course will analyze the strategy and underpinnings of seniors housing and care, including the drivers of success, real demographics of aging, cost of capital and the evolving marketplace.

The course has a major focus on the role of health care delivery within seniors housing. It also explores the current legal, regulatory and public policy environments confronting seniors housing and the challenges they pose for management. “The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care” will be led by Brian Swinton, retired executive vice president of Sunrise Senior Living. John Erickson, Chairman of the Board and CEO for Erickson Retirement Communities, also will serve as a guest instructor during the course.

NIC, a presenting partner with the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, brings to this seminar and the rest of the 2006 Executive Education series a legacy of expertise in the field of senior living executive development. The series will be held at the Erickson School, known for training emerging industry leaders in the burgeoning seniors housing and care business.

“NIC is proud to have created with UMBC the premier, advanced-level program for executives in the industry,” says Tony Mullen, Acting Director of Executive Education and the NIC Research Director. “The courses are truly advanced level material with many examples of best practices in the field taught by recognized industry leaders. The sharing among the different companies that attend is exceptional and a unique benefit in and of itself. There is nothing else like the program in the country today.”

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:

The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

For further details, please call the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC at 443-543-5622.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

# # #

Upcoming NIC Executive Development Courses
At the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing and Care
Led by Brian Swinton, Retired, Executive Vice President, Sunrise Senior Living
February 22-25, 2006

Organizational Excellence and Continuous Quality Improvement
Led by Tony Ingelido, Vice President, Asbury Services, Inc.
March 22-25, 2006

Management and Operations
Led by Chris Hollister, CEO, Southern Assisted Living, Inc.
Date: May 17-20, 2006

Risk Management
Led by Allen Lynch, Partner, Nixon Peabody, LLP
June 7-10, 2006

Sales and Marketing
Led by David Smith, President, One on One, Service to Seniors
September 18-21, 2006

Finance, Underwriting and Investment Analysis
Led by Ray Braun, President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Health Care REIT, Inc.
October 24-27, 2006

Development
Led by Phil Golden, President and COO, Shelter Properties
November 1-4, 2006

Posted by crose

December 20, 2005

Merritt Properties Purchases bwtech@UMBC Buildings From Grosvenor

Strong Market Demand for UMBC Research Park Buildings

CONTACTS: Chip Rose, UMBC
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

Leslie Braunstein, Grosvenor
703.871-1831
lbraunstein@schum.com

International property development and investment firm Grosvenor announced today the sale of two buildings at bwtech@UMBC, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s on-campus research and technology park, to Baltimore-based Merritt Properties, LLC.

Merritt acquired the 63,000 square foot three-story building at 5521 Research Park Drive, delivered in 2001 and fully occupied by RWD Technologies, and the 60,000 SF 5523 Research Park Drive building delivered in mid-2004. 5523 Research Park Drive is leased to multiple tenants including BDMetrics, Inc., Edwards and Kelcey, Invoke Systems, Convergent Technologies, Physicians Practice, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, and other organizations including several UMBC program offices.

The sale includes transfer of a long-term ground lease for the two building lots, totaling approximately eight acres. However, the sale terminated Grosvenor’s prior development agreement and plan for the remainder of the 41-acre site.

“Our successful sale of bwtech@UMBC is part of Grosvenor’s overall U.S. strategy to concentrate our holdings in four major markets -- Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- while focusing on urban office and boutique retail product,” said Andrew Galbraith, Senior Vice President, Grosvenor. “In divesting this suburban office park, we found a perfect match with Merritt Properties, which is locally based and has developed more than 13 million square feet of office, flex, and industrial property in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.”

"We were pleased to see such high market demand for our buildings," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "Our team was also delighted to have a top-notch manager like Merritt Properties on board who will maintain the high standards and reputation in the real estate industry that Grosvenor had established so well with bwtech@UMBC."

"We look forward to working with UMBC and are excited about the acquisition of these two Class A office buildings which help further strengthen our position in the marketplace,” said Robb Merritt, Vice President of Merritt Properties.

Merritt manages several other top properties in the greater Baltimore region, including Columbia Corporate Park, Columbia Corporate Park 100, Beltway Business Park, Schilling Square, Timonium Business Park
and Merritt Owings Mills.


About bwtech@UMBC:

bwtech@UMBC allows tenants to benefit from access to UMBC’s expertise, students, technology, programs, and facilities. Businesses moving to the Research Park, which is part of Maryland’s Southwest Enterprise Zone, may receive tax incentives in exchange for creating new jobs and making capital investments.

UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of similar endeavors in other parts of the U.S. In 1998, UMBC forged ahead with its approved plan for a research and technology park that would house more mature companies, potentially including “graduates” of the techcenter@UMBC incubator program. UMBC searched for a development partner and ultimately selected Grosvenor, based in part on the firm’s experience in developing other research parks including one at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

About Merritt Properties, LLC:
Merritt Properties, LLC defines its mission simply: Creating Homes for Businesses. Since 1967, this privately held commercial real estate firm has developed more than 13 million square feet of industrial and office properties in the Baltimore/Washington area. Merritt designs, builds, leases and manages their properties for the long-term and is committed to providing the highest quality service to all of its customers. For more information about the company, please visit www.merrittproperties.com.

About Grosvenor:
Grosvenor is a privately owned real estate development and investment company that has been active in North America for more than 50 years. The Company’s North American portfolio consists of more than six million square feet of space, including office, retail, industrial properties, and residential units. Internationally, Grosvenor has interests in properties with a total value of $20 billion, with operating companies in the Americas, UK and Ireland, Continental Europe and the Australia/Asia Pacific region. For more information about the Company, please visit the Grosvenor Web site at: www.grosvenor.com.

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December 7, 2005

$200,000 Given to Erickson School of Aging Studies

Donations to be Used for Student Scholarships

Contact Mike Lurie
UMBC News
410-455-6380
mlurie@umbc.edu


The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has been the happy recipient of $200,000 in donations from two prominent sources in the seniors housing and care industry.

The first $100,000 donation was made in honor of William E. Colson, president and CEO of Holiday Retirement Corp., by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC). Colson had received NIC’s first Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Annual NIC Conference in Washington, D.C.

Colson, a recognized industry leader and innovator, recently matched the gift, bringing the total donation to $200,000. The gifts will be used to fund a new scholarship program for students attending the Erickson School of Aging Studies. It will be named The William E. Colson Scholarship Fund.

“These major contributions are just two examples of the senior living industry’s recognition of the importance of this new school,” said Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of UMBC. “NIC’s and Mr. Colson’s gifts will help us significantly in our efforts to educate the next generation of leaders, both in the seniors housing and care industry, as well as other services for the aging population.”

The first scholarships will likely be awarded in fall 2006, when the School is expected to debut its undergraduate program.

The Erickson School of Aging Studies currently offers a series of Executive Education courses in seniors housing and care, ranging from business and operations issues, to marketing and finance. To date, every course has sold out. The next one, “Risk Management of Seniors Housing and Care,” takes place on December 5-7 at the School’s campus, just outside of Baltimore, Md.

For more information about the Erickson School of Aging Studies and its educational tracks, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-3361.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies
The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson, a national developer and manager of campuses for middle-income people more than 62 years of age. The school focuses on academic programs, credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

Note to editors: Photographs of William E. Colson receiving the NIC Lifetime Achievement Award are available upon request.

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December 5, 2005

University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Montgomery College Partner in New Institute for Global and Cultural Studies at Wheaton High School

Specialized Program Open to Students in the Downcounty Consortium in Fall 2006

Contacts:
Mike Lurie
UMBC

410-455-6380
mlurie@umbc.edu

Kate Harrison
Montgomery County Public Schools

301-279-3077
Kate_Harrison@mcpsmd.org

ROCKVILLE, MD -- The new Institute for Global and Cultural Studies (IGCS) at Wheaton High School will offer an opportunity for students to earn up to 15 college credits before graduating from high school, thanks to Montgomery County Public Schools’ partnerships with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Montgomery College (MC). This addition to the specialized academy programs currently available at Wheaton High School is designed to connect students to college in new and innovative ways. The program is scheduled to open in the fall of 2006.

Leaders of the partnership institutions gathered at Wheaton High School on December 5 to announce the new venture, which has been two years in the making. They include Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of UMBC; Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, president of MC; Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education; and Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools. They were joined by Congressman Chris Van Hollen, who serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan.

While other academy programs at Wheaton are science and technology oriented, the IGCS will respond to the academic needs of students whose interests include fields such as journalism, international relations, history, and human rights. It is a particularly good fit for the highly diverse student population in the consortium schools, where many of the students will be the first in their family to attend college.

“The IGCS is a wonderful opportunity for any student, but particularly for those whose families are new to the college application process and experience,” said Dr. Weast. “This program will open up a whole new world to these students, and I thank our two partner institutions for making this possible.”

“This new Institute provides balance to the science and technology academies already offered at Wheaton,” said Mrs. O’Neill. “It capitalizes on the richness of student diversity, and students will have a tremendous amount of life experience and cultural history to share.”

Students enrolled in the IGCS will be able to explore global and cultural issues from multiple perspectives while being introduced to the opportunities provided by college and university education. The focus will be on learning about different cultures through world studies, fine arts, technology, and foreign language study, some of which will be available through credit courses at the college level.

Teachers also will benefit from the program, which will provide ways for secondary and higher education faculty to exchange ideas and experiences. Faculty from all three institutions will engage in planning together, as well as co-teaching. Indeed, faculty members are already working jointly on the development of the e-portfolios that will be used to document and measure student success.

"The partnership represented by the new Institute for Global and Cultural Studies is an ideal fit for UMBC," said Dr. Hrabowski. "We are proud of the students who have come to the University from both Montgomery College and the Montgomery County Public Schools, and this initiative makes it possible for students, including those at Wheaton High, to accelerate their college experience."

IGCS students will participate in specialized research projects, summer enrichment experiences, and courses on learning strategies. They will travel to college campuses and benefit from added support from mentors and tutors. The Institute’s rigorous program will provide a series of college classes for juniors and seniors held at Wheaton High School and taught by professors from the partner institutions. High school students will be able to earn as many as 15 college credits before graduation from high school. Summer college residency programs for students entering their senior year in high school also will be among the offerings of this unique partnership.

Students who complete the program successfully and who meet admissions requirements will be guaranteed admission to UMBC and MC.

"Access to higher education is the single-most empowering advantage a young person can have in today’s world,” said Dr. Nunley. “We’re pleased to work together with the school system and UMBC to bring to Wheaton High School a program that will help to ensure more students will, ultimately, attend and succeed in college.”

“Education is the great equalizer, and we want to give all students the opportunity to succeed. That is why I have always put education first,” said Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan. “I salute everyone involved in developing this important educational bridge between our two regions.”

The Institute is one of the specialized programs available to students in the Downcounty Consortium, which includes Montgomery Blair, John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Northwood, and Wheaton high schools. Prospective students are being introduced to the program this year, so that they will be prepared to decide whether it is the best match for their talents and interests when the program opens in the upcoming school year.

“I applaud the efforts of the leaders who have worked to make this partnership a reality,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen. “This is the kind of collaboration that students need to prepare them to compete in our increasingly competitive global economy.”

Consortium Grade 8 students have the opportunity to select Wheaton High School as one of five high school choices. Preparation for IGCS enrollment actually begins in middle school following students’ choice of Wheaton High School, where students in the second semester of eighth grade will be introduced to the college campus setting and encouraged to plan their academic program with college in mind. If they choose to enroll in the IGCS in their freshman year at Wheaton, they will begin a pathway of courses and experiences that will prepare them for the college-level courses offered in their junior and senior years.

More information about the IGCS is available on the Web at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/wheatonhs/academy/IGCS/IGCSWeb.htm or by calling Shauna Brown, head of the program, at 301-929-2050.

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November 17, 2005

UMBC Center for Aging Studies Researchers Present at World's Top Gerontology Science Conference

Contact Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

17 UMBC Aging Experts to Take Part in Nov. 18-22
Gerontological Society of America Science Meeting

BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) Center for Aging Studies will be well-represented this weekend as 17 of its researchers present at the 58th annual scientific meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the world’s largest and most prestigious multidisciplinary scientific conference devoted to gerontological research.

According to Kevin Eckert, dean of the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, 17 faculty and doctoral student researchers from UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies will present research posters, papers and/or participate in symposiums at the Orlando, FL conference.

“It’s an honor for UMBC to present a significant amount of research at the top scientific meeting of gerontologists in the world,” said Eckert. “We’re especially excited to present research findings on assisted living that include faculty as well as several doctoral students.”

UMBC is building a national reputation for aging studies, thanks to a strong foundation of research built by The Center for Aging Studies. The Center is affiliated with the University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the new Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, which Eckert leads. UMBC also partners with the University of Maryland, Baltimore on an interdisciplinary, multi-campus doctoral program in gerontology, one of a handful nationally.

The GSA meeting was originally scheduled to take place in New Orleans, but was relocated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The conference’s closing session will address the lessons learned from Katrina on how government, communities and families can respond more effectively to the needs of the elderly during natural disasters. The closing session will be moderated by Charles Longino, president of the GSA and the first visiting professor to join the UMBC Erickson School of Aging Studies faculty.

According to Eckert, the highlight of the conference for UMBC will be the Saturday, Nov. 19 symposium, “Interpersonal Dynamics in Assisted Living.” The ethnographic study dispatched interviewers to large and small assisted living facilities across Maryland to speak directly to residents about their experiences. “UMBC researchers will be presenting real stories of family relationships around assisted living decision making, what life is like for residents, what it’s like to work in one and the relationship between residents and physicians in assisted living facilities,” Eckert said.

About the Gerontological Society of America:
Founded in 1945, the GSA’s membership includes some 5,000+ researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals in the field of aging. The Society's principal missions are to promote research and education in aging and to encourage the dissemination of research results to other scientists, decision makers, and practitioners.

More information online at:
http://www.geron.org/
http://www.agingconference.com

About the Center for Aging Studies at UMBC:
The Center for Aging Studies is a hub for faculty, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral research activities on the policy and sociocultural dimensions of aging in the United States. The Center is the administrative and intellectual home for currently funded research (exceeding $5 million) on such topics as long-term care quality, consumer direction, physician/older patient interactions and practice, among others. Working with the doctoral program in Gerontology, housed jointly at UMBC and the University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore, the Center has greatly increased the contributions and visibility of UMBC faculty and students on aging-related issues of State and national importance.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies:
The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The School’s goal is to become the preeminent resource for education, research and policy on services for the mid-life and older population.
To achieve this vision, the School will expand upon existing strengths at UMBC in public policy, aging and health services research through credit and non-credit educational programs and activities.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

More information online at:
http://www.umbc.edu/erickson

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October 20, 2005

UMBC to Dedicate Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chemistry Building

Oct. 21 Ceremony Honors Innovative Philanthropy That Made UMBC National Leader in Science Diversity, Excellence

Contact: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380
mlurie@umbc.edu

To understand fully how dramatically Robert and Jane Meyerhoff have changed the face of American science, just consider the numbers.

In 2003, the most recent year for which data are available, only 306 Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields were awarded to African-Americans nationwide.

The philanthropists established the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at UMBC in 1988 to address the under-representation of African American men in the sciences and engineering. Since then the Program has produced nearly 600 graduates who are minorities or dedicated to advancing representation of minorities in the sciences. Program graduates go on in large numbers to the country's most prestigious graduate and professional schools, placing UMBC among the top predominantly white institutions nationally producing minority bachelor's degree recipients who go on to earn Ph.D.s in STEM fields.

The Oct. 21 event will honor the Meyerhoffs’ pivotal commitment and generosity by renaming the University’s newly renovated chemistry and biochemistry facility as the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chemistry Building.

“Almost two decades ago, Robert Meyerhoff and his late wife, Jane, began to quite literally change the face of science in America,” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. “It is only fitting that we name in their honor a building where the next generation of chemists and biochemists will train.”

The Meyerhoff Program’s impact is already clear as early graduates begin their careers at top institutions and companies:

  • In 2000, Chester Hedgepeth, (UMBC biological sciences ’93, Parkside High School, Salisbury, MD) became the first African American M.D./Ph.D. to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. He is now a Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

  • Adam Freeman (chemistry ‘95, Springbrook High School, Silver Spring, MD) received his Ph.D. from University of California-Berkeley in 2003 and is now a Senior Research Scientist at Eastman Kodak.

  • Melanie Smith (biological sciences ‘95, Western High School, Baltimore) was the first African-American M.D./Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and is now in residency at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

  • Crystal Watkins (UMBC biological sciences ’95, Dulaney High School, Baltimore) received her M.D./Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is now a Research Fellow and Resident Physician in the Departments of Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences there.

The Meyerhoffs’ initial $500,000 gift that created the Program in 1988 was at the time the University’s largest private gift ever, and carved the path for future philanthropic support. Since then, the Meyerhoffs have continued their commitment to UMBC by building an endowment of nearly $8 million to support the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, as well as serving as honorary co-chairs of The Campaign for UMBC.

The Chemistry building’s renovations will benefit all UMBC chemistry and biochemistry students and faculty. “The renovations provide an outstanding environment for the collaborative approach to teaching, learning and research,” said Ralph Pollack, chair and professor of UMBC’s chemistry and biochemistry department. “In addition to the state-of-the-art labs and instruments, we’re especially pleased that the building design encourages communication, mentoring, and shared research.”

The event celebrates the full renovation of the building’s interior and the Meyerhoffs' contributions to the University with a ribbon cutting, plaque dedication and reception.
Several members of the Meyerhoff family will join current and former Meyerhoff Scholars, chemistry and biochemistry faculty, students, alumni and staff along with supporters and friends of the University for the 2 p.m. event.

BACKGROUND FOR MEDIA:

Robert and Jane Meyerhoff:
The Meyerhoffs embarked on a partnership of philanthropy in 1945, creating a national legacy that spans the arts and sciences. Born in 1924, the Meyerhoffs matured during the Great Depression and World War II as members of a generation that believed in giving back to community and country. The Baltimore natives have brought passion and dedication to their varied roles as real estate developer, thoroughbred horse breeders, art collectors, and advocates for education.

After serving in the war, Robert Meyerhoff, a civil engineer and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, returned home to join the family construction business. He later left to establish Hendersen-Webb, a construction and property management company known for creating communities focused on quality and value. During this period, he and Mrs. Meyerhoff, a graduate of Goucher College, began to build the couple’s outstanding collection of post-World War II art, which they have donated “to the nation” as a gift to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

While the Meyerhoffs’ contributions to education are many, perhaps the most significant is the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC, created in 1988. What began as an initiative to address the under-representation of African-American men in the sciences and engineering has evolved into a diverse program that now includes men and women from a range of backgrounds who share a dedication to advancing minorities in the sciences. The program has received national acclaim for producing an outstanding number of high-achieving minority students in science and engineering and inspiring them to attain advanced degrees at the nation’s most prestigious graduate and professional schools. The couple’s deep personal interest and pride in the Meyerhoff Scholars have added a nurturing element that strengthens the experience.

The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at UMBC:

Undergraduate students accepted into the program have exceptional retention rates (95%) and GPAs (3.4) and are broadly distributed in scientific fields. Meyerhoff students have impressive research-related internships each year in laboratories throughout the U.S. and abroad; nearly all have presented research at professional conferences, and a number have published in top scientific journals as undergraduates. The program has nearly 600 graduates, almost all currently enrolled in Ph.D., M.D., or M.D./Ph.D. programs across the country (e.g., at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Hopkins, Penn, Virginia, Rice). Currently, there are just over 200 undergraduates in the Meyerhoff Program at UMBC.

UMBC Chemistry & Biochemistry/ Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chemistry Building

In recent years, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ranked UMBC first nationally in the total number of undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry degrees awarded to African Americans; second in the total number of undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biochemistry awarded to minorities; and third in chemistry and biochemistry master's degrees awarded to minority students.

The building renovations include: state-of-the-art teaching labs and instrumentation, a new mass spectrometry facility, a laser laboratory and a suite of nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers. The building design encourages communication, mentoring, and shared research through flexible, interconnected labs; clustered faculty offices; a tutorial center; space for small discussion and problem solving groups and a bridge connecting students and faculty with life sciences colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences.

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September 19, 2005

AT&T Foundation Donates $50,000 to Center for Women and Information Technology

CONTACT: Mike Lurie, UMBC
Office: 410-455-6380
Cell phone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

The AT&T Foundation has renewed its generous support of the Center for Women and Information Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with a donation of $50,000.

The Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), established at UMBC in July 1998, is dedicated to providing global leadership in all aspects of information technology (IT).

The $50,000 donation from the AT& T Foundation will continue to support two important initiatives at CWIT. The first is Computer Mania Day planned for May 6, 2006, a half day of technology-related activities at UMBC for 750 middle school girls, their parents, and teachers. The second initiative supported by the funds from AT&T is the CWIT Scholars program, a merit scholarship program for talented undergraduates majoring in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or a related program. Both programs seek to address the declining participation of girls and women in IT education and careers in Maryland and nationally.

AT&T will be recognized for its generosity and ongoing support of CWIT during a ceremony at the CWIT Scholars annual reception. The reception takes place Sept. 20, 2005, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the University Commons, Skylight Room. CWIT Scholars and their families along with business leaders will join the UMBC community to thank AT&T and congratulate the new CWIT students selected and enrolled into the prestigious scholars program.

“With the generous support of AT&T Foundation and the men and women of AT&T who volunteer their time, CWIT will be able to continue to encourage and support more women and girls to enter their careers and become leaders in IT and related technology fields,” says CWIT executive director Claudia Morrell.

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September 1, 2005

UMBC Names Lynne Schaefer as Vice President for Finance and Administration


Lynne Schaefer, a veteran university administrator with expertise in financial and facilities management, is the new vice president for administration and finance at UMBC.


CONTACT: Mike Lurie
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

Lynne Schaefer, a veteran university administrator with expertise in financial and facilities management, is the new vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Schaefer, who has 26 years of budget management and higher education administration experience in the state of Michigan, assumed her position on July 1. She succeeds Mark Behm, who has retired after 32 years of service to UMBC.

Schaefer comes to UMBC from Oakland University (Rochester, Mich.), where she was vice president for finance and administration. In that role, she had lead responsibilities for financial and facilities management, human resources, and business services. Under her guidance, Oakland University strengthened its financial management, redesigned its budget development process, and re-engineered its procurement process. Schaefer was also responsible for more than $100 million in capital improvements construction and development, and implementation of a new market-based compensation structure for 400 professional staff.

“We especially want to welcome Lynne Schaefer, who joined us after a national search," said Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC. "She has substantial experience, having served as administrative vice president at two other universities, President of the Michigan Education Trust, and earlier as a budget analyst in that state. We are very fortunate to have recruited her here."

Schaefer served Wayne State University as vice president of administrative services, a position she assumed after serving the school as director of the budget office. Schaefer also held positions at various state agencies, including the Michigan Department of Treasury, the Michigan Department of Management and Budget, and the Governor’s Council on Jobs and Economic Development.

Schaefer received a B.A. in political science from Michigan State and an MBA from Wayne State. A recipient of numerous awards, Schaefer was selected twice as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Detroit and was named the 1981 Michigan Budget Person of the Year. She is active on several boards, including the Women’s Economic Club Advisory Board, the Michigan Women in Finance Board, Cranbrook Institute of Science Board, and the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce.

Note to Editors & Reporters:
To download a hi-res photo of Lynne Schaefer, please click on the photo above, then right-click with your mouse and select "save image as."

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August 29, 2005

Peabody Awards Director Horace Newcomb to Speak on the Changing Media Industry

4:00 p.m., Thursday, September 15, 2005
UMBC, Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – Horace Newcomb, director of the prestigious George Peabody Awards Program, will speak at UMBC on “Studying Television in the Post-Network Era: Responses to a Changing Media Industry.” The lecture, scheduled for Thursday, September 15, at 4:00 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, celebrates the recent establishment of UMBC’s upper-level undergraduate Certificate in Communications and Media Studies.

Professor Newcomb, who holds the Lamdin Kay Chair for the Peabody Awards in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, pioneered UMBC’s first popular culture and mass media courses as an American Studies faculty member in the mid-1970s. During those years he also served as television columnist for the Baltimore Sun.

A widely respected scholar in mass media studies, he is author of “TV: The Most Popular Art” (Doubleday, 1974), co-author of “The Producer’s Medium” (Oxford, 1983), and editor of six editions of “Television: The Critical View” (Oxford, 1976-2000). From 1994 to1996 he served as Curator for the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, with primary duties as editor of The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia, considered the definitive library reference work for the study of television.

Newcomb’s research and teaching interests are in media, society, and culture, and he has written widely in the field of television criticism and history. Recent lectures in the U.S. and abroad have focused on cultural exchange and international media industries. Known during his years at UMBC as an outstanding teacher, he was named one of three Outstanding Teachers in the Graduate School at the University of Texas at Austin in 1989.

The Peabody Awards, established in 1941 and based at the University of Georgia, are considered the most prestigious recognition of distinguished achievement by radio and television networks, stations, producing, organizations, cable television organizations and individuals. In 2004 32 awards were made, including one to WBAL-TV for a series of reports on the Chesapeake Bay, credited with spurring state environmental policies, and Bill Moyers was recognized for his life-time of contributions to electronic media.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of American Studies, the Social Sciences Forum, and the Humanities Forum. For further information, contact the American Studies Department at UMBC, 410-455-2106.

Posted by mlurie

August 16, 2005

Executive Development at Erickson School to Address 'Finance, Underwriting & Investment Analysis'

Contact Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

or

Renee Tilton
410-626-0805


Financiers who lend to and invest in the senior living industry, as well as financial professionals within management and development companies, will benefit from an upcoming, four-day Executive Development course at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). “Finance, Underwriting & Investment Analysis,” led Raymond Braun, president and CFO of Health Care REIT, will be offered on November 2-5, 2005.

“Financing and underwriting for seniors housing has its own set of challenges, mostly due to its unique composition of being part real estate, part health care,” said Braun. “Those who understand the industry’s inherent challenges and how to best assess its risks will also be the ones to reap the rewards of participating in this growing asset class.”

The intensive course assumes that students have a basic level of financial education. Highlights include:


  • How seniors housing and care compares to other commercial real estate asset classes.
  • An exploration of the business versus real estate components of senior living properties and how to measure each.
  • Detailed financial concepts and investment analysis techniques – including calculating the cost of capital; the use, risk and reward of leverage; discounted cash flow analysis; net present value and other investment return measures – applied to seniors housing and care examples.
  • Financial analysis issues unique to lenders, such as measuring default risk and using loan portfolio theory.
  • Financial analysis issues unique to equity investors, such as personal guarantees, construction risks and the use of land value toward equity requirements.
  • The due diligence process, including the proper use of market research, financial feasibility studies and appraisals.
  • The capital markets and the choices for different types of debt, equity and hybrids, including the use of sale/leaseback, mezzanine loans, low-floating rate bonds and other less traditional options that exist for seniors housing and care properties.

Other financial professional teaching portions of the course are: James Hands, managing partner, Salem Equity; Craig Jones, senior managing director, Red Capital Group; Anthony J. Mullen, research director, National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC); R. Buford Sears, SVP and manager, Health Care Services Group, M&T Bank; Chris Simon, senior analyst, Health Care REIT; and Rachel M. Watson, portfolio manager, Health Care REIT.

Since the launch of the NIC Executive Development Program last fall at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, every course has sold out. All courses are conducted in a participatory, seminar format. Each four-day course is $2750. To register, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-1570. For more information, email ericksonschool@umbc.edu or call (410) 455-3361.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies

The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

Posted by crose

July 26, 2005

Mayo Shattuck New Chair of UMBC Board of Visitors

Greg Barnhill to Head Board of Alex. Brown Center

Greg Barnhill to Head Board of Alex. Brown Center

CONTACT: Mike Lurie
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu


BALTIMORE – Two prominent members of the greater Baltimore business community are assuming new positions in their ongoing volunteer leadership roles with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Mayo A. Shattuck, III is the new chair of the UMBC President’s Board of Visitors. Greg Barnhill will succeed Shattuck as chair of the external advisory board for the UMBC Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. The appointments became effective July 1, 2005.

Shattuck, now the Chairman of the board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Energy, was the impetus behind a generous gift of $1 million from the Alex. Brown Foundation in Spring 2000 to start the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. As new chair of the UMBC Board of Visitors, an advisory board, he succeeds Earl L. Linehan of Woodbrook Capital, Inc. Shattuck received his B.A. from Williams College and his M.B.A. from Stanford University.

The Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship works closely with the Baltimore business community to establish entrepreneurial learning opportunities and business experiences for UMBC students.

Barnhill, a Partner and Member of the Board of Brown Advisory Securities, will help guide the Alex. Brown Center’s mission of developing entrepreneurs for the region. Barnhill and Shattuck have served together on the Center’s board.

“We're very grateful to Mayo Shattuck for his leadership and active involvement in establishing and guiding the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship,” said Vivian Armor, Director of the Alex. Brown Center. “We've made tremendous progress over the past few years, and we're excited about the opportunity to work with Greg Barnhill to continue to expand our initiatives.”

“Mayo Shattuck is a major asset for greater Baltimore,” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. “UMBC is honored to have him as one of our leading ambassadors in the business community.”

Says Shattuck, “Greg Barnhill brings 28 years of investment industry experience to this position with the Alex. Brown Center. That background, coupled with his extensive participation in various civic projects throughout the Baltimore region, position Greg well to continue expanding the center’s impact on UMBC students.”

Barnhill is well-known for his extensive activity in civic activities throughout the region. He played a lead role in the winning bids that made Baltimore and Annapolis stopovers in the 1998 and 2002 Volvo Ocean Race, an around-the-world sailing regatta. More recently, he was co-chair of the finance committee for the 2005 Miss USA pageant, broadcast live from the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore.

“My ongoing relationship with UMBC faculty and students has shown me that the university, through the Alex. Brown Center, is an ideal resource in providing students who make an entrepreneurial impact in our community,” Barnhill says.

Posted by mlurie

June 14, 2005

Alumni Connection Draws Physicians Practice, Inc. to bwtech@UMBC

Edwards and Kelcey Moves Baltimore Office

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

bwtech@UMBC, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's on-campus research and technology park, announced today that two new corporate tenants have agreed to relocate to the park’s second building, 5523 Research Park Drive, recently completed by international property developer Grosvenor.

The new tenants are the healthcare communications and technology firm Physicians Practice, Inc., formerly of Glen Burnie, and the engineering/design firm Edwards and Kelcey, which moves its Baltimore office to UMBC from Caton Avenue.

Physicians Practice is publisher of Physicians Practice: The Business Journal for Physicians, the most widely circulated practice management journal for physicians in the country. The firm is also known for its award-winning Web site, www.PhysiciansPractice.com, and a weekly e-mail newsletter, Physicians Practice Pearls.

Physicians Practice comes to UMBC thanks in part to the close ties to the University by president, co-founder and UMBC alumnus Scott Weber, who graduated in 1985 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. Weber, a former president of the UMBC Alumni Association, continues to advise students in UMBC's Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship on starting up and running a successful business. The company, which will occupy most of the second floor, currently employs 45 people.

"UMBC offers an excellent strategic location for us to grow our business, with its thriving technology environment, wealth of intellectual capital, and convenient proximity to transportation," said Gerry Hartung, chief executive officer and co-founder of Physicians Practice. "We look forward to partnering with UMBC as our business continues to grow throughout the region and country."

Edwards and Kelcey is a nationally recognized engineering, design, planning and construction management firm which has been in business since 1946. Headquartered in Morristown, NJ, Edwards and Kelcey has 900 employees, 23 regional offices and is ranked 68th among the Top 500 U.S. Design Firms by Engineering News-Record (ENR). Edwards and Kelcey employs 25 transportation engineers and planners locally, and is currently providing services to the Maryland Aviation Administration, Maryland State Highway Administration, City of Baltimore, and other local DOTs.

K.R. Marshall, EK's Baltimore Office Manager said, "Our new location at UMBC will allow us to optimally service our transportation clients in the Baltimore region. With convenient access to BWI and downtown Baltimore, coupled with partnership opportunities with the UMBC engineering department, Edwards and Kelcey looks forward to continued success in the Maryland market."

"UMBC's thriving business community consists of nearly 40 companies in various industries," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of UMBC Research Park Corporation. "We are delighted to welcome Physicians Practice and Edwards and Kelcey to our entrepreneurial, research intensive campus."

"UMBC's research and technology park demonstrates the impact of higher education and business coming together," said David S. Iannucci, executive director for the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. "The mix of new tenants at bwtech@UMBC represents the range of entrepreneurial organizations that will benefit from this unique facility."

bwtech@UMBC's first two buildings were developed by Grosvenor, one of the largest private real estate companies in the world with a global property portfolio of $7 billion. The park's 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001.

UMBC's research park and incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. In 2003, bwtech@UMBC became part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for creating new jobs.

Posted by crose

June 6, 2005

ERICKSON SCHOOL OF AGING STUDIES ANNOUNCES ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERS

Contact Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

or

Renee Tilton
410-626-0805

The Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the members of its newly created Advisory Council. The council members are comprised of top executives in the aging services arena, who will support the School in identifying, developing, connecting and providing resources for the advancement of educational, applied research and policy activities.

Members of the council include: Jo Anne Barnhart, commissioner, Social Security Administration; Dan Baty, CEO, Emeritus Assisted Living; William E. Colson, CEO, Holiday Retirement Corporation; John C. Erickson, chairman and CEO, Erickson; John Hurson, President, NCSL, Delegate, Maryland Legislature; Thomas J. Hutchinson III, CEO, CNL Retirement Properties, Inc.; Paul Klaassen, founder, chairman and CEO, Sunrise Senior Living; and Robert G. Kramer, president, National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC).

Other council members are: Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); Larry Minnix, president and CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA); John J. Mulherin, CEO, Ziegler and Company; Tom Nelson, COO, AARP; Arnie Richman, CEO, The Shelter Group, LLP; William B. Sims, CEO, Herbert J. Sims and Co.; and Michael S. Steele, lieutenant governor, State of Maryland.

“We are delighted by the participation of this distinguished group of high-profile leaders who have agreed to be a part of this important council,” said J. Kevin Eckert, Ph.D., dean, Erickson School of Aging Studies. “As the Erickson School of Aging Studies continues to grow, their guidance will be invaluable in helping to define the needs of those who serve America’s aging population.”

The Advisory Council held its first meeting in early June at the UMBC campus. John C. Erickson, chairman and CEO of Erickson, opened the meeting by talking about the relevance and importance of the school to the aging industry. “The School of Aging Studies will touch every phase of post-retirement aging in America – from health care and housing to finance and development,” he said.

Eckert then led a discussion about the vision for the school – to become the preeminent resource for education, research and public policy on aging and services for the mid-life and older population. UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, followed by affirming the Erickson School’s complementary role to the University’s strengths and mission.

“We are a public research university with a strong emphasis on public policy and we are home to one of the largest doctoral programs in gerontology,” Hrabowski said. “This School makes sense for our campus and our region.”

For more information about the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-3361.

About The Erickson School of Aging Studies

The Erickson School of Aging Studies was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder, of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research and policy in aging services and care. An Executive Development program designed for seniors housing and care professionals is offered throughout the year with courses ranging from management and operations to sales and marketing. Plans include the creation of specialty degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For more information, visit http://www.umbc.edu/erickson.

UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in gerontology.

Posted by crose

May 27, 2005

WOMEN FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY JUNE 12-14 IN BALTIMORE

The First International Symposium on Women and Information and Communication Technology

Baltimore, MD. -- For the first time, technology leaders from 22 countries and six continents will gather to explore concrete ways in which access by girls and women to technology can be increased in order to effect economic, social and political change. The First International Symposium on Women and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will convene on Sunday, June 12 through June 14. Participants from developing and developed countries will include leaders from business, government, non-government agencies and education.

Through the exchange of ideas and experiences, the symposium's organizers expect to create an action agenda to significantly increase the international participation of girls and women in ICT - including leadership of women in technology business - in the next five years.

The symposium was organized and is co-hosted by the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Country (UMBC), the World Trade Center Institute, the World Bank and Women in Global Science and Technology; it is held in cooperation with the ACM (Association of Computer Machinery).

"This is an important time for women and technology," said Claudia Morrell, CWIT's executive director. "ICTs for girls and women will either become a new tool for increased access to education, economics, and social equity or it will create a new form of discrimination. In either case, the ramifications for all of us are vast. The symposium will address topics that we know need exploring, and we have sought out the world's leading authorities to discuss current hurdles and possible solutions."

Among the speakers will be authorities on ICT and the global economy, including widely published authors Jo Sanders, Sue Rosser and Sophia Huyer, as well as corporate leaders from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission for Women, Ellen Sauerbrey, is the honorary Chair. She and Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC, will be keynote speakers at the plenary session at 8:30 a.m., Monday, June 13.

"AT&T is proud to sponsor such a robust effort to universally address the technology needs of girls and women," said Jennifer Jones, AT&T Business Sales Center Vice President. "Information is power, and this type of collaboration offers a catalyst for change."

The meeting will be held at Baltimore's World Trade Center (401 E. Pratt Street) and the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel (202 E. Pratt Street).

Major sponsors of the symposium include: platinum sponsor Dell and gold sponsors Microsoft, AT&T, SM Consulting, HP, Xerox, Lockheed Martin, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the National Science Foundation.

Media Contacts: Sue Hartt
UMBC News
410-455-2276
hartt@umbc.edu

Mike Lurie
410.455.6380
Cell: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

About UMBC and CWIT:
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a research university noted for its commitment to furthering the opportunities of women and minorities – especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Strong commitment from the highest levels is exemplified by the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, which received the first Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and participation in the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program, which is aimed at increasing the participation of women in the scientific and engineering workforce through representation and advancement of women in STEM careers.

CWIT's programs - all designed to increase the number of women in information technology - include initiatives in schools to introduce middle-school girls to computer technology and engineering, and the CWIT Scholars Program, a merit scholarship program for talented undergraduates majoring in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or a related program at UMBC. CWIT also provides programs for women in the workforce, including supporting women as technology entrepreneurs through the ACTiVATE program.

As a result of these and other efforts, UMBC was recently named one of the nation's 12 "Hot Schools" by Kaplan/Newsweek's "How to Get Into College" guide and as one CosmoGIRL's top 50 colleges for women.

Press Kit Materials:

Presskit materials and additional background documents are linked below for downloading or viewing as a PDF file. If you have trouble opening or viewing these documents, please contact UMBC News at 410-455-5793.

Agenda


Presentation Abstracts & Speaker Bios

Posted by crose

May 2, 2005

For Sondheim and UMBC, Shared Values Set in Stone

Dedication of Statue, Building Celebrates Walter Sondheim's Civic Leadership, May 11 at UMBC

Contact: Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

UMBC honors Walter Sondheim, Jr., a pivotal leader of school desegregation and economic revitalization in Baltimore, for his achievements in community service, social justice and diversity on May 11 with the dedication of the University's first named academic building, Janet and Walter Sondheim Hall, and an accompanying sculpture.

The event caps off a successful $6 million campaign to endow the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program at UMBC and rename the former social sciences building in honor of Sondheim and his late wife, Janet. The statue dedication and building ribbon cutting will be preceded by a public conversation with Sondheim on Baltimore's social and economic progress, moderated by WYPR 88.1 FM's Marc Steiner.

"Walter Sondheim embodies the values that the UMBC community treasures most," said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. "He is a visionary leader who cares deeply about children, families and education in Baltimore. The statue and building we dedicate in his honor will stand for a long time. But a more fitting and lasting tribute will be the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars who bear his name as they serve the public and make a difference to generations to come."

Founded in 1999, the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program supports talented undergraduate students who want to become effective leaders in government, non-profits, corporations and the community. Through an interdisciplinary approach combining service learning, internships and intensive advising/mentoring, over 40 Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars have graduated from the program or are currently receiving training for careers in law, social work, public administration, business, education, environmental policy, politics and other fields.

Sondheim is perhaps best known for leading the desegregation of Baltimore City Public Schools as chair of the City School Board and for guiding the "Baltimore Renaissance" of downtown and the Inner Harbor in the 1970s and 1980s as chairman of Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management, Inc.

The campaign to endow the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program at UMBC attracted leadership support from The France-Merrick Foundation, The Abell Foundation, The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation, along with gifts from more than 20 other individual and foundation donors.

While Sondheim has received many honors over his career, the UMBC hall is the first entire structure named in his honor and the statue, sculpted from cast bronze by Maryland artist Antonio Tobias Mendez, is the first life-size rendition. The sculpture installation includes quotes from Sondheim reflecting his values.

"Like Mr. Sondheim, this statue is inspiring and educational," said Mendez. "In the future, students who view it will understand his character and dedication to community service."

Posted by crose

April 26, 2005

Executive Development at Erickson School to Address Risk Management

Contact Chip Rose
UMBC News
410-455-5793
crose@umbc.edu

or

Renee Tilton
410-626-0805

Senior living professionals can now take advantage of a subject not normally offered through executive development. This winter, risk management will be covered at an extensive, four-day course at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

“Risk Management of Seniors Housing & Care,” will be held on December 5-8. It will be led by Allen Lynch, Esq., partner at Nixon Peabody LLP. Other professionals teaching sections of the course include Robert Noonan, CFO at Benchmark Assisted Living; Phil Balderston, SVP of Risk Management at Sunrise Senior Living; Larry Minnix, president and CEO, and Suzanne Weiss, SVP of Advocacy at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA); Joel Goldman, Esq., partner of Hanson Bridgett Marcus Vlahos Rudy LLP; Joseph McCarron, Jr., SVP at Smith/Packett Med-Com; John Atkinson, partner at Thilman & Fillipini, LLC; Larry Cirka, president and CEO of Ultrabridge; Cindy Porter, director of Risk Management at Erickson Retirement Communities; and Cindy Graunke, director of the Division of Nursing Surveys and Certification of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid.

“Senior housing and care could be viewed as the ultimate risky business,” said Mr. Lynch, “due to, among other reasons, the vulnerability of our customers, extensive regulation, financial pressures, media attention, labor shortages and a litigious environment. Through the use of case studies, this course focuses on best practices to identify and manage the key risks important to every stakeholder in seniors housing and care, taught by a dream-team of leading professionals on the front line of risk management.”

Course highlights include:

  • Insights into the prevalent risks in -- and unique to -- each property type: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and CCRCs.
  • Seeing the risk management issues and practices in a complex and successful CCRC, as seen through the eyes of the senior risk manager on a guided discussion tour.
  • Building the foundation of risk management, from optimizing insurance protection (whether conventionally or through a captive) to reorganizing the enterprise to protect assets.
  • Understanding and managing the “Achilles Heels” of operations – five areas representing the greatest risk.
  • Learning the nuts and bolts of a state-of-the art risk management program at one of the world’s leading providers.
  • Participating in a mock trial with plaintiffs and defense lawyers, based on an actual case involving a large operator, eliciting powerful lessons learned.
  • Managing non-compliance risks – from the government’s top regulator.
  • Deploying technology to reduce risk.

    Since the launch of the NIC Executive Development Program last fall at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, every course has sold out. All courses are conducted in a participatory, seminar format. Each four-day course is $2750. To register, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-1570. For more information, email ericksonschool@umbc.edu or call (410) 455-3361.

    About The Erickson School of Aging Studies

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

    The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

    UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

    Posted by crose

    Executive Development at Erickson School to Address Organizational Excellence

    Contact Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    or

    Renee Tilton
    410-626-0805

    Senior living professionals can now take advantage of a subject not normally offered through executive development. This summer organizational excellence will be covered at an extensive, four-day course at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

    This course, “Organizational Excellence and Continuous Quality Improvement in Seniors Housing & Care,” takes place on June 8-11. Anthony Ingelido, VP of Organizational Excellence at Asbury Services, will lead the course. He’ll be joined by Jill Haselman, SVP for Organizational Development and Culture at Benchmark Assisted Living; Bernie Dana, former executive at Vetter Health Services and associate professor of Business at Evangel University; Harry Furukawa, director of Quality for Goodwill Industries and a senior Baldridge Award examiner; and Dr. Leslie Grant, VP of Research at My InnerView and associate professor of Healthcare Management at the University of Minnesota.

    Topics covered include:


    • The business case for quality service and care.
    • Widely used quality systems and models (Malcolm Baldridge, ISO 9000 and Six Sigma).
    • Quality systems and models specific to senior living (JCAHO, “Quality First,” Eden Alternative and the Pioneer Network), with actual results reviewed by companies using these models.
    • Differences between product and service companies.
    • The link between employee and resident loyalty.
    • The difference between outcome and resident perception.
    • Balanced scorecard and benchmarking techniques.
    • Making service quality and performance management an integral part of company culture.

    Since the launch of the NIC Executive Development Program last fall at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC, every course has sold out. Only a couple of spaces remain for “Sales and Marketing of Seniors Housing & Care,” which will be held on May 18-21. All courses are conducted in a participatory, seminar format. Each four-day course is $2750. To register, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-1570. For more information, email ericksonschool@umbc.edu or call (410) 455-3361.

    About The Erickson School of Aging Studies

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

    The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

    UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

    Posted by crose

    April 22, 2005

    Maryland Secretary of Public Safety/Corrections Mary Ann Saar Talks Prison Reform April 25 at UMBC

    Project RESTART Aims to Reduce Repeat Offenders by Increasing Drug Treatment, Education

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    Mary Ann Saar, secretary of public safety and correctional services, will speak about Maryland's Project RESTART (Reentry Enforcement Services Targeting Addictions, Rehabilitation and Treatment) on Monday, April 25 at 4 p.m. at the Albin O. Kuhn Library as part of UMBC's Spring 2005 Social Sciences Forum lecture series.

    "A New Direction in Corrections" is the theme of Saar's lecture, emphasizing the recent change in philosophy toward the goals of the state's prison system. Saar will talk about the policy implications of RESTART for the future of corrections and parole services and the ways in which the government and communities can collaborate to reduce recidivism.

    Project RESTART, an initiative proposed by Governor Ehrlich and developed by Saar to address the issues of reentry and recidivism in Maryland's correctional system, was launched in 2003. The program focuses not only on control and custody in state facilities but on education, substance abuse treatment and reentry support services to address the needs of inmates returning to the community.

    For more information about this or other UMBC Social Sciences Forum events, contact Delana Gregg at socsciforum@umbc.edu.

    Posted by crose

    April 3, 2005

    UMBC Chess Team Captures Third Consecutive Presidential Cup

    Retrievers Take Down Arch-Rivals UT-Dallas in Chess Final Four

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    (Lindsborg, KS) The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) team won its third consecutive Final Four of College Chess in convincing fashion Sunday afternoon by defeating its arch-rival the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) by a score of 2.5 to 1.5.

    As expected, UMBC and UTD climaxed the round robin tournament of the nation's top four college chess programs in a hard-fought final match. The rivalry between the two universities had grown even sharper in the past two years after UTD twice upset UMBC in the "Super Bowl of College Chess", the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Tournament, by a half-point margin each time.

    UMBC never lost a game in the 2005 Final Four, dominating Stanford 4 to 0 in the first round and following with a solid 3.5 to 0.5 win over Miami Dade College in the second. The 2005 Final Four was held at the Karpov School of Chess in Lindsborg, Kansas.

    "Our players went into this tournament focused on the here and now, and we are elated to have won the Final Four three years in a row," said UMBC Chess Program Director and computer science professor Alan Sherman. "I'm very proud of how this team bounced back strongly from a disappointing second place finish at the 2004 Pan Am."

    The UMBC team will have a chance to improve its skills later this week, as former world chess champion Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov visits campus Wednesday and Thursday to give some private pointers to the UMBC players.

    Karpov will also lead some public events during his UMBC visit. He will simultaneously challenge up to 60 scholastic chess enthusiasts (grades 1 through 12, bring your own regulation chess set) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the UMBC Commons. On Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m., Karpov will explain some of his best games, including recent encounters with Grandmaster Garry Kasparov. The talk will be held in Lecture Hall 8 of UMBC's Information Technology and Engineering Building.

    UMBC will host the 2006 Pan American Chess Championships, to be held December 27-30 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC.

    Posted by crose

    March 7, 2005

    The Real Story of UMBC Athletics' Academic Success

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    Just imagine. You're literally Number One and then you find out that no, there's a report you're actually last among thousands. First there's disbelief, then you laugh -- who could believe it? -- and then you realize that some people might actually believe -- absurd though the notion is -- that you, UMBC, could be LAST in anything relating to academics.

    Such were the reactions of UMBC's athletic director Charlie Brown, his coaches, and athletes -- as well as most of the administration, faculty, staff and students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. (Happily, a correction was issued as soon as the absurdity was recognized.)

    The Real Story of UMBC Athletics' Academic Success

    Background: On February 28, 2005, the NCAA released its preliminary (and first) Academic Progress Report, a new system for tracking how many student-athletes are staying in school and making adequate progress toward their degrees. That day the word went out that UMBC's indoor track team ranked last among all of the 5,270 men's and women's teams nationwide. Could not be, was not, true.

    THE FACTS:


    • UMBC is #1 of the ten schools in the America East Conference with an average score of 978 out of a possible 1000. The conference average is 958.

    • UMBC is ranked #2, behind the United States Naval Academy (990), in the ten Division I programs in Maryland.

    • Overall, out of 328 schools nationwide, UMBC ranks 36th.

    • In men's basketball, UMBC scored 1000, one of only 33 schools in the nation to achieve the perfect mark. Men's basketball players' majors include financial economics, history, sociology and environmental studies.

    • Eight of UMBC's 20 programs receive perfect scores and no program is below 925.

    • The accidentally maligned men's indoor track and field program has a score of 947; the team has a 2.85 cumulative GPA.

    • Currently, 228 -- or 52 percent -- of 438 student athletes have 3.0 grade-point averages or higher – 20 more than last spring.

    RECRUITING PRIORITIES AT UMBC

    Because UMBC is an Honors University, coaches recruit athletes who can succeed both athletically and academically at the Division I-AAA level. We want students who will integrate with the general campus population and be involved in the larger community.

    ACADEMIC SUPPORT

    The new Academic Center for Student-Athletes is equipped with 12 computers, individual study carrels, and three full-time staff members who assist the athletes in course selection, academic skills, time management, long-range academic planning and career development.

    The Center's EXCELL program gives special, individualized attention to student athletes who need additional academic and social support.

    Posted by crose

    March 3, 2005

    Journalist Alan Elsner to Speak on America's Prison Crisis

    UMBC Social Sciences Forum Event Open to Public

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    Alan Elsner, national correspondent for Reuters, will speak on "The Crisis in America's Prisons and Why You Should Care," on Monday, March 7 at 4 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library at UMBC. The event, part of UMBC's Social Sciences Forum, is free and open to the public.

    Drawing from his book, Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons, Elsner will talk about the growth of the U.S. prison system, why it happened and why it should matter to the American public. He will also examine the costs of running correctional facilities, the health implications for inmates and address recidivism and how to reduce it. His book will be on sale the evening of the lecture.

    Future Social Sciences Forum speakers include Maryland Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Mary Ann Saarr, who will discuss Maryland's Project RESTART on Monday, April 25.

    For more information on Social Sciences Forum events, contact Delana Gregg at 410-455-2916 or socsciforum@umbc.edu.

    Posted by crose

    United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and UMBC Co-Sponsor a Panel On Women & Technology

    Monday, March 7, 1-3 pm at the UN's Dag Hammarskold Library Auditorium

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    Claudia Morrell, executive director of the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will be one of five panelists participating in Creating Global Transformation: Women & ICT on Monday, March 7, from 1-3 p.m. at the United Nations.

    The meeting’s purpose is to build on the conclusions of an agreement signed March 14, 2003, in which the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women stated, "globally, there are substantial differences in participation in, access to and use of media and information and communications technologies (ICTs), their content and production."

    "Media and ICT," the agreement also stated, "offer tools for enhancing tools for women’s empowerment and the promotion of gender equality."

    National and international leaders representing business, education and nongovernment sectors will address the ways in which ICTs make a difference in the lives of women, their families and communities.

    Speakers include UN and corporate leaders from this country and the United Kingdom. Morrell will make the concluding remarks that will include suggestions for future opportunities for national and international collaboration.

    CWIT, a global resource building women's participation in information technology, has wide-ranging initiatives, including the annual Computer Mania Day (Saturday, April 9th this year), a designed especially for 11 and 12 year-old girls to have hands-on experiences with computers and technology; and June 12-14, 2005, the first International Symposium on Women and ICT: Creating Global Transformation.

    Posted by crose

    Senior Living Executives to Highlight Selling & Marketing Best Practices at Erickson School's Next Executive Development Course

    ‘Sales and Marketing of Seniors Housing & Care’ to be Held May 18-21, 2005

    Contact Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    or

    Renee Tilton
    410-626-0805

    David Smith, president of One On One, Service to Seniors, a St. Louis, Mo.-based sales consulting group, and partner of One McKnight Place, a large continuing care retirement community, will lead the next executive development course at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). “Sales and Marketing of Seniors Housing & Care” will be held on May 18-21, 2005.

    Guest lecturers from the senior living industry will join Mr. Smith in facilitating discussions on best practices in sales and marketing, including Brian Swinton, former executive vice president of Sunrise Senior Living; Dan Rexford, senior vice president of marketing for Erickson; Margaret Wylde, Ph.D., president and CEO of ProMatura Group LLC, a marketing research company based in Oxford, Miss.; and Tony Mullen, director of research for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC).

    The four-day course covers the role of marketing and sales, how it is linked to a competitive advantage, and why the best companies treat their entire staff as salespeople. Other topics include: discovering customers’ wants and needs, segmenting markets through research, understanding the relationship of pricing and value, and obtaining honest feedback. Students also learn about the science of promotion, and how to develop leads, design an effective marketing plan, and use successful selling techniques. Lastly, the best ways to manage the marketing and sales process is discussed, including the use of mystery shopping and sales training.

    The cost for “Sales and Marketing of Seniors Housing & Care” is $2750. Classes are conducted in a participatory, seminar format and are limited in size. To register, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-1570. For more information, email Jennifer Cathro at ericksonschool@umbc.edu or call (410) 455-3361.

    About The Erickson School of Aging Studies

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

    The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

    UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

    Posted by crose

    March 2, 2005

    UMBC Chess Master Juggles Dozens of Matches at Banneker Museum

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    With 32 pieces and seemingly infinite strategies to contend with, it is difficult enough for most chess players to stay on top of their own games. Multiply that challenge by the more than 90 elementary through high school students participating in the Friends of Benjamin Banneker Museum’s Chess Day for a real concentration challenge. That is exactly what UMBC master Battsetseg Tsagaan and a few other local chess players will do at the Banneker Day of Chess on Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the museum, 300 Oella Avenue in Catonsville.

    Tsagaan, a UMBC chess team member originally from Mongolia,is ranked No. 11 among U.S. women by the U.S. Chess Federation. While she is known in chess circles as “the Mongolian Terror,” she has shown her softer side to young Howard County students, introducing them to the game and serving as their coach and mentor. Tsagaan will also run the tournament at the Banneker Day of Chess. Joe Summer, president of the Catonsville Chess Club, will assist her.

    According to Arthur Trush, Chess Day chair and board member of the Friends of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (BBHPM), the event draws students from Baltimore and Howard Counties, Baltimore City, and from area church chess clubs. Many students playing in the tournament are involved in chess programs offered by Baltimore County Gifted and Talented programs. Prizes and certificates will be awarded to the children for competing and improving their playing and Thinking skills.

    Registration ended on February 23rd.

    Posted by crose

    February 15, 2005

    Tom Grape to Lead Executive Development Course at Erickson School

    ‘Management and Operations of Seniors Housing & Care’ to be Held March 16-19, 2005

    Contact Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    or

    Renee Tilton
    410-626-0805

    Tom Grape, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Assisted Living, will lead the next executive development course at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). “Management and Operations of Seniors Housing & Care” will be held on March 16-19, 2005. The course will examine best practices in the management and operations of the professional senior living company.

    Paul Klaassen, founder and CEO of Sunrise Senior Living, will join Mr. Grape in instructing the four-day course, along with Jill Haselman, SVP for Organizational Development and Culture at Benchmark Assisted Living; Allen Lynch, II, partner at Nixon Peabody; and Tony Mullen, director of research for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC).

    Topics discussed will include: the science of management and ethical leadership, obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage, attaining employee loyalty, understanding residents, and providing economic value above the cost of capital. Students will also learn about the role of corporate culture, performance measurement, technological systems, financial reporting, risk management, and best practices in food service, hospitality and other areas.

    “We’re excited by the exceptional response to our Executive Development series,” said Mr. Mullen, who is helping the Erickson School to develop and expand the program. “The first two courses were sold out,” he continued, “and the upcoming one in March is filling up very quickly. The feedback we’ve received from those taking the courses, including those who have significant experience in the industry, is that the course material is very sophisticated, and focused on best practices and the tough issues facing professionals in the field.”

    The cost for “Management and Operations of Seniors Housing & Care” is $2750. Classes are limited in size in order to encourage a participatory, seminar-style format. To register, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call (410) 455-1570. For more information, email Jennifer Cathro at ericksonschool@umbc.edu or call (410) 455-3361.

    About The Erickson School of Aging Studies

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was established in April 2004 with a $5 million commitment from John Erickson, CEO and founder of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research, and policy in aging services and care.

    The Executive Development Program at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last six years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance, and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

    UMBC, an Honors University in Maryland, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education, and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

    Posted by crose

    February 13, 2005

    Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Moves and Grooves at UMBC

    The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange's February 4 performance at UMBC offers a sneak peek into a dance company whose moves, grooves and imagery are created from a multitude of voices spanning six decades.

    UMBC presents the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in concert on Friday, February 4 at 8 p.m. in the UMBC Theatre.

    The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange's performance at UMBC offers a sneak peek into a dance company whose moves, grooves and imagery are created from a multitude of voices spanning six decades.

    The repertory evening includes excerpts from Nocturnes, set to music of Willie Nelson; In Praise of Animals and Their People, which celebrates the prayerful relationships of animal companionship and the kinesthetic beauty of animals; and other favorites from the company's menagerie of movement.

    Founded in 1976, the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange presents a unique brand of dance/theater, breaking boundaries between stage and audience, theater and community, movement and language, tradition and the unexplored. Through explosive dancing, personal stories and intelligent humor, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange stretches the expressive range of contemporary dance.

    Founding Artistic Director Liz Lerman has choreographed works that have been seen throughout the U.S. and abroad. Combining dance with realistic imagery, her works are defined by the spoken word, drawing from literature, personal experience, philosophy, and political and social commentary.

    Over the past 26 years she has received recognition for her work with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and as a solo artist. In 2002, she received a MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellowship for her visionary work. She has received an American Choreographer Award, the American Jewish Congress "Golda" award, the first annual Pola Nirenska Award, the Mayor's Art Award, and was named Washingtonian Magazine's Washingtonian of the Year in 1988.

    Liz Lerman's work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, Dancing in the Street, BalletMet, and The Kennedy Center. Her choreographic work has received support from AT&T, Meet The Composer, American Festival Project, National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network Creation Fund, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

    Tickets for the concert at UMBC are $17 general admission and $7 for students and seniors, available through MissionTix at www.missiontix.com or 410-752-8950.

    An open rehearsal will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 3 in the Theatre. Admission to the open rehearsal is free.

    Posted by dwinds1

    February 7, 2005

    UMBC Names J. Kevin Eckert Dean of Erickson School of Aging Studies

    Residential Care, Aging Services Expert to Lead School
    Focused on Improving Life for Growing Aging Population


    Media Note: Click on the photo above to access/download a high-resolution photo of Kevin Eckert.

    Contact: Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    BALTIMORE - The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today the appointment of J. Kevin Eckert as Dean of the Erickson School of Aging Studies. Eckert, a nationally renowned researcher on residential care, assisted living, and aging services, will lead the new school at UMBC. A primary focus of the school will be improving the quality of education for professionals in the burgeoning aging services and care industry, which is essential to ensuring a decent quality of life for America’s growing aging population.


    The Erickson School of Aging Studies was established in April 2004 with a $5 million gift from John Erickson, founder and chief executive officer of Erickson, the Baltimore-based firm that is a national manager and developer of campuses for middle income people over 62 years of age. The school provides executive education, public policy leadership, and applied investigative research related to aging, aging services and seniors housing and care. Future plans also include offering specialty degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    “One of the goals of The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC,” Eckert said, “is to improve the lives of the mid-life and older population,” Eckert said. “I am delighted to have this opportunity to address areas of importance to mid-life and older adults, solidify UMBC’s national reputation in the field and position Maryland as a national leader in innovative aging services, research and policy,” he said.

    Eckert is also the co-director of the joint UMBC/University of Maryland Baltimore doctoral program in gerontology, one of a handful of university programs in the nation offering a Ph.D. in gerontology. He has written or edited three books and 55 articles and book chapters on aging services, residential care and assisted living. Eckert has received several awards, including a prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship, a Senior Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health’s National Research Service Award program and a University System of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Excellence.

    Since coming to UMBC in 1987, Eckert’s research projects have brought over $11 million in funding to the university. He is also Director of the Center for Aging Studies at UMBC and has been a faculty member in the University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology since 1987.

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC:

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies was established in April 2004 with a $5 million gift from John Erickson, CEO and founder, of Erickson. The school focuses on credit and non-credit professional education, research and policy in aging services and care. An Executive Development program designed for seniors housing and care professionals is offered throughout the year with courses ranging from management and operations to sales and marketing. Plans include the creation of specialty degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. For more information, visit http://www.umbc.edu/erickson.

    Posted by crose

    February 2, 2005

    UMBC Humanities Forum Examines History and Identity

    UMBC brings together scholars and professionals who represent the richness of contemporary work in philosophy, history, culture, language, literature, and the arts in the 2005 Humanities Forum. Among the topics to be discussed are the literary precursors to Homer's epics and themes in undergraduate research; speakers will include Walter Mosley, Mortimer Sellers and Jonathan Tuck.

    UMBC brings together scholars and professionals who represent the richness of contemporary work in philosophy, history, culture, language, literature, and the arts in the 2005 Humanities Forum. Among the topics to be discussed are the literary precursors to Homer's epics and themes in undergraduate research; speakers will include Walter Mosley, Mortimer Sellers and Jonathan Tuck.

    All lectures are free and open to the public.

    Wednesday February 16 at 4pmAlbin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
    "Undergraduate Experiences in Humanities Research"
    Students from the departments of History, English and Ancient Studies

    Wednesday March 2 at 4pmAlbin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
    "Darwin, Romantic Geologist?"
    Sandra Herbert, Professor of History, UMBC

    Wednesday March 9 at 4pmAlbin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
    "Straddling Borders: Literature and Identity in Subcarpathian Rus'"
    Elaine Rusinko, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics, UMBC

    Thursday March 17 at 4pmAlbin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
    "Sons of Homer: the Genealogy of the Epic Poem"
    Jonathan Tuck, Tutor, St. John's College, Annapolis

    Monday April 4 at 7pmUniversity Center Ballroom
    The Daphne Harrison Lecture: "Bearing Witness"
    Walter Mosley, Novelist and social commentator

    Wednesday April 13 at 4pmAlbin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
    "America: the New Rome"
    Mortimer Sellers, University of Maryland Regents Professor, Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law, University of Baltimore School of Law

    Directions to UMBC and campus locations of the lectures
    For directions go to: http://www.umbc.edu/aboutumbc/campusmap/index_map.html

    Posted by OIT

    January 24, 2005

    UMBC Middle East Experts Recommend Postponing Iraqi Vote, Partitioning Country

    The following experts on the Middle East and terrorism from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) are available to news media for commentary on the Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30.

    The following experts on the Middle East and terrorism from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) are available to news media for commentary on the Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30.

    Reporters may contact the experts directly (email & phone numbers are listed with their profiles below) or contact UMBC News: Chip Rose, 410-455-5793, crose@umbc.edu, or 443-690-0307 (after hours).

    Louis J. Cantori, Ph.D.
    Professor of Political Science
    410-455-2182
    Cellphone: 410-491-7003
    cantori@umbc.edu

    Profile:
    Dr. Cantori is an expert on Middle East politics and policy, having lived almost seven years collectively in the region. He is the author, co-author or editor of four books and over 40 articles on the Middle East and other subjects. A former U.S. Marine, Cantori has taught at the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Marine Corps University. He has founded or is heavily involved with various groups concerned with Middle East policy and democracy.

    Point of View:
    "Without a smarter vision of Iraq's future, the Jan. 30 election will be meaningless," Cantori said in his Jan. 13 USA Today editorial.

    "Iraq cannot become a beacon of Middle Eastern democracy without full, democratic participation in its elections," Cantori wrote. "This must include Sunni Muslims, who make up 20 percent of the population and the heart of the insurgency."

    In the same editorial, Cantori noted news reports that put the insurgency at more than 200,000 fighters strong, and recommended that the U.S. immediately begin low-level negotiations with the Sunnis, followed by setting a date for a staged withdrawal, possibly January 2007.

    Mark Croatti, M.A.
    Instructor of Political Science
    410-455-2568
    mcroatti@umbc.edu

    Profile:
    Prof. Croatti teaches courses in political science and government at UMBC, The George Washington University, the United States Naval Academy and The Johns Hopkins University. He has lectured on foreign affairs at Georgetown University and served as a consultant to the International Program at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His most recent class taught at UMBC was POLI409B "Politics of Iraq: Oil, Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction."

    Point of View:
    "Arabs and Kurds in general, and Shiites and Sunnis in particular, have been fighting each other in one form or another for over a thousand years," said Croatti. "Just because the British created a country called Iraq in 1921 does not mean that the U.S. is obligated to uphold the integrity of its boundaries.

    "The Kurds need a state of their own and the Sunnis and Shiites should not be forced to live together if they don't want to. Partition is a realistic alternative to the ongoing violence, and should be considered before holding an election or writing a new constitution."

    Posted by OIT

    UMBC Middle East Experts Recommend Postponing Iraqi Vote, Partitioning Country

    The following experts on the Middle East and terrorism from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) are available to news media for commentary on the Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30.

    The following experts on the Middle East and terrorism from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) are available to news media for commentary on the Iraqi elections scheduled for Jan. 30.

    Reporters may contact the experts directly (email & phone numbers are listed with their profiles below) or contact UMBC News: Chip Rose, 410-455-5793, crose@umbc.edu, or 443-690-0307 (after hours).

    Louis J. Cantori, Ph.D.
    Professor of Political Science
    410-455-2182
    Cellphone: 410-491-7003
    cantori@umbc.edu

    Profile:
    Dr. Cantori is an expert on Middle East politics and policy, having lived almost seven years collectively in the region. He is the author, co-author or editor of four books and over 40 articles on the Middle East and other subjects. A former U.S. Marine, Cantori has taught at the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Marine Corps University. He has founded or is heavily involved with various groups concerned with Middle East policy and democracy.

    Point of View:
    "Without a smarter vision of Iraq's future, the Jan. 30 election will be meaningless," Cantori said in his Jan. 13 USA Today editorial.

    "Iraq cannot become a beacon of Middle Eastern democracy without full, democratic participation in its elections," Cantori wrote. "This must include Sunni Muslims, who make up 20 percent of the population and the heart of the insurgency."

    In the same editorial, Cantori noted news reports that put the insurgency at more than 200,000 fighters strong, and recommended that the U.S. immediately begin low-level negotiations with the Sunnis, followed by setting a date for a staged withdrawal, possibly January 2007.

    Mark Croatti, M.A.
    Instructor of Political Science
    410-455-2568
    mcroatti@umbc.edu

    Profile:
    Prof. Croatti teaches courses in political science and government at UMBC, The George Washington University, the United States Naval Academy and The Johns Hopkins University. He has lectured on foreign affairs at Georgetown University and served as a consultant to the International Program at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His most recent class taught at UMBC was POLI409B "Politics of Iraq: Oil, Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction."

    Point of View:
    "Arabs and Kurds in general, and Shiites and Sunnis in particular, have been fighting each other in one form or another for over a thousand years," said Croatti. "Just because the British created a country called Iraq in 1921 does not mean that the U.S. is obligated to uphold the integrity of its boundaries.

    "The Kurds need a state of their own and the Sunnis and Shiites should not be forced to live together if they don't want to. Partition is a realistic alternative to the ongoing violence, and should be considered before holding an election or writing a new constitution."

    Posted by dwinds1

    January 21, 2005

    UMBC Gets It: Women Science Faculty Thrive

    As the national debate on gender and science in higher education heats up, UMBC is an excellent example of how a campus can increase the presence and success of women faculty in science and technology.

    Led by President Freeman A. Hrabowski, UMBC is a public research university with a national reputation for academic excellence and diversity. Over the last six years, UMBC has expanded campus-wide initiatives to attract and support female faculty and graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

    "Since 2000, when we first began studies on how to tackle the problem,the number of UMBC's tenured or tenure-track women faculty in the STEM fields has more than doubled from 17 to 36," said Lynn Zimmerman, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Professor of Biology at UMBC.

    UMBC now requires all departments to form diversity plans prior to starting faculty job searches. The campus also redesigned its family and medical leave policy to be more visible and attractive to women faculty.

    "Good things can happen once there is a genuine commitment to the issue," said Zimmerman. "UMBC's work is by no means finished, but I am excited about our progress in such a short period of time."

    Initiatives and Expert Sources on Women and Science:

    Hrabowski is leading gender diversity efforts on the campus as the principal investigator for ADVANCE at UMBC, a $3.2 million, five year, National Science Foundation (NSF) institutional transformation grant. ADVANCE is designed to change the campus structure and culture to improve recruitment, retention, career advancement and mentoring for talented women STEM faculty.

    "Programs like ADVANCE show that what's good for women is good for the entire university," said Zimmerman, who also leads the university's day-to-day efforts for ADVANCE and other science diversity programs.

    In 2001, UMBC appointed Janet Rutledge Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Rutledge was instrumental in bringing the PROMISE program to UMBC. Through this $2.5 million NSF grant, UMBC leads an effort by Maryland's three public research universities to increase the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go onto academic careers.

    As the first African American female to receive a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech's electrical engineering program, Rutledge knows firsthand the challenges that women and other minorities face in academia. "There's a feeling of invisibility," said Rutledge, who focused on the scarcity of minority science Ph.D.s at the NSF prior to coming to UMBC.

    In 2000, Zimmerman and fellow biological sciences professor Phyllis Robinson founded UMBC's faculty group Women in Science and Engineering(WISE). The informal support group for women STEM faculty became the foundation for ADVANCE and other efforts at UMBC.

    In 2004, UMBC was one of only five U.S. institutions to receive an award to establish a Clare Boothe Luce Professorship. The Clare Boothe Luce Program is among the most significant sources of private support for women in science, engineering and mathematics in the U.S. When hired, the new professor will make UMBC's Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering faculty over 50 percent female.

    UMBC is home to the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT),which is dedicated to strengthening the nation's technology workforce by increasing the participation and advancement of women and girls in information technology (IT) and IT careers.

    Claudia Morrell, Executive Director of the Center, has led a dramatic expansion at CWIT, including the development of a scholars program witha 93 percent retention rate and a $6.5 million increase in scholarships, research and program funding.

    Anne Spence is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UMBC and a member of WISE and CWIT's Advisory Board. An aerospace engineer,Spence is used to the challenges of being a woman in a technical field.

    "One of my college professors told me that women should not be engineers, so I got the highest grade in the class to prove him wrong,"she said. "When I graduated I had six job offers. I did encounter initial resistance, but I was always able to get rid of it by proving myself."

    Spence is a volunteer for CWIT's annual educational outreach event, Computer Mania Day. The event works to break stereotypes by building interest in technology among middle school girls, their parents and teachers via hands-on education and mentorship. She is also an advisor for UMBC's chapter of Mentor Net, a national mentoring program for women studying engineering and computer science.

    Posted by dwinds1

    January 15, 2005

    Discover Magazine Names UMBC Professor's 'Man Who Shocked the World' Among Top 20 Science Books of 2004

    Discover Magazine has named The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (Basic Books, 2004) by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

    Discover Magazine has named The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (Basic Books, 2004) by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

    Milgram is best known for his "Obedience Experiments" carried out at Yale University in the 1960s. In the experiments, 65 percent of test subjects repeatedly gave seemingly real and painful electrical shocks to another subject (actually an actor) just because a scientific "authority figure" commanded them to. Milgram was also the originator of the "Six Degrees of Separation" theory.

    Discover described Blass's book as "by turns both moving and chilling." The magazine's Top 20 Science Books list put "Shocked..." in good company beside other nationally honored nonfiction, including The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene, which was an Amazon.com Top Book of the Year. Blass' book was well received nationally by critics, including the Library Journal, American Scientist, the Washington Post, and the Jerusalem Post.

    "I am delighted to be part of Discover's list of excellent books," said Blass. "This is the kind of honor that helps make 10 years of work worthwhile."

    Blass, a social psychologist and Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, has studied Milgram for 15 years and authored over 20 publications and an equal number of academic papers on Milgram's life and work. He also runs the Web site www.stanleymilgram.com, devoted to preserving Milgram's legacy and connecting his research to current and historical events.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Discover Magazine Names UMBC Professor's 'Man Who Shocked the World' Among Top 20 Science Books of 2004

    Discover Magazine has named The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (Basic Books, 2004) by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

    Discover Magazine has named The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (Basic Books, 2004) by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

    Milgram is best known for his "Obedience Experiments" carried out at Yale University in the 1960s. In the experiments, 65 percent of test subjects repeatedly gave seemingly real and painful electrical shocks to another subject (actually an actor) just because a scientific "authority figure" commanded them to. Milgram was also the originator of the "Six Degrees of Separation" theory.

    Discover described Blass's book as "by turns both moving and chilling." The magazine's Top 20 Science Books list put "Shocked..." in good company beside other nationally honored nonfiction, including The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene, which was an Amazon.com Top Book of the Year. Blass' book was well received nationally by critics, including the Library Journal, American Scientist, the Washington Post, and the Jerusalem Post.

    "I am delighted to be part of Discover's list of excellent books," said Blass. "This is the kind of honor that helps make 10 years of work worthwhile."

    Blass, a social psychologist and Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, has studied Milgram for 15 years and authored over 20 publications and an equal number of academic papers on Milgram's life and work. He also runs the Web site www.stanleymilgram.com, devoted to preserving Milgram's legacy and connecting his research to current and historical events.

    Posted by OIT

    January 10, 2005

    Scientists See Matter Circling Black Hole at Breakneck Speed

    UMBC Joint Center for Astrophysics scientists and their colleagues at Oxford University used a speed-gun technique typical of the highway patrol to clock clumps of hot iron gas whipping around a black hole at 20,000 miles per second, over 10 percent of light speed. The findings, which provided a crucial new measurement for black hole studies, were presented Monday afternoon at a press conference at the American Astronomical Society in San Diego.

    UMBC Joint Center for Astrophysics scientists and their colleagues at Oxford University used a speed-gun technique typical of the highway patrol to clock three separate clumps of hot iron gas whipping around a black hole at 20,000 miles per second, over 10 percent of light speed.

    The observation, made with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton satellite, marks the first time scientists could trace individual blobs of shredded matter on a complete journey around a black hole. This provides a crucial measurement that has long been missing from black hole studies: an orbital period. Knowing this, scientists can measure black hole mass and other characteristics that have long eluded them.

    Dr. Jane Turner, jointly affiliated with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Joint Center for Astrophysics (JCA) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), presented this result today at a press conference at the American Astronomical Society in San Diego. Her co-presenter is Dr. Lance Miller of Oxford University.

    "For years we have seen only the general commotion caused by massive black holes, that is, a terrific outpouring of light," said Turner. "We could not track the specifics. Now, with XMM-Newton, we can filter through all that light and find patterns that reveal information about black holes never seen before in such clarity."

    Dr. Miller noted that if this black hole were placed in our Solar System, it would appear like a dark abyss spread out nearly as wide as Mercury's orbit. And the three clumps of matter detected would be as far out as Jupiter. They orbit the black hole in a lightning-quick 27 hours (compared to the 12 years it takes Jupiter to orbit the Sun).

    Black holes are regions in space so dense that gravity prevents all matter and light from escaping. What scientists see is not the black hole itself but rather the light emitted close to it as matter falls towards the black hole and heats to high temperatures.

    Turner's team observed a well-known galaxy named Markarian 766, about 170 million light years away in the constellation Coma Berenices (Bernice's Hair). The black hole in Markarian 766 is relatively small although highly active. Its mass is a few million times that of the Sun; other central black hole systems are over 100 million solar masses.

    Matter funnels into this black hole like water swirling down a drain, forming what scientists call an accretion disk. Flares erupt on this disk most likely when magnetic field lines emanating from the central black hole interact with regions on the disk.

    "Calculating the flares' speeds and the black hole mass was straightforward, based on Doppler shifting, the technique used by law officers to nab speeders." said Dr. Ian George of UMBC's JCA and NASA Goddard, a co-author on a scientific journal article the team has prepared. "Light appears to rise in energy as an object moves towards us and then fall in energy as it moves away. A similar phenomenon happens with the sound of a passing car on a highway, going 'eeeeeeyyoool.'"

    "We think we're viewing the accretion disk at a slightly tilted angle, so we see the light from each of these flares rise and fall in energy as they orbit the black hole," Miller said.

    When the scientists made a graph of energy (on the y-axis) and time (on the x-axis), they saw near-perfect sinusoidal curves from each of the three clumps of matter they observed. The width, or period, of the curves is proportional to black hole mass. The height of the curves is related to the viewing angle of the accretion disk. With a known mass and orbital period, the scientists could determine velocity using relatively simple Newtonian physics.

    Two factors made the measurement possible. The scientists observed particularly persistent flares during a long observation, nearly 27 hours. Also, "no telescope before XMM-Newton has had the light-collecting power to allow for a comparison of energy over time," said Dr. James Reeves of NASA Goddard, also part of the team.

    Turner said this observation confirms a preliminary XMM-Newton result announced by a European team in September -- that something as detailed as an orbital period could be detected with the current generation of X-ray telescopes. The combination of results indicates that scientists, given long observation times, are now able to make careful black hole measurements and even test general relativity in the domain of extreme gravity.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Scientists See Matter Circling Black Hole at Breakneck Speed

    UMBC Joint Center for Astrophysics scientists and their colleagues at Oxford University used a speed-gun technique typical of the highway patrol to clock clumps of hot iron gas whipping around a black hole at 20,000 miles per second, over 10 percent of light speed. The findings, which provided a crucial new measurement for black hole studies, were presented Monday afternoon at a press conference at the American Astronomical Society in San Diego.

    UMBC Joint Center for Astrophysics scientists and their colleagues at Oxford University used a speed-gun technique typical of the highway patrol to clock three separate clumps of hot iron gas whipping around a black hole at 20,000 miles per second, over 10 percent of light speed.

    The observation, made with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton satellite, marks the first time scientists could trace individual blobs of shredded matter on a complete journey around a black hole. This provides a crucial measurement that has long been missing from black hole studies: an orbital period. Knowing this, scientists can measure black hole mass and other characteristics that have long eluded them.

    Dr. Jane Turner, jointly affiliated with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Joint Center for Astrophysics (JCA) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), presented this result today at a press conference at the American Astronomical Society in San Diego. Her co-presenter is Dr. Lance Miller of Oxford University.

    "For years we have seen only the general commotion caused by massive black holes, that is, a terrific outpouring of light," said Turner. "We could not track the specifics. Now, with XMM-Newton, we can filter through all that light and find patterns that reveal information about black holes never seen before in such clarity."

    Dr. Miller noted that if this black hole were placed in our Solar System, it would appear like a dark abyss spread out nearly as wide as Mercury's orbit. And the three clumps of matter detected would be as far out as Jupiter. They orbit the black hole in a lightning-quick 27 hours (compared to the 12 years it takes Jupiter to orbit the Sun).

    Black holes are regions in space so dense that gravity prevents all matter and light from escaping. What scientists see is not the black hole itself but rather the light emitted close to it as matter falls towards the black hole and heats to high temperatures.

    Turner's team observed a well-known galaxy named Markarian 766, about 170 million light years away in the constellation Coma Berenices (Bernice's Hair). The black hole in Markarian 766 is relatively small although highly active. Its mass is a few million times that of the Sun; other central black hole systems are over 100 million solar masses.

    Matter funnels into this black hole like water swirling down a drain, forming what scientists call an accretion disk. Flares erupt on this disk most likely when magnetic field lines emanating from the central black hole interact with regions on the disk.

    "Calculating the flares' speeds and the black hole mass was straightforward, based on Doppler shifting, the technique used by law officers to nab speeders." said Dr. Ian George of UMBC's JCA and NASA Goddard, a co-author on a scientific journal article the team has prepared. "Light appears to rise in energy as an object moves towards us and then fall in energy as it moves away. A similar phenomenon happens with the sound of a passing car on a highway, going 'eeeeeeyyoool.'"

    "We think we're viewing the accretion disk at a slightly tilted angle, so we see the light from each of these flares rise and fall in energy as they orbit the black hole," Miller said.

    When the scientists made a graph of energy (on the y-axis) and time (on the x-axis), they saw near-perfect sinusoidal curves from each of the three clumps of matter they observed. The width, or period, of the curves is proportional to black hole mass. The height of the curves is related to the viewing angle of the accretion disk. With a known mass and orbital period, the scientists could determine velocity using relatively simple Newtonian physics.

    Two factors made the measurement possible. The scientists observed particularly persistent flares during a long observation, nearly 27 hours. Also, "no telescope before XMM-Newton has had the light-collecting power to allow for a comparison of energy over time," said Dr. James Reeves of NASA Goddard, also part of the team.

    Turner said this observation confirms a preliminary XMM-Newton result announced by a European team in September -- that something as detailed as an orbital period could be detected with the current generation of X-ray telescopes. The combination of results indicates that scientists, given long observation times, are now able to make careful black hole measurements and even test general relativity in the domain of extreme gravity.

    Posted by dwinds1

    January 8, 2005

    Maryland Universities Looking for a Few Good Women for Real-Life 'Apprentice'

    UMBC is looking for a few good women to compete in a high-tech, entrepreneurial take on the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice." The National Science Foundation (NSF) program, "Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs" (ACTiVATE), will select up to 30 Baltimore/Washington-area women for a competitive class that, unlike traditional business courses, doesn't deal in hypothetical widgets.

    UMBC is looking for a few good women to compete in a high-tech, entrepreneurial take on the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice."

    The $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) program, "Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs" (ACTiVATE), will select up to 30 Baltimore/Washington-area women for a competitive class that, unlike traditional business courses, doesn't deal in hypothetical widgets. Instead, ACTiVATE gives real-world lessons from experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists as students compete to take patented technology innovations from area universities to market.

    "ACTiVATE is looking for savvy, competitive women to have fun while going after an ultimate prize that's much better than a job with Donald Trump--the chance to start and run a real technology company," said Stephen Auvil, director of UMBC's Office of Technology Development.

    UMBC teams with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and six other Maryland universities on ACTiVATE, one of only 16 grants awarded nationwide this year from the NSF's highly competitive Partnerships for Innovation Program. While no one will hear the dreaded words "You're fired," the program aims to create six or more new, university-related, startup companies over the next three years while training 90 new women entrepreneurs in the process.

    Each year, TEDCO will screen 20 existing technology ideas from participating universities and select the 15 best to be used in ACTiVATE. Start-up firms that emerge from the course may be housed in techcenter@UMBC, the University's on-campus business incubator.

    Highly-motivated, mid-career women with business or technical backgrounds who are interested in learning more about ACTiVATE are invited to attend one of two upcoming open houses. These events will provide an overview of how ACTiVATE selects and trains applicants; introduce the entrepreneurs-in-residence at UMBC, give more information on the university technologies to be marketed, and provide details on how to apply for the program.

    The next Open House is January 11 from 6:30 until 8 p.m. at techcenter@UMBC, 1450 South Rolling Road in Catonsville.

    Directions are available online.

    For more information, visit:www.umbc.edu/activateor e-mail cwit@umbc.edu.

    Posted by dwinds1

    January 7, 2005

    Charities Accepting Donations for Tsunami Victims

    Guidelines on choosing a charity: www.guidestar.org.

    ACTION AGAINST HUNGER
    247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
    New York, N.Y. 10018
    212-967-7800 x108
    www.actionagainsthunger.org

    AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE
    45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
    New York, N.Y. 10018
    800-889-7146
    www.ajws.orgAMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE
    South Asia Tsunami Relief
    Box 321
    847A Second Avenue
    New York, N.Y. 10017
    212-687-6200 ext. 851
    www.jdc.org

    AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
    AFSC Crisis Fund
    1501 Cherry Street
    Philadelphia, Pa. 19102
    888-588-2372
    www.afsc.org

    AMERICAN RED CROSS
    International Response Fund
    P.O. Box 37243
    Washington, D.C. 20013
    800-HELP NOW
    www.redcross.org

    AMERICARES
    88 Hamilton Avenue
    Stamford, CT 06902
    (800) 486-4357
    www.americares.org

    CARE
    151 Ellis Street
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    800-521-CARE
    www.care.org

    CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES
    Tsunami Emergency
    P.O. Box 17090
    Baltimore, Md. 21203-7090
    800-736-3467
    www.catholicrelief.org

    DIRECT RELIEF INTERNATIONAL
    27 South La Patera Lane
    Santa Barbara, Calif. 93117
    805-964-4767
    www.directrelief.org

    DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
    P.O. Box 1856
    Merrifield, Va. 22116-8056
    888-392-0392
    www.doctorswithoutborders.org

    EPISCOPAL RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT
    Emergency Fund
    P.O. Box 12043
    Newark, NJ 07101
    800-334-7626
    www.er-d.org

    INTERACTION
    American Council for Voluntary International Action
    1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 701
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 667-8227
    www.interaction.org

    INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT
    www.ifrc.org

    INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS
    Earthquake/Tsunami Relief
    1919 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 300
    Santa Monica, Calif. 90404
    800-481-4462
    www.imcworldwide.org

    INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
    Asia Disaster Response
    P.O. Box 630225
    Baltimore, MD 21263-0225
    877-803-4622
    www.iocc.org

    INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE
    P.O. Box 5058
    Hagerstown, MD 21741-9874
    877-REFUGEE or 733-8433
    www.theIRC.org

    ISLAMIC RELIEF USA
    Southeast Asia Earthquake Emergency
    P.O. Box 6098
    Burbank, Calif. 91510
    888-479-4968
    www.irw.org/asiaquake

    LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF
    700 Light Street
    Baltimore, Maryland 21230
    800-LWR-LWR-2
    www.lwr.org

    MERCY CORPS
    Southeast Asia Earthquake Response
    Dept. W
    P.O. Box 2669
    Portland, Ore. 97208
    800-852-2100
    www.mercycorps.org

    NETWORK FOR GOOD
    www.networkforgood.org

    OPERATION USA
    8320 Melrose Avenue, Suite 200
    Los Angeles, Calif. 90069
    800-678-7255
    www.opusa.org

    OXFAM AMERICA
    Donor Services Department
    26 West Street
    Boston, MA 12111-1206
    800-77-OXFAM
    www.oxfamamerica.org

    SAVE THE CHILDREN
    Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund
    54 Wilton Road
    Westport, Conn. 06880
    800-728-3843
    www.savethechildren.org

    UNICEF
    General Emergency Fund
    333 E. 38th Street
    New York, NY 10016
    800-4-UNICEF
    www.unicef.org

    WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
    US Friends of the WFP
    PO Box 11856
    Washington, D.C. 20008
    www.wfp.org/donate

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
    www.who.int

    Posted by dwinds1

    January 3, 2005

    UMBC Chess Team Fights the Good Fight

    Wichita, KA The fierce rivalry between the chess teams of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Texas, Dallas (UTD) lost none of its intensity this week when 23 teams competed in the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championships, the Super Bowl of college chess.

    Wichita, KA The fierce rivalry between the chess teams of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Texas, Dallas (UTD) lost none of its intensity this week when 23 teams competed in the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championships, the Super Bowl of college chess.

    At the 2003 Pan Am, UMBC was knocked off its throne by UTD. This year, the only round UMBC's first team lost was the fourth to UTD the loss that ultimately meant the championship because UTD lost none, but tied in the fifth round.

    "Oddly, the first time we lost to UTD last year we also lost 5 to 5.5 points," said Alan Sherman, director of the UMBC chess program and associate professor of computer science. "We have a strong team, so the loss is disappointing, but we're one of the top four U.S. teams that will compete in the President's Cup this spring." The other teams will be from UTD, Miami Dade Community College and Stanford University. The meet will be in Wichita, presumably in April.

    The top ten teams were, in rank order: UTD, first team; UMBC, first team; UTD, second team; University of Waterloo; University of Toronto; Miami Dade; Catholic University of Peru; Stanford; UMBC, second team; Yale University.

    While the Retrievers were in Kansas, Dr. Sherman learned that UMBC will host the 2006 Pan American Chess Championships, to be held December 27-30 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 22, 2004

    Route 32 Expansion Will Reduce Congestion, Study Finds

    The best way to relieve congestion on Route 32 between Interstate 70 and Route 108 in Maryland is to adopt the State Highway Administration (SHA) plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes, according to a study by graduate students in the UMBC Department of Public Policy.

    The best way to relieve congestion on Route 32 between Interstate 70 and Route 108 in Maryland is to adopt the State Highway Administration (SHA) plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes, according to a study by graduate students in the UMBC Department of Public Policy.

    The study, Maryland Route 32: A Policy Analysis, examined alternatives for addressing the congestion on the heavily traveled, undivided two-lane stretch of road in Howard County. The SHA proposed that the road be widened to four lanes, with interchanges and service roads, and received an exemption from the Maryland's Smart Growth law to allow state funding for the project. However, community activists and environmental groups oppose the SHA plan, and one group has announced that it will file suit to stop state funding for the $220 million expansion.

    The students first analyzed projected growth for the region, and determined that population and the number of vehicles in Howard and neighboring Carroll and Frederick counties will continue to grow over the next 25 years. The study concluded that given projected growth rates, traffic on Route 32 will increase regardless of the width of the road.

    The study then evaluated three options: keep the road as it is (no-build); convert Route 32 to a limited access highway with interchanges (structural upgrades); or move forward with the SHA plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes (four-lane expansion). The report found that if reducing congestion is the primary objective, the SHA plan to widen Route 32 to four lanes receives the highest ranking.

    Recognizing the controversy surrounding major road projects in Maryland, the report also identified drawbacks to the four lane expansion, which include higher costs, negative environmental impacts, more noise and the potential to spur construction and urban sprawl.

    "If decision makers place more importance on these criteria than on reducing congestion, then we recommend that the structural upgrade alternative be pursued," the report said. The authors also questioned whether stopping the four lane expansion would actually slow the rate of sprawl in light of local economic development plans, noting: "One county's sprawl is another county’s economic lifeline." The study suggested that drawbacks such as cost, environmental impacts and noise will be offset by a widened and improved road with better access and an increased level of safety.

    About UMBC Public Policy Department:
    UMBC Public Policy graduate students analyzed Route 32 expansion alternatives in the state as part of their Public Policy Capstone seminar, a course where students, working with faculty and outside experts in relevant fields, prepare a policy analysis of a current topic. The study is available online as a PDF file at http://www.umbc.edu/mipar.

    The UMBC Department of Public Policy provides quality education for a diverse range of students who wish to pursue or further a career in a public policy related area. The interdisciplinary program offers both a Master of Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Public Policy.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 20, 2004

    The Kiev Killer Comes to Kansas

    The Cuban Cyclone, The Polish Magician and The Kiev Killer are headed to Kansas, and they're out for revenge. Residents of Wichita may feel they aren't in Kansas anymore later this month when the international, intellectual sport of college chess brings top UMBC players from Cuba, India, Poland and the Ukraine to town for the 2004 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament, the Super Bowl of college chess.

    The Cuban Cyclone, The Polish Magician and The Kiev Killer are headed to Kansas, and they're out for revenge. Residents of Wichita may feel they aren't in Kansas anymore later this month when the international, intellectual sport of college chess brings top UMBC players from Cuba, India, Poland and the Ukraine to town for the 2004 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament, the Super Bowl of college chess.

    Recruited from around the globe, the Cyclone, Magician and Killer are nicknames for members of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) team, which is determined to recapture its standing as the number one college chess team in the western hemisphere.

    At the 2003 Pan Am, UMBC was knocked off the throne by arch-rival University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). Dozens of national and international universities participate annually, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and the Universities of Chicago, Peru and Toronto; still, the only team able to defeat UMBC in recent years is UTD. If UMBC recaptures the top spot this year, it will be their seventh title in ten years and will break the record for the most wins by one team.

    The UMBC Retrievers team includes the number one player in Canada, Pascal "The Frenchman" Charbonneau, as well as the number one player in the U.S., Alexander "The Invincible" Onischuk, who is Ukrainian. Pawel "The Polish Magician" Blehm and and Bruci "The Cuban Cyclone," Lopez complete the Team A roster.

    Team B is comprised of Beenish "The Indian Tiger" Bhatia, Katerina "The Kiev Killer" Rohonyan, John "The Maryland Mauler" Rouleau and Battsetseg "The Mongolian Terror" Tsagaan.

    About the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament:

    Dates: December 27 through 30, 2004

    Place: Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, Wichita Airport, Wichita, KS

    More information on the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament is online here.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 15, 2004

    Discover Magazine Names UMBC Professor's 'Man Who Shocked the World' Among Top 20 Science Books of 2004

    Discover Magazine has named "The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram" by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

    Discover Magazine has named "The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram" (Basic Books, 2004) by UMBC psychology professor Thomas Blass as one of the Top 20 Science Books of 2004. The national honor is the latest accolade for Blass's biography of Milgram, one of the most controversial psychologists in modern history.

    Milgram is best known for his "Obedience Experiments" carried out at Yale University in the 1960s. In the experiments, 65 percent of test subjects repeatedly gave seemingly real and painful electrical shocks to another subject (actually an actor) just because a scientific "authority figure" commanded them to. Milgram was also the originator of the "Six Degrees of Separation" theory.

    Discover described Blass's book as "by turns both moving and chilling." The magazine's Top 20 Science Books list put "Shocked..." in good company beside other nationally honored nonfiction, including "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality" by Brian Greene, which was an Amazon.com Top Book of the Year. "Shocked..." was well received nationally by critics, including the Library Journal, American Scientist, the Washington Post, and the Jerusalem Post.

    "I am delighted to be part of Discover's list of excellent books," said Blass. "This is the kind of honor that helps make 10 years of work worthwhile."

    Blass, a social psychologist and Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, has studied Milgram for 15 years and authored over 20 publications and an equal number of academic papers on Milgram's life and work. He also runs the website www.stanleymilgram.com, devoted to preserving Milgram's legacy and connecting his research to current and historical events.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 8, 2004

    UMBC's 2005 Legislative Audit

    While three years may seem like a long time between legislative audits, there is no downtime for the Management Advisory Services Department (MAS)--and for the rest of the campus community--when it comes to preparation.

    While three years may seem like a long time between legislative audits, there is no downtime for the Management Advisory Services Department (MAS)--and for the rest of the campus community--when it comes to preparation.

    We work on a daily basis to educate everyone on the importance of internal controls, including proper separation of duties and complete and timely approvals, said Michele Evans, director of MAS. Especially important for our 2005 audit will be the conversion of our financial and human resources systems to PeopleSoft. The auditors will examine our conversion, the security in our new systems and our current business processes. MAS continues to work with the Office of Information Technology, Financial Services, Human Resources and the campus community to ensure the adequate controls were built into the system and are included in updated business processes.

    Frances Toth and Sharon Doherty-Ritter, MAS management analysts, just completed a wave of Internal Control Sessions for Campus Administrators, at the request of President Hrabowski. The president wanted us to get the message out to vice presidents, deans, directors and department chairs, who are often responsible for authorization and approval functions, so they would take an active interest in maintaining a proper system of internal controls in their areas of responsibility. The sessions were a big success, with over 200 people attending, said Evans.

    Evans added that although previous auditors had a high opinion of UMBC and felt that the campus community was putting forth a good effort, MAS is still concerned about problems that remain unresolved since the University's 2002 audit.

    One of the biggest issues is management of the University's VISA Purchasing or P-card, a matter made especially serious because the campus spends more than $10 million annually via the card. More than 70 percent of MAS P-card reviews uncovered insufficient supervision, while more than 55 percent of reviews revealed inaccuracies in purchasing records. The situation not only places the campus at risk that this item may be cited in a third Legislative Audit, it also jeopardizes UMBC's use of the card.

    Other problems that MAS recently assisted with include:

    *An employee who personally benefited from a relationship with a vendor.

    *An employee who falsified time/leave records, so that the employee's leave would not be charged.

    *An inadequately secured forced access code (FAC), which allowed unauthorized long distance calls to be made on campus.

    Evans encourages all departments to be aggressive in resolving problems, practice fiscal responsibility and use MAS as a resource. We offer solutions that people aren't aware of. For instance, some departments have a small staff and don't know how to handle issues like controls or separation of dutieswe can suggest ways to solve this problem, said Evans.

    Dates and other important information about the legislative audit will be sent to the campus via Insights Weekly. MAS's Audit Information Fact Sheet is available on the MAS Web site (click on Audit Information).

    For more information, visit the MAS Web site or call Michele Evans at ext. 5-1354.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 4, 2004

    Kudos

    UMBC Photography Collections Images Seen Around the World

    Tom Beck, Chief Curator, Special Collections at the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, is proud to report that not only does UMBC send students abroad, but also images from its Photography Collections.

    Currently onloan to the Maison Europenne de la Photographie in Paris are 13photographs by Ted Serios from the Jules Eisenbud/Ted Serios Archive ofthe Special Collections of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. Thephotographs are part of a major exhibition titled "Le troisime oeil, Laphotographie et l'occulte (scroll down at http://www.mep-fr.org/actu_1.htm, which is accompanied by a substantialbook of the same title (Paris: ditions Gallimard, 2004).

    The bookincludes reproductions of the images and an essay by Professor StephenE. Braude, Chair of UMBC's Department of Philosophy. The exhibitionwill be on view until Feb. 6, 2005, then will be presented at NewYork's Metropolitan Museum of Art from Sept. 27 to Dec. 31, 2005.

    Also on loan abroad from UMBC's Photography Collections are 22photographs by Lewis Hine which are currently on view at the TokyoMetropolitan Museum of Photography (TMMP) in their exhibition titled"Dreaming of Tomorrow."The exhibition, which is made up of works selected by TMMP CuratorYoshiko Susuki, includes works from UMBC as well as several otherimportant U.S. collections. It continues until Jan. 16, 2005.

    UMBC Represented at AAC&U Conference
    Diane M. Lee, vice provost for undergraduate education; Patricia A. Perillo, director, Office of Student Life; David Hoffman, coordinator, leadership and engagement initiatives; and Jordan Hadfield, chief of staff, SGA, represented UMBC at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) conference November 12 in Philadelphia. The conference theme was "Educating Intentional Learners: New Connections for Academic and Student Affairs" and the UMBC team presented at the session Making Civic Empowerment a Whole-Campus Enterprise.

    New Patent for Yung Jui Chen
    Yung Jui Chen's new patent, Integrated Spectral Encoder/Decoder for Optical CDMA Communication System, patent number US 6,807,372 B1, was issued on October 19. This encoder/decoder design for spectrum-encoded optical CDMA systems uses waveguide circuits monolithically integrated on one chip to fulfill essential encoding and decoding functions. The entire patent can be viewed in its entirety at www.uspto.gov. For more information on patents, trademarks, copyrights or start-up companies, please call the Office of Technology Development at 410-455-1414.

    Philosophers on Parade
    Assistant Professor Joseph Berkovitz recently had two papers accepted for publication. The first (co-authored with Meir Hemmo) is How to Reconcile Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics with Relativity, forthcoming in Philosophy of Science. The second (also co-authored with Meir Hemmo) is Modal Interpretation and Relativity: A Reconsideration, forthcoming in Foundations of Physics.

    Professor and Department Chair Stephen Braude published "The Nature and Significance of Dissociation," in J. Radden's (ed.) The Philosophy of Psychiatry: A Companion (Oxford University Press, 2004). His paper, "Personal Identity and Postmortem Survival," presented last spring at the Bowling Green State University Conference on Personal Identity, is forthcoming in Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (2005).

    Braude has also given a number of invited lectures recently. On October 16, he gave a plenary address, "Personal Identity and Postmortem Survival," at the 26th Annual Conference of the Humanities & Technology Association in York, PA. On October 26, he gave a talk, "The Argument from Crippling Complexity," at the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia. Later that day, he spoke on "The Creativity of Dissociation" at the University of Virginia Medical School's Department of Psychiatry. Then on November 15, he spoke on "Postmortem Survival: The State of the Debate" at Mt. St. Mary's University.

    Last April, Associate Professor Susan Dwyer developed and ran a workshop for Erickson Retirement Communities entitled "Ethics and Social Work with Seniors: Resident, Institutional and Personal Challenges." She also participated in the Workshop on Moral Psychology at Dartmouth May 24 and 25.

    Visiting Assistant Professor Matt McCabe published a book review of Physician Assisted Suicide: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Issue, by Susan M. Behuniak and Arthur G. Svenson, in The Social Science Journal (Vol. 41, No. 3, Fall 2004).

    Assistant Professor Jessica Pfeifer was accepted to and attended the Dibner Institute Summer Biological Seminar on Molecular Evolution at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, which took place May 19 through 26. She will present a paper, Why Selection and Drift Might be Distinct, at the Philosophy of Science Association meeting in Austin this month; and it was also accepted for publication in Philosophy of Science.

    In October, Visiting Lecturer Anna Ribeiro gave a talk at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics (ASA) entitled "Experiencing Poetry." The talk was part of "Cognitive Poetics," a panel discussion Ribeiro organized. Her guests were Morris Halle (linguistics, MIT), Nigel Fabb (literary linguistics, Strathclyde, Glasgow), Kristin Hanson (English, Berkeley) and Alex Neill (philosophy, Southhampton). Ribeiro also has a book review [Peter Lamarque's and Stein Haugom Olsen's Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art: The Analytic Tradition (Blackwell, 2004)]forthcoming in the fall issue of the ASA Newsletter.

    Associate Professor Steven Yalowitz's article, "Anomalous Monism," will appear in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    Michael Patrick Smith '99 in the News
    Michael Patrick Smith's play, Woody Guthrie Dreams Before Dying, will be performed at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson November 18-21, 26, 27(www.missiontix.com). It is the longest running production sponsored by the Creative Alliance.

    The play has been the subject of features in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Patuxent Publishing Papers, and on MPT's Art Works and WYPR's (88.1 FM) The Signal.

    Chamber of Commerce Recognizes the Shriver Center's Professional Practice Staff
    The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce recognized the internship and cooperative education programs of the Shriver Center's Professional Practice staff at their Education-Business Partnership Breakfast on November 9. The staff was highlighted for maintaining a consistently outstanding effort in support of students enriching their education with meaningful work.

    The Office of Professional Practice cultivated and secured over 700 internship and cooperative education placements in more than 300 public and private organizations in the Baltimore/Washington area, nationally, and abroad during the 2003-2004 academic year. Additionally, the staff developed and managed several internship programs on behalf of partnering organizations including the Governor's Summer Internship Program, MDOT Fellows Internship Program, Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program and the WORTHY Program. All of these professional practice programs serve as a major resource for employers in the region and an excellent training ground for students.

    For more information on the Shriver Center's Professional Practice Programs, contact Christine Routzahn, associate director of professional practice, at 410-455-2493.

    Kunakorn Yisomruay and Tim Ward Named America East Swimmer and Diver of the Week
    Kunakorn Yisomruay and Tim Ward have been named America East Men's Swimming and Diving Performers of the Week, respectively.

    Yisomruay, a freshman, won first place in the 200 IM (1:55.59) and 200 backstroke (1:54.98) in the tri-meet against Binghamton and Seton Hall. He also swam the third leg of the 400 freestyle relay to help UMBC win with a time of 3:13.78. His closest competitor in the 200 IM came in at 1:58.55, while his closest competitor in the 200 back came in at 1:56.27. Ward, also a freshman, placed first in the 3-meter event in the tri-meet against Binghamton and Seton Hall with a score of 262.55. UMBC went 2-0 at this tri-meet to improve to 5-0 on the season.

    Matt Watson Named America East Midfielder, Rookie of the Year in Men's Soccer
    UMBC freshman midfielder Matt Watson was named America East Midfielder of the Year and the conference's Rookie of the Year. Watson earned First Team All America East honors, as did junior defender Marcus Gross.

    Other Retrievers honored were senior forward Derek McElligott, who earned Second Team All Conference honors and freshman defender Bryan Moffa, who joined Watson on the all-rookie team.

    Watson, the lone freshman to earn First Team honors, leads the America East and ranks fifth in the nation in assists with 9 in 17 games (0.60). He is sixth in the conference in scoring with 4 goals and 9 helpers for 17 points. The nine assists is the most ever by a UMBC freshman. He is UMBC's first conference Rookie of the Year since McElligott earned the honors in the Northeast Conference in 2001.

    Gross, a two-time First Team honoree, continued his dominating play on the Retriever backline. He also added a pair of goals and an assist in 2004.

    McElligott lead UMBC for the fourth straight year in goals scored, tallying eight in his final campaign. He set UMBC Division I marks for career goals (47), points (106), and game-winning goals (18).

    Moffa became a starter midway through the season and excelled as a marking back. He also added three assists in his eleven starts.

    UMBC completed its season with an 8-6-3 record, its seventh straight winning season.

    J.J. Young Selected to America East Women's Soccer All-Rookie Team
    Freshman J.J. Young was selected to the 2004 America East Conference Women's Soccer All-Rookie Team by the league's head coaches. Young, who led UMBC in goals (6) and points (16), was also tied for the team lead in assists, with four. In addition, she ranked third in the conference in shots per game (3.56), and tenth in both assists per game (0.25), and points per game (1.00).

    Young was a key component in the Retrievers' 2-1 upset of Northeastern, who at the time, was the top seed in the America East. In that game, Young scored both UMBC goals to record her second multi-goal game of the year and fourth contest with three or more points.

    Field Hockey's Julie Moore and Ashly Meehan Receive All-Conference Honors
    Sophomore Julie Moore was named to the 2004 America East All-Conference Second Team, while freshman Ashly Meehan was named to the All-Rookie Team.

    For the season, Moore led the Retrievers in goals (9) and points (21), and was ranked seventh in the conference in those categories. In addition, she finished seventh in the league in goals per game (0.53), ninth in points per game (1.24), and tenth in shots per game with 2.18.

    Meehan finished the year with six goals and three assists, good enough to be third on the UMBC team in goals in scoring. On Sept. 7, she received Rookie of the Week honors for her performance the week prior when she scored the first goal of her collegiate career, and assisted on another goal, as UMBC lost a heartbreaker during the season opener at Appalachian State in double overtime. During that same week, she netted two goals in just three shots as the Retrievers cruised to a 5-0 victory over Robert Morris.

    Carlo DiClemente, Psychology, Joins HealthAtoZ Advisory Board
    Carlo DiClemente, professor and chair of psychology, joined HealthAtoZ's Medical Advisory Board to aid in development of the next generation of online behavioral modification and condition management.

    Founded in 1995 by a team of physicians, nurses and pharmacists, HealthAtoZ's interactive tools, Web sites, community builders and information centers promote wellness, better condition management and compliance, improve communication between patients and health providers, and motivate patients to seek early treatment for their health concerns.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 3, 2004

    Maryland Universities Looking for a Few Good Women for Real-Life 'Apprentice'

    UMBC is looking for a few good women to learn high-tech, entrepreneurial skills in ACTiVATE, a real-world class that could be as competitive as the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice."

    The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) islooking for a few good women to compete in a high-tech,entrepreneurial take on the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice."

    The $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) program, "Achieving theCommercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training forEntrepreneurs" (ACTiVATE), will select up to 30Baltimore/Washington-area women for a competitive class that, unliketraditional business courses, doesn't deal in hypothetical widgets. Instead, ACTiVATE gives real-world lessons from experiencedentrepreneurs and venture capitalists as students compete to takepatented technology innovations from area universities to market.

    "ACTiVATE is looking for savvy, competitive women to have fun whilegoing after an ultimate prize that's much better than a job with DonaldTrump the chance to start and run a real technology company," saidStephen Auvil, director of UMBC's Office of Technology Development.

    UMBC teams with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)and six other Maryland universities on ACTiVATE, one of only 16 grantsawarded nationwide this year from the NSF's highly competitivePartnerships for Innovation Program. While no one will hear the dreadedwords "You're fired," the program aims to create six or more new,university-related, startup companies over the next three years whiletraining 90 new women entrepreneurs in the process.

    Each year, TEDCO will screen 20 existing technology ideas fromparticipating universities and select the 15 best to be used inACTiVATE. Start-up firms that emerge from the course may be housed intechcenter@UMBC, the University's on-campus business incubator.

    Highly-motivated, mid-career women with business or technicalbackgrounds who are interested in learning more about ACTiVATE areinvited to attend one of two upcoming open houses. These events willprovide an overview of how ACTiVATE selects and trains applicants;introduce the entrepreneurs-in-residence at UMBC, give more informationon the university technologies to be marketed, and provide details onhow to apply for the program.

    Open House dates:
    December 7, 2004 or January 11, 2005

    6:30 until 8 p.m.

    techcenter@UMBC
    1450 South Rolling Road
    Catonsville, Maryland 21227

    Directions online:
    http://www.umbc.edu/Business/Research/location/directions.html

    For more information, please visit:
    http://www.umbc.edu/activate/ or email cwit@umbc.edu.

    About the ACTIVATE Team: Funded by the National Science Foundation,ACTIVATE partner universities include UMBC, The Johns HopkinsUniversity, the University of Maryland College Park, the University ofMaryland Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute,Towson University and the University of Maryland School of Law. Privatepartners include Legg Mason Wood Walker, Constellation Energy, GrantThornton, Venable LLP, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, New MarketsGrowth Fund, MGH Public Relations, The Eager Street Group, Darrah TaxAdvisory Services, BioPlan Associates, Inc., Anthem Capital Managementand American Express Tax & Business Services.

    Posted by dwinds1

    December 1, 2004

    Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery Presents A Thousand Hounds: A Walk with the Dogs Through the History of Photography

    Photography has offered a means of documentation and expression for more than 160 years. Focusing on a seemingly obscure subject, curators Raymond Merritt and Miles Barth have unearthed a delightful and varied array of images in which the dog's presence serves as a central trope in the history of the medium.

    UMBC's Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents A Thousand Hounds: A Walk with the Dogs Through the History of Photography, on display from September 20 through December 11, 2004. The exhibition was organized by the Cygnet Foundation and curated by Ray Merritt and Miles Barth.

    Photography has offered a means of documentation and expression for more than 160 years. Focusing on a seemingly obscure subject, curators Raymond Merritt and Miles Barth have unearthed a delightful and varied array of images in which the dog's presence serves as a central trope in the history of the medium. A Thousand Hounds: A Walk with the Dogs Through the History of Photography is based in part on the Cygnet Foundation's popular and critically acclaimed book of the same title, which, when it was released by Taschen in 2000, was announced as "a completely original history of photography told through images of canines."

    The exhibition celebrates the endearing and enduring partnership between human and dog in more than 150 photographs and one photographic sculpture, which date from 1840 to the current day and have been created by both masters of the medium and lesser-known practitioners.

    Among the noted artists included from the nineteenth century are Gustav Le Gray, W.A. Mooers and Henry Fox Talbot, and from the twentieth century, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andr Kertsz, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul Strand, and Weegee.

    Also prominently featured are works by contemporary artists, including William Wegman, Elliott Erwitt, and Keith Carter, all renowned for their images of dogs, as well as by Larry Clark, Robert Frank, Ralph Gibson, Sally Mann, Vik Muniz, and Sandy Skoglund.

    The exhibition is serious and scholarly in its considered presentation of the dog's place in momentous historical and cultural events of the past century and a half, ranging from polar expeditions to the Great Depression to the World Wars. It is also light-hearted and engaging in its celebration of photographers' longstanding artistic interest in the canine as model, muse and metaphor.

    Presented in two parts, its historical organization illuminates technological innovations, as well as cultural, sociological and aesthetic developments related to the medium, while contemporary work is organized thematically, with individual sections devoted to the notions of pathos, whimsy, elegance, companionship and inspiration.

    The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents a panel discussion for the exhibition at 4 p.m. November 15. Discussants will include curator Ray Merritt, photographer Keith Carter, and Tom Beck, the chief curator of the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. A reception will follow. For more information, call 410-455-2270.

    The local presentation of the exhibition is generously funded by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Friends of the Library & Gallery. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 4:30 p.m., on Thursday until 8 p.m., and Saturday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-455-2270.

    Posted by dwinds1

    November 24, 2004

    Second Executive Development Course Offered at Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

    ‘Development of Seniors Housing & Care’ Takes Place on January 26-29, 2005

    Contact Chip Rose
    UMBC News
    410-455-5793
    crose@umbc.edu

    or

    Renee Tilton
    410-626-0805

    The second executive development course at the recently established Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is being held on January 26-29, 2005. The course, “Development of Seniors Housing & Care,” is geared to industry professionals and will examine the entire development process of the professionally managed, senior living company.

    The intensive, four-day course will include discussions on the crucial role of strategy, market and consumer research, financial feasibility and site selection. Other topics will cover project financing, architectural design, land planning and the construction process.

    Senior living executives who have personally directed and managed the development process in their own companies are teaching the course. Leading the course is Phil Golden, president of The Shelter Group, a national real estate development and management company of senior living properties. He will be joined by other guest lecturers, including Joe McElwee, senior vice president of development, Sunrise Senior Living; Jim May, vice president of construction, Sunrise Senior Living; David Segmiller, partner, CSD People Architecture; and Anthony J. Mullen, research director, National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC).

    The Executive Development Program is presented in partnership with NIC, a nonprofit organization that has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last five years, NIC has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

    UMBC, an honors university, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was started through a $5 million gift made by John Erickson, founder and chief executive officer of Erickson. Along with executive development, the school will eventually offer specialty degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels relating to senior care and aging.

    The cost for the “Development of Seniors Housing & Care” course is $2750 and space is limited. To register and for more information, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call UMBC at (410) 455-3361.

    2005 NIC Executive Development Courses at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC


    Development
    January 26-29, 2005

    Management & Operations
    March 16-19, 2005

    Sales & Marketing
    May 18-21, 2005

    Service Quality & Performance Measurement
    June 8-11, 2005

    Risk Management
    July 13-16, 2005

    Finance & Underwriting
    November 2-5, 2005

    Posted by crose

    November 12, 2004

    Meet UMBC's New Faculty

    Meet the newest members of the UMBC community.

    UMBC welcomes its newest faculty. If you are a new faculty member and would like to be profiled in Insights, e-mail insights@umbc.edu.

    Dawn J. Bennett
    Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    Ph.D., 2004, New Jersey Institute of Technology

    Prof. Bennett's dissertation examined dielectrophoresis of biological and non-biological particles. Before coming to UMBC, she was a research engineer at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico as part of Sandia's MESA Institute Program, where she designed microfluidic channels and ran experiments in dielectrophoresis. Bennett has worked as a product and manufacture engineer for General Motors and Rockwell Automation Corporation, respectively. Bennett stresses the value of microfluidics research for its ability to aid in the detection of anthrax spores and other dangerous biological agents, to separate cancerous cells from noncancerous cells in blood, and to remove pollutant particles from fuel. Currently, Bennett is collaborating with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and is supported by the NSF-funded ADVANCE Program and the Henry C. Welcome Fellowship from the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Bennett most recently co-authored an article featured in Applied Physics Letters on particle manipulation in microfluidics. She enjoys traveling and spent a year teaching in the rural villages of Kenya, Africa. In addition, she enjoys skiing and has recently been hiking and sailing in the Baltimore area.

    Charissa S. L. Cheah
    Assistant Professor of Psychology
    Ph.D., 2000, University of Maryland, College Park

    Prof. Cheah's dissertation examined the parenting beliefs and practices of Mainland Chinese and European American mothers of preschoolers, regarding children's adaptive and maladaptive social behaviors. Before coming to UMBC, she was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in the Culture and Human Development program. Cheah is interested in the social emotional development and health of children and adolescents and the ways in which cultural factors contribute to this development. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Cheah relates her research to the growing minority population in the United States and the need for an understanding of their parenting styles and developmental expectations in order to effectively inform public policy and address practices in education. She is the co-author of a recent article featured in the International Journal of Behavioral Development, which compares cross-cultural responses to asocial behavior in preschoolers.

    Carolyn Forestiere
    Assistant Professor of Political Science
    Ph.D., 2004, Emory University

    Prof. Forestiere's dissertation, which she is currently developing into a manuscript, examined opposition politics in parliamentary systems. A graduate Fulbright recipient, Forestiere spent a year in Italy working on her dissertation research. Last year she taught Italian and Italian politics at Emory University as a visiting lecturer. Her current research considers how opposition parties influence legislation in parliamentary systems, and she emphasizes the essential role of an official opposition in democratic politics. Last year Forestiere gave a series of lectures at a retirement community and encourages others to be active volunteers. She enjoys scuba diving and is a trained classical pianist.

    Amy M. Froide
    Assistant Professor of History
    Ph.D., 1996, Duke University

    Before coming to UMBC, Prof. Froide was a history professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She joins her husband, Terry Bouton, who is also a professor in UMBC's history department. Froide's research examines women in early modern Europe, and is particularly concerned with how marital status affected their lives. She addresses topics involving single mothers and welfare, the issue of marital choice and stereotypes about never-married women. Froide's research has been supported by the British Academy, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Historical Association, the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Newberry Library and Yale University's Walpole Library. Froide's forthcoming book, Never Married: Single women in early modern England (Oxford University Press) will be published in early 2005. While her one-year-old daughter takes up most of her time, she enjoys traveling in Europe and hopes to lead trips for UMBC students in the future.

    Theodosia Gougousi
    Assistant Professor of Physics
    Ph.D., 1996, University of Pittsburgh

    Before coming to UMBC, Prof. Gougousi was a research associate at North Carolina State University, where she studied the stability and electrical and interfacial properties of several rare earth and transition metal-based oxide and silicate materials. Gougousi was drawn to UMBC for the research prospects it offers to people in her field. In her research she studies the properties of thin film materials, such as those used in nanotechnology. Gougousi points out that advances in her field will contribute to the enrichment of people's lives with better, faster computers and electronic gadgets, impact space exploration and even offer new instrumentation for health care. Among Gougousi's most recent publications is a co-authored article in the Journal of Applied Physics examining the reactivity of thin films with other materials. She enjoys reading and watching movies when she is not spending time with her four-year-old daughter.

    John E. Nelson
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Education
    Ph.D., 1980, McGill University

    Prof. Nelson was brought to UMBC by Ron Schwartz in 1988 and has been teaching in the ESL MA Program as an adjunct lecturer. This year Schwartz retired and asked Nelson to take over his position as clinical assistant professor. Before coming to UMBC, Nelson worked as the parent involvement specialist and staff development specialist for the ESOL program in Prince George's County public schools. He is concerned with the growing numbers of non-English speaking children in American schools and the shortage of ESOL teachers despite the increasing influence of English in the world. Nelson considers UMBC's ESOL program to be one of the strongest in the country and is committed to its continued improvement. For the past several years he has coordinated a spring biking program bringing together adults and high school ESOL students from Prince George's County.

    -Steffany Magid

    Posted by dwinds1

    November 10, 2004

    UMBC Research Park Welcomes IT Firm, NASA Centers to Second Building

    UMBC announced today that three new tenants have agreed to move into the second building in bwtech@UMBC, the university's on-campus research and technology park. The new arrivals include the award-winning information technology firm BDMetrics, Inc.; the $148 million NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center; and all UMBC departments related to technology transfer and entrepreneurship education.

    The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) announced today that three new tenants have agreed to move into the second building in bwtech@UMBC, the university's on-campus research and technology park. The new arrivals include the award-winning information technology firm BDMetrics, Inc.; the $148 million NASA Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center; and all UMBC departments related to technology transfer and entrepreneurship education.

    BDMetrics has leased approximately 7,000 square feet of office space in the recently completed, 60,000 square-foot, multi-tenant facility developed by Grosvenor. BDMetrics, which provides software and services to aid technology companies with business development, was previously located at techcenter@UMBC, the university's high-tech business incubator. Earlier this year, BDMetrics was named the Best New Incubator Company by the Maryland Business Incubation Association.

    "UMBC's wealth of brainpower and convenient location makes bwtech@UMBC an excellent place to grow our company," said Rick Geritz, CEO of BDMetrics. "UMBC is a thriving, entrepreneurial institution that embraces collaboration with business, which makes it an attractive environment for nurturing cutting edge technologies."

    The Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center -- a $148 million, 10-year research collaboration with NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center to study the atmosphere, oceans and climate change -- is the second addition to the building. GEST is one of four major NASA-related research centers -- along with the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research and the Joint Center for Astrophysics -- at UMBC, which is ranked 16th nationally in NASA funding. Elements of JCET will share office space with GEST in the new building.

    All UMBC departments engaged in technology transfer and entrepreneurship education will also move into the new building, including the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.

    "This proves that our campus commitment to economic development is serious and strong," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "We hope it will also make it more likely for future research park tenants to emerge from the growing number of bioscience tool and service firms located in techcenter@UMBC," Hemmerly said.

    bwtech@UMBC is being developed by Grosvenor, one of the largest private real estate companies in the world with a global property portfolio of $7 billion. The park's 62,000 square-foot first building has been leased by the information technology firm RWD Technologies since 2001.

    UMBC's research park and incubator have received public and private sector funding from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, the U.S. Department of Commerce, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. In 2003, bwtech@UMBC became part of Baltimore County's Southwest Enterprise Zone, making companies moving to the park eligible for credits on real property and income taxes, as well as credits for creating new jobs.

    Posted by dwinds1

    November 5, 2004

    Azar Nafisi and Lolita's Exodus to Iran

    Azar Nafisi's New York Times best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran has raised a lot of interesting questions about women's roles in the expanding global community and the often underestimated power of literature to move ideological mountains. What's more, her memoirs depicting her experience as a resigned university professor hosting a clandestine reading group in her home reminds us how freedom can find a voice in the most repressive circumstances. Nafasi will discuss her book at UMBC on November 9 (7 p.m., U.C. Ballroom).

    The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Azar Nafisi's New York Times best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran has raised a lot of interesting questions about women's roles in the expanding global community and the often underestimated power of literature to move ideological mountains. What's more, Nafisi's memoirs depicting her experience as a resigned university professor hosting a clandestine reading group in her home reminds us how freedom can find a voice in the most repressive circumstances.

    "The Women's Studies program has chosen to sponsor Nafisi's talk because we want to encourage debate about the meaning of fundamentalism for the lives of women, as well as men, in the Middle East, says Marjoleine Kars, associate professor of history and affiliate faculty in Women's Studies. Nafisi's book undoubtedly sheds light on the state of affairs in Iran, which is one of the key elements that make her memoirs so meaningful. However, the fact that the release of her book coincided with the increasing relevance of the situation in the Middle East has drawn many readers to the political aspect of Reading Lolita and has perhaps created a focus that otherwise oversimplifies Nafisi's initial motivation for recording her memoirs.

    I think it will be too bad if we read her book and then congratulate ourselves on not being like Iran, says Thomas Field, director of the Center for the Humanities, one of the sponsors of the event. Nafisi's memoirs represent two years (1995-1997) in post-revolutionary Iran and reflect the repressive Islamist policies first introduced by the Ayatollah Khomeini in the late 1970's. Conversely, reformist parties in Iran are currently fighting against the tight restrictions of the conservative government and are struggling to promote a more democratic perspective. Iran is one of the first Muslim nations seeking a new way toward modernity that isn't based on the West, explains Field.

    But keep in mind, Nafisi's book is not just about politics and the effects of fundamentalist policies. The book is about how important it is for a woman to have an opportunity to expand her mind, says Field. Great literature gives you a broader range of experiences; it takes you places you can't get on your own. Kars agrees. We thought the talk would provide a great opportunity for students to think about the transformative power of literature: how it can help people make sense of their lives, especially in situations where open political discussion is prohibited."

    At UMBC, we encourage students majoring in the social sciences to take part in experiential learning, says Roy Meyers, director of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars program, which is also sponsoring the event. One way students do that is to interact with speakers who are working on interesting issues or doing important work to improve society. Nafisi would perhaps agree that the best way to realize our potential is to take advantage of the full range of our intellectual resources.

    Similarly, Field endorses the prospect that Nafisi's presentation will inspire students to exercise the first amendment and acknowledge literature's ability to enhance their understanding of the world. I hope people have an appreciation of the fact that we can say and do what we want [in the United States] and that people take advantage of that and read controversial literature that rubs them the wrong way, that stretches their minds in ways that are painful. That's very important.

    Azar Nafisi, visiting fellow and professorial lecturer at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, will present her book Reading Lolita in Tehran on Tuesday, November 9, at 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

    The event is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, the Office of the Provost, the Department of English and the Women's Studies Program.

    -Steffany Magid

    Posted by dwinds1

    November 4, 2004

    UMBC Self-Study Moves Forward

    UMBC achieved an important milestone in its 2006 reaccreditation process when the Middle States Commission on Higher Education approved the University's self-study design.

    UMBC achieved an important milestone in its 2006 reaccreditation process when the Middle States Commission on Higher Education approved the University's self-study design.

    Every 10 years, UMBC undertakes a University-wide review, or self-study, as part of the requirements for reaccreditation. The purpose of the self-study is to determine how well UMBC educational programs and services accomplish the University's goals and meet the Middle States Commission standards.

    In addition to responding to the Commission, UMBC will use the 2006 self-study to advance the campus planning process. Marvin Mandell, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy, and Nancy Ochsner, director of the Office of Institutional Research, are co-chairing the 2006 self-study.

    Before proceeding with the self-study, UMBC must submit a plan, or design for the self-study to the Commission. The design, which was prepared by the self-study steering committee, outlines how the University will conduct the self-study, including areas of review, expected outcomes, organization and timetable. The Commission approved the UMBC design in late October.

    The steering committee is close to completing another major task-organizing work groups of faculty, staff and students to conduct the self-study. The work groups have already started to meet and gather information to address their charges. The design also includes a communications plan that describes how the committee will obtain feedback from the UMBC community on the self-study draft before finalizing the report.

    The self-study report will be completed by the end of 2005, in advance of the Middle States Evaluation Team visit to UMBC in spring 2006.

    To read the design document, or learn more about the self-study, visit the self-study Web site.

    -Anne Roland

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News

    Please note: Some newspapers require registration in order to read articles.

    BD Metrics, in the news
    BD Metrics, a start-up based at techcenter@UMBC and soon moving to bwtech@UMBC, was featured in a Dec. 1 Baltimore Business Journal story, announcing former Advertising.com Chief Financial Officer Mike Woosley's appointment as their new CFO. Digital Harbor Online also covered the story.

    Dennis Coates, Economics, in Cato.org
    Dennis Coates, professor of economics, was quoted in a Nov. 30
    Cato Institute news feature, "D.C. Ballpark Vote Expected Today," about the anticipated decision of whether the D.C. Council will fund the construction of a new stadium.

    ACTiVATE in the news
    ACTiVATE, an entrepreneurial competition for women funded by the National Science Foundation and led by UMBC, was featured in The Baltimore Business Journal and The Daily Record this week. ACTiVATE teams UMBC with six other Maryland universities plus private and public sector partners with the ultimate goal of creating new startup companies using patented technologies from Maryland universities.

    Model UN Team in The Baltimore Chronicle
    UMBC's Model UN Team, led by Political Science professor and chair Cynthia Hody, was featured in the Dec. 3 Baltimore Chronicle. The team was recognized at the 15th Annual American Model United Nations International Conference as a Distinguished Delegation for their representation of the United Kingdom on five committees.

    AVIcode, techcenter@UMBC, in Digital Harbor Online
    AVIcode, an affiliate company of techcenter@UMBC, was highlighted in a Nov. 22 Digital Harbor Online news feature, AVIcode Launches Microsoft Operations Manager Add-in.

    Thomas Blass, Psychology, in Choice
    The Nov. issue of Choice magazine, a publication that reviews books for academic libraries, features a review of Professor of Psychology Thomas Blass' book, The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram.

    Terry Bouton, History, in the Baltimore Sun
    Terry Bouton, assistant professor of history, was quoted in a Nov. 21 Baltimore Sun story, Building democracy tougher than it looks, about the naivet of the idea that democracy is the most fundamental kind of government and how the history of our country proves it.

    Vondina Brown, Meyerhoff Scholar, in the Baltimore Sun
    Vondina Brown, a UMBC Meyerhoff Scholar, was mentioned in a Nov. 27 Baltimore Sun story, Getting careers down to a science, about Building STEPS, an innovative science program offered to students at Dunbar, Digital Harbor and Woodlawn High Schools.

    Christopher Corbett, English, in Style
    English Lecturer Christopher Corbett's December Back Page column, Aliens Among Us, appears in Style's print and online editions.

    George LaNoue, Political Science, in the Asbury Park Press
    Professor of Political Science George LaNoue was quoted in a Nov 21. Ashbury Park Press story, New Jersey's set-aside program on hold, about a state program intended to secure business contracts for women and minority-owned small businesses.

    Donald Norris, Public Policy, in the Baltimore Sun
    Donald Norris, professor of public policy and MIPAR director, was quoted in a Nov. 19 Baltimore Sun story, Inviting O'Malley onto Ehrlich's turf, about Baltimore Mayor O'Malley's appearance at the Arbutus Roundtable.

    Robert Provine, Psychology, in the Baltimore Sun
    Robert Provine, professor of psychology and modern laugh research pioneer, was quoted in a Nov. 29 Baltimore Sun story, Synthesizing human emotions, about research being done to make computers sensitive to and able to mimic emotions.

    Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in Baltimore Magazine
    Associate Professor of Political Science Thomas Schaller's Jim Smith, the Un-Politician, in the Dec. issue of Baltimore Magazine looks at the first-term Baltimore County executive's surprisingly apolitical nature.

    The Shriver Center in the Jeffersonian
    The Shriver Center's "Outstanding Transitioning program" award from the chamber of commerce was mentioned in a Nov. 22 Jeffersonian article, Chamber recognizes students' charity.

    Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College and Visual Arts, in the San Francisco Chronicle
    Ellen Handler Spitz, honors professor of visual arts, was quoted in a Nov. 17 San Francisco Chronicle story, Childhood Isn't What It Used to Be. In the Arts, It's Dark and Complex," about the increasingly polarized notions of childhood being represented in contemporary art.

    UMBC Oral History Consortium, in the Detroit Free Press
    A UMBC panel chose two retired Marquette County, Michigan teachers to receive the 2004 Betty Key Oral History Award for their work with the Red Dust project, a chronicle of the region's mining history they started in 1983.

    Simon Carn, JCET, in the Baltimore Sun
    Simon Carn, JCET research associate and volcano expert, was quoted in a Nov. 12 Baltimore Sun story, Fire Alarm, about the largest man-made release of SO2 ever recorded when a sulfur plant in Al-Mishraq, Iraq was set ablaze.

    The research carried out by Carn and his associates is also mentioned in a Nov. 17 EurekAlert report.

    Dennis Coates, Economics, in the Business Gazette
    In a Nov. 11 Business Gazette story, Despite slow economy, demand high for stadium skyboxes, Dennis Coates, professor of economics, claims that tax benefits and large businesses can explain the continued demand for skyboxes, despite an ailing economy.

    Prof. Coates' Nov. 7 OpEd story for the Washington Post was reprinted online on Nov. 12 at the Cato Institute's Web site.

    UMBC's Hillel in Hillel.org
    Students in Hillel, a Jewish student organization on campus, were quoted in a Nov. 15 Hillel.org story, Baltimore Students Build Bears for Sick Children about the Hillel of Greater Baltimore's donation of 40 custom-made teddy bears to sick children.

    Albin O. Kuhn, UMBC's First Chancellor, in the Western Howard County View
    In a
    Nov. 10 Western Howard County View story, Farmer Kuhn, UMBC's first Chancellor remembers UMBC's early years.

    Senior Aaron Merki, Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar, in the Daily Record
    Aaron Merki, a senior who wrote a legal brief while interning for the Maryland Public Defender's Office that helped overturn an unjust sentence in a criminal case, was featured in a Nov. 17 Daily Record story, Court of Appeals rejects conundrum' of enhanced penalty.

    The Shriver Center in the Arbutus Times
    The Shriver Center's award from Catonsville's Chamber of Commerce is mentioned in a Nov. 18 Arbutus Times story, School efforts honored that intersect with society.

    UMBC's SGA in the Catonsville Times, Jeffersonian
    On Nov. 10 and 11, Patuxent Publishing newspapers the Catonsville Times and Jeffersonian published, UMBC celebrates elections, community acknowledges the success of the SGA's Election Night Extravaganza event held Nov. 2.

    UMBC in the Washington Post
    UMBC participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and is listed in the Nov. 16 Washington Post story, Finding the Best, Not the Best-Known, Colleges.

    UMBC in the Washington Times
    UMBC is mentioned in a Nov. 14 Washington Times story, Bringing their spirit home, as one of the local universities participating in the Peace Corps Fellows program, which places returning Peace Corps volunteers in public service internships.

    UMBC in the Hagerstown Morning Herald
    UMBC is one of the schools that will be offering courses for students enrolled in the new education program at UM Hagerstown, according to a Nov. 12 Hagerstown Morning Herald story.

    Christopher Corbett, English, in the Baltimore Sun
    English instructor Christopher Corbett's November 12 talk at this weekend's Carroll Community College's Book Fair was mentioned in the November 12 Baltimore Sun.

    Rick Geritz, techcenter@UMBC, in the Daily Record Business Writer
    Rick Geritz, CEO of BD Metrics Inc., has been appointed to the new Entrepreneur Council of Baltimore's National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a volunteer advisory group that works with teachers who want to give their students more training in business skills.

    Dennis Coates, Economics, in the Washington Post
    Dennis Coates, professor of economics, wrote a Nov. 7 Washington Post story, A Stadium Deal For Suckers about the false belief that new sports stadiums necessarily create economic growth in the surrounding area. He predicts that bringing the Expos to D.C. will potentially result in a per capita income loss in the restaurant and hospitality businesses around the stadium.

    Doctoral student David Gurzick, Information Systems, in the Baltimore Sun
    David Gurzick, a UMBC doctoral student and the first employee of Sonum Technologies, Inc., an artificial intelligence start-up, was mentioned in the Nov. 7 Baltimore Sun story, Hoping to be heard. The article was the first in a multi-part series to chronicle the beginnings of the Sonum start-up.

    Gurzick was also mentioned in the Baltimore Sun's Nov. 7 Sonum's players, a profile of all of the employees of the company.

    Donald F. Norris, Public Policy, in the Houston Chronicle
    Donald Norris, professor of public policy and MIPAR director, was quoted in a Nov. 6 Houston Chronicle story about the lift of a 51-year ban on bear hunting in Maryland.

    Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in the NewsHour
    Thomas Schaller, associate professor of political science, was quoted in a Nov. 3 PBS NewsHour story, GOP Gains Senate Seats in Hotly Contested Races, about the Republican win of four new seats in the Senate.

    He was also quoted in the Nov. 3 Reuters story, Election Will Prompt Democratic Soul-Searching, about the significance of the Democratic loss in the presidential election.

    Prof. Schaller was a guest-host on WBAL's Rob Douglas Show Nov. 8.

    Christopher Corbett, English, in Baltimore Style Magazine and the Baltimore Sun
    English instructor Christopher Corbett's November Baltimore Style column, The Back Page is now available online.

    In his Oct. 31 Baltimore Sun op-ed, Corbett discusses Maryland's recent first bear hunt in more than 50 years and the image of bears throughout children's literature.

    Alumnus Douglas Gearhart in Philosophy Now Magazine
    Douglas Gearhart, philosophy '97, a member of the Army Reserve, chronicles his Bronze Star medal-winning service in Iraq and gives practical moral guidance for frontline soldiers in a Philosophy Now article.

    Senior Kevin Hurley in the Gloucester County Times
    Kevin Hurley, a senior in economics, won the Jonas Cattell Run, a 10-mile foot race started in 1969 to commemorate the anniversary of his maternal relative's contribution to the British defeat at Red Bank Battlefield in 1777.

    Roy Meyers, Political Science, in the Baltimore Sun
    Roy Meyers, associate professor of political science, was quoted in a Nov. 1 Baltimore Sun story about $230 million in government bonds for public works projects that Baltimore County is asking its residents to vote on.

    Music Department in the Baltimore Sun
    The Nov. 2 Baltimore Sun story Autumn offers an ample menu of music highlights the opening of the music department's fall music program, which debuted with a classical Brahms program and will continue with more classical and contemporary performances in the coming weeks.

    Donald Norris, Public Policy, in the News
    Donald Norris, professor of public policy and MIPAR director, was quoted in an Oct. 28 Baltimore Sun story, Tough race brewing for Ehrlich, survey shows about the serious challenge Ehrlich faces for reelection in view of the two strong Democratic candidates that oppose him.

    He also was quoted in the Oct. 28 Baltimore Sun story, Schaefer continues to draw solid backing, survey shows about 82-year-old comptroller and former mayor William Donald Schaefer's overall support among Maryland voters.

    On Oct. 31, Norris was quoted in the Washington Post story, Parties eye shifts in Maryland voting about the speculation that Republicans are gaining ground amongst Maryland voters.

    He was quoted in two Baltimore Sun stories on Nov. 3. House incumbents fend off challenges across state, looks at the ease with which reigning Maryland Representatives defeated their challengers, and O'Malley win sets stage for governor's race in 2006 examines political speculation regarding O'Malley's potential win of Maryland's gubernatorial election in 2006.

    On Nov. 4, Norris was quoted in the Baltimore Sun stories Election results show a growing partisan divide in Maryland" and "O'Malley's huge win is clouded."

    Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in the News
    Thomas Schaller, associate professor of political science, was quoted in an Oct. 29 WTOP story Ruppersberger Solidifies Hold on Md.'s 2nd District about the probability of Democratic Rep. Ruppersberger's reelection and the consequent challenges faced by his opponent, Jane Brooks.

    He was quoted in a Nov. 1 Detroit News story Now America decides giving political expert speculation about the election results and what it would take for each candidate to win the race.

    Also on Nov. 1, Schaller was quoted in the Nov. 1 Christian Science Monitor story Winner's tough task: governing about the difficulties the next president will have to face concerning America's polarized electorate, and the Cherry Hill Courier (New Jersey) article Roles reversed throughout history about the reversal since the 19th century of what the Democratic and Republican parties stand for and who is voting for them.

    Schaller was quoted in a Nov. 3 Baltimore Sun story Turnout propels Democrats about the question of whether certain Maryland precincts are becoming more Republican and if the GOP is taking advantage of the presidential elections to begin campaigning for 2006.

    Students' Election Night Extravaganza in the Baltimore Sun
    On Nov. 3, the Baltimore Sun mentions UMBC's bipartisan Election Night Extravaganza amongst the local gatherings organized to watch the results of the election. The event was sponsored by UMBC's SGA.

    Timmie Topoleski, Mechanical Engineering, in Chemical & Engineering News
    Timmie Topoleski, professor of mechanical engineering, was quoted in a Nov.1 Chemical & Engineering News story about the development of a biocompatible polymer layer graft that is being tested by Japanese researchers at the University of Tokyo to reduce wear and bone loss from artificial joints.

    Posted by dwinds1

    November 1, 2004

    UMBC Students to Hold Bipartisan Election Night Extravaganza

    As the increased number of bumper stickers, yard signs and TV debate ratings attest, passions are running high this election season. Students at UMBC, many of them first-time voters, are no exception and will be making their voices heard by bringing their elected officials to campus for a bipartisan Election Night Extravaganza.

    As the increased number of bumper stickers, yard signs and TV debate ratings attest, passions are running high this election season. Students at UMBC, many of them first-time voters, are no exception and will be making their voices heard by bringing their elected officials to campus for a bipartisan Election Night Extravaganza..

    The event, sponsored by the UMBC Student Government Association, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. in the University Commons Building. Students of all political stripes are expected to join the festivities, which will include refreshments, music, remarks by Maryland politicians and many, many televisions to follow election returns. Approximately 600 people are expected to attend.

    "My sense is that UMBC students are especially fired up about this election," says David Hoffman, coordinator of leadership and engagement for the UMBC Office of Student Life. "National and local issues are touching students' lives deeply. Tuition increases hit them in the pocketbook. Their peers are fighting, and some are dying, in a controversial war in Iraq. And ever since 9/11, students have become keenly aware of the connection between national and international events and their personal well-being."

    In addition to hearing remarks from elected officials, students will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns individually with:

    • The Hon. Steven J. DeBoy, Sr., State Delegate, District 12A
    • The Hon. Adrienne A. Jones, Speaker Pro Tem, Maryland House of Delegates (District 10)
    • The Hon. Edward J. Kasemeyer, State Senator, District 12
    • The Hon. James E. Malone, Jr., State Delegate, District 12A
    • The Hon. S.G. Samuel Moxley, Chair, Baltimore County Council (District 1)

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 29, 2004

    UMBC Researchers in Nature This Month

    Research by UMBC faculty and graduate students was published in the prestigious Nature family of scientific journals four times in October, including work in molecular biochemistry, earth science and quantum photonics.

    Research by faculty and graduate students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) was published in the prestigious Nature family of scientific journals four times in October, including work in molecular biochemistry, earth science and quantum photonics. Overviews of the findings by UMBC researchers follow below, with links to further coverage.

    Synchronize Quantum Watches
    Nature, October 14
    UMBC physics graduate students Alejandra Valencia and Giuliano Scarcelli teamed with UMBC physics professor and co-principal project investigator Yanhua Shih on a method for synchronizing distant clocks, an important function for telecommunications and global positioning satellite systems. Their experiment showed that quantum entanglement of photon pairs allowed the synchronization of two clocks three kilometers apart to within picoseconds of each other. The research was also featured in Applied Physics Letters and Science News.

    As the World Turns, It Drags Space and Time
    Nature, October 21

    UMBC Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) scientist Erricos Pavlis co-led a team that proved how shifts in satellite orbits are caused by the Earth warping space and time as it rotates, a phenomenon first predicted in 1918 by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. The international team of NASA and university researchers studied the orbits of two satellites over an 11 year span to arrive at the first direct proof of what is known as "frame dragging." "It's like a bowling ball spinning in molasses," said Pavlis. "As the Earth rotates, it pulls space-time in its vicinity around itself, which shifts the orbits of satellites near Earth." The findings were covered by newspapers and science websites across the globe.

    Iraqi Fire Pollution Rivaled 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption
    Nature News, October 25

    JCET volcano expert Simon Carn led a group of earth scientists who used satellite monitoring to show how pollution caused by the ongoing war in Iraq has rivaled the output of one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in recent history. Carn's group observed how a June, 2003 fire at a sulphur plant near Mosul, Iraq, probably started by arsonists, caused the largest man-made release of polluting sulphur dioxide ever recorded, which was similar in magnitude to the same type of pollution released by the 1980 Mount Saint Helens volcanic eruption. The story was covered by BBC News online and other national and international science media.

    Why Retrovirus Replication Takes Two
    Nature News & Views, October 28; Nature, Sept. 30
    UMBC molecular biochemist and AIDS researcher Michael Summers, the only Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at a Maryland public university, and UMBC HHMI research associate Victoria D'Souza discovered a potential answer to a question that has baffled scientists for 20 years, namely how and why retroviruses must make two copies of their RNA in order to successfully infect other cells. By studying MoMULV, a retrovirus commonly used in the lab to learn more about lethal viruses like HIV, the UMBC team discovered a potential "RNA switch" instrumental to this process that could lead to a next generation of antiretroviral drug therapies. The work originally appeared in Nature on Sept. 30 and was then reviewed in the Oct. 28 "News and Views" section of the journal.

    About UMBC Research:
    UMBC's research funding has quadrupled during the past decade to over $85 million and the campus ranks sixth nationally in inventions disclosed and ninth nationally in U.S. patent applications filed per million dollars spent on research. UMBC, which is ranked 16th nationally in NASA funding, is home to three major collaborative NASA research centers. Michael Summers, the only Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at a Maryland public university, has led student researchers in solving three of the seven protein structures which make up HIV. In 2000, Summers was one of only 10 recipients nationwide of the National Science Foundation's Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 26, 2004

    Employee of the Quarter: Call for Nominations

    The Department of Human Resources seeks nominations for the next Employee of the Quarter. Please recognize the dedication and hard work of our staff by nominating a colleague that demonstrates outstanding qualities and makes contributions toward his/her department's and UMBC's goals and mission.

    The next Employee of the Quarter will be selected in December. Nomination forms are due by November 30. Previous nominations will be eligible for consideration for one year from the date received.

    Click here for nomination forms and further information.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 25, 2004

    UMBC Presents
    Azar Nafisi

    On Tuesday, November 9th at 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom, UMBC presents a lecture by Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. Azar Nafisi is a Visiting Professor and the director of the SAIS Dialogue Project at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.

    Azar NafisiOn Tuesday, November 9th at 7 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom, UMBC presents a lecture by Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books.

    Azar Nafisi is a Visiting Professor and the director of the SAIS Dialogue Project at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. A professor of aesthetics, culture and literature, Dr. Nafisi held a fellowship at Oxford University, teaching and conducting a series of lectures on culture and the important role of Western literature and culture in Iran after the revolution in 1979. She taught at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabii before her return to the United States in 1997, earning national respect and international recognition for advocating on behalf of Iran’s intellectuals, youth and especially young women. She was expelled from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil in 1981 and did not resume teaching until 1987.

    Dr. Nafisi conducted workshops in Iran for women students on the relationship between culture and human rights; the material culled from these workshops formed the basis of a new human rights education curriculum. She has lectured and written extensively in English and Persian on the political implications of literature and culture as well as the human rights of the Iranian women and girls and the important role they play in the process of change for pluralism and an open society in Iran. She has been consulted on issues related to Iran and human rights both by the policy makers and various human rights organizations in the United States and elsewhere.

    Dr. Nafisi has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and her cover story, “The Veiled Threat: The Iranian Revolution's Woman Problem” published in The New Republic (February 22, 1999) has been reprinted into several languages. She is the author of Anti-Terra: A Critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels. She is currently teaching on the relation between culture and politics at SAIS and her new book, Reading Lolita in Tehran, was published by Random House in April 2003.

    This event is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, the Office of the Provost, the Department of English and the Women’s Studies Program.

    Admission
    Admission is free.

    Telephone
    Public information: 410-455-6798
    Media inquiries only: 410-455-3370

    Web
    UMBC Center for the Humanities website: http://www.umbc.edu/humanities
    UMBC News Releases: http://www.umbc.edu/NewsEvents/releases/index.phtml

    Directions

    • From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the University Center.
    • From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the roundabout intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the University Center.
    • From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the University Center.
    • Daytime metered visitor parking is available in Lot 10, near the Administration Building. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadways require a parking permit unless otherwise marked.
    • Online campus map: http://www.umbc.edu/aboutumbc/campusmap/

    Images for Media
    A high resolution image for media is available online: http://www.umbc.edu/newsevents/arts/hi-res/ or by email or postal mail.

    ###

    Posted by dwinds1

    UMBC Panel to Explore Media Bias

    As the subject of media bias continues to be a storyline in the homestretch of the 2004 presidential election, an interdisciplinary group of faculty media and political critics will debate "Bias and the American Media" on Oct. 27 at UMBC.

    As the subject of media bias continues to be a storyline in the homestretch of the 2004 presidential election, an interdisciplinary group of faculty media and political critics will debate "Bias and the American Media" on Oct. 27 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

    UMBC's 2004 Interdisciplinary Studies Mosaic Roundtable, "Bias in the American Media," will bring together four UMBC faculty experts on the media and politics along with special guest Terry Eastland, publisher of The Weekly Standard and a contributing columnist to The Dallas Morning News.

    The panel will discuss the issue in light of recent controversies such as Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting Group's plans to air a film criticizing Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's protests of the Vietnam War (the final broadcast was altered after pro-Kerry protests hurt Sinclair's stock price), and the retraction of a "60 Minutes" story questioning President Bush's National Guard service that lead to an on-air apology by CBS News anchorman Dan Rather.

    Faculty experts include:

    Christopher Corbett, a former reporter and news editor with The Associated Press, has been a journalist for over 30 years. His latest book, Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express (Random House/Broadway Books, 2003) is in its seventh printing and was published in paperback this fall. In 1990, Corbett was the James Thurber Journalist-in-Residence at the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio, where he also taught in the Ohio State University's journalism school. Since 1994, he has written The Back Page for Baltimore's Style magazine, which received the City and Regional Magazine Award for best column in 1998 and 1999. At UMBC, Corbett serves as faculty advisor to The Retriever Weekly and teaches journalism courses in the English department.

    Susan Dwyer (moderator) is a specialist in moral psychology and ethics and public policy, and has published on reconciliation, moral development, feminist theory, free speech and cyberpornography. She is editor (with the late Joel Feinberg) of The Problem of Abortion and The Program of Pornography. Dwyer is associate professor of philosophy and director of the master's program in applied and professional ethics at UMBC and is an adjunct member of the philosophy department at the University of Maryland College Park.

    Jason Loviglio is co-editor (with Michele Hilmes) of Radio Reader: Essays in the Cultural History of Radio (Routledge, 2002) and is author of the forthcoming The Intimate Public: Network Radio and Mass Mediated Democracy ( University of Minnesota Press). In 2003, he was awarded the J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship by the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association to conduct research in the NBC archives at the Library of Congress. Loviglio is a founding member of the North American Radio Studies Network, a member of the international Radio Studies Network and a member of the International Advisory Board of Radio Journal. At UMBC, he is assistant professor of American studies and teaches courses in media, popular culture and multiculturalism.

    Thomas Schaller has published commentaries and op-ed features in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, Salon.com and the American Prospect online, and is frequently interviewed on public television and radio. He is co-founder and executive editor of Gadflyer.com, a progressive Internet magazine. Schaller has published academic articles in American Review of Politics, Constitutional Political Economy, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Public Choice and Publius: The Journal of Federalism. He is co-author of a forthcoming book on black state legislators (State University of New York Press). At UMBC, Schaller is associate professor of political science.

    "The notion of a liberal media is largely a myth," says Schaller. "There is a liberal tilt to university faculty, some print reporters and the Internet blogging community. But most everywhere else--among think tanks, on network and especially cable television, among print editors and publishers, and certainly on talk radio--the bias is decidedly and often unabashedly conservative."

    "The news media's role in the circulation of the attacks [between the presidential candidates] has become highly controversial," Loviglio says. "More and more, Americans are becoming turned off and distrustful of media bias in political coverage."

    "Americans live in a free society--and they are free to choose," says Corbett. "They have chosen not to be well informed."

    The Mosaic series is the creation of UMBC's Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) program, with a goal of bringing diverse expertise together twice per year to examine a controversial societal issue.

    "What we hope students will come away with after this forum is the ability to look at media with a critical eye," says Patricia La Noue, chair of the INDS program at UMBC.

    The 2004 Mosaic Roundtable forum is open to the public. The event will be held Wednesday, October 27, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery on the UMBC Campus.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 19, 2004

    Anita Maddox Jackson Elected UMBC Alumni Association President

    As UMBC celebrates its 2004 homecoming this week, the University also welcomes alumna and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) executive Anita Maddox Jackson as the newly elected president of the UMBC Alumni Association.

    As the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) celebrates its 2004 homecoming this week, UMBC also welcomes alumna and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) executive Anita Maddox Jackson as the newly elected president of the UMBC Alumni Association.

    "I am delighted that Anita has been elected President of our Alumni Association," says UMBC president Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. "She brings substantial experience both in the corporate world and in connecting institutions across the public and private sectors. She has a stellar reputation in Baltimore as a highly respected professional and caring human being."

    Currently director of supplier diversity for BGE, Jackson credits UMBC as "the foundation for my professional success. UMBC helped me forge a satisfying career and, at the same time, broaden my view of the world."

    Jackson's role as president of UMBC's Alumni Association is fitting, given her commitment to become more involved with the University. "When I returned to campus recently, I couldn't believe how much had changed," she explains.

    Jackson's first priority will be to increase alumni involvement. "We need alumni time and talent to help UMBC continue to excel," she says. The UMBC Alumni Association offers social events, professional development activities and volunteer opportunities to more than 36,000 graduates of the university.

    Jackson's 21-year tenure with BGE, a subsidiary of Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG), has included positions in human resources, marketing and sales and corporate communications. Jackson, a native of the Eastern Shore and a resident of Catonsville, is a 1980 UMBC alumna, having earned a B.S. in Health Science & Policy. She also holds an M.A.S. from Johns Hopkins University.

    Nationally, Jackson is a committee vice chair of the Edison Electric Institute. She sits on the regional board of the MD/DC Minority Supplier Development Council and the local boards of BB&T Bank and Alliance, Inc. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Rho Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

    Like many UMBC alumni, Jackson will return to her alma mater this week for UMBC's Homecoming/Family Day Celebration. The event, held October 20 through 24, is open to all members of the UMBC community. A complete schedule of events is available online at http://www.umbc.edu/StudentLink/homecoming/schedule.html.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 15, 2004

    Important Update: Flu Vaccine Available at UHS Until 11/4

    University Health Services (UHS) has revised its deadline for getting a flu vaccination at UHS, in order to free up vaccine sooner for other facilities that need vaccine for high risk individuals. If you are at high risk, as stated in the CDC guidelines, please call for an appointment at UHS to have your flu shot before November 4. (We had previously set November 15 as the deadline.)

    CDC GUIDELINES:

    Who should be vaccinated? The existing flu vaccine supplies should be given to protect people who are at greatest risk from serious complications from influenza disease.Everyone in this group should seek vaccination:
    *People 65 years of age or older
    *Children ages 6 months to 23 months
    *Adults and children 2 years of age and older with chronic lung or heart disorders including heart disease and asthma
    *Pregnant women
    *Adults and children 2 years of age and older with chronic metabolic diseases (including diabetes), kidney diseases, blood disorders (such as sickle cell anemia), or weakened immune systems, including persons with HIV/AIDS
    *Children and teenagers, 6 months to 18 years of age, who take aspirin daily
    *Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
    *Household members and out-of-home caregivers of infants under the age of 6 months
    (Children under the age of 6 months cannot be vaccinated.)
    *Healthcare workers who provide direct, hands-on care to patients

    Who should go without vaccination? Healthy people 2 to 64 years of age are asked to not get vaccinated this year at all or to wait to get their vaccine after persons in priority groups in their area have had a chance to be vaccinated, so that available vaccine can go to protect those at greater risk for flu complications.

    What about the nasal vaccine, FluMist ? FluMist , the nasal-spray flu vaccine, is an option for healthy individuals, ages 5 to 49 years of age, who are in contact with infants under 6 months of age or who are healthcare workers who provide direct patient care. FluMist is not recommended for healthcare workers taking care of severely immunocompromised people when they are in a protective environment and cannot be given to pregnant women.

    What else can you do to prevent the spread of flu? There are certain good health habits that can help prevent the spread of flu.*Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from other to protect them from getting sick too.
    *Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze--and dispose of the tissue afterward.
    *If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
    *Wash your hands after you cough or sneeze with soap and warm water, or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
    *If you get the flu, stay home from work or school. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

    What if you are in a high risk group and your clinic has no vaccine?
    Contact your local health department and ask your regular vaccine provider about other options for influenza vaccination. Health departments throughout the United States are trying to make sure that as many high-risk people as possible will eventually be able to go to either their regular vaccine provider or a flu shot clinic to get the vaccine. Some public vaccination clinics may also be posted at www.lungusa.org.

    Information provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.

    Posted by dwinds1

    WALKER AVENUE CLOSURE 10/16

    Walker Avenue is scheduled to be closed Saturday, October 16, between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Repairs and maintenance are necessary at the intersection of Walker Avenue and Hilltop Circle for safety concerns. The campus police will assist in re-directing traffic during this time. We regret any inconvenience caused from this road closure.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 14, 2004

    UMBC Trains Future Entrepreneurs

    The Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program (KEIP) introduces UMBC students to the challenges and rewards of becoming entrepreneurs through intensive internships.

    The Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program (KEIP) introduces UMBC students to the challenges and rewards of becoming entrepreneurs through intensive internships. UMBC's Shriver Center and the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship launched KEIP in the fall of 2002 with the goal of offering graduates and undergraduates a first-hand learning experience in entrepreneurship while providing companies with outstanding students at half the cost.

    Since its inception, KEIP has exposed 48 students to entrepreneurship through mentoring and internships in 28 start-up and emerging firms in Maryland. The types of industries include: 40 percent information technology, 21 percent health care consulting/manufacturing and 21 percent engineering firms. Students hail from many disciplines, including: information systems, history, economics, bioinformatics, graphic design, computer engineering, psychology, computer science, mathematics and mechanical engineering.

    The program is cost effective for participating companies, paying nearly 50% of the internship. Companies obtain access to a pool of pre-screened, high achieving UMBC students with an entrepreneurial interest. Organizations participating in the program's third year include: Absolute Quality Inc., Athena Environmental Sciences Inc., Carter International Concierge Inc., Cybergroup Inc., E-Global Interactive, Engenium Technologies Inc. and PCTechSource.

    AthenaES, a techcenter@UMBC incubator graduate, has utilized several UMBC student interns during its ten year history. Interns have been a great resource for the company and an excellent way of developing the talent that the company needs to continue its growth, says Sheldon Broedel, chief executive and science officer.

    AthenaES, which is developing a reagent tool that will allow researchers to monitor contamination levels in preparations of recombinant proteins, has taken on two Kauffman interns this year. A UMBC bioinformatics and computational biology major, Nabila Bashir-Bello, will learn the technical aspects of developing biotechnology-based products and will become acquainted with the process of commercialization. This is a fantastic opportunity, how many students get the chance to actually develop a product, says Bashir-Bello.

    AthenaES' second student, Melissa Taylor, is a UMBC graphic arts major. Taylor will help design marketing collateral for the company. It is very exciting working for a small company," she says. "I cannot believe the level of responsibility I have been given.

    Christine Routzahn, project director for KEIP, says, The Shriver Center and the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship are pleased with the program's results and are eager to move forward to implement our third year of the Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program. Given the vision of UMBC and the quality of our existing efforts, we have developed a model that will continue to impact our students and entrepreneurial firms in a positive way.

    UMBC encourages students to explore entrepreneurship at all levels. Students who break new ground in science and technology, push the envelope in the creative arts and provide solutions to society's problems can all become future entrepreneurs.

    For more information about KEIP visit www.umbc.edu/entrepreneurship.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 7, 2004

    New Executive Development Program Launches at Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC

    BALTIMORE - Executive education for senior living professionals is now offered at the new Erickson School of Aging Studies, established earlier this year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The executive development program is created in partnership with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC). The first course, "The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care," will take place on November 10-13, 2004.


    BALTIMORE - Executive education for senior living professionals is now offered at the new Erickson School of Aging Studies, established earlier this year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The executive development program is created in partnership with the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC). The first course, "The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care," will take place on November 10-13, 2004.

    The four-day course will analyze the strategy and underpinnings of seniors housing and care, including the drivers of success, real demographics of aging, cost of capital and the evolving marketplace. A major focus will be placed on the role of health care delivery within seniors housing, with attention devoted to the critical role of continuous quality improvement, performance measurement and the determinants of quality care, and resident/family satisfaction. The course will also explore the current legal, regulatory and public policy environments confronting seniors housing, and the challenges they pose for management.

    The course is being led by Brian Swinton, recently retired executive vice president of Sunrise Senior Living. Guest lecturers include John Erickson, chairman and CEO, Erickson, Dr. Charles Roadman, former president of the American Health Care Association and former surgeon general for the Air Force, Allen Lynch, partner, Nixon Peabody LLP, and Tony Mullen, NIC research director.

    The Erickson School of Aging Studies at UMBC was started through a $5 million commitment made by Mr. Erickson through The Erickson Foundation. His Baltimore-based company has 13 campuses in eight states that are home to approximately 15,000 middle-income people.

    In addition to the Erickson support, the school will seek matching funds from other external sources. Along with executive development, the school will eventually offer specialty degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels relating to senior care and aging.

    UMBC, an honors university, is a four-year, public research university that is home to leading experts on aging who are active in research, education and service in the field of gerontology. It is one of a handful of universities in the nation to offer the Ph.D. in Gerontology.

    NIC, a nonprofit organization, has been the leading source of business and financial information for the senior living industry since 1991. For the last five years, it has conducted executive development courses in operations, management, sales, marketing, development, finance and service quality for emerging industry leaders.

    The cost for "The Business and Strategy of Seniors Housing & Care" course is $2750 and space is limited. To register and for more information, visit www.umbc.edu/erickson or call UMBC at (410) 455-3361.

    Posted by dwinds1

    October 1, 2004

    Q & A with John Martello, Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Shriver Center, and President/CEO, UMBC Training Centers; and Kent Malwitz, Director of Business Development, UMBC Training Centers

    UMBC, a regional leader in workforce development, established UMBC Training Centers, LLC as its noncredit continuing education and industry training company, addressing critical regional employment priorities in areas such as information technology, biotechnology, engineering, professional development, business, and allied health. Insights spoke with the Centers' President/CEO and Director of Business Development--both UMBC alumni--about the Center's mission and campus partnerships.

    UMBC, a regional leader in workforce development, established UMBC Training Centers, LLC as its noncredit continuing education and industry training company, addressing critical regional employment priorities in areas such as information technology, biotechnology, engineering, professional development, business and allied health.

    UMBC Training Centers is currently settling into its new home at techcenter@umbc on the University's South Campus. Insights spoke with the Centers' President/CEO and Director of Business Development--both UMBC alumni--about the Center's mission and campus partnerships.

    What is the mission of the UMBC Training Centers?
    John Martello: Our mission is to provide high quality, reasonably priced training and certification to both individuals and organizations throughout the region and State. Our focus is non-credit short courses in information technology, biotechnology, engineering, professional development and business, as well as allied health.

    Across the nation, universities are being called on to demonstrate how their research and programs benefit the needs of our society. The Training Centers could be UMBC's results-oriented, private sector response to that call.

    Kent Malwitz: It's also important to point out that since we are a privately held company, that we are not part of the public subsidy that UMBC receives, so we aren't competing with the rest of the campus for funding.

    JM: Kent's point is critical. We receive funding through contracts and Training Centers tuition. Taxpayers aren't subsidizing the Training Centers.

    How does UMBC Training Centers respond to the needs of today's workforce?
    JM: We provide high quality, short-term, non-credit courses that are focused and outcomes-oriented. Our courses provide skilled training in areas of need. In addition to our outstanding faculty and an excellent facility, we offer affordable prices and convenient schedules.

    We attract a broad audience--since there are no entrance requirements (SAT, GRE) we cast a broader net. Our students can also learn more about UMBC, which might lead them to enroll in for-credit courses. The private sector platform also empowers us to move quickly and efficientlywhich is an appropriate way to be organized as a for-profit business.

    KM: Our courses are designed to meet the needs of working professionals. We can also customize courses for organizations to help them to achieve their specific organizational objectivesand training can be delivered at our facilities or we can go to them. It's very flexible.

    How many students are enrolled at UMBC Training Centers?
    JM: Annually, we have about 2,000 students, on- and off-site.

    Who are some of your clients? How do you work with clients?
    JM: Our clients include T. Rowe Price, the Social Security Administration, the FDA, Computer Science Corporation (CSC), the State of Maryland and CareFirst, among others.

    KM: We work with organizations to help them determine their professional development needs and to develop and deliver training programs that meet those needs. We also help them to promote Training Centers' programs to their staff.

    How do you plan to work with the UMBC community?
    JM: We hope to play a key role as training partner for faculty and staff.

    For example, this fallin partnership with UMBC's Human Resources department--we will begin offering short, two to three day courses in business communication, accounting for non-financial managers, supervision and leadership. Staff can use their tuition reimbursement benefitthey pay for courses up front and are reimbursed when they satisfactorily complete the course.

    We want to do a needs-assessment for the campus, and are very open to suggestions on how we can help train our outstanding staff. We are working closely with HR to target real needs and welcome any direct feedback from UMBC staff.

    Are UMBC students involved with UMBC Training Centers?
    JM: We offer test preparation--GRE, LSAT, licensing exams for engineers, among others--to help our students move on to the next level of their academic and professional careers. They can also complement their UMBC degree with additional training in one of our IT certification programs and become even more valuable in the marketplace.

    Students can also get hands-on experience through internships in marketing, Web site design, IT, etc. We currently have a UMBC visual arts major on board helping us with several online marketing initiatives. We'll be launching a new Web site this fall.

    For more information, visit the UMBC Training Centers Web site.

    Posted by dwinds1

    UMBC Students to Discuss Summer Internship Experiences

    Three UMBC undergraduates will discuss their recent summer internships with Baltimore-area news organizations at a panel discussion on internships October 6. Amy Segreti, Patrick Tyler and Grant Huang, who are also on the Retriever Weekly editorial staff, will speak at 1 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. The panel discussion is open to the public and all members of the UMBC community are welcome to attend.

    Three UMBC undergraduates will discuss their recent summer internships with Baltimore-area news organizations at a panel discussion on internships October 6. The three students, Amy Segreti, Patrick Tyler and Grant Huang, who are also on the editorial staff of UMBC's Retriever Weekly, will speak at 1 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

    The panel discussion is open to the public and all members of the UMBC community are welcome to attend.

    Segreti, a 21-year-old senior from Lakewood, New Jersey, is currently the features editor for the Retriever Weekly. During the past summer she interned at the Baltimore Sun as a reporter on the City Desk.

    Joining Segreti will be Patrick Tyler, a senior majoring in English and economics. During the previous summer months, Tyler interned for the Baltimore Sun at its Harford County bureau in his hometown of Bel Air where he covered news ranging from a mustard gas release at the nearby Aberdeen Proving Ground to murder trials. Tyler is the current news editor at the Retriever Weekly.

    Also working as an intern last summer was 20-year-old Grant Huang, a resident of Columbia and native of China.Huang, who previously worked for the Baltimore Sun on its City Desk in downtown Baltimore, was a reporter for the Baltimore Messenger, one of the Patuxent Publishing Company's weekly newspapers, part of a chain that covers much of Maryland. Huang, who is currently the assistant features editor at the Retriever Weekly, is a junior majoring in political science with a concentration in international relations.

    In summing up his summer internship experience, Huang observed: "Virtually everything I learned about journalism in the real world came from my internship experiences. My internships, one at a large metropolitan daily and one at a small community weekly, gave me a tremendous amount of firsthand experience about the career. I could see the real thing happening: from covering stories to observing office politics to talking casually with industry veterans, I felt thrilled to know that everything I was experiencing wasn't somehow prepared or simulated for my benefit. Myinternships allowed me to network with professional journalists, but more importantly they were the best opportunity I've had to sample that life and career choice without committing to it.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Employee of the Quarter Awards Announced

    The Human Resources Department has announced the Employee of the Quarter Awards.

    The Department of Human Resources has announced UMBC's Employee of the Quarter award recipients.

    Danita Eichenlaub, assistant director of the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), is the exempt Employee of the Quarter. Eichenlaub, who has been at UMBC for four years, is known for demonstrating outstanding leadership skills during the PeopleSoft implementation, while assisting two other UMBC NASA Centers, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center (GEST) and the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR). This year, she has taken on additional responsibilities since the passing of Sharon Davis, JCET's business manager.

    Gayle E. Chapman, assistant director of CASPR, says, Danita is knowledgeable, sensitive and helpful to the UMBC community at large and to those she supervises. After the unfortunate passing of Sharon Davis, Danita has been responsible for Sharon's work as well as her own. In addition, she is taking classes in a Ph.D. program at University of Maryland University College. Danita handles all of this daunting responsibility with grace.

    "Recognition and acknowledgement are strong motivators, so it was adelightful surprise to be selected for the Employee of the Quarter Award, says Eichenlaub. Being notified of the award during our monthly JCET Faculty meeting allowed me to share the moment with many of the people that I work so closely with at UMBC."

    Sylvia Wickham, administrative assistant II in the procurement office, is the non-exempt Employee of the Quarter. After 13 years as an administrative assistant at the University of Maryland Baltimore, Wickham began her UMBC career in 1998 as an administrative assistant to the Director of Capital Planning and the Assistant Vice President of Administrative Services. In September 2000, she became an administrative assistant in procurement, providing complex administrative and clerical support to both procurement and Management Advisory Services.

    Sylvia has outstanding people and customer service skills, says Ann Fusselbaugh, administrative assistant in procurement. She is very proficient in helping others. If she doesn't know the answer, she will know the best way to find the answer. She is a designated peer mentor' for the campus community and as such, she fields inquiries regarding technical difficulties. She is improving the functioning of the department and helping to keep the purchasing/receiving aspect of the PeopleSoft system running smoothly. Her professionalism is an asset to our department and to the UMBC campus community.

    Wickham says, "I try to do my job here at UMBC to the best of my ability. I never expected to receive this award. I am very appreciative and honored that my peers think so highly of me that they nominated me for this award."

    Each recipient will receive a check for $500, a personalized parking space, one day of administrative leave, a certificate, his/her name on the Employee of the Quarter plaque and an invitation to the annual luncheon for all the recipients.

    Human Resources offers special thanks to everyone that nominated an employee for the award. Previous nominations received will be eligible for consideration for one year from the date received. The next Employee of the Quarter recipients will be selected in December. Nomination forms and information may be found on the Human Resources Web site.

    Posted by dwinds1

    UMBC Celebrates!

    Mark your calendars for the Graduate School Welcoming Reception October 6.

    Take part as UMBC celebrates our growing graduate student community.

    The Human Resources department has granted release time for employees to take part in these events, and everyone is encouraged to attend. All campus offices will remain open and services should continue to be offered. Supervisors and staff are asked to work together to coordinate staffing.

    GRADUATE SCHOOL WELCOME RECEPTION
    Wednesday, October 6
    4:30-6 p.m. (Candidacy ceremony begins at 5 p.m.)
    U.C. Ballroom
    Take part as faculty, staff and continuing students welcome to campus all new master's and doctoral students and also recognize doctoral students who have attained candidacy status. All members of the UMBC community are invited to join President Hrabowski and Provost Johnson in the welcoming ceremony.

    Previous UMBC Celebrates! Events

    FALL OPENING MEETING
    Thursday, August 26
    8:30-10:30 a.m.
    U.C. Ballroom
    Take part as UMBC celebrates the start of the '04-'05 academic year. Join President Hrabowski and Provost Johnson at an opening meeting focused on what undergraduate and graduate students need to succeed, and programs on campus that support students in innovative ways. In addition, Vice President Mark Behm will present a special facilities update to help you navigate your way around renovated and relocated campus sites.

    FALL CONVOCATION
    Tuesday, August 31
    2-3 p.m.
    Retriever Activities Center
    Take part as we welcome our new students and kick off the academic year. President Hrabowski and Provost Johnson will deliver remarks and Presidential Teaching Professor, Dr. Alan Rosenthal (Modern Languages & Linguistics), will present the Keynote Address.

    PRESIDENTIAL FACULTY & STAFF AWARDS CEREMONY
    Wednesday, September 29
    1-2 p.m.
    U.C. Ballroom
    Take part in this new University event designed to honor the accomplishments of UMBC's Presidential Award recipients. President Hrabowski will present his State of the University Address to the campus community and acknowledge the special achievements of:

    Cynthia Hody, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science
    Presidential Teaching Professor

    James Grubb, Professor, History
    Presidential Research Professor

    Jack Suess, Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology
    Presidential Distinguished Staff Award
    Professional Staff

    Terry Aylsworth, Executive Administrative Assistant, College of Arts andSciences
    Presidential Distinguished Staff Award
    Non-Exempt Staff

    Posted by dwinds1

    September 8, 2004

    UMBC Changing Information Technology World One Girl at a Time

    On Tuesday, September 14, UMBC will formally welcome a new class of scholarship students from a program that has changed the lives and career directions of dozens of young women interested in information technology careers.

    On Tuesday, September 14, UMBC will formally welcome a new class of scholarship students from a program that has changed the lives and career directions of dozens of young women interested in information technology careers.

    The Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) Scholars program at UMBC is dedicated to reaching girls as early as middle school to help them resist gender stereotypes and peer pressure as they pursue computer technology-related college majors and career tracks.

    CWIT Scholars receive four-year scholarships and major in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or a related program at UMBC. The students are mentored by faculty and successful IT business professionals, and participate in programs and internships throughout their college years. Graduates of the CWIT Scholars Program are expected to take a leadership role in the IT field and to foster the continued growth of women in the industry.

    One of the new scholars is Lindsey Beaubien, of Gaithersburg, Md. Although she was accepted at Penn State and Virginia Tech, she says, "the only college I really considered attending was UMBC...I know that since I am in CWIT, there will always be somebody to turn to and ask for help."

    Candice Scarborough, a third-year CWIT scholar, will address the incoming class. She confirms Beaubien's expectations, stating, "CWIT is the reason I remain a computer science major. CWIT is the reason I am still in college." Another third-year scholar, Heidi Brueckner, adds, "Even though my parents encouraged, even expected, me to excel, it was difficult to feel comfortable without any other girls in my classes" at Montgomery Blair High School. "I never had a strong female role model in IT until I...met my CWIT mentor. Meeting women in the IT field has definitely encouraged me to continue my studies."

    The CWIT Scholars reception, to be held from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday evening in the Skylight Room of the UMBC Commons building, will also give the scholars and their families a chance to connect directly with corporate and government sponsors supporting CWIT's mission.

    During the reception, AT&T will present a check for $50,000, their latest in a series of ongoing gifts in support of the program.

    "Programs such as these help create confidence in women to help them achieve their potential in all professions, including the IT industry," said Jennifer Jones, Sales Vice-President, AT&T Business Services. "AT&T is delighted to make this important contribution to CWIT, providing invaluable support to the students and their families."

    Maryland State Delegate Jean Cryor (R- Montgomery County), President of the Women Legislators of Maryland and another CWIT supporter, will discuss her work to pass a recent bill that established the Taskforce on the Status of Women and IT in Maryland, the first of its kind in the nation.

    While recent studies show that female college students are gradually closing the tech gender gap, enrollment of women in college IT programs continues to decline. The CWIT Scholars Program at UMBC is designed to address this imbalance. The merit-based program is open to both women and men who support women's full involvement in information technology. The 11 entering students are the third and largest class of CWIT scholars to date.

    The Center for Women and Information Technology (www.umbc.edu/cwit/) established at UMBC in 1998, has a four-fold mission: to encourage more women and girls to study computer science and/or information systems and to pursue careers in IT; to enable all women and girls to use IT comfortably and knowledgeably; to assure that the richness and breadth of women's lives and concerns are fully represented and readily available on the Internet; and to foster research concerning the relationship between gender and IT.

    The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a distinguished research university with a deep commitment to the education of undergraduates. The University was recently named one of the nation's 12 "Hot Schools" by Kaplan/Newsweek's How to Get into College, and is one of only 151 U.S. institutions to be ranked as "Doctoral/Research Universities Extensive" by the Carnegie Foundation.

    AT&T (Corporate Sponsor). For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE "T") has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, internet and transaction-based voice and data services.

    Posted by dwinds1

    September 2, 2004

    From the CIO

    CIO Jack Suess provides the UMBC community with an update on changes and ongoing developments in technology.

    By Jack Suess, Chief Information Officer

    As we prepare to start another academic year I want to give you an update on changes you will see upon your return and also highlight ongoing developments. I am privileged to lead an organization that has a great staff and great leadership. While I have been focused primarily on PeopleSoft you will see that OIT continues to provide a quality technology infrastructure.

    One of the most visible changes faculty and students will see is that we have upgraded from Blackboard 5 to Blackboard 6. We continue to see increased usage with Blackboard and expect to have almost 500 courses utilizing it this fall (twice as many as 2 years ago). As part of this upgrade, OIT upgraded the hardware infrastructure that Blackboard utilizes and enhanced some of the software integration services we offer to the campus. For example, we are able to auto-create courses in Blackboard, auto-enroll students in the course, and provide options for integrating the Scantron exams into the Blackboard grade book. As we evolve Blackboard 6 you will see better integration with the UMBC portal and more services integrated into the Blackboard portal.

    A second initiative, though not as visible, is our work this past year focusing on enhancing IT security. As the risk of worms, viruses and hacking continues to increase we have had to rethink and reengineer the way we provide IT services. Our goal is to make sure you have a safe computing environment in which to work or perform scholarship. Some of these projects are driven by State audit requirements but many of these are also something we feel are necessary to ensure that you can safely use your computer. Over the spring and summer we have implemented the following initiatives:

    Installed a campus firewall to begin adding a layer of initial protection for many of the computers on campus (generally those on our Novell network) ;

    For windows machines using our Novell servers we have integrated those machines into a Microsoft System Management Domain. This allows OIT to install critical patches and updates on your machine as needed;

    We have made a major effort on enhancing security on the residential network. We developed a special CD that students can load that will install our virus protection and configure their machines to use OIT's Microsoft System Update Service (SUS) to keep them patched;

    We have added authentication to our campus wireless service to limit unauthorized access and also to allow us to identify machines with viruses or worms and work with that person to get the machine corrected;

    Finally, over the fall semester OIT will be launching a campaign to inform people about the dangers of spyware, provide tools and instructions for removing spyware, and work to make sure you can protect your privacy.

    A third initiative has been focusing on our mail processing infrastructure. Because of Spam and email-based viruses we have been seeing tremendous increases in mail volumes. It is not uncommon to see UMBC process over 1 million messages in a single day! In addition, with the use of attachments now common we see much larger mail messages on average. We have turned spam filtering on by default (level 4, which is a safe level with few false positives) for all users who are not currently using it, changed the mail box format to speed up message folder searching, and added more capability into our mail processing environment to support virus and Spam filtering. During the academic year we will be working on an initiative to raise all student and faculty disk quotas to a minimum of 100 megabytes.

    A fourth initiative is working to improve classroom technology. We have updated the projectors in lecture halls two and six, updated the laptop carts, brought two new classrooms online in Chemistry with integrated technology and added technology to three additional classrooms in Social Sciences. Our goal is to continue to make certain we can provide faculty with a quality classroom environment.

    Beyond these projects, our major work this academic year will be planning a replacement for the myUMBC portal. This portal was launched in 1999 and among the first in higher education; however, it is clear we need to move on. Today, portals are expected to provide much more customized content, have a finer granularity of roles and provide better integration with applications like PeopleSoft. Our intent is to work this fall and select a new portal technology to build upon. During the winter and spring we will integrate our existing content into this portal and launch the portal before next fall. OIT is working closely with the campus eMedia group on this project and will keep the campus informed as we go forward.

    Posted by dwinds1

    UMBC Awarded NSF Grant To Increase University Technology Commercialization

    UMBC has been awarded a $600,000 grant for Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs (ACTiVATE) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The ACTiVATE program will create a systematic model for increasing the commercialization of technology innovations from universities by training women entrepreneurs to create technology-based, start-up companies.

    UMBC has been awarded a $600,000 grant for Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs (ACTiVATE) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The ACTiVATE program will create a systematic model for increasing the commercialization of technology innovations from universities by training women entrepreneurs to create technology-based, start-up companies.

    The ACTiVATE program will provide an awareness of entrepreneurship for a significant number of women, who traditionally have been underrepresented among entrepreneurs, while also providing a model for commercializing innovations at universities and federal labs that can be used at other institutions across the country, says UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski.

    Although Maryland is a leader in R&D activity due to a high concentration of research universities and national research laboratories, a relatively low number of start-up companies are formed from university technology. According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development's 2002 Development Report Card, Maryland is ranked 32nd nationally in university spinouts.

    Increasing the availability of experienced entrepreneurs is critical to raising the number of technology-based start-up companies. Governor Ehrlich's Commission on the Development of Advanced Technology Business (the Pappas Commission) supports the need for more entrepreneurial development in the State. UMBC's ACTiVATE program will address these needs by introducing 90 mid-career women to the basics of entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. One of the Program's goals is to create six to nine new companies during the first three years.

    Women entrepreneurs are a vital part of Maryland's and America's economy. We are highly supportive of this joint effort to support women entrepreneurs and, at the same time, commercialize promising technologies from Maryland's research institutions, said Christopher C. Foster, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

    UMBC will partner with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) to identify appropriate technologies for the ACTiVATE program. The UMBC team includes the Office of Technology Development, techcenter@UMBC, Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT). In addition to commercializing technologies from UMBC, the ACTiVATE team will work with other Maryland institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Towson University and the University of Maryland School of Law

    The ACTiVATE program will partner with the public and private sectors to train entrepreneurs, with a focus on women, through a hands-on approach using university technologies, says Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. Marylanders benefit from the Program through job creation and increases in tax revenue.

    Private partners involved in the ACTiVATE program include Legg Mason Wood Walker, Constellation Energy, Grant Thornton, Venable LLP, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, New Markets Growth Fund, MGH Public Relations, The Eager Street Group, Darrah Tax Advisory Services, BioPlan Associates, Inc., Anthem Capital Management and American Express Tax & Business Services.

    -Tammi Thomas

    Posted by dwinds1

    August 30, 2004

    Tip Sheet: Homeland Security Research & Training Projects at UMBC

    As both the 2004 presidential election and the third anniversary of the 9-11 attacks grow nearer, homeland security remains a top priority for government and citizens. Whether they're working to train first responders, developing new technologies to detect dangers, or helping to map new threats and resources, UMBC researchers are partnering with state and federal agencies to improve homeland security in Maryland and across the U.S.

    As both the 2004 presidential election and the third anniversary of the 9-11 attacks grow nearer, homeland security remains a top priority for government and citizens. Whether they're working to train first responders, developing new technologies to detect dangers, or helping to map new threats and resources, UMBC researchers are partnering with state and federal agencies to improve homeland security in Maryland and across the U.S.

    1. Mapping the Unthinkable

    As first responders and homeland security officials prepare for the new threats and challengesof post-9-11 America, the need for a new type of map became clear. Recently, faculty, staffand student mapmakers in UMBC's Geography andEnvironmental Sciences department rose to the challenge as part of a project for theU.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The department's Cartography Lab, one of only a handful of such map production facilities atU.S. universities today, helped design new map symbols to depict the new threats and resources thatfirst responders and state and federal homeland security officials must be aware of whenlooking at the map of post-9-11 America.

    Contact: TomRabenhorst, Lecturer
    JoeSchool, Director of Cartographic Services Laboratory;
    UMBC Geography andEnvironmental Systems

    410-455-3845, tom.rabenhorst@umbc.edu /410-455-2900, school@umbc.edu.

    2. Online Training for First-Responders -- more than 16,000 reached sofar

    UMBC Emergency Health Services (EHS) participates in theU.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Disaster MedicalSystem (NDMS) by providing online training for first-responders. To date, UMBC EHShas used the Internet to train more than 16,000 physicians, nurses, paramedics, andlogistical staff in emergency preparedness and disaster-response and created over 130online courses through the NDMS program.

    Contact: Lori Riegert, Program Director, UMBC Emergency Health Services, 410-455-1741, riegert@umbc.edu.

    3. Finding the Face of Terror

    The emerging field of biometrics technology uses optical scanning among other technologiesto rapidly identify individuals based on biological traits such as fingerprints or facerecognition. Through an anti-bioterror grant from the National Institute of Standards &Technology (NIST), UMBC mathematics professor Andrew Rukhin islooking to improve biometric visual recognition of faces. Rukhin hopes to improve thealgorithms used in facial identification software that will be used in the near future byhomeland security officers at border crossings, transportation hubs, and other sensitivelocations.

    Contact: Andrew Rukhin, Professor, UMBC department of mathematics410-455-2408, rukhin@math.umbc.edu

    4. Replacing Fido with Fiber Optics

    Bradley Arnold, professorof Chemistry at UMBC, is working with Dr. George Murray of the Johns Hopkins AppliedPhysics Lab (APL), on an invention that may give a high-tech break to bomb-sniffing dogsin homeland security K-9 units. The duo is developing a hand-held, fiber-optic devicethat changes color based on the presence of explosives.

    "We hope our detector will beas sensitive as the bomb detecting dogs - plus you will not have to feed it and it never needs arest," says Arnold.

    Contact: Bradley Arnold, Assistant Professor, UMBC Chemistry Department
    410-455-2503 or barnold@umbc.edu

    5. On-Site Training of Emergency Workers

    Through a two-yearcontract with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, UMBC'sEmergency Health Services (EHS) department is training hospital staff membersacross the state of Maryland in disaster-preparedness skills and planning. The day-longtraining workshops cover both man-made disaster scenarios such as terrorist acts and naturaldisaster situations such as snow collapsing a building roof.

    Contact: Rick Bissell, Graduate Program Director, UMBC EHS410-455-3776 or bissell@umbc.edu

    Posted by dwinds1

    August 12, 2004

    New UMBC e-Government Program to Debut This Fall

    UMBC's departments of Public Policy and Information Systems will debut a new graduate certificate program in electronic government (e-government) this fall. The program is the first in the Baltimore/Washington area focused on skills needed to increase and improve online transactions and services offered by federal, state and local government to individuals and businesses.

    The University of Maryland, Baltimore County's (UMBC) departments of Public Policy and Information Systems will debut a new graduate certificate program in electronic government (e-gov) this fall. The program is the first in the Baltimore/Washington area focused on skills needed to increase and improve online transactions and services offered by federal, state and local government to individuals and businesses.

    Professors in the program include three of the nation's top e-gov experts:

    Pattee Fletcher, a professor in UMBC's Public Policy department, has extensive federal information technology (IT) experience, having worked for the General Accounting Office and consulted for the U.S. Treasury and Freddie Mac.

    Stephen Holden brought 16 years of federal government IT experience to UMBC's Information Systems department after helping to develop the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) e-file system. The increasingly popular program, which enables taxpayers to securely file and pay their taxes electronically, has made the IRS a pioneer in e-government at the federal level.

    Donald F. Norris, director of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research and a professor of Public Policy at UMBC, is a nationally known analyst, author and consultant on state and local government IT management. Norris and Fletcher are co-editors in chief of The International Journal of Electronic Government Research.

    According to Holden, the push towards e-government comes straight from the White House, a process started under Clinton/Gore and continuing in the Bush administration. "In his February 2002 budget, President Bush outlined a management agenda for making government more focused on citizens and results, which includes expanding electronic government," Holden says.

    The federal government has recognized the need for additional training in the area of e-government. A recent study by the CIO Council found that less than 5 percent of more than 19,000 federal IT workers have extensive knowledge in e-government. Private sector contractors supporting public agencies can also benefit from UMBC's graduate certificate and help to fill this knowledge gap.

    Holden notes that customer satisfaction ratings in the public sector lag far behind private industry when governments continue to use paper transactions. "The payoff for e-government is significant, because customer satisfaction ratings for e-gov rival, and in some cases, beat private sector standards," says Holden.

    The new certificate will bring management, policy and IT perspectives to a slate of courses aimed at mid-career professionals with technical or management backgrounds. The 15-credit program starts its first classes this fall semester.

    For more information on e-gov at UMBC, please call 410-455-2336, email egov@umbc.edu or visit http://www.umbc.edu/egov/.

    Posted by dwinds1

    August 5, 2004

    In the News

    Charles Brown, Athletics, in the Baltimore Sun
    Director of Athletics Charles Brown, the longest-tenured college athletic director in Maryland, was interviewed in the Baltimore Sun on August 22.

    Jack Suess, CIO, in the Washington Post
    Chief Information Officer Jack Suess is featured in a August 23 Washington Post article on the recent Microsoft Windows upgrade and its effects on campus technology.

    UMBC in Baltimore Magazine
    The September 2004 Baltimore magazine Fall Arts Preview, Baltimore icons are interviewed by up-and-comers in the arts. Brian Dannelly 97 interviews filmmaker John Waters, while music faculty Lafayette Gilchrist interviews pianist Leon Fleisher.

    The upcoming Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery exhibition, A Thousand Hounds, is featured in the magazine's exhibit section.

    Tim Brennan, Public Policy, in Alternet
    Tim Brennan, professor of public policy, was quoted in AlterNet on August 26. He discusses how, despite the Bush administration's refusal to sign the Kyoto climate change agreements, some forward-thinking companies are already voluntarily trading greenhouse emission credits in the Chicago Climate Exchange.

    UMBC Incubator Grad Cybergroup in the Baltimore Business Journal
    Baltimore IT firm Cybergroup, a recent graduate of the business incubator program at techcenter@UMBC, was featured in the Baltimore Business Journal on August 23. Cybergroup is putting its expertise to work for over a dozen startup companies located in the Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC), the homeland security incubator in Annapolis.

    Cleopatra Borel '02 Places 11th, Brings Home Diamond from Athens
    UMBC All American and former NCAA champion Cleopatra Borel, interdisciplinary studies '02, placed 11th in the women's shot put in the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Following the competition, former Retriever athlete Balvin Brown '02, Borel's longtime boyfriend, proposed. The story was featured in the Baltimore Sun on August 19. Registration is required to view the story.

    techcenter@UMBC Tenant in the Daily Record
    Aurora Analytics LLC was profiled in the Daily Record on August 16. The article is available to subscribers only.

    Melanie Smith '95 and Meyerhoff Scholarship Program in Baltimore Sun
    On August 8, Baltimore Sun education columnist Mike Bowler profiled Melanie Smith, biological sciences '95. The former Meyerhoff Scholar recently began a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, having graduated in the spring with combined medical and doctorate degrees from the UMB. Bowler's article also provided an historic perspective on the Meyerhoff Program while reinforcing UMBC as a leader in STEM areas and outreach to underrepresented minorities.

    Bill LaCourse, Chemistry, and the techcenter@UMBC's Aurora Analytics in The Jeffersonian
    Aurora Analytics, led by UMBC chemistry professor Bill LaCourse and Aris Kalivretenos was profiled in The Jeffersonian on August 11. Aurora Analytics is the first technology company UMBC has launched from techcenter@umbc.

    Christopher Hewitt, Sociology, on Fox 45 News
    Christopher Hewitt, professor of sociology and one of UMBC's resident terrorismexperts, was interviewed by Fox 45 TV News for a segment broadcastAugust 9. Hewitt commented on the reaction to the FBI raid of an Albany,NY, mosque as part of a sting operation and investigation.

    Anthony Johnson, Physics and CASPR, in Physics Today
    Anthony Johnson, professor of physics and director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research, was quoted in an article that appeared in the August 2004 issue of Physics Today. The article discusses the efforts of the Optical Society of America and the International Society for Optical Engineering to create educational programs for underrepresented middle school students.

    Tom Schaller, Political Science, on WYPR
    Assistant professor of political science Tom Schaller was on WYPR 88.1 FM's Marc Steiner Show on August 2 to discuss the upcoming presidential election.

    UMBC Company in Baltimore Business Journal
    Aurora Analytics, LLC, the first spinout of UMBC's Office of Technology Development, was the subject of a story in the Baltimore Business Journal on July 30. The company, headed by adjunct assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry Aris Kalivretenos and associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry William LaCourse, is developing test kits for seafood processors to check for spoiled fish-a technology that they believe can be made applicable for the poultry and meat industries as well.

    UMBC's New Systems Engineering Program in Baltimore Business Journal
    On August 6, the Baltimore Business Journal published an article on two new graduate programs in systems engineering which debut this fall through UMBC's Department of Professional Education & Training.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos

    President Hrabowski Speaks at NCSU Convocation
    President Freeman Hrabowski was a guest speaker at North Carolina State University's Convocation ceremony.

    Lou Cantori, Political Science, to Give Keynote Address
    Professor of Political Science Lou Cantrori was invited to give the keynote address to the fall faculty assembly at Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN) on September 18. The topic of the assembly is "Student Centered Teaching and Learning."

    Undergraduate Allison Buckley Wins Taking It Global Photo Contest
    UMBC junior Allison Buckley won TakingITGlobal Gallery's July photo contest. The gallery is one of the world's largest and most diverse online collections of youth artwork. Thousands of pieces of artwork have been submitted by youth from more than 50 countries. TakingITGlobal (TIG) is an international organization helping youth find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action to improve their local and global communities. It is the most popular online community for young people interested in connecting across cultures and making a difference, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. TIG also works with global partners--from UN agencies, to major companies, and especially youth organizations--in order to build the capacity of youth for development, support youth artistic and media expression, make education more engaging and involve young people in global decision-making.

    UMBC Alumna to Serve as Peace Corps Volunteer in East TimorEunice Eun Hae Ban, biological sciences and psychology '03, has been accepted into the Peace Corps. She will be departing for East Timor on August 13 to train and serve as a community development volunteer. Ban will focus on enhancing the development of community-based organizations while increasing participation of rural communities in their own development.

    "I've always had a strong desire and will to help others in need and help, somehow, to promote peace in our world today," says Ban. "The Peace Corps has found a very realistic and genuine approach to fulfill these dreams: integrating our lives by living and working with communities in developing countries."

    Ban joins the 107 UMBC graduates who have served in the Peace Corps since the agency was established in 1961. Today 10 UMBC alumni are working in places such as Niger, Ecuador, Kazakstan, Costa Rica and Madagascar.

    Lauren Traber '03 Named Assistant Women's Lacrosse Coach at UMBC
    A standout on the field during her four-year tenure for the Retrievers, Lauren Traber information systems '03, has been named assistant women's lacrosse coach at UMBC after serving as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2004 campaign.

    Traber tallied 83 goals and 105 points as a midfielder for UMBC. She recorded her best season in her senior year, tallying 35 goals, 42 points and 60 ground balls. She earned First Team All Northeast Conference honors in both 2002 and 2003 and served as one of the team's captains in both seasons.

    UMBC Student Honored by the Computing Research Association as an Outstanding Undergraduate
    UMBC undergraduate Katherine Hirsch received honorable mention in the Computing Research Association's tenth annual CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Awards competition, which recognizes undergraduate students who show outstanding research potential in an area of importance to computing research. The awards were presented on July 28 at the 2004 National Conference of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence in San Jose, California.

    The candidates, nominated by their departments, had to be majoring in computer science, computer engineering, or an equivalent program and possess outstanding research potential, academic talent and achievements. The 2004 awards were made possible by the generous support of Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs. Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs sponsor the awards in alternate years.

    Katherine will graduate from UMBC in December 2004 with a BS in computer science and a BA in imaging and digital arts with a concentration on animation. Her emphasis has been on the intersection of these two fields, encompassing computer graphics from two sides--the technical details of algorithms and current research, as well as the artistic aspect of the content. She has worked with Professors Mark Olano and Penny Rheingans in the CSEE Department and is a student fellow in the UMBC Imaging Research Center. In addition to her strong academic work in two majors, she has been very active with the Center for Women and Information Technology and is a varsity pole vaulter.

    CSEE Student Team Wins Second Place in Supply Chain Contest
    A team of three graduate students from the UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering developed a software agent that won second place in the finals of the 2004 Trading Agent Competition for Supply Chain Management held in New York City on July 22, 2004.

    Guang Huang, Yang Yu, and Xu Fei developed an agent that competed in a field of 30 entries implemented by teams from universities, research labs and companies from around the world. Each agent acted as a virtual computer manufacturer that interacted over the Internet with other software agents representing virtual suppliers of computer components and customers for the completed PCs.

    The agents participated in rounds in which they competed for customer orders and for procurement of a variety of components over a period of several months. Each day customers issued requests for quotes and selected from quotes submitted by the agents, based on delivery dates and prices. The agents are limited by the capacity of their simulated assembly lines and have to procure components from a set of eight suppliers. Four types of components are represented in the game: CPUs, motherboards, memory, and hard drives with several varieties of each type. Customer demand comes in the form of requests for quotes for different types of PCs, each requiring a different combination of components.

    The UMBC agent competed in a series of qualifying and seeding rounds during June and July and, based on its performance, was invited to participate in the final contest held at Columbia University as part of the Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems. The final showdown involved six agents that bought and sold for eight hours, simulating over eight years of business. The UMBC agent ended the contest with a simulated profit of over $120 million.

    Derek McElligott, Men's Soccer, Honored by College Soccer News
    UMBC senior forward Derek McElligott was recently named Third Team Pre-Season All America by College Soccer News.

    McElligott is a three-time First Team all conference standout and earned Second Team All South Atlantic region honors in his last two years. He enters the 2004 season with 38 career goals, already third on UMBC's all-time scoring list and within range of school record-holder Ray Ford's (1977-18) 51 career goals. McElligott needs just four goals to surpass current Baltimore Blast standout Giuliano Celenza (1999-2000) and become UMBC's Division I all-time leading scorer.

    In addition, UMBC was ranked #38 in the 2004 College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll. The Retrievers were among 20 teams cited as those "To Keep An Eye On" by the Web site.

    Posted by dwinds1

    August 3, 2004

    New UMBC Graduate Programs Developed to Meet Regional Workforce Need for Systems Engineers

    The Division of Professional Education and Training (DPET) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is responding to the staffing needs of regional high-tech industries by offering two graduate programs in Systems Engineering (SE) this fall.

    The Division of Professional Education and Training (DPET) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is responding to the staffing needs of regional high-tech industries by offering two graduate programs in Systems Engineering (SE) this fall.

    According to officials with Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Electronic Systems Sector -- headquartered close to UMBC near BWI Airport and a sponsor of the new programs -- the shortage of qualified systems engineers (SEs) is urgent and will grow over the next few years.

    "We need 90 to 100 more systems engineers than we currently have, and when you factor in program growth and retirements, Northrop Grumman and many other similar high-technology companies across the region and the nation will continue to face a long term shortage of such specialized technical talent," says Jim Armitage, vice president of Engineering at Northrop Grumman, who played a key role in founding the SE training at UMBC.

    The two new programs differ from traditional systems engineering training by offering curricula that is focused more on the technical (i.e., hands-on) side of the field instead of management. UMBC's DPET programs will offer both the masters of science in electrical engineering and the graduate certificate in systems engineering.

    Systems engineers typically work on large-scale projects in high-tech industries including aerospace, information technology, defense, transportation, space exploration, manufacturing and telecommunications.

    "There will be a heavy emphasis on problem solving, practical application, mentoring by experienced systems engineers and a teamwork approach," says Ted Foster, assistant dean of the college of engineering at UMBC and director of the new SE program.

    Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector will select 15 employees to start the first two UMBC classes this fall. Both courses will be taught in UMBC's new, state-of-the-art Information Technology and Engineering building located on UMBC's main campus.

    For more information, please visit http://www.csee.umbc.edu/se/ or call 410-455-1564.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 29, 2004

    In the News, 7/30/04

    UMBC in Baltimore Magazine's "Best of" Issue
    Two members of the UMBC community received kudos in Baltimore magazine's annual "Best of Baltimore" issue. Brian Dannelly, visual and performing arts '97, received best feature film debut for Saved! (p. 166, August 2004).

    The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist by Lafayette Gilchrist, instructor of music and director of UMBC's jazz ensemble, was named Baltimore's best jazz CD (p. 168, August 2004).

    Tom Schaller, Political Science, in the News
    Assistant Professor of Political Science Tom Schaller
    wrote an editorial that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 25. The editorial, which originally appeared in the Washington Post in April, discusses the possibility that November's presidential election could result in one candidate winning the popular vote and the other winning the election through the Electoral College. Free registration is required to view the article online.

    Schaller was also quoted in the Washington Post on July 28 in a story about the roles Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan are playing at this week's Democratic National Convention and their impact on a possible 2006 gubernatorial run.

    Dennis Coates, Economics, in the Business Journal of Kansas City
    Professor of Economics Dennis Coates was quoted in an article about the economic impact of professional sports teams on their surrounding cities and localities that appeared on July 16 in the Business Journal of Kansas City.

    Alumna Amanda Miracle, History, in the Baltimore Sun
    Alumna Amanda Miracle, history '02 and '04, was featured in the Baltimore Sun on July 25 in a story detailing her pursuit of the world endurance record for women for the longest continual row on a rowing machine. Miracle set the record of 25 hours and 170,425 meters in January.

    Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the Baltimore Sun
    Honors College Professor of Visual Arts Ellen Handler Spitz was quoted in an article about what the Cinderella fairy tale has to say about women and society that appeared July 25 in the Baltimore Sun.

    Thomas Blass, Psychology, in the Washington Post
    The Man Who Shocked the World (Basic Books, 2004), a biography of psychologist Stanley Milgram written by Professor of Psychology Thomas Blass, was reviewed by the Washington Post on July 25.

    Stephen Holden, Information Systems, in USA Today
    Assistant Professor of Information Systems Stephen Holden was quoted in an article on the latest methods used by government agencies to make secure online transactions that appeared on July 27 in USA Today.

    Lou Cantori, Political Science, in the Baltimore Sun
    Professor of Political Science Lou Cantori was quoted in an op-ed piece about the United States' policy options with Iran that appeared in the Baltimore Sun on July 25.

    Sheldon Caplis, Institutional Advancement, in the Baltimore Business Journal
    Vice President for Institutional Advancement Sheldon Caplis was quoted in a story about fundraising within USM institutions that appeared in the July 23-29 edition of the Baltimore Business Journal. The article is not available online.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos, 7/30/04

    UMBC's GEST Center Hosts GEWEX Executive Meeting
    The Global Water and Energy Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) held its annual Executive Level meeting at UMBC on July 21-22. GEWEX is the principal component of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) concerned with hydrometeorological aspects of the global climate system.

    In 2003, the UMBC Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Center was awarded a 3-year grant by NASA to host the International GEWEX Project Office (IGPO). The IGPO is responsible for planning and coordinating all international aspects of GEWEX research involving global observing systems (satellites and ground-based systems); theoretical and experimental physical process studies; land/atmosphere/ocean coupled modeling; and data assimilation and prediction. For further information about GEWEX, contact either Robert Schiffer or Rick Lawford at the GEST Center.

    Alumna Lana Khvalina Named America East Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year
    Lana Khvalina '04 was selected as the 2003-04 America East Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Khvalina, who was a member of UMBC's women's tennis team, was chosen from the 22 scholar-athletes in each of the America East conference's sports by a committee of athletics administrators and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives at America East institutions.

    Khvalina completed her bachelor's degree in political science in three years with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She was recently selected one of 174 student-athletes from the more than 360,000 student-athletes at NCAA Division I, II and III institutions to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She will apply that scholarship toward her first year at the College of William and Mary Law School.

    On the tennis court, she finished her singles career with a record of 62-20. The first two-time First Team Academic All-American in UMBC history, Khvalina twice earned all-conference honors and competed on teams that went to the NCAA Championships in 2002 and 2003.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 22, 2004

    Kudos, 7/23/04

    Dawn Bennett, Mechanical Engineering, Awarded Henry C. Welcome Fellowship
    Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dawn Bennett is one of ten faculty members from universities in Maryland awarded a 2004 Henry C. Welcome Fellowship Grant by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The Welcome Fellowship program is an incentive grant program designed to help institutions attract and maintain a diverse faculty. Awards are made to new, tenure-track or tenured, full-time minority faculty members nominated by their college president. The grants provide each fellow with $20,000 over a three-year period for research and education expenses.

    The fellowship honors the late Dr. Henry C. Welcome, a prominent Baltimore physician who served on the State Board of Higher Education, the predecessor of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Welcome was also active in politics and the civil rights movement with his wife, the late Senator Verda F. Welcome, the first black woman in the United States to be elected a state senator.

    UMBC Student-Athletes Named America East Conference Scholar-Athletes
    UMBC's Lana Khvalina and Adam Grossman were named America East Conference Scholar-Athletes for their respective sports.

    For Khvalina, the award was another in her celebrated career as one of UMBC's best-ever student-athletes. The tennis standout recently became UMBC's first-ever two-time First Team Academic All American after completing her undergraduate program with a 4.0 grade-point average in three years. The native of Rochester, New York also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which she will use to attend law school at the College of William & Mary in the fall. A political science major, Khvalina posted a 62-20 record on the court and participated in a pair of NCAA Tournaments for the Retrievers.

    Grossman earned the award for both indoor and outdoor men's track and field. The sophomore won the 55 meters and finished second in the 200 meters at the America East Indoor Track & Field Championships, and was having an excellent outdoor season until suffering an injury at the outdoor championships. The Pikesville (MD) High School graduate is majoring in environmental sciences.

    The America East Conference awards the honor in each of its 22 championship sports.

    UMBC to Host 2005 America East Swimming & Diving Championships
    UMBC has been selected as host to the 2005 America East Swimming & Diving Championships. With the opportunity comes UMBC's first chance to host an America East Championship in any sport since joining the league in 2003.

    The championships, which are scheduled for February 18-20, will be held in the UMBC Natatorium, an indoor facility that houses an eight-lane, 25-yard pool, separate diving well, and balcony seating for spectators. In past years, it has served host to numerous competitions, including the Northeast Conference Championships.

    At the three-day event, the UMBC men's swimming & diving team will look to defend their crown as America East champions, while winning their eighth straight league title overall. The Retriever women, who finished second to conference rival Northeastern in 2004, will vie for their first America East crown.

    Corris Davis and David Sanders, UMBC Classic Upward Bound, Participate in Workshop Panel
    Corris Davis, assistant director, and David Sanders, academic advisor/counselor of the UMBC Classic Upward Bound Program, participated as panelists at the Counselors of Color Workshop of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) on July 16.

    The panel, entitled, "Establishing Partnerships that Work: the Value of Non-Profit Organizations in Counseling and Recruitment of Diverse Populations," was designed to give counselors responsible for recruiting underserved populations insight into programs that help these populations with the college admissions process. Other members of the panel were Jessica Arkin, National Director of the Ventures Scholars Program, Alexandra Quinn of College Summit and Jimmy Tadlock of The College Bound Foundation.

    The UMBC Upward Bound Programs, a federally funded TRiO program hosted by UMBC, is designed to help low-income, first generation high school students gain the skills necessary to successfully matriculate to and graduate from post-secondary education. The program currently serves 70 students from the Baltimore metropolitan area. If you would like more information about the Upward Bound Program, please visit the office in Mathematics/Psychology Building, room 007, or call ext. 5-2700.

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News, 7/23/04

    Tom Schaller, Political Science, in the Gazette
    Assistant Professor of Political Science Tom Schaller was quoted in a story about Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan's early campaigning for the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nomination that appeared in the Gazette on July 16.

    Tom Cronin, Biological Sciences, in the New York Times
    Tom Cronin, professor of biological sciences, was quoted in an article about animal markings and color that appeared in the New York Times on July 20. Cronin's research on the visual systems of manta shrimp offers insight into how these shrimp perceive color. (Free registration required to view the article online.)

    techcenter@UMBC in the Baltimore Business Journal
    The Baltimore Business Journal ran a story on July 20 announcing techcenter@UMBC's newest tenant, AVIcode, Inc. AVIcode Inc., a privately held software products company, will become the fourth new company to move into the techcenter@UMBC incubator this year. AVIcode develops products to detect and report application faults in interconnected systems. The company was formerly based in Hartford, Connecticut.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 16, 2004

    In the News, 7/16/04

    Tom Schaller, Political Science, In the News
    Assistant Professor of Political Science Tom Schaller appeared on Maryland Public Television's "Direct Connection" on July 12. Schaller appeared on a panel with Baltimore Sun columnist Gregory Kane to discuss this year's presidential election. Also on July 12, he discussed the upcoming presidential election on WYPR 88.1 FM's "Marc Steiner Show."

    Schaller has also made several recent radio appearances to comment on the selection of John Edwards as vice president for the Democratic presidential ticket. These appearances have included: WEAA 88.9 FM's "Daybreak with Anthony McCarthy" on July 8; the nationally-syndicated "Tony Trupiano Show" on July 7; WBAL 1090 AM's "Chip Franklin Show" on July 9; and WBAL 1090 AM's "Bruce Elliott Show" on July 10.

    On July 2, Schaller appeared on WYPR's "Marc Steiner Show" to comment on the possible political implications of the war with Iraq.

    Constantine Vaporis, History, in Japanese Newspaper
    Constantine Vaporis, associate professor of history, authored an article that appeared on June 15 in Nikkei Shinbun, a Japanese national daily newspaper similar to the Wall Street Journal. The article is entitled "Lord's Procession, People's Show--Alternate Attendance as Theater." It briefly explains Vaporis' research on the annual processions of the feudal lords to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) during the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) from the perspective of political power and theater, as well as sites of competing production, with multiple levels of performance and audience.

    Vaporis has spent the last year in Kyoto, Japan as a visiting professor of research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

    UMBC Athletics in the Baltimore Sun
    UMBC Athletics made two appearances in the education supplement to the July 11 Baltimore Sun.

    UMBC athletic facilities and quotes from Gary Wohlstetter, associate athletic director for recreation and physical education, were featured in an article discussing the expanded facilities and athletic activities offered to students at Baltimore area colleges and universities.

    Geoff Rupert, assistant athletic director for recreation and intramurals, discussed his course on sports officiating in an article about unusual electives titled "Unexpected Courses Add Dimension to Learning."

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos, 7/16/04

    UMBC Artists Participate in Artscape
    UMBC's Center for Art and Visual Culture (CAVC) will be well-represented at Artscape this weekend. Symmes Gardner, director of the CAVC, and Renee van der Stelt, projects coordinator for the CAVC, both have artwork in exhibitions showing in conjunction with Artscape.

    Gardner's work is on display with the "Baltimore/Chicago Show," running now through July 31 at the Decker Gallery in the Station Building at the Maryland Institute College of Art and in "Our Perfect World", running through July 24 at Maryland Art Place.

    Van der Stelt's work will be on display in "Surplus: Buy the Square Foot," an exhibition showing at Area 405 through July 24 and in "achromatic/maximum-minimum," showing now through August 7 at the Villa Julie College Gallery.

    Members of the campus community who are participating in Artscape can send information about their work to insights@umbc.edu.

    Alyson Spurgas, Sociology and Anthropology, Given Award
    Alyson Spurgas, a master's degree student studying applied sociology, has been selected as the First Prize Winner of the 2004 Alpha Kappa Delta Graduate Student Paper Competition for her paper entitled "Body Image and Cultural Background." First prize includes $600 and a travel allowance of up to $600 to travel to this year's American Sociological Association meetings where she will be presented with a certificate. If she chooses, Spurgas can also submit her paper for publication in Alpha Kappa Delta's official journal, Sociological Inquiry.

    Judith Schneider, MLL, Participates in Panel
    Judith Schneider, professor and chair of the Department of Modern Languages & Linguistics, participated in a panel discussion about the documentary Terrorists in Retirement after its Baltimore premiere on July 14. This controversial documentary tells the story of French Resistance fighters in WWII--many of them illegal Jewish refugees-who assassinated Nazis and carried out incredibly dangerous assignments. The surviving fighters, now elderly men, recount their experiences as "terrorists". Others joining Schneider in the panel discussion following the movie were Edith Cord, French occupation survivor and Nicole Dombrowski, associate professor of history, Towson University. The event was presented by the Creative Alliance and The Jewish Museum of Maryland.

    CUERE Research Assistants Awarded EPA Grant
    CUERE research assistants and public policy Ph.D. candidates Steve Sharkey,Bernadette Hanlon, and Tom Vicino have been awarded a grant under U.S. EPA's P3 national student design competition. Their winning submission is entitled "Using An 'Impervious Permit' Allowance System to Reduce Impervious Surface Coverage for Environmental Sustainability".

    The EPA P3 Award program provides grants to teams of students to research, develop and design solutions to sustainability challenges. P3 highlights people, prosperity, and the planet--the three pillars of sustainability--as the next step beyond P2 or pollution prevention.

    The proposed design is an application of a permit allowance system to reduce impervious surface coverage of the landscape. The design would establish a "cap" on impervious surfaces on a per lot basis in watersheds of specific size. Similar to the acid rain "cap and trade" program, this policy design would allow land developers to trade "impervious surface credits" and would offer flexibility in how developers choose to reduce impervious surface coverage. This design applies market-based approaches to reduce pollution, making pervious surface a valued good. The product of this design will be a strategic manual for policymakers and practitioners interested in implementing the policy program.

    Faculty advisors for the design team are Claire Welty, director, Center forUrban Environmental Research and Education and professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Royce Hanson, professor of practice in public policy.

    Center for Art and Visual Culture Wins Awards
    UMBC's Center for Art and Visual Culture won two awards in the 2004 Museum Publication Design Competition, sponsored by the American Association of Museums. It won first prize in the books category for Paul Rand: Modernist Design and second prize in the scholarly journals category for Postmodernism: A Virtual Discussion. An article that appeared in the July/August edition of Museum News described both prize-winning publications as "creative and effective, easily competing with publications produced at higher budgets."

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News, 7/16/04

    Tom Schaller, Political Science, In the News
    Assistant Professor of Political Science Tom Schaller appeared on Maryland Public Television's "Direct Connection" on July 12. Schaller appeared on a panel with Baltimore Sun columnist Gregory Kane to discuss this year's presidential election. Also on July 12, he discussed the upcoming presidential election on WYPR 88.1 FM's "Marc Steiner Show."

    Schaller has also made several recent radio appearances to comment on the selection of John Edwards as vice president for the Democratic presidential ticket. These appearances have included: WEAA 88.9 FM's "Daybreak with Anthony McCarthy" on July 8; the nationally-syndicated "Tony Trupiano Show" on July 7; WBAL 1090 AM's "Chip Franklin Show" on July 9; and WBAL 1090 AM's "Bruce Elliott Show" on July 10.

    On July 2, Schaller appeared on WYPR's "Marc Steiner Show" to comment on the possible political implications of the war with Iraq.

    Constantine Vaporis, History, in Japanese Newspaper
    Constantine Vaporis, associate professor of history, authored an article that appeared on June 15 in Nikkei Shinbun, a Japanese national daily newspaper similar to the Wall Street Journal. The article is entitled "Lord's Procession, People's Show--Alternate Attendance as Theater." It briefly explains Vaporis' research on the annual processions of the feudal lords to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) during the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) from the perspective of political power and theater, as well as sites of competing production, with multiple levels of performance and audience.

    Vaporis has spent the last year in Kyoto, Japan as a visiting professor of research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

    UMBC Athletics in the Baltimore Sun
    UMBC Athletics made two appearances in the education supplement to the July 11 Baltimore Sun.

    UMBC athletic facilities and quotes from Gary Wohlstetter, associate athletic director for recreation and physical education, were featured in an article discussing the expanded facilities and athletic activities offered to students at Baltimore area colleges and universities.

    Geoff Rupert, assistant athletic director for recreation and intramurals, discussed his course on sports officiating in an article about unusual electives titled "Unexpected Courses Add Dimension to Learning."

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 15, 2004

    Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund to be Announced at Campuswide Memorial

    At a campuswide memorial for UMBC graduate student Jessica Soto Perez, the University will announce the establishment of the "Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund" and award Perez a posthumous master of science degree in chemical and biochemical engineering, with a conferral date of August 2004. The Perez memorial will be held Friday, July 16 at 3 p.m. in Lecture Hall III of the Administration Building at UMBC.

    At a campuswide memorial for UMBC graduate student Jessica Soto Perez, the University will announce the establishment of the "Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund" and award Perez a posthumous master of science degree in chemical and biochemical engineering, with a conferral date of August 2004.

    The Perez memorial will be held Friday, July 16 at 3 p.m. in Lecture Hall III of the Administration Building at UMBC. Perez was the victim of a fatal shooting on the edge of the campus June 29.

    An outstanding Ph.D. student and engaged member of the UMBC community, Perez was a peer mentor for PROMISE, one of many UMBC pacesetting initiatives to increase the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go on to careers in academia. (UMBC's partners in the NSF-funded PROMISE program are the University of Maryland Baltimore and the University of Maryland College Park.)

    Faculty and students say Perez embodied the spirit of PROMISE, as she hoped to return to the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-where she received her B.S. in chemical engineering-to teach and to encourage young people to consider careers in the sciences and engineering.

    Now, UMBC and the University of Puerto Rico are working to ensure that Perez's legacy lives on. The "Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund" will provide financial support for University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez students to study at UMBC's Graduate School.

    Tax-deductible contributions to the fund can be sent to: Kim Robinson, Director of Capital Campaigns and Stewardship, Office of Institutional Advancement, UMBC, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, Maryland 21250. Checks must be made to University of Maryland Foundation, Inc. Online contributions are also welcome at www.umbc.edu/giving. Please call 410-455-3700 for more information.

    UMBC is recognized nationally as a leader in producing diverse undergraduates who are well-prepared for graduate school and the workforce. The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program is a flagship of more than 10 programs-including PROMISE-targeted at strengthening the presence of underrepresented minorities in a variety of disciplines.

    # # #

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 13, 2004

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    Posted by dwinds1

    July 12, 2004

    Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund Announced at Campuswide Memorial

    At a recent campuswide memorial for UMBC graduate student Jessica Soto Perez, the University will announce the establishment of the "Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund" and awarded Perez a posthumous master of science degree in chemical and biochemical engineering, with a conferral date of August 2004.

    At a recent campuswide memorial for UMBC graduate student Jessica Soto Perez, the University announced the establishment of the "Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund" and awarded Perez a posthumous master of science degree in chemical and biochemical engineering, with a conferral date of August 2004. Perez was the victim of a fatal shooting on the edge of the campus June 29.

    An outstanding Ph.D. student and engaged member of the UMBC community, Perez was a peer mentor for PROMISE, one of many UMBC pacesetting initiatives to increase the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go on to careers in academia. (UMBC's partners in the NSF-funded PROMISE program are the University of Maryland Baltimore and the University of Maryland College Park.)

    Faculty and students say Perez embodied the spirit of PROMISE, as she hoped to return to the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez--where she received her B.S. in chemical engineering--to teach and to encourage young people to consider careers in the sciences and engineering.

    Now, UMBC and the University of Puerto Rico are working to ensure that Perez's legacy lives on. The "Jessica Soto Perez University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez-UMBC Graduate School Bridge Fund" will provide financial support for University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez students to study at UMBC's Graduate School.

    Tax-deductible contributions to the fund can be sent to:
    Kim Robinson, Director of Capital Campaigns and Stewardship
    Office of Institutional Advancement
    UMBC
    1000 Hilltop Circle
    Baltimore, Maryland 21250.

    Checks must be made to University of Maryland Foundation, Inc. Online contributions are also welcome at www.umbc.edu/giving. Please call 410-455-3700 for more information.

    UMBC is recognized nationally as a leader in producing diverse undergraduates who are well-prepared for graduate school and the workforce. The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program is a flagship of more than 10 programs--including PROMISE--targeted at strengthening the presence of underrepresented minorities in a variety of disciplines.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 9, 2004

    Kudos, 7/9/04

    Andrew Sears, Information Systems, Receives Award from IBM
    Dr. Andrew Sears, professor and chair of information systems, was selected to receive a 2004 IBM Faculty Award. This highly competitive award recognizes outstanding research programs of importance to IBM's industry. The accompanying $40,000 will be used to support research on accessibility, speech recognition and mobile computing.

    Center for History Education Awarded U.S. Department of Education Grant
    The Center for History Education--in partnership with Anne ArundelCounty Schools--has won a $994,000 "Teaching American History" grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will fund a three-year professional development program for AACPS teachers of American history. Supporting partners for this program include the Maryland State Archives and the Martha Ross Center for Oral History. This is the third such grant the CHE has won; the CHE's previous TAH grants were with the Baltimore County and Baltimore City Schools. The U.S. Department of Education awarded 122 grants under the FY 2004 TAH competition; the CHE grant was the only grant funded in Maryland. The full text of the grant abstract is available online.

    Devendra Mistry, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Awarded Professional Staff Senate Scholarship
    Devendra Mistry, an undergraduate majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, has been selected the winner of the 2003-2004 Professional Staff Senate (PSS) $500 Book Scholarship. Mistry has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping others by tutoring at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry's Chemistry Tutorial Center. In addition, he has worked at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology as a student assistant, as well as a research assistant at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    115 UMBC Student-Athletes Named to America East Academic Honor Roll
    115 UMBC student-athletes were among the 1,114 student athletes named to the 2003-2004 America East Winter/Spring Academic Honor Roll. The honor roll recognizes students who earned GPAs of 3.0 or higher while competing during the last athletic season. In addition, 49 UMBC student-athletes were named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll, which recognizes athletes who earned a 3.5 or higher GPA during the last athletic season.

    With 13 student-athletes named to the Academic Honor Roll, UMBC's women's lacrosse team led all women's lacrosse teams in the America East Conference.

    The following students were named to the America East Winter/Spring Academic Honor Roll. Asterisks note students named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll as well.

    Baseball
    Chris Becraft*, Matthew Buchholz, Dan Carpenter, Jonathan Gossard*, Jerry Long, Michael Orlando, Bryan Owens*, John Saffran

    Men's Basketball
    Seth Davis, Jerrell Dinkins, Andrew Feeley, Robert Gogerty

    Women's Basketball
    Anastasia Goncharova, Heather Luttrell, Matea Pender*, Tyecia Powell*, Erin Voss*

    Men's Lacrosse
    Franklin Berry*, Jeff Clark, David Coker, Brooks Fisher*, Andrew Gallagher, Joseph Gallagher, James Hyland, Brian Johnson*, Kelvin Moulden, Patrick Muston, Luke Powell, Drew Westervelt

    Women's Lacrosse
    Jennifer Dragoni, Kelly Fahey, Kelly Fiorani*, Anna Jacobs*, Jennifer Kasper, Heather Licht*, Erin Lynn, Traci McClintic*, Megan Mullins*, Christina Raab, Kelly Reese*, Emily Sawyer*, Ashley Wilson

    Softball
    Heather Bennett*, Sarah Crowell, Jessica Keenan*, Lauren Nicholson, Kristie Pickeral, Amy Sadowl, Jen San Filippo*, Jessica Taylor, Kristian Troster*

    Men's Swimming and Diving
    Adam Blais, Carlos Canepa*, Ian Carey*, Timothy Conway*, Brad Green, Brian Jaeggi*, Nicolas Lombo*, John Saums, Geza Szabo*, Patrick Woodward

    Women's Swimming and Diving
    Stehpanie Alexander, Elizabeth Bigelow-Rubin*, Casey Conner*, Amber Harris, Katrin Harrsen*, Cara Linehan, Elizabeth Maldin*, Amy Mensch*, Kristen Moorby*, Amanda Otis*, Lindsey Prather*, Peggy Preston, Jessica Prosen, Astrid Sperling, Katherine Spohnholz, Holly Wittsack

    Men's Tennis
    Luis Baraldi*,Djan Gusmao, Mehrban Iranshad*, Mikhail Kouznetsov, Josef Novotny, James Tyler

    Women's Tennis
    Tia Kaasalainen*, Svetlana Khvalina*, Aimee Lim*, Sarah Mostellar*, Alessandra Pedergnana, Anne Perez

    Men's Track and Field
    Michael Caputi, Ryan Cartwright, John Commins, Nicholas Demianovich, Jonathan Desi*, Adam Driscoll, Adam Grossman*, Kevin Hurley, Issac Mathews*, James Simms, Aaron Smith, Edward Warner*, John Wetzel

    Women's Track and Field
    Crystal Barkley*, Yasmin Fields, Kathleen Galan, Pamela Hobbs, Alesia Hovatter, Anita Lawver*, Morgan Little*, Chiagoze Obionwu, Desiree Tubb, Francine Ward, Cara Wettlaufer*, Dellisa Williams*, Jenelle Wilson

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News, 7/9/04

    techcenter@UMBC and bwtech@UMBC in the Business Monthly
    An article on UMBC's role in technology development through the techcenter@UMBC business incubator and the bwtech@UMBC research park is featured in the July edition of the Business Monthly.

    Don Norris, Public Policy and MIPAR, on WJZ News
    Don Norris, professor of public policy and director of MIPAR, appeared on WJZ's evening news on July 1 to discuss the harmful effects of personal attacks on political debate.

    Computer Mania Day, CWIT in the Business Monthly
    Computer Mania Day and its founder, Howard County business leader Shirley Collier, were featured in a story in the July edition of the Business Monthly. UMBC's Center for Women and Information Technology has administered Computer Mania Day, a program designed to encourage girls to study information technology, since 2002; Collier is also on CWIT's External Advisory Board.

    UMBC in The Gazette
    A proposed new partnership between UMBC and Wheaton High School in Montgomery County was featured in the July 7 edition of The Gazette. The new partnership would create a pre-college academy for the students of Wheaton High, offering additional assistance to first-generation college students and underrepresented minorities, as well as offering courses to complement a new high-tech curriculum to be offered at Wheaton beginning this fall.

    Lorie Logan-Bennett, Career Development Center, in the Business Monthly
    Lorie Logan-Bennett, interim associate director of the Career Development Center, wrote an article about job prospects for 2004 college graduates for the July edition of the Business Monthly.

    Thomas Blass, Psychology, in the San Francisco Chronicle
    On July 4, San Francisco Chronicle reviewed The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (Basic Books, 2004) written by Professor of Psychology Thomas Blass.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 8, 2004

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    Posted by dwinds1

    July 7, 2004

    Lana Khvalina '04 is First UMBC Student-athlete to Receive NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

    UMBC tennis standout Lana Khvalina '04 has become the first student-athlete in school history to receive a scholarship from the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee. Khvalina, who will utilize the $7,500 award to attend law school at the College of William & Mary this fall, is one of 174 NCAA student-athletes to receive the scholarship in the 2003-04 academic year.

    A month ago, the Rochester, New York native Khvalina became the first student-athlete in school history to earn First Team Academic All American honors in back-to-back years. Another tennis player, Oscar Lopez, earned First Team honors in 1998-99 and Second Team honors in 1999-2000.

    Khvalina earned her undergraduate degree in three years with a 4.0 GPA in political science and was the University's salutatorian this spring. On the tennis court, she finished her singles career with a record of 62-20 and reached the "B" flight singles final the the Old Point National Bank ITA Invitational last fall. A state finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, the two-time All Conference honoree competed on two squads which went to the NCAA Championships (2002, 2003).

    She also recently earned a 2004 post-graduate scholarship from the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

    Khvalina is just one of many outstanding student-athletes at UMBC. The Retrievers broke four school records in the classroom for the spring 2004 semester.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 2, 2004

    UMBC Athletics Grieves for Passing of Tom Rider, Former Coach, Administrator and Teacher

    Tom Rider, 63, a former UMBC Head Coach of several sports and an administrator, passed away after a lengthy illness on Sunday, June 27. Rider, who coached UMBC's first baseball and soccer teams, was associated with UMBC Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation since the early days of the university until 2003.

    To read the full tribute to Tom, please visit the UMBC Athletics web site at:http://www.umbcretrievers.com/sports/news/release.asp?RELEASE_ID=1454.

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News: 7/2/2004

    UMBC in Maryland Family Magazine

    UMBC is featured in the July edition of Patuxent Publishing's Maryland Family magazine.

    Rebecca Boehling, History, on WAMU 88.5 FM

    Rebecca Boehling, associate professor and graduate program director in the department of history, was a guest on the Monday, June 28 broadcast of Washington, DC, National Public Radio affiliate WAMU 88.1 FM's "Kojo Nnamdi Show." Boehling spoke about lessons learned from the Post-World-War-II American occupation of Germany and comparisons with the current occupation of Iraq.

    Donald Norris, MIPAR and Public Policy, In the News

    Donald Norris, professor of public policy and director of MIPAR, was quoted in June 27 article in the Baltimore Sun discussing the political impact of tax increases in Baltimore City.

    Norris was also quoted in The Sun on June 28 in an article about John Kerry's recent campaign visit to Baltimore.

    The Washington Post quoted Norris in a story that appeared on June 27 about the Ehrlich administration's new public relations efforts.

    Posted by dwinds1

    July 1, 2004

    Kudos: 7/2/2004

    UMBC to be Represented in Maryland Arts Festival Production

    UMBC connections run high in the upcoming production of Cabaret, which is headlining the Maryland Arts Festival in the Stephens Hall Theatre on the campus of Towson University.

    Michael Stebbins (UMBC student 1986-89, adjunct faculty from 1995-1997 in UMBC's theatre and music departments and actor for several seasons with the UMBC-based Maryland Stage Company) is appearing as the Emcee.

    The set for Cabaret was built in the theatre shop at UMBC, as much of TowsonUniversity's arts departments are under construction. Greg Schraven, technical director of UMBC's Theatre, is overseeing the construction of the set. Gary Hiel, a UMBC student majoring in ancient studies is directing the production.

    Show dates/times are:

    Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10 @ 8 pm
    Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17 @ 8 pm
    Sunday, July 18 @ 2 pm
    Thursday - Saturday, July 22 - 24 @ 8 pm

    For ticket info call 410-704-2787 or log on to www.new.towson.edu/maf.

    Posted by dwinds1

    UMBC Community Mourns the Loss of Graduate Student Jessica Soto Perez

    The UMBC administration, faculty and staff are grieving for the tragic loss of student Jessica Soto Perez. Ms. Perez, an outstanding, 26-year-old Ph.D. student in the department of chemical & biochemical engineering, was the victim of a fatal shooting on the edge of the UMBC campus early in the evening on Tuesday, June 29.

    The Baltimore County Police department has determined that the tragedy was an isolated domestic incident. There is no threat to the campus or campus community as a whole.

    Ms. Perez earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez prior to coming to UMBC. An active and engaged member of the UMBC community, Ms. Perez was a graduate teaching assistant in the department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and served as a peer mentor and counselor to other graduate and undergraduate students. She also served as a senator in the graduate student association.

    "Our Jessica was dear to all of us and this will be hard to deal with," said Govind Rao, chair of chemical and biochemical engineering. "While every such tragedy is senseless, hers seems particularly more so, given her absolutely positive and life-embracing spirit. While this is hard for us, it is even more important to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers, as it must be far worse for them."

    Perez was one of the first peer mentors for PROMISE, an alliance of the three public research universities in Maryland, led by UMBC and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF.) PROMISE is dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go on to academic careers.

    According to a tribute to Perez on the PROMISE website, "Jessica was a light to all who knew her. She always had a smile, a word of encouragement, a wink, or a laugh. She shared her passion for life. She loved her family and her friends. She loved PROMISE, her lab, the people in the TRC building, her department (Chemical and BioChemical Engineering), and her schools (UMBC and the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez). We will miss her!"

    University Counseling Services (410-455-2473 or ext. 5-2474) has trained counselors available to lend support to students, faculty and staff who knew Ms. Perez or who are otherwise affected by this incident. University Counseling Services hours are Monday Friday, from 8:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m. No appointments are needed.

    Funeral and/or memorial arrangements will be announced to the campus community as soon as the information becomes available.

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News: 7/2/2004

    UMBC in Maryland Family Magazine

    UMBC is featured in the July edition of Patuxent Publishing's Maryland Family magazine.

    Donald Norris, MIPAR and Public Policy, In the News

    Donald Norris, professor of public policy and director of MIPAR, was quoted in June 27 article in the Baltimore Sun discussing the political impact of tax increases in Baltimore City.

    Norris was also quoted in The Sun on June 28 in an article about John Kerry's recent campaign visit to Baltimore.

    The Washington Post quoted Norris in a story that appeared on June 27 about the Ehrlich administration's new public relations efforts.

    Posted by dwinds1

    UMBC Community Mourns the Loss of Graduate Student Jessica Soto Perez

    The UMBC administration, faculty and staff are grieving for the tragic loss of student Jessica Soto Perez. Ms. Perez, an outstanding, 26-year-old Ph.D. student in the department of chemical & biochemical engineering, was the victim of a fatal shooting on the outer edge of the UMBC campus early in the evening on Tuesday, June 29.

    The Baltimore County Police department has determined that the tragedy was an isolated domestic incident. There is no threat to the campus or campus community as a whole.

    Ms. Perez earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez prior to coming to UMBC. An active and engaged member of the UMBC community, Ms. Perez was a graduate teaching assistant in the department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and served as a peer mentor and counselor to other graduate and undergraduate students. She also served as a senator in the graduate student association.

    "Our Jessica was dear to all of us and this will be hard to deal with," said Govind Rao, chair of chemical and biochemical engineering. "While every such tragedy is senseless, hers seems particularly more so, given her absolutely positive and life-embracing spirit. While this is hard for us, it is even more important to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers, as it must be far worse for them."

    Perez was one of the first peer mentors for PROMISE, an alliance of the three public research universities in Maryland, led by UMBC and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF.) PROMISE is dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go on to academic careers.

    According to a tribute to Perez on the PROMISE website, "Jessica was a light to all who knew her. She always had a smile, a word of encouragement, a wink, or a laugh. She shared her passion for life. She loved her family and her friends. She loved PROMISE, her lab, the people in the TRC building, her department (Chemical and BioChemical Engineering), and her schools (UMBC and the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez). We will miss her!"

    University Counseling Services (410-455-2473 or ext. 5-2474) has trained counselors available to lend support to students, faculty and staff who knew Ms. Perez or who are otherwise affected by this incident. University Counseling Services hours are Monday Friday, from 8:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m. No appointments are needed.

    Funeral and/or memorial arrangements will be announced to the campus community as soon as the information becomes available.

    Posted by dwinds1

    June 25, 2004

    In the News, 6/25/04

    Thomas Blass, Psychology, in American Scientist

    The July-August 2004 issue of American Scientist contained a review of professor of psychology Thomas Blass's "The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram" (Basic Books, 2004).Lou Cantori, Political Science, on WYPR

    Lou Cantori, professor of political science, was a guest on 88.1 WYPR's "Marc Steiner Show" on June 21 as part of a panel discussion about the current situation in Iraq.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos 6/25/2004

    UMBC Student-Athletes Break School Academic Records in Spring 2004

    UMBC's student-athletes broke four school records in the classroom for the Spring 2004 semester.208 of UMBC's 393 student-athletes earned 3.00 grade-point averages or higher, for a record of 52.9 percent of student-athletes with 3.00 or higher GPAs for the Spring 2004 semester.

    The combined athletic team grade-point average was 2.92.

    The combined overall team (to include the support teams of student trainers, pep band, dance team, and tumbling team) grade point average was 2.94.

    A record 12 athletic and support teams, Volleyball, Men's Tennis, Field Hockey, Women's Swimming & Diving, Pep Band, Tumbling Team, Women's Basketball, Women's Soccer, Women's Lacrosse, Women's Tennis, Student-Trainers, and Women's Track & Field, earned 3.00 or higher semester grade-point averages.

    Moreover, 91 student-athletes (23.1 percent) earned semester honors (3.50 GPA or higher) and 23 Retrievers produced perfect 4.00 semesters.

    Judit Pap, GEST Center, Publishes New Book

    Judit Pap, senior research scientist with the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, is the lead editor of a new monograph published by the American Geophysical Union entitled "Solar Variability and Its Effects on Climate."

    An interview with Pap on the subject of solar variability and climate change is forthcoming in the journal EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos 6/25/04

    UMBC Student-Athletes Break School Academic Records in Spring 2004

    UMBC's student-athletes broke four school records in the classroom for the Spring 2004 semester.208 of UMBC's 393 student-athletes earned 3.00 grade-point averages or higher, for a record of 52.9 percent of student-athletes with 3.00 or higher GPAs for the Spring 2004 semester.

    The combined athletic team grade-point average was 2.92.

    The combined overall team (to include the support teams of student trainers, pep band, dance team, and tumbling team) grade point average was 2.94.

    A record 12 athletic and support teams, Volleyball, Men's Tennis, Field Hockey, Women's Swimming & Diving, Pep Band, Tumbling Team, Women's Basketball, Women's Soccer, Women's Lacrosse, Women's Tennis, Student-Trainers, and Women's Track & Field, earned 3.00 or higher semester grade-point averages.

    Moreover, 91 student-athletes (23.1 percent) earned semester honors (3.50 GPA or higher) and 23 Retrievers produced perfect 4.00 semesters.

    Judit Pap, GEST Center, Publishes New Book

    Judit Pap, senior research scientist with the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, is the lead editor of a new monograph published by the American Geophysical Union entitled "Solar Variability and Its Effects on Climate."

    An interview with Pap on the subject of solar variability and climate change is forthcoming in the journal EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News 6/25/2004

    Thomas Blass, Psychology, in American Scientist

    The July-August 2004 issue of American Scientist contained a review of professor of psychology Thomas Blass's "The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram" (Basic Books, 2004).

    Lou Cantori, Political Science, on WYPR

    Lou Cantori, professor of political science, was a guest on 88.1 WYPR's "Marc Steiner Show" on June 21 as part of a panel discussion about the current situation in Iraq.

    Posted by dwinds1

    June 18, 2004

    Kudos, 6/18/04

    UMBC's BD Metrics Takes State's Top Honor for New Incubator Firms
    BD Metrics Inc., a technology startup located at UMBC, was named the Best New Incubator Company at Maryland Business Incubation Association's fourth annual awards, the statewide group announced Thursday. The awards, presented at the Center Club in Baltimore City, recognized the achievements of six current and graduate companies based on each company's goals and success in achieving its objectives.

    Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Biological Sciences, Elected to Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars
    Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor of biological sciences, has been elected to The Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. Ostrand-Rosenberg, a former postdoctorial fellow at Hopkins, and 14 other scientists and clinicians were honored during the society's 35th induction ceremony on May 19 and again at the university's commencement ceremony the following day.

    The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of former Hopkins president Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the university board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society--the first of its kind in the nation--inducts former postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social, or engineering sciences or in the humanities. The Committee of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars elects the scholars from among nominations made by Johns Hopkins faculty members. The society now has 460 members.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos, 6/18/04

    UMBC's BD Metrics Takes State's Top Honor for New Incubator Firms
    BD Metrics Inc., a technology startup located at UMBC, was named the Best New Incubator Company at Maryland Business Incubation Association's fourth annual awards, the statewide group announced Thursday. The awards, presented at the Center Club in Baltimore City, recognized the achievements of six current and graduate companies based on each company's goals and success in achieving its objectives.

    Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Biological Sciences, Elected to Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars
    Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor of biological sciences, has been elected to The Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. Ostrand-Rosenberg, a former postdoctorial fellow at Hopkins, and 14 other scientists and clinicians were honored during the society's 35th induction ceremony on May 19 and again at the university's commencement ceremony the following day.

    The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of former Hopkins president Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the university board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society--the first of its kind in the nation--inducts former postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social, or engineering sciences or in the humanities. The Committee of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars elects the scholars from among nominations made by Johns Hopkins faculty members. The society now has 460 members.

    Posted by dwinds1

    June 17, 2004

    2004 Legislative Session Ends with Modest Budget Increases for the University System

    While the 2004 legislative session featured much debate about the relationship between State funding and access to high quality public education, a modest increase in State funds has been approved for the University System of Maryland for FY 2005. Governor Ehrlich also announced that his administration is using its best efforts to provide additional operating and capital support to USM in FY 2006.

    While the 2004 legislative session featured much debate about the relationship between State funding and access to high quality public education, a modest increase in State funds has been approved for the University System of Maryland for FY 2005. Governor Ehrlich also announced that his administration is using its best efforts to provide additional operating and capital support to USM in FY 2006.

    Session outcomes

    The Governor included funds in the State operating budget for a $752 flat-rate COLA for employees, while the General Assembly approved a 2.5 percent merit raise, which each State agency must "self-fund." (Click here to read details in President Hrabowski's recent budget update).

    One of the most high profile bills during the session, The Higher Education Affordability and Access Act (SB770/HB1188), was vetoed by the Governor. The bill would have limited tuition increases for resident undergraduates to 5 percent, and required the Governor to include an increase in funding for higher education in his annual budgets.

    Despite the bill's veto and the State's continuing budget deficit, the 2004 session ended with Governor Ehrlich, legislators and USM committing to work together to provide students affordable access to a quality education, and to meet the demands that come with a projected increase in statewide college enrollments.

    Voices for UMBC heard throughout session

    The UMBC community was a significant voice in Annapolis during the Session, demonstrating a commitment to excellence in public education. Letters and calls to representatives and local papers, as well as testimony before special legislative committees, were just a few of the ways that UMBC students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends demonstrated their commitment to the University and its students.

    The UMBC Legislative Reception hosted by the Alumni Association in February was a tremendous success. In spite of very late bill hearing schedules and multiple events on the calendar, attendance by legislators and State agency representatives was excellent. Students, faculty and staff spoke with elected officials on the importance of higher education in Maryland and the need for continued support of UMBC. UMBC advocacy groups, including the President's Advisory Council, Board of Visitors and Alumni Board and Association members, provided an equally important perspective on the importance to business of maintaining quality higher education for Marylanders.

    UMBC students were particularly active in Annapolis during the Session. Several students worked hard to energize the campus student community on significant issues, including tuition concerns. They created a strong campus advocacy group, SPIN@UMBC, whose members identified, contacted and visited with legislative leaders working on higher education issues. They attended budget proceedings and bill hearings and testified before Senate and House Committees. "The University was well represented by these student activists who got their message across while earning the respect of elected officials throughout the legislature," says Joan Kennedy Cody, UMBC's director of community and government relations.

    Strengthening USM and the State of Maryland

    Other important bills that will strengthen the University System and the Maryland workforce were passed during the 2004 session. The General Assembly passed legislation -- which Governor Ehrlich signed into law -- that assures the autonomy of the University System and its institutions and reduces the steps involved in working with the Department of Budget and Management and other State agencies.

    The legislation specifically states that the authority of the USM Board of Regents may not be superseded by any other State agency or office in managing the affairs of the USM or of any constituent institutions. The USM will retain independence in areas of governance including position control, development of policies, guidelines and plans, but will submit an annual report to the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Legislative Services and the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

    "This legislation is particularly important during challenging budgetary times," explains Cody. "With the USM retaining autonomy and independence, the institutions can work better and more creatively with what we are given."

    Lawmakers also adopted legislation which changes the procedures governing the approval of new programs offered at USM institutions. "The process for program development between USM and the Maryland Higher Education Commission will be more streamlined, so we can continue to create and offer programs that will prepare graduates to work in areas of greatest demand in the state," says Cody.

    UMBC's Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), led by Director Claudia Morrell, was instrumental in the creation and successful passage of a bill establishing the Task Force on the Status of Women and Information Technology to address women's under-representation in information technology. Morrell and CWIT worked closely with bill sponsors to establish the purpose, membership and staffing necessary to prepare a comprehensive report to the Maryland General Assembly.

    The Task Force will present an annual report on its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before October 1 of each year, beginning on October 1, 2004, for a five-year period.

    What's Next?

    Although the 2004 session is over, it is important that the UMBC community continue its commitment to advocacy. "It is clear that our students and their families appreciate the first-rate education available at UMBC and that they want it to remain affordable," notes Cody. "We appreciate the UMBC community's support during the 2004 legislative session, and our voices on these issues must continue to be heard." Be sure to bookmark the Voices for UMBC advocacy site and sign up for e-mail updates and action alerts on how to be a voice for quality public higher education in Maryland.

    Posted by dwinds1

    In the News, 6/18/04

    Diane Crump-Fogle, Career Development Center, in the Towson Times
    Diane Crump-Fogle, interim director of the Career Development Center, was quoted in the Towson Times on June 16 in an article about the job market for this year's college graduates.

    Thomas Blass, Psychology, on WYPR
    Thomas Blass, professor of psychology, appeared on WYPR 88.1 FM's "Marc Steiner Show" on June 17. Blass discussed his new biography of controversial psychologist Stanley Milgram, The Man Who Shocked the World, and how Milgram's famous experiments on obedience to authority are still relevant today.

    Dennis Coates, Economics, on Maryland Public Television
    Dennis Coates, professor of economics and an expert on the economics of sports, appeared on MPT's "Business Connection" to discuss what economic impact a proposed Major League Baseball team in Washington, D.C., would have on the Baltimore Orioles and the greater Baltimore economy.

    Kriste Lindenmeyer, History, on WYPR
    Associate professor of history Kriste Lindenmeyer was a guest on WYPR 88.1 FM's "Marc Steiner Show" on June 7 as part of a panel discussing the "greatest generation."

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos, 6/18/04

    Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Biological Sciences, Elected to Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars
    Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor of biological sciences, has been elected to The Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. Ostrand-Rosenberg, a former postdoctorial fellow at Hopkins, and 14 other scientists and clinicians were honored during the society's 35th induction ceremony on May 19 and again at the university's commencement ceremony the following day.

    The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of former Hopkins president Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the university board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society--the first of its kind in the nation--inducts former postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social, or engineering sciences or in the humanities. The Committee of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars elects the scholars from among nominations made by Johns Hopkins faculty members. The society now has 460 members.

    Posted by dwinds1

    June 11, 2004

    In the News, 6/11/04

    Lou Cantori, Political Science, on Iranian TV
    Lou Cantori, professor of political science, appeared on Iranian television station Alalam TV on June 8. Cantori was interviewed by phone on the impact that the recent resignation of George Tenet will have on the CIA.

    President Hrabowski in the Kalamazoo Gazette
    On June 4, the Kalamazoo Gazette covered a speech President Hrabowski gave before the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. In his speech, President Hrabowski discussed the need to create higher academic expectations for American students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Alumnus Brian Dannelly in the News
    UMBC alum and filmmaker Brian Dannelly appeared on National Public Radio's Fresh Air on June 7 to discuss his new film, Saved!

    Dannelly was also featured in the June 9 City Paper and the June 10 Washington Post.

    Mark Croatti, Political Science, in the Business Monthly
    Mark Croatti, adjunct professor of political science, was quoted on the political and economic impact of redeveloping historic Ellicott City's riverfront in a story about the economic development of the town that appeared in the June 2004 issue of the Business Monthly.

    Posted by dwinds1

    Kudos, 6/11/04

    Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Awarded Fellowship
    Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College professor of visual arts, was awarded one of six Clark Fellowships at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute for this summer of 2004 in Williamstown, Massachusetts. This is a coveted fellowship for art historians from all over the world, and it enables them to write scholarly works in a peaceful and collegial setting.

    UMBC Students Among Regents Scholars Award Winners
    Three UMBC students have been awarded Regents Scholars Awards by the University System of Maryland. Danielle Allor has been named the Loughran Regents Scholar; Gregory Johnson has been named the Burgee Regents Scholar; and Michael Patoka has been named the Kelly Regents Scholar. These awards cover costs for in-state tuition and fees, room and board costs, and include a $500/semester stipend for books and educational costs.

    Two UMBC Students Named Goldwater Scholars
    Two UMBC students have been named Goldwater Scholars. Kenny Gibbs is a Meyerhoff Scholar with a 4.0 in biochemistry and molecular biology, and Aliya Frederick is a Meyerhoff Scholar with a 3.82 GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology. Nationally, there were a total of 310 scholarships awarded from a field of 1,113 nominees. Four UMBC students were nominated to this program.

    Claire Welty, CUERE, Named to National Research Council
    Claire Welty, director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) and professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been appointed to the National Research Council's Water Science and Technology Board, effective July 1, 2004, for a term of three years. The Water Science and Technology Board provides a focal point for studies related to water resources under the aegis of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The board's objective is to improve the scientific and technological basis for resolving important questions and issues associated with the efficient management and use of water resources. The scope of the board's work covers all dimensions of water resources, including science, engineering, economics, policy, educational issues and social aspects.

    Kathy O'Dell, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, Participating in Panel at Guggenheim
    Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences Kathy O'Dell will be participating in a panel discussion, "The Tactile Photograph," at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on June 29. The panel addresses the ways in which tactility is evoked in photographs, whether through the representation of form or as an integral part of the creative process. The panel is being held in conjunction with the exhibition "Speaking With Hands: Photographs from the Buhl Collection," on display now through September 8.

    Khvalina, Canepa Named Academic All Americans
    UMBC tennis standout Lana Khvalina (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) has been named to the 2003-04 CoSIDA Academic All America University Division Women's At-Large First Team.

    Senior swimmer Carlos Canepa earned Second Team All District II honors. The teams are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

    Khvalina becomes the first student-athlete in school history to earn First Team Academic All American honors in back-to-back years. Another tennis player, Oscar Lopez, earned First Team honors in 1998-99 and Second Team honors in 1999-2000.

    Khvalina, who carries a 4.0 GPA in political science, earned her undergraduate degree in three years, and will attend William & Mary law school this fall. She finished her singles career with a record of 62-20 and reached the B flight singles final the the Old Point National Bank ITA Invitational last fall. A state finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, the two-time All Conference honoree competed on two squads which went to the NCAA Championships (2002, 2003).

    She also recently earned a 2004 post-graduate scholarship from the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

    Khvalina also recently earned a 2004 post-graduate scholarship from the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

    Canepa spearheaded the men's swimming team's 12-1 record and help