NSF PROMISE AGEP Grant Funded; UMBC is Lead Partner

UMBC is pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation grant for PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) has been funded. UMBC is the lead campus on this University System of Maryland-wide, $1.75 million, 3.5 year grant. UMBC’s primary partners will continue to be the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and all of the campuses within the USM will participate.

Signature programs will continue with funding for graduate students from USM’s campuses to attend activities such as Dissertation House and Summer Success Institute (SSI). Programming and mentoring for postdoctoral fellows throughout the system will also be expanded. New activities include the annual graduate student research and careers conference that will build on the recommendations of the Council of Graduate Schools’ report “Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers” and an annual conference for undergraduates to learn about opportunities in graduate school. Finally, Professors in Training (PROF-it) students will have opportunities for mentored teaching experiences at campuses across the USM, and several community colleges.

The National Science Foundation’s AGEP program is intended to increase significantly the number of domestic students receiving doctoral degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with special emphasis on those population groups underrepresented in these fields.

Join the Celebration of the University System of Maryland

The University System of Maryland (USM) is 25 years old. And you are invited to participate in the celebration.

Throughout the 2013-14 academic year, the USM is observing this milestone with a look at the positive impact that USM has had—and continues to have—on the quality of life in Maryland and beyond. We’ve created a micro site that includes a timeline, a link to the story of how the system came to be, and some interesting facts about the system’s impact.

We’ve also transformed the USM Facebook page into the official 25th-anniversary party site. Be sure to LIKE the University System of Maryland on Facebook for regular updates and your chance to win prizes monthly.

There’s history to learn, information to share, an array of prizes to win, and enough pride to go around. Above all, there’s thanks to all who make it possible for the University System of Maryland to serve students and other individuals, communities, and the many organizations comprising the state’s public and private sectors with innovation, commitment, and excellence.

Visit the micro site at: http://www.usmd.edu/25. And be sure to LIKE the University System of Maryland on Facebook. Don’t miss the opportunity to join the celebration.

We offer special thanks to the sponsors whose donations have made this celebration possible. They are:

Barry Gossett, vice chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents; CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; Delmarva Power; MICROS Systems, Inc.; PNC Foundation; The Classic Catering People; The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company; and the University System of Maryland Foundation.

For more information, contact:
Anne Moultrie

UMBC Rankings in the News

UMBC’s recent U.S. News and World Report rankings, in which the university was named the #1 “Up-and-Coming” school, and the #6 school for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” was covered by several media outlets.

CBS Baltimore covered the story, interviewing both Dale Bittinger, director of admissions, and senior Kelsey Krach.  The video segment adnd the text are available here.

The Baltimore Sun spoke with Provost Philip Rous for their story.  “We take the recognition very seriously,” said Rous. The two rankings, he said, “really represent the fundamental commitments at UMBC. We are very innovative and entrepreneurial.”

The news magazine The List also reporterd on the ranking, featuring Krach, freshman Evan Leiter-Mason, and Rous.

The Examiner also covered the rankings, noting that “UMBC’s non-traditional approach to STEM teaching take students out of lecture halls for more hands-on, self-directed learning.”

The rankings were also highlighted by the Baltimore Business Journal, the Washington Post, In the Capital, and WBAL.

Upcoming Events at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy invites the UMBC community to two special events this fall.

On Monday, Sept. 16, at 12 p.m., Shaomeng Wang will give the annual Ellis S. Grollman Lecture in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. His talk will be entitled “Targeting Protein-Protein Interactions for New Cancer Therapeutics.” Wang is the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and a professor of medicinal chemistry at the university’s College of Pharmacy. He is co-director of the Molecular Therapeutics Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the university’s Cancer Drug Discovery Program. The event will take place in the Pharmacy Hall, Room N103, located at 20 N. Pine St., in Baltimore, MD. Lunch will follow in Pharmacy Hall Atrium.

On Thursday, October 17, the School of Pharmacy’s Mass Spectrometry Facility will hold an open house from noon – 5 p.m. The Mass Spectrometry Facility at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy provides state-of-the-art expertise, methodology, and instrumentation to the surrounding research community and beyond. The facility offers researchers the opportunity to perform and access very sophisticated experiments by working closely in a true collaborative effort with School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, and students. At the open house, six brief case studies will be presented, detailing how mass spectrometry solves biomedical problems. The Open House is a free event, but registration is required.

To register, please visit, http://www.pharmacy.umaryland.edu/MassSpec-OpenHouse. Please email Ruth McLean at rmclean@rx.umaryland.edu with any questions.

Freeman Hrabowski, Mike Summers Offer Ideas for Improving Science Education

“If you could make one change to improve science education in the United States, what would it be?” asked the New York Times in a special feature published Monday, September 2. Nineteen people answered the question, and among them were President Freeman Hrabowski and Mike Summers, HHMI Investigator and professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

“We need to create opportunities to excite students about how math and science connect to real life,” said Hrabowski, adding that he would like to see more programs offering teachers the chance to apply their skills outside of the classroom. “A teacher who has worked summers in green construction engineering can show their students how they’ve used geometric concepts.”

Mike Summers said that he would like to see more students come into the lab to work on real-world problems. “When things like that happen, the kids begin self-identifying as scientists. They stop thinking that a science career can be theirs 10 years from now — an eternity to an adolescent. They think of themselves as scientists, now,” he said.

Also quoted in the piece were Najib Jammal and Deon Sanders, the principal and a student at Lakeland Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore. UMBC’s Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars program recently began a multi-year partnership with the school. Through the partnership, Sherman Scholars, along with Shriver Center Peaceworkers and Choice Program caseworkers, will work with school leadership to develop school- and family-centered strategies that address student and community needs.

Jammal said that he wanted students to be able to apply their STEM learning to projects that benefit their community, and Sanders summed it up by saying, “I need science and math education to be more about life.”

Vote for UMBC in the Baltimore Innovation Week Awards

Vote for UMBC in the Baltimore Innovation Week Awards, “the only people’s choice award for technology, entrepreneurship and new thinking.”

UMBC is an option in question 13, under the category of “Most Innovative College or University.” “What higher education institution is best training the region’s future leaders?” the survey asks.

Question 11 features bwtech@UMBC as a potential “Colocation or Incubator Space of the Year.” Two spaces run by UMBC alumni – Betamore, which was co-founded by Greg Cangialosi ’96, English, and the Baltimore Foundery, which was co-founded by Corey Fleischer ’05, ’08, mechanical engineering – are also listed as options.

Vote here. Voting closes on Friday, September 13th. Awards will be announced at the Baltimore Innovation Week closing party on Fri. Sept. 27. Baltimore Innovation Week is a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Baltimore.

UMBC Celebrates Present, Future During Fall Opening Meeting

At the Fall Opening Meeting on Thursday, August 22, President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous celebrated the present and future of UMBC.

Hrabowski outlined recent university achievements during his annual State of the University address.

“We are increasingly known as a national model of inclusive excellence and innovation in American higher education,” he said. “We have built strength in research across the disciplines.  We can take great pride in knowing that the rest of the nation is beginning to understand what we already know – that we are a very special place.”

The full text of his speech can be read here.

Rous discussed the UMBC strategic planning process, entitled “Our UMBC: A Strategic Plan for Advancing Excellence.”

“This is an incredible time of opportunity for ourselves and UMBC,” he said. “We are standing at a threshold where we can extend our vision for the University.” Rous also emphasized that there will be opportunities for campus involvement as the plan is being created. More information can be found at planning.umbc.edu.

Speakers at the Fall Opening Meeting also included incoming freshman Evan Leiter-Mason, a Sondheim Scholar majoring in economics and political science; incoming transfer student Sophia Venero, who will be majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in biological science; and incoming graduate student Adegboyega “Ade” Akinsiku, who will be studying in the Human-Centered Computing program.

Beginning of Semester Temporary Traffic Pattern Changes

Date: August 24, 2013
To: The UMBC Community
From: Mark W. Sparks, Chief of Police
Subject: Beginning of Semester Temporary Traffic Pattern Changes
August 28, 2013 – September 5, 2013

The start of the fall semester brings many new students, faculty, and staff to campus who may not be familiar with our traffic patterns during this busy period. The primary challenge is establishing and maintaining a safe efficient flow of traffic into and out of the UMBC campus, which is particularly important during this period as campus is at the most crowded during the beginning of the new academic year. The zoned parking plan, with which most members of the community should be familiar, is in effect to help maximize the convenience and accessibility of our parking resources.
Several recent modifications to the Zone Parking Plan remain in effect. These modifications include:
• Lot 23 remains an A/C Permit dual use lot.
• Hilltop Circle parking between Walker Avenue and Center Road remains an A/C Permit dual use area.

In addition, transportation alternatives remain in place for the campus community, and we encourage you, should your circumstances allow it, to use any of these alternatives to bringing a vehicle to campus. In addition to often times saving money for you, these alternative transportation initiatives help us to keep costs down and help reduce the campus carbon footprint. More information can be found at the Transportation Alternatives for a Greener UMBC (TAG UMBC) website (www.umbc.edu/tag). Some of the highlighted changes are:
• The carpool policy provides a way to save money by sharing the cost of transportation (http://www.umbc.edu/parking/carpool.htm).
• Approximately 40 motorcycle spaces have been added to the existing inventory to encourage motorcycle use.
• ZIPCARS are available on campus and ready for use by students, faculty, and staff (http://www.zipcar.com/umbc).

The permit hours remain the same, and are Monday thru Thursday 7:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. and Friday from 7:00a.m. to 3:30p.m. The parking zone designations have remained the same and are:
Zone A – Red – Commuter Students
Zone B – Green – Walker Community Residents
Zone C – Gold – Residential Students (excluding Walker Apts)
Zone F – Orange – Freshman Resident Students


I am asking everyone in the UMBC community to work with the police department to make this beginning of the year traffic flow safe and orderly. Please assist us by being alert at all times while driving throughout the campus and cooperating with the members of the police department directing traffic. We recognize this may pose an inconvenience to motorists as some driving patterns will be changed for this start-up period to better facilitate driving throughout the campus.

For the orderly flow of traffic, motorists can expect temporary discontinuation of left turns and U-turns along Hilltop Circle during certain times of the day. The following intersections may be affected:
Hilltop Circle & UMBC Boulevard
Hilltop Circle & South Administration Drive
Hilltop Circle & Commons Drive
Hilltop Circle & Hilltop Road

These intersections will be periodically blocked off to prevent backups that will interfere with traffic entering the campus via UMBC Boulevard. In addition, only Gated Faculty/Staff who park at Administration Garage will be allowed to make a left turn at South Administration Drive during this period.

We urge motorists to arrive early to avoid the heavy volume of traffic.

For campus parking updates, please visit http://www.umbc.edu/blogs/parkingforum/.

We thank everyone in advance for your help and cooperation in making the drive to and from our campus safe.

Join the UMBC Poetry SLAM!

October 11
6-8 p.m., Performing Arts and Humanities Building Atrium

Slam BIG and Win BIG at the second annual Poetry Slam hosted by the English Department.

Last year’s slam was a standing-room-only success with more than 50 poets applying to compete.

A 1st prize of $200 will go to the winner of this dazzling high-energy slam. 2nd and 3rd cash prizes, too, for students and alumni sharing their original work, judged by a panel of faculty and staff, including several distinguished poets.

Help us put the performing in the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building!

To participate in the slam, submit a print and video version of no more than five minutes of original poetry to HomecomingSlam@gmail.com by 9/17/13.

Entries will be judged on their poetic effects, compelling content and on video performance.

All UMBC students and alumni are eligible.

A video of last year’s Poetry Slam is below.