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Department of Public Policy
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Public Policy Building

December 2012

In this issue:

People
Research

Study estimates costs and benefits of Maryland Dream Act

A new study, "Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream
Act
," by T.H. Gindling (Economics) and Marvin Mandell (Public Policy), provided a timely cost/benefit analysis of a referendum on the November ballot in Maryland. The Maryland Dream Act was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2011. The Act extends in-state tuition at public universities to undocumented immigrants who graduate from Maryland high schools and meet other requirements. Opponents of the measure successfully petitioned to place a referendum (Question 4) to overturn the law on the State's November 2012 ballot.

Graduation day

Dr. Gindling and Dr. Mandell found that the net economic benefits of the Dream Act are positive: For each annual cohort of students who utilize the Dream Act, total net benefits to the economy are approximately $66 million. The study also estimated that the number of undocumented students who would take advantage of the Dream Act is small – about 435 students per year. Because each cohort of students could be in college for up to 4 years, at any point in time there will be approximately 1,294 students in Maryland community colleges or universities who benefit from the Dream Act, equal to approximately 0.6% of the total number of students in Maryland public colleges and universities. The Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR), and the UMBC College of Art, Humanities and Social Sciences funded the study.

The study received extensive press coverage in the days leading up to the election. Washington Post reporter Aaron C. Davis called the study "one of the most ambitious attempts to fill in the blanks on Question 4, the Maryland ballot measure whose costs and effects are among the least well understood." The Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post wrote op-ed pieces that referenced the study's findings. The authors appeared on WYPR's Maryland Morning, WBAL TV, and WBAL Radio Maryland News Now. Additional coverage appeared in the Gazette, Daily Record, Baltimore Sun, DC Examiner, Patch.com, Howard County Times, WYPR's Inside Maryland Politics, Immigration Impact, Capital News Service, Bloomberg BNA, ABC2News, and NBC News. On October 24, Time Magazine cited the study in its online election coverage. Marylanders voted to uphold the Dream Act with 59 percent of the vote.

New Research

MIPAR recently completed "Healthiest Maryland Business Evaluation" for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The study used surveys and interviews to evaluate corporate wellness programs in and around Maryland. Dr. Judith Shinogle (MIPAR) and Dr. Lina Martinez (Ph.D., 2012) were the authors.

The Center for Aging Studies received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how older patients perceive diabetes. Older adults are vulnerable to diabetes, and many experience difficulties adhering to diabetes management through diet, exercise, glucose testing and medication. This 3-year, $1.4 million study will use ethnographic interviews to explore the perceptions of older adults living in Baltimore about their diabetes and their understanding of diabetes management. Dr. Kevin Eckert (Sociology and Anthropology) is the principal investigator, and Dr. Sarah Chard (Anthropology) is co-investigator.


Public Policy Highlighted on
APPAM Website
UMBC’s Public Policy Department is featured on the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management’s (APPAM) website. APPAM is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education.


Faculty

Dr. Tim Brennan (Public Policy) is co-director of a major conference on postal and delivery economics to be held in Dublin, Ireland in June 2013. The conference will examine issues facing the new generation of postal companies, such as strategy, competition, innovation, marketing, universal service, cost analysis, demand analysis and new services. 

Dr. Nancy Miller (Public Policy) and Dr. Adele Kirk (Public Policy) received an Honorable Mention for the Aetna Susan B. Anthony Award for Excellence in Research on Older Women and Public Health for their paper "Use of USPSTF prevention and screening services among working-age and older adults with disabilities" presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in October. Their study examined potential disparities among working-age (18-64) and older adults (65+) with disabilities in their receipt of US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) screening measures. Ph.D. student Lucas Glos and Brandy Alston (M.P.P., 2012) were co-authors.

At UMBC's Post-Election Forum held November 8, Dr. Donald F. Norris (Public Policy), Dr. Thomas F. Schaller (Political Science,) and Baltimore Sun political reporter Annie Linskey shared their insights about the campaign strategies and key issues of the 2012 election. A video of the forum is available here. The forum featured an appearance by Senator Paul Sarbanes, who represented Maryland in the U.S. Senate for 5 terms, from 1977 to 2007.

Dr. Eric Zeemering (Public Policy) has been named this year’s recipient of both the Clarence Stone Young Scholar Award and the Norton Long Developing Scholar Award from the Urban Section of the American Political Science Association, in recognition of his scholarship, teaching and public service.

Students

Ph.D. student Beth Arman presented a paper "Promoting Lifelong Learning by Degrees" at the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) annual conference in October in Long Beach, CA. NCWE is an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Leigh Dalton received a UMBC Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship. The Dissertation Fellowship is designed to provide doctoral candidates at UMBC an opportunity to devote the necessary concentration and attention toward finishing the writing of their dissertations. 

Two Public Policy students who are pursuing law and public policy degrees recently received scholarships. Ph.D. student Elyse Grossman was awarded a scholarship to attend and present a poster at the 2012 Public Health Law Conference. She received her M.P.P. from UMBC in 2008, and her J.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2011. Kurt Schwab (M.P.P., 2012) received a 3-year Faculty Scholarship to attend law school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

M.P.P. student Bess Keller wrote an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun about the fate of a Baltimore City school garden: "Harvest of disappointment: Good intentions weren't enough to make a garden thrive at one Baltimore school."

Alumni

Dr. Keith Elder (Ph.D., 2002) will assume the position of Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at St. Louis University on January 1, 2013.

Dr. Yu (Sunny) Kang (M.P.P., 2006, Ph.D., Gerontology, 2009) is an assistant professor in the School of Health and Human Services at the University of Baltimore.

Dr. Bakeyah S. Nelson (PhD, 2007) received a National Association of County & City Health Officials Model Practice Award for her environmental health assessment project. Dr. Nelson is with the Harris County Public Health Service in Houston, Texas.

New Publications

Michael Abrams, Ph.D. candidate, co-authored a paper, "Cervical cancer screening and acute care visits among Medicaid enrollees with mental and substance abuse issues," in Psychiatric Services (American Psychiatric Association, August 2012). The study found that, in Maryland Medicaid, the odds of cancer screening and related acute care visits were greater for women with major mental disorders compared with women in a control group. However, women with substance use disorders had screening and acute care visits that were similar to those for women in the control group.

Ph.D student Pradeep Guin co-authored a paper, "The new patent regime and disease priority in India," in Global Public Health (Routledge, July 30, 2012). The article looks at whether pharmaceutical patents contribute to improved public health in India.

Dr. Yu (Sunny) Kang (M.P.P., 2006, Ph.D., Gerontology, 2009), and Dr. Nancy Miller (Public Policy) co-authored an article, "Rurality and Nursing Home Quality," in The Gerontologist (Gerontological Society of America, 2011, 41(6):750-760). The study concluded that rural residents were more likely to reside in nursing home facilities without accreditations or special care programs, thus increasing their odds of receiving poorer quality of care.

Dr. Lina Martinez (Ph.D., 2012) published a book, The Hispanic-Asian Achievement Gap: A Persistent Disparity (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012). The book examines the significant differences in educational outcomes for children from Hispanic and Asian backgrounds in U.S. elementary schools. Dr. Martinez is currently a professor at Universidad Icesi in Columbia, South America.

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