Doctoral Program in Gerontology Lecture Series Announces Fall Speaker (10/10)

Debra StreetThe University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County Doctoral Program in Gerontology Lecture Series has announced its fall speaker. Debra Street, Ph.D. will present, “Faces and Places: How Social Relationships and Residential Context Influence Health and Wellbeing in Assisted Living.”

Street, a professor of sociology, chairs the University of Buffalo Department of Sociology. She is the recipient of the 2011 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2013-14 UB Gender Institute Janice L. Moritz Distinguished Lecture Award. She conducts research on issues associated with health and income security over the life course.

The lecture is scheduled for Friday, October 10 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the UMBC Commons room 331.

Truman Scholarship Information Session (9/24)

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships ($30,000) for graduate study to persons who demonstrate outstanding potential for and who plan to pursue a career in public service. Approximately 55 awards are made nationally each year, with one award given per state and certain territories. In 2014, 24 awardees were students at public universities.

The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious award for which juniors with a record of public service and demonstrated interest in government and politics compete. The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or education organizations, public and private schools, and public-service orientated nonprofit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment. Most Truman Scholars seek law degrees or master’s and doctoral degrees in public administration, public policy, public health, international relations, government, economics, social services, education, urban planning, conservation and environmental protection.  However, all majors are eligible. For example, some Scholars have pursued medical, physical science or even business degrees – but these Scholars were able to clearly demonstrate how these degrees would further their careers in public service.

In an effort to increase UMBC’s applicant pool, Tara Yglesias, Deputy Executive Director of the Foundation, will speak with students and faculty on Wednesday, September 24, at 12 noon in room 107 of the Physics Building. 

Please bring this opportunity to the attention of those students who might be eligible to compete this year and of those who might be interested in the future.  If they cannot make the presentation on September 24, they should contact UMBC’s faculty representative, Art Johnson, at or 5-2195. Students should have a strong GPA of at least 3.7.  To apply, students must be nominated by their institution and complete an application, including a policy brief. Dr. Johnson and others will work with each nominee throughout the application process.

The UMBC deadline for expressing interest in applying is October 20 but students are encouraged to speak with Dr. Johnson before then. UMBC applicants must complete their applications no later than January 28, 2015.

Those faculty who are interested in learning more about this competition and UMBC’s application process are encouraged to contact Dr. Johnson and/or attend the presentation on September 24.

17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences (Abstract Due 9/25)

This Symposium seeks to display the diverse array of student-committed endeavors and foster the communication of their relevant novel results and concepts. The event exclusively features undergraduate research in all areas of chemistry, biology and biochemistry with the understanding that progress at the chemical and biological interface requires cross-fertilization from the broadest possible spectrum of these disciplines.

The Symposium invites mentor-approved contributions from undergraduates investigating any aspect of chemistry, biology, and biochemistry. These advances will be disseminated in a daylong event that typically offers nearly 200 student contributions and gathers more than 400 beginning scientists, mentors, and other guests. The event will feature two poster sessions with posters judged by panels of participating mentors and other qualified attendees. Judges will rank first and second place posters in each category with non-financial awards presented at the event’s end.

The event is free, but registration is required. Light-fare refreshments and lunch will be provided. Faculty mentors and qualified attendees are encouraged to support this exceptional undergraduate experience by volunteering to serve as poster session judges.

Abstract Submission Deadline: Midnight EST, Thursday, September 25, 2014

Advanced Registration Deadline: Midnight EST, Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Geography Speaker Series (9/15)

On September 15 at 4 p.m. in the Library Gallery, as part of the GES seminar series, Rebecca Lave from the University of Indiana will give a talk titled “Marketing Environmental Science and Management: Stream Mitigation Banking in the U.S.”

Market-based approaches to environmental management are increasingly common. Conservation and water quality credits are for sale in many developed countries, and the idea of payment for ecosystem services is ubiquitous in international environmental policy circles. This talk traces that shift from command and control to market-based management and its ecological and policy consequences through analysis of the emerging practice of stream mitigation banking in the U.S. In the most common form of stream mitigation banking (SMB), a for-profit company buys land with a damaged stream on it and restores it to produce mitigation credits which can then be purchased by developers to fulfill their permit conditions under the Clean Water Act. Entrepreneurial SMB began in 2000, and has since spread rapidly across the U.S. with the strong support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Employing a Critical Physical Geography approach, this talk will present social science data fro m document analysis and interviews, and natural science data from geomorphic fieldwork conducted from 2010 through 2013. Lave will argue that while mitigation bankers have made several key interventions in the development of SMB policy, market forces have not dominated the policy-making process to the extent one might expect. Even so, their influence is clearly visible in the homogenization of channel form across the U.S.

There will be a light reception following the talk.

Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape (8/27)


Victoria Sambunaris
Untitled (Potash Mine – distant view, Wendover, Utah), 2004
Chromogenic Print
Courtesy of the artist

Opening Wednesday, August 27, at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, is the exhibition Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape.

This exhibition presents photographs made over the span of more than a decade by photographer Victoria Sambunaris as she traversed the United States, stopping to photograph phenomena ubiquitous and familiar to particular regions but anomalous to the ordinary eye: massive distribution facilities, complex transport systems, colossal mining operations, majestic mountain gaps, exploding mud pots. Acting as both document and metaphor for the American experience, Sambunaris’s photographs bring into view the vast, open-ended mystery and unease of a country where human intervention and natural beauty inspire wonder in equal measure. Collected ephemera—the essential, and incidental, elements of Sambunaris’s work as a photographer and researcher—are also included in this exhibition (books on geology and history, maps, and artifacts collected on her journeys, such as mineral specimens, journals, road logs), as well as a video documenting her travel and work processes, and over 1,500 of her small photographic sketches. [Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography.]

The exhibition will continue through December 17. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Thursday until 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.  Admission is free. For more information call 410-455-2270.

The artist will deliver a public lecture on her work on Wednesday, October 8 at 4:00 p.m.:

More information:

Myrle Combs Retirement (9/10)

Please join me in a warm farewell to Myrle Combs, Student Affairs Business Service Center Manager, as she embarks on her well-deserved retirement. Myrle will be available for good-byes, remembrances and well-wishes at the below event. A short program will be held at 4:30pm. If you wish to contribute to a group thank you gift or have questions, please contact Trisha at for details.

Celebration of Myrle Combs
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
4:00pm – 5:00pm
University Center Ballroom Lounge
Light refreshements will be served

Upcoming Public Art Installation (8/13)

Thomas Sayre RenderingStudents, faculty and staff are invited to visit the PAHB grounds, on the side facing Lot 8, on August 13 to witness the installation of eight large “earth cast” half-arches that will be set into the ground to create a public gathering space, provisionally entitled “Forum.” The half-arches are major pieces of this public art project, designed and produced by renowned artist Thomas Sayre. Final landscaping and a dedication of the artwork will take place in the fall.

“Rough, irregular, the color of the land we walk upon, the arches create a composition reminiscent of classic academic cloisters where light and shadow will dance across the highly animated, earthcast surfaces,” says the artist.

Please note that this installation will require the closure of Hilltop Road in this area of the campus all day on August 13 (and possibly on August 14), however, access to Lot 8 will not be impacted. Any deliveries to this part of campus during the installation should use the paved thoroughfare between ITE and Sherman Hall.

The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI), was signed into law last year, and UMBC agreed to pursue a pilot public art project under this initiative on the PAHB. Thomas Sayre was selected following a national search conducted by UMBC in partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council. The selection committee voted Sayre’s concept as the most reflective of UMBC’s vision of a public art installation that invites community engagement, reflects the passage of time, and embraces the values and culture of UMBC.

Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects throughout the world and has participated in design teams for civic, educational and museum buildings. Along with architect Steve Schuster, Sayre is a founding principal in the multi-disciplinary design firm Clearscapes, based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sayre believes that art will only work when disparate opinions come together through collaboration to form a coherent vision.

The selection committee included Vice President for Administration and Finance Lynne Schaefer, University Architect Joseph Rexing, Sr. Project Manager Mickey Miller (University of Maryland, Baltimore), Alex Castro and Jan Goldstein (Maryland Commission on Public Art), Associate Professor Helen Burgess (English), Associate Professor Preminda Jacob (visual arts), Professor Timothy Nohe (visual arts, CIRCA director), Associate Professor Sandy Parker (geography and environmental systems), Professor Phyllis Robinson (biological sciences), Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Yvette Mozie-Ross, Associate Professor Liz Walton (dance) and architect Cliff Gayley (William Rawn Associates).