Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Art, Awarded TEDCO MII Grant

Symphony Interactive Screen

Symphony Interactive Screen

Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Arts, in partnership with the School of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park, have received a $150,000 Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) grant for their work on the tablet app, Symphony Interactive. MII was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions (Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; UMCP; University of Maryland Baltimore; and UMBC), and is managed by TEDCO, created by the Maryland State Legislature in 1998 to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of technology from Maryland’s research universities and federal labs into the marketplace. The MII program promotes the commercialization of academic research conducted in the partnership universities. Symphony Interactive is only the second project within the humanities ever to receive an award from MII, and the first to be funded in the arts and humanities at UMBC.

SI_CommaderControlSymphony Interactive provides contemporary audiences a novel way to engage with live orchestral performances. Through both text and images presented through a unique interface at the exact moment the information is most pertinent to the music, SI enables an enriched experience for users by allowing them to learn about the music and its cultural history during its performance. Acting as an informed “friend,” the app subtly provides information to enhance engagement, keeping the experience of the live performance paramount. During the grant period, the SI team will create a library for thirty of the most performed orchestral works, producing unique textual and visual information for each piece. Over the next nine months, the grant funding also will enable developing a more fully featured proof of concept application, expanding the social media extensions of the app, and performing valuable market research to aid in the commercialization process.

The Symphony Interactive project has been in development since 2011, with support from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Development has progressed through collaboration with many faculty, staff and students from Music, Visual Arts, the Imaging Research Center, Human Centered Computing, and the Department of Information Technology. Symphony Interactive has been tested in performances by the UMBC Symphony, and most recently at the National Orchestra Institute at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

American Red Cross Blood Drive via Bloodmobile (7/23)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Registration will be at The Commons Information Desk. The Bloodmobile will be parked on Commons Circle Drive

Walk ups are welcome, or you can schedule your Life Saving Donation. To schedule an appointment go to and enter Sponsor Code: 0531838.

Alternatively, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Need a reason to donate blood? Click here to watch  inspiring videos from grateful Blood Recipients.  For questions on eligibility please call Donor Services at:

Also, all donors on July 23rd will have a chance to be honored at Camden Yards as the BLOOD DONOR OF THE GAME!

Winners will receive a pair of tickets to a Baltimore Orioles home game and special on-field recognition at the game. One winner each month will be selected through September. To enter a website and code will be presented to you at the time of your blood donation. For more information visit:

Meghan Carpenter Wins 2014 UMBC Student Affairs Leadership Award


Meghan Carpenter on the left and Dr. Kim Leisey, Associate VP for Student Affairs

On June 30, 2014, the Division of Student Affairs honored the 2014 UMBC Student Affairs Leadership Award recipient, Meghan Carpenter. This award recognizes undergraduate students with Junior or Senior status who made significant contributions to UMBC and provided leadership that enhances the quality of university life. Recipients are selected on the bases of leadership, scholarship, service and character.

Meghan who recently graduated in May 2014, was recognized for her leadership with SGA, Omicron Delta Kappa, and as the UMBC representative for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Congratulations to Meghan on this outstanding achievement.

Rachel Brewster in Science Magazine

Rachel Brewster, an associate professor in the department of biological sciences, was profiled in a recent issue of Science magazine. The article titled, The Adapter, explores how Brewster, in a world of tight funding, adapts her work on neural development, and continues training graduate students.

Jennifer Couzin-Frankel writes in Science:

Brewster landed at UMBC in 2003, after marrying a biologist she met at New York University (NYU) who accepted a job at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Since securing tenure, she aspired to create a different culture from the one she experienced during her postdoc, in a prestigious lab at NYU’s Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. “I do not want to have the kind of cutthroat lab where people feel the pressure to work Saturday, Sunday, 16 hours a day,” she says. “But then there’s of course a price to pay,” she admits. “The price to pay is in productivity.”

“Her lab uses zebrafish to disentangle how the early brain is shaped, and Brewster has also made it a priority to support women and students from minority groups. In part that reflects her own background—she grew up in Switzerland, the child of a Jamaican mother and a British Guyanese father who worked for the United Nations. She’s fiercely proud of UMBC, a state school that graduates a remarkable 40% or so of its students, many of them minorities, from science-based majors, well above the national average of 25%. “A lot of our students are daughters and sons of recent immigrants, people who still believe in the American dream and who are investing every penny and dime they have to get their kids an education,” she says.”

If you’re looking for a good read about one of UMBC’s scientists then this article may be for you.

Read more


Creating Resilience: Dialogue & Practice (6/26)

Adversity can show up in multiple ways. An unexpected occurrence or ongoing stressful situations can lead to frustration, overwhelm, fatigue, and even illness. We may long for a future time where life will settle down and we will be able to catch up, renew ourselves, and reconnect with what matters most. In today’s fast-paced world, that time may never come and we find ourselves longing for a different and more peaceful life.

What can be done to break this cycle and create a more resilient response? It starts with taking a look at ourselves, our stories, and how these stories influence our experience. With an intentional change in our mindset and implementing some simple practices, we can begin to respond to the same situations with greater effectiveness, ease, and even joy.

Join us in a resilience conversation where you will learn how to create a resilient mindset; practice quick and powerful techniques such as centering and mindfulness meditation to help you shift your experience in the moment; share strategies with each other; and create an action plan for how you want to ‘show up’ under stress.

The workshop will be Thursday, June 26th, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., in the ITE Room 456.

Register by June 18th, and get a flyer with details on myUMBC.

SkillSoft Resource Highlight: Business Impact Videos

Did you know that you can use SkillSoft e-Learning to find short interactive videos that provide solutions to frequently encountered business problems? These 5-10 minute videos, called Business Impact Series, can be found within the course catalog under the folder ‘Business Exploration Series.’ During these short videos, you will receive background information on the business scenario, watch it being enacted through a dramatization, and receive a specific course of action that you can apply to your own situation. With over 170+ videos to choose from on topics such as Management, Leadership, Human Resources, Sales, Finance and Accounting, and Professional Foundations, you are bound to find a topic that suits your individual and/or your departmental needs.

For more information about SkillSoft and the Business Exploration Series courseware, click here.

Visit the UMBC SkillSoft website for a Quick Start Guide, FAQs, and the link to log in to SkillPort.

To schedule a department presentation about using SkillSoft for professional development, contact Jill Weinknecht Wardell at ext. 5-1442 or via email at

Career and Collaboration Opportunities for UMBC Science Faculty in Germany (5/8)

This information session will focus on opportunities that exist for faculty when engaging with colleagues in Germany. The presentation will cover start-up funding, opportunities for single-PIs and funding programs that are relevant for larger PI groups. It will primarily focus on DFG funding programs, but will also cover relevant funding programs from other organizations such as the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service.

May 8, 2014
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Meyerhoff Bldg, Room 120

The German Research Foundation  (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft—DFG)
The largest, self-governing funding organization for basic research at universities in Germany. With an annual budget of just over 2.5 billion euros,  provided primarily by the German federal and state governments, the DFG promotes the advancement of science and the humanities by funding research projects and facilitating cooperation among researchers. The DFG supports approximately 21,000 individual and coordinated research projects that have been selected through a rigorous peer-review process.

Click here to find out more information.

Ready, Set, Retire! (5/12)

The Human Resources Department is sponsoring this pre-retirement seminar for members of the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), through either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity, who are within five years of retirement. This half-day session provides valuable information to prepare you for retirement. Highlights include:

• Key steps in the retirement process
• Health insurance options for you and your dependents into retirement
• Social Security and Medicare benefits, presented by staff of the Social Security Administration.
• Distribution and payment options from your ORP through TIAA-CREF or Fidelity.
• Supplemental Retirement Maximums, IRS rules, and distribution information.
• Key information on other benefits

Click here to sign up for this session. Space is limited so sign up today!

Light breakfast refreshments will be served.