Fall Opening Meeting

Each year, at the start of the fall semester, the UMBC community comes together to welcome colleagues and students back to campus, celebrate our achievements and launch the beginning of a new academic year. Please join President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous at the Fall Opening Meeting on August 22, in the University Center Ballroom. A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the program begins promptly at noon.

The Fall Opening Meeting will include the President’s annual State of the University Address and welcoming remarks by Provost Rous. Three of our incoming undergraduate and graduate students will also talk about why they chose to join the UMBC community.
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, August 22.

2013-14 Hrabowski Fund for Innovation Award Competitio​n; Now Open to Staff

UMBC is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation Award 2013-14 competition.

For Academic Year 2013-2014, a total of approximately $100,000 will be  available through this competition to support initiatives to enhance  teaching and learning at UMBC, with specific emphasis on innovative  approaches to increase the success of our undergraduate and graduate  students. Such approaches may include, but are not limited to, redesign  of courses or other learning experiences, innovative course and/or  curriculum development, and other projects designed to improve or  understand student-learning outcomes at UMBC. In this  round of the competition we have expanded the submission eligibility  requirements to include full-time staff as well as faculty.

The competition is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty, clinical  instructional faculty, lecturers and instructors, and staff with  full-time appointments. Proposals for funding may be made by individuals or by collaborative groups. The Faculty Development Center is available to work with faculty or staff as they develop their ideas for projects.

For the AY13-14 competition, proposal deadlines are October 11, 2013 and February 14, 2014.

Working with the Provost’s Office, Dr. Linda Hodges, Director of the Faculty  Development Center, coordinates the competition. The detailed request  for proposals, instructions for submission, and required forms for the application can be found here.

Lisa Akchin, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations, in the Baltimore Sun

“In a time when social bridge building is greatly needed, we have lost much of our capacity for public friendliness,” writes Lisa Akchin, associate vice president for marketing and public relations, in a recent Baltimore Sun op-ed.  Akchin was responding to President Obama’s recollection of being greeted by the click of car door locks while crossing the street as a young black man.

“I know my own hand made that reflexive move for the door lock too many times before my mind considered the impact of my actions as a white woman on the feelings of a young black man,” she says.

Akchin writes about her own process of changing her perceptions, and calls on others in Baltimore to seek out opportunities to engage with people of diverse backgrounds. “For me, the first step out of this counterproductive cycle was a decision to stop seeing a statistic when I approached a black man on the street and begin seeing an individual coming from somewhere and going somewhere,” she says. “We are fortunate in Baltimore to have many attractive public spaces and events that serve as a modern-day town commons. These places and experiences offer rich opportunities to practice public friendliness.”

The piece, “On race, moving from fear to friendliness,” appeared in the Sun on July 24.

UMBC Again Named a “Great College to Work For”

July 26, 2013

To: The UMBC Community

From: President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous

Re: UMBC Again Named a “Great College to Work For”

For the fourth consecutive year, The Chronicle of Higher Education has named UMBC one of the best colleges in the nation for which to work. Each year, the Chronicle asks faculty and staff across the country to rate their workplaces on a host of factors. UMBC rated highly across all categories this year, earning it a spot on the “Honor Roll” for the second consecutive year.

UMBC is among only 97 colleges included in the Chronicle’s full list, and is one of only 10 Honor Roll institutions nationwide in its size category.  Other Honor Roll institutions in our category include Baylor University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The Chronicle results are based on responses from nearly 45,000 people at 300 institutions nationwide, including UMBC. The assessment also included an analysis of demographic data, benefits, and workplace policies at each participating college. This year, UMBC received high ratings in seven categories:

  • Collaborative Governance
  • Teaching Environment
  • Confidence in Senior Leadership
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship
  • Respect and Appreciation
  • Tenure Clarity and Process
  • Diversity

Those ratings reflect our values and our deep commitment to supporting one another. We are a “Great College to Work For” because of each of you. Thank you for all you do for the UMBC community.

Center for Digital History and Education and New Media Studio Develop iPad App

The Center for Digital History and Education (CDHE) and the New Media Studio have developed an iPad app based on their recent project, “Children’s Lives at Colonial London Town: The Stories of Three Families.”  The app is now available for free in the Apple App Store here.

“Children’s Lives at Colonial London Town: The Stories of Three Families” is an interactive exploration into the lives of children who actually lived in colonial America. The navigation and enhanced content enliven the stories of three families in London Town, Maryland from before the Revolutionary War.

A screenshot from the new app.

A screenshot from the new app.

The app features include interactive timelines, historical and thematic maps, image galleries, a clickable glossary of terms and people, and a teaching guide.

The stories were written by elementary school teachers in graduate course work at UMBC, under the direction of Marjoleine Kars, chair of history. Rachel Brubaker, CDHE, directed the digital project. Bill Shewbridge, director of the New Media Studio, oversaw the app design.

“Children’s Lives at Colonial London Town” builds on a successful grant partnership between the CDHE, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and Historic London Town and Gardens. Funding for the project was provided by the United States Department of Education’s Teaching American History Grant Program.

A companion website was developed in 2012. The project received the 2012 Social Studies Program of Excellence Award from the Middle States Regional Council for the Social Studies, an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Zeev Rosenzweig Appointed Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Zeev RosenzweigUMBC is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Zeev Rosenzweig as chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry and professor of chemistry, effective January 1, 2014.

Rosenzweig will come to UMBC from the National Science Foundation, where he is presently a program director in the division of chemistry. He also carries the title of professor adjunct in the chemistry department of the University of New Orleans, where he was previously a professor. His research interests are in the synthesis of nanomaterials and their applications in biological and environmental systems.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Rosenzweig be a member of our campus. He is a gifted and talented researcher, experienced educator, and proven administrator,” said William LaCourse, dean of the college of natural and mathematical sciences.

In addition to his management and leadership experience, Rosenzweig has an outstanding record of scholarship. He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1986 and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1992. He also held postdoctoral research positions at the Ames Laboratory of Iowa State University (mentored by Dr. Edward S. Yeung) and the University of Michigan (mentored by Dr. Raoul Kopelman). He is the author of 57 refereed papers in a variety of prestigious journals, eight book chapters and one patent. Rosenzweig has presented numerous papers at national and international conferences. Rosenzweig’s leadership and excellence has been recognized with an NSF CAREER award, Hebrew University Visiting Scholar Award, and a number of service awards from NSF including the NSF Director’s Superior Accomplishment Award.

On accepting his appointment as the chemistry and biochemistry chair, Rosenzweig said, “I am honored to have been selected Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC. I thank Dean LaCourse and the search committee for their confidence in me to work with the faculty and lead the department to continued excellence in chemistry and biochemistry research, teaching, and service in the upcoming years. I am excited about the opportunity to redevelop my research program in the area of nanomaterials chemistry and to make significant contributions to solving sustainability and human health problems through the use of nanoscience and nanotechnology. I wish to thank NSF for providing me with the opportunity to serve the community as Program Director in the Division of Chemistry for the last eight years. I believe that lessons I learned from my NSF experience will prove invaluable as I assume my new role as Department Chair. Finally, I wish to thank the outgoing Department Chair Dr. Richard Karpel for his leadership over the past few years, which has allowed the UMBC Chemistry Department to maintain its tradition of excellence.”

Rosenzweig’s appointment as chair brings to a conclusion a successful national search for a leader who will build upon, and enhance, the outstanding reputation of UMBC’s department of chemistry and biochemistry in teaching, research, outreach and service.

Jason Loviglio, Media and Communication Studies, Joins Board of Wide Angle Youth Media

Jason Loviglio, director of the media and communication studies program, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Wide Angle Youth Media.

Wide Angle Youth Media provides Baltimore youth with media education to tell their own stories and become engaged with their communities. Through after-school programming, in-school opportunities, summer workshops, community events, and an annual Youth Media Festival, Wide Angle supports young people making a difference through media.


The UMB-UMBC Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program

FROM: Philip Rous, Provost

TO: The UMBC Community

RE: The UMB-UMBC Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program

We are delighted to announce the first set of grants awarded in the UMB-UMBC Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program. This program is designed to promote structured collaboration between UMBC and UMB and to advance the institutions’ joint goals in research and innovation.

We would like to acknowledge the creativity and hard work of all UMBC faculty that submitted proposals and we recognize that it was not possible to fund in this first round every deserving project from over 40 proposals received. We encourage those not funded this year to revise and resubmit their proposal next year.   Proposals submitted to the program were evaluated using a peer review process that included faculty from both the UMB and UMBC campuses. Each proposal was reviewed for: (1) how well the project meets the goals of the Seed Grant Program; (2) meeting criteria (e.g., relevance to future public health concerns, significance, innovation, approach and qualification of investigative team/environment to carry out the aims); and (3) likelihood of attracting outside funding in the future. The grant recipients were chosen based on merit as assessed by peer review.

Although we had anticipated making only four or five awards, based on the outstanding overall quality of the submitted proposals, we selected six projects for funding in FY2014, each of which brings together creative teams of investigators from UMBC and UMB working across disciplinary boundaries and campuses to support new research foci.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s grant recipients. The RFP for the next round of the UMB-UMBC Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grants will be announced later this fall.

Awarded Research Grants

Pain after Spinal Cord Injury: Experimental and Computational Studies
UMBC PI: Kathleen Hoffman, Mathematics and Statistics
UMB PI: Asaf Keller, School of Medicine

Targeted Inhibition of Protein Kinase CK2 (CK2) and Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase (ERK) in Cancer Cells
UMBC PI: Charles Bieberich, Biology
UMB PI: Paul Shapiro, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Independent Vector Analysis to Investigate Cognitive Neural Networks after Stroke: A Comparison between Two Rehabilitation Interventions
UMBC PI: Tulay Adali, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
UMB PI: Kelly Westlake, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Novel Anti-biofilm, Anti-caries and Anti-fatigue Dental Nanocomposites
UMBC PI: Dwayne Arola, Mechanical Engineering
UMB PI: Huakun Xu, Dental School UMB Clinical Co-Investigator: Ashraf Fouad, Dental School

Comparative Studies of the Intracellular Trafficking of Several Classes of Dendronized Drug Nanocarriers
UMBC PI: Marie-Christine Daniel, Chemistry and Biochemistry
UMB PI: Peter Swaan, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Seed Grant for Monitoring and Modeling the Nuclear-cytoplasmic Movements of the Atrophy Promoting Transcription Factor Foxo1 in Cultured Adult Skeletal Muscle Fibers
UMBC PI: Bradford Peercy, Mathematics and Statistics
UMB PI: Martin Schneider, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Appointment of Professor Tim Nohe as Director of the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts

To: The UMBC Community

From: John Jeffries, Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Date: June 13, 2013

Re: Appointment of Professor Tim Nohe as Director of the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Tim Nohe of the Department of Visual Arts as the founding Director of the new UMBC arts research center—the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts [CIRCA]. Professor Nohe has achieved a remarkable record at UMBC as a multi-talented and interdisciplinary artist who has exhibited and performed widely, as a fine teacher and mentor, and as a leader in shared governance, most recently as President of the Faculty Senate for two years. His work has included collaborations with all of the arts departments at UMBC and with numerous local, regional, national, and international artists, arts organizations, and universities. He is currently Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, and his many distinctions include two Fulbright awards and four Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards. Professor Nohe will bring his wide-ranging skills, experience, and connections to his new position of Director of CIRCA. I look forward to his working with others, at UMBC and elsewhere, to facilitate innovation, research, and creativity in the arts and to raise the visibility and enhance the already strong reputation of the arts at UMBC.

Passing of Former UMBC Head of Library Media, Dr. Sylvia F. Wright

From: Larry Wilt, Director of the Library

I am saddened by the news Dr. Sylvia F. Wright’s passing on May 31, 2013. Many of us remember Sylvia as a caring and thoughtful person, and as UMBC’s Head of the Library Media unit for many years.

Sylvia began her employment at the UMBC Library in the Fall of 1972, as a Library Assistant in the Technical Services unit. Prior to that, she had been working in the Enoch Pratt Free Library. In 1985 she became the head of UMBC’s “Record and Tape Library” which was later renamed as “Library Media.” As that name change indicates, Sylvia presided over major changes in Library audio and video resources and services, most notably the transition to digital recordings. Library users and others have always appreciated her dedication to service and to helping people. She retired from UMBC in 2002.

Sylvia had a strong, even passionate, interest in music: she has served as the organist in several area churches, taught piano, and received an honorary doctorate in Music from the Family Bible Institute here in Baltimore. She was known for encouraging protégés in Music and for motivating others to enrich their lives through music. Her co-workers fondly recall concerts they attended due to her promotion of them.

We are notified that on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, friends may visit Estep Brother’s Funeral Home (1300-1302 Eutaw Place, Baltimore, MD 21217) from 4 – 7:45 p.m. for Dr. Wright. Services for her will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at City Temple (317 Dolphin Street, Baltimore, MD 21217) where the family will receive friends from 10:30 – 11 a.m., with services to follow. Burial will be held at Arbutus Memorial Cemetary.