Kimberly Moffitt, American Studies, to Participate in Everyman Theatre Panel (4/26)

On Saturday, April 26, Kimberly Moffitt, an assistant professor of American studies, will participate in a panel at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre as part of the next Marc Steiner World of the Play discussion. This latest World of the Play discussion is called “Race and Representation: Our Greatest Accomplishment. Our Greatest Shame.” The goal of the event is to examine the impact of racial stereotypes within the entertainment industry and the effect on communities and greater culture.

Kimberly Moffitt will serve on the panel along with Dramaturg and Playwright Jacqueline Lawton and Otis Cortez Ramsey-ZoeAssociate Artistic Director at banished? productions and Lecturer of Theatre Arts at Howard University.

The discussion is scheduled for 5 p.m. For more information on Saturday’s event, click here.

UMBC scientists receive Maryland Innovation grant from TEDCO to advance bioremediation of PCB-contaminated sediments

Professor Kevin Sowers, Professor of Marine Biotechnology at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), and Professor Upal Ghosh, at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, have received a $100,000 grant from the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). The grant will fund research to that will ameliorate the environmental harms of PCB’s. The program is an initiative of the Technology Council of Maryland (TEDCO) created in 1998 to spur commercialization of scientific research in Maryland as part of the state’s efforts to foster economic development through academic research.

Sowers is a global leader in environmental science and has pioneered a method that uses activated carbon pellets seeded with microorganisms that degrade the concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediments. In recent laboratory experiments, the cultures Sowers created resulted in over 80% reduction in the PCB mass after treatment.

“Our hope is that this method for treating PCB’s will have a tangible impact in restoring previously degraded areas – both on land and in bodies of water,” says Sowers. “PCB’s have long been a harmful and largely intransigent pollutant and our work is intended to address serious health impacts these chemicals have on people, animals and the environment.”

Sowers is collaborating in this work with Upal Ghosh, a professor at the Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering at UMBC. “The magnitude of PCB sediment contamination and associated water quality problems in the United States is reflected in more than 3,200 state and local advisories that have warned the public about of the health impacts of consuming contaminated fish. These warnings cover 24% of total river miles throughout the United States,” Ghosh says. “The advisories include 100% of the Great Lakes and 35% of all other lakes nationwide.” PCBs are frequently reported as the leading contaminants at impacted sites. Current remediation technologies are expensive, destructive to environmentally sensitive areas, and difficult to coordinate with local activities. The technology proposed by Sowers and Ghosh addresses existing challenges and is especially suitable for environmentally sensitive sites such as wetlands and difficult-to-reach areas under-pier structures in contaminated harbors. This technology advances an in-situ remediation approach using activated carbon that has been recently developed by Ghosh and commercialized through a startup company Sediment Solutions.

The Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions (Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County.) The program is designed to promote commercialization of research conducted between and among the partnership universities and it leverages each institution’s unique strengths.

“The MII program is critically important to our partner universities and the citizens of Maryland,” noted Russell Hill, IMET Director, “because it facilitates the transformation of basic science into practical and far-reaching applications. We are grateful for TEDCO’s support and foresight in addressing this important environmental issue and are proud of the excellent research being done by Dr. Sowers and Dr. Ghosh.”

TEDCO

The Maryland State Legislature created TEDCO in 1998 to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of technology from Maryland’s research universities and federal labs into the marketplace and to assist in the creation and growth of technology-based businesses in all regions of the State. TEDCO is an independent organization that strives to be Maryland’s leading source for entrepreneurial business assistance and seed funding for the development of startup companies in Maryland’s innovation economy.

INSTITUTE OF MARINE AND ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY

Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology is a strategic alliance involving scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the University of Maryland Baltimore and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Scientists are engaged in cutting-edge research in microbiology, molecular genetic analysis and biotechnology, using marine resources to develop new drug therapies, alternative energy and other innovations to improve public health and economic opportunities. IMET also contributes to sustainable marine aquaculture and fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay and other marine ecosystems.

 

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.

LRC/SSS Receives International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC)

Cynthia M. Hill and Cassie L. Bichy jointly announce that the undergraduate tutor training program developed and delivered by the Learning Resources Center (LRC) and Student Support Services (SSS) received re-certification through 2018 from the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). LRC/SSS provided extensive documentation of their training program including syllabi for English 395, Education 313, Education 314, evaluations, and metrics for the certification process.

Through the LRC/SSS tutor training program, tutors earn certified, advanced, and master tutor recognition. Additional experience (25 hours) and training (10 hours) are required at each level. In addition, the Master level certification at UMBC requires a research project and an active learning demonstration.

LRC/SSS tutors receive recognition in May or December. Graduating seniors with Advanced or Master level training and experience are listed in the annual Student Honors and Awards Booklet.

The certification process sets an internationally accepted standard of skills and training for tutors. The mission of the LRC/SSS tutor training program is to provide the opportunity for undergraduate tutors to facilitate independent, lifelong learning. The ITTPC program provides recognition and positive reforcement for tutors’ successful work from an international organization.

UMBC-Shady Grove Students Gathered for Community Service on April 17

On April 17, approximately 30 students at UMBC’s Shady Grove campus made more than 300 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to benefit two local community organizations, Helping Hands Shelter and the Montgomery County Women’s Shelter, as part of the first Big Event: A Day of Service.

A student planning committee, chaired by Jacobi Martin, led the event. Martin, a junior Psychology major and Social Welfare minor said:“Having food and being able to eat is a basic need, and it is taken for granted. I learned that it is easy to forget about the less fortunate right in our backyard. Through the whole process of calling charities, soliciting donations, and making then delivering the sandwiches, UMBC at Shady Grove was able to connect with the community.”

The Big Event: A Day of Service was made possible through donations from Food Lion, Target, Costco, Giant, and Safeway.

Lynn Cazabon and Eric Dyer, Visual Arts, Receive Ruby Artist Project Grants

Ruby Artist Project Grants, awarded by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, are presented to Baltimore area artists in support of projects “that reflect a diversity of talent and creativity in immersive theatre, interactive media experiences, documentary film and musical composition.” This is the first year the GBCA has awarded Ruby Artist Project Grants.

Lynn Cazabon, visual arts, was awarded a prize for Portrait Garden, a project centered upon work with long-term inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women that will be presented throughout Baltimore-area commercial display spaces.

Eric Dyer, visual arts, was awarded a prize for The Zoetrope Tunnel, a 9-foot tall by 20-foot long working walk-through sculpture whose interior animation will describe the evolution of the bicycle, both in mechanical development as well as in social impact.

These project descriptions, as well as further information about the Ruby Grants, can be found at the GBCA website.

Robert Deluty, Graduate School, Publishes His 44th Book

robertdelutyRobert Deluty, associate dean of the graduate school, has published a new volume of poetry, “Rock Piles and Cathedrals.”

In his review, Ronald Pies writes: “Robert Deluty’s marvelous new collection of poems takes, as its leitmotif, Saint-Exupery’s observation that ‘A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.’ This is reminiscent of Michelangelo’s revelation that his art aimed at freeing the ‘inner statue’ from within the rough marble. So, too, with Deluty’s observations, in which he perceives the inner light, concealed within so many of life’s dark moments. Readers will find many penetrating illuminations throughout this volume, revealing Deluty’s remarkable ability to see cathedrals within piles of rocks.”

This volume, as well as all of Dr. Deluty’s other books, may be purchased at the UMBC Bookstore.