Sunil Dasgupta, Political Science, in International Relations and Security Network News

Sunil DasguptaSunil Dasgupta, director of UMBC’s political science program at the Universities of Shady Grove, recently published an article in the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) digital library. In his article titled “What is Asia? A Security Debate between Alfred Mahan and Barry Buzan,” Dasgupta argued that Chinese and American security policies are making “one Asia” a more distinct reality. He compares the viewpoints of naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan, who was a defender of national power, and Barry Buzan, the influential Canadian and British scholar of international relations, who was an advocate for the regional security complex.

“Those who, like Mahan, believe in the immutability of geography see the rise of China—the only power that physically connects four of Asia’s five regions—as leading to the rebirth of Asia as a singular strategic entity, returning the continent to the days before the Vasco da Gama epoch,” Dasgupta wrote.

“But Buzan’s construct of many Asias remains resilient. From a theoretical point of view, the concept of balance of power requires a defined set of balancers, or a security complex. Without clear referents and limitations on who should be counted as part of the balance, there can be no game,” he added.

To read the full article published November 21 in the ISN digital library, click here.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, Writes Baltimore Sun Op-Ed

In advance of the UMBC public policy program 40th anniversary celebration, Donald Norris, professor and chair of the department, wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in which he defended the value of studying public policy to meet the growing demand for public servants who can improve government at all levels.

Donald Norris UMBC

In the column, Norris discussed the strength of the UMBC public policy program in educating students to make a strong, local impact after graduation: “Over the past 40 years, the public policy graduate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has grown from 12 master’s students to 135 doctoral and master’s students. One key to our success is the program’s focus on issues impacting the state,” Norris wrote.

“The UMBC public policy program welcomes students from many nations and many states, but the majority of our students are from Maryland, and the majority of our graduates remain in Maryland. Moreover, at a time when fewer and fewer college students say that they want to work in the public sector, more than half of UMBC’s public policy students who graduated in the last 10 years are employed by Maryland state and local government, federal agencies and nonprofits,” he added.

Norris was also quoted in two recent Baltimore Sun articles analyzing the clout of Maryland’s congressional delegation after the election and a failed loan repayment from Anthony Brown’s campaign. To read the column and articles, click below.

Public policy schools more relevant than ever (Column)
Clout for Maryland lawmakers in Congress slips after midterm elections
Brown failed to repay $500,000 on time 

Roy Meyers, Political Science, Inducted into National Academy of Public Administration Fellowship Program

Photo Courtesy National Academy of Public Administration

Photo Courtesy National Academy of Public Administration

Earlier this month at the National Academy of Public Administration annual meeting, Political Science Professor Roy Meyers was inducted as a new fellow for the organization. The Academy is an independent, non-profit organization that assists government leaders to build more transparent, efficient, and effective organizations.

The fellowship program includes prominent scholars, former members of Congress, cabinet officers, governors, business executives, and public administrators who provide valuable insight and support, guidance to the organization, and address emerging policy issues while contributing to intellectual and popular discourse on government.

Meyers was formerly a principal analyst with the Budget Analysis Division in the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. For Meyers’ biography page on the Academy website, click here. To read more about the National Academy of Public Administration fellowship program, click here.

Lia Purpura, English, in The New Yorker, Orion Magazine

English Writer in Residence Lia Purpura is featured in the November 24 edition of The New Yorker. The magazine published her poem “Study with Melon.” You can read the poem in The New Yorker by clicking here. The full text of the poem is below:

Lia Purpura

Study with Melon

The stem end of a melon
is weblike, form
finding a pattern
that’s thinking itself
a density
a concentration
beginning a line
then casting it out
and moving on from,
an order established,
a gesture complete.
Completion: how
someone at a distance
might see it.

In addition, Purpura’s essay “In The Despoiled and Radiant Now” appears in the November/December issue of Orion Magazine.

Bill Shewbridge, Media and Communication Studies, and Michelle Stefano, American Studies, to Present “Mill Stories” at SVA Film Festival

UMBC professors Bill Shewbridge (Media and Communication Studies) and Michelle Stefano (American Studies) are screening their film Mill Stories at the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) film festival. The screening will take place at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, December 6 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. Below is a description of the film from the SVA Film Festival website:


Recently closed, the Sparrows Point Steel Mill in Baltimore, Maryland helped to shape the lives of hundreds of thousands of steelworkers and associated personnel for over 125 years. Mill Stories: Remembering Sparrows Point presents a collection of personal stories based on ethnographic interviews collected at the time on the mill’s final closing. The film seeks to amplify the voices of former workers as a means of helping to safeguard and promote the living heritage of the recently closed mill and its surrounding areas.

To read more about the Mill Stories project, click here. For more information on the SVA film festival, click here.

Robert Provine, Psychology, in Time

On November 19, an article published in Time examined laughter and if it really has any health benefits. Psychology Research Professor/Professor Emeritus Robert Provine was interviewed for the article and commented on the complexity of laughter’s health benefits. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Robert Provine

Provine calls himself a “reserved optimist” when it comes to laughter’s health-bolstering properties. “One of the challenges of studying laughter is that there are so many things that trigger it,” Provine explains. For example, you’re 30 times more likely to laugh around other people than when you are by yourself, he says. Social relationships and companionship have been tied to numerous health benefits. And so the social component of laughter may play a big part in its healthful attributes, Provine adds.

Here’s why that matters: If you’re going to tell people they should laugh to improve their health, there may be a big difference between guffawing on your own without provocation, watching a funny YouTube clip or meeting up with friends who make you laugh, Provine says.

“That doesn’t mean the benefits aren’t real,” he adds. “But it may not be accurate to credit laughter alone with all these superpowers.”

To read the complete article, click here.

Russian Culture and Couture: An Evening of Russian Song, Cuisine, and Fashion (12/7)

Russian eventOn Sunday, December 7 from 5-8 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom, the UMBC Russian Club will present, “Russian Culture and Couture Hosted at UMBC: An Evening of Russian Song, Cuisine, and Fashion.” The event is supported by the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication; The Embassy of the Russian Federation, Washington,  D.C.; The Russian Center for Science and Culture in Washington, D.C.; and

“In these times of strained Russian American diplomacy,” says UMBC Lecturer Vira Zhdanovych, “we are happy to take the opportunity to promote cross-cultural understanding through Russian song, cuisine, conversation, and high fashion.”

Headlining the evening will be renowned Russian designer Evgenia Luzhina-Salazar. Guests will view professionally modeled highlights from Luzhina-Salazar’s collections. Music will include performances by the UMBC Russian Chorus, with Vira Zhdanovych as soloist. Award-winning musician Artem Starchenko and vocalist Victoria Sukhareva will perform traditional Russian selections. Guests will also enjoy performances by the folk group Lada and The Metaphor Academic Center for Russian Language and Culture. Traditional Russian food will be provided by Europe Restaurant and Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Admission is free and seating is limited to 300. Advanced tickets are required. For more information, contact Elena Volosina at