Video: Shakespeare Sonnets Recited in More Than 30 Languages at UMBC

On April 23, 2014, UMBC students, faculty and staff recited Shakespeare sonnets in more than 30 languages. The event was held to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday and UMBC’s diverse voices. It took place at the end of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD), and it was sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Office of Undergraduate Education and the English and Theatre Departments. The above video is a sample of some of the readings.

President Hrabowski Participates in Launch of White House Initiative

My Brother's Keeper White House Event

Pres. Obama speaks at the launch of My Brother’s Keeper. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Thursday, February 27, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative that empowers young men of color.

My Brother’s Keeper will partner with businesses, government officials, faith leaders, non-profit organizations and private groups. These groups have pledged to invest in programs aimed at helping men of color, and replicate successful efforts across the country.

Dr. Hrabowski, chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, attended the event along with national leaders including General Colin Powell, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.

Obama Hrabowski Commission Signing

Dr. Hrabowski and Pres. Obama at the signing of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans Executive Order in 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

At the event, President Obama said, “Government cannot play the only – or even the primary—role… broadening the horizons for our young men and giving them the tools they need to succeed will require a sustained effort from all of us.”

Learn more about “My Brother’s Keeper” here and Dr. Hrabowski’s involvement with the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans here.

Christine Mair and Brandy Harris Wallace in Gerontology Video

Christine A. Mair and Brandy Harris Wallace, both assistant professors in UMBC’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, appear in a new video highlighting the UMB-UMBC gerontology doctoral program—a unique, cross-campus collaboration.

As they describe, gerontology is a field that is interdisciplinary at its core, because aging is a lifelong process that impacts us all. Mair and Harris Wallace explain how interdisciplinarity functions in the field, which includes sociologists, public policy experts, epidemiologists and many others with both quantitative and qualitative approaches. They also describe their own research in how expectations of care can impact happiness in later life (Mair) and the assisted living workforce (Harris Wallace).

From UMBC to the World

Over Spring Break, a group of Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering students, Aaron Gibson, Dagmawi Tilahun, Kevin Tran, and Don Wong, led by Professor Govind Rao, and accompanied by Dr. Theresa Good and Ms. Geetha Ram, went to India in order to get end user data for a low cost neonatal incubator the team is developing for use in resource-poor environments.

If you listen to the students, they’ll tell you the project started in Professor Rao’s 2011 Sensors class, a senior elective, where students learned that over 340 neonates die an hour in their first week of life, with 99% of those deaths occurring in low and middle income countries. Most of those deaths could be prevented if appropriate technology were available.

Professor Rao challenged the class to develop incubators that would work in these resource limited environments, where electricity might only be available for 8 hours a day, and salaries might be less than $6 a day. A few students from that class have continued to work with Professor Rao on this project funded by National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance which has culminated in the trip to India, where students met with rural health care workers in the Mysore region in Southern India, to ensure that they design a low cost incubator that will meet the needs of the local population. They visited several rural health care providers and have now partnered with an incubator manufacturer (Phoenix Medical Systems) and a health care provider (Karuna Trust) to take the concept to reality. Of course, we couldn’t leave India without seeing a few famous wonders of the world – the trip to the Taj Mahal was a gift from Professor Rao to the students and his colleagues. It was breathtaking.

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John Rennie Short Video Interview on “Korea: A Cartographic History”

Korea: A Cartographic History“Korean cartography is very distinctive in having this combination of rivers and mountain shown so that the landscape looks as if it’s alive,” says Professor John Rennie Short, public policy, in a new video interview about his latest book.

Korea: A Cartographic History explores 600 years of Korean maps, made by both Koreans and non-Koreans, and serves as a captivating introduction to Korea for English speakers. Thanks to a grant from the Korea Foundation to the University of Chicago Press, the maps are printed in full color, showcasing them both as historical documents and works of art.

In the new video interview about Korea, John Rennie Short describes two cartographic controversies involving the complex relationship between Korea and Japan. He also reflects on the interdisciplinary approach that has defined his highly productive career.

Eric Zeemering, Public Policy, Shares Research in New Video

In a new UMBClife video, Eric Zeemering, assistant professor of public policy, explores how local governments, constrained by tight budgets, find partners to deliver public services and achieve policy goals.

Zeemering’s work focuses on public management, intergovernmental relations and urban policy, including policy relating to the sustainability of cities. He was recently named 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.

Tour Your College Towns (8/28)

UPDATE: Read Patch’s coverage of the university’s community tours: “UMBC Students Tour Arbutus, Catonsville.”

With the end of August comes another fall semester at UMBC and another batch of freshmen. There’s a lot for them to get the hang of, and that goes beyond how to navigate campus or what classes to take. There’s also the matter of life off campus: Where’s a good restaurant to take a date? Where can you go for a walk or a picnic? Where can you buy an extra-large cup of cheap coffee for those midnight study sessions?

And, of course, what are Catonsville and Arbutus really like?

That’s where “Tour of Your College Towns” comes into play. It’s a free tour for students, highlighting the Arbutus and Catonsville area and put together by UMBC. Since 2004, the tour has helped to provide the newcomers with an opportunity to get to know the local area, which many of them will call home for the next four years.

Students depart from the university’s Commons Circle on shuttles, which follow a route that takes them from the Eskimo Shack in Arbutus to the Double T Diner in Catonsville, from the Hollywood Theater to Patapsco Valley State Park. The entire route is designed to highlight businesses and attractions that might be of interest to young people, according to Lee Calizo, Director of Student Life at UMBC.

“It’s not the typical shuttle route that the transit usually goes on,” said Calizo. “We’ve designed a certain route to specifically point out locations in Arbutus and Catonsville that students might frequent.”

Serving as guides are members of the Arbutus and Catonsville Chambers of Commerce, who can point out spots to the unfamiliar, as well as a community liaison member of UMBC’s Student Government Association (SGA). Last year, Meghan Carpenter, a junior majoring in political science and the SGA’s Director of the Office of Community and Government Affairs, was on the bus.

“I went on the tour my freshman year, and was the student leader of the retreat last year,” Carpenter said. “I’ve lived in Catonsville for 13 years, so I’m well acquainted with the area, and helped to make other students more comfortable with traveling off campus through the tour.”

This knowledgeableness of Carpenter and the other guides has helped make the tour a success for both UMBC and Arbutus and Catonsville. In the past, the shuttles’ 30 spots quickly fill up, along with a wait-list of about 15 to 20 students. As a result, there will be two tours for students this year.

The 2012 “Tour of Your College Towns” for UMBC will be held on Tuesday, August 28, at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., both of which will last for one hour each.