Blood Drive with the American Red Cross (10/2 – 10/4)

Give blood, save lives! You’ve heard that phrase before and it remains absolutely true. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. Plus, it feels good to give.

UMBC’s October Blood Drive in the UC Ballroom
Wed 10/2 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Thurs 10/3 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Fri 10/4 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Walkups are welcome but donors with appointments have priority. Sign up for an appointment and the UMBC Sponsor Code: 0531838.

Thanks for saving lives!

UMBC Task Force on Interdisciplinary Activities

Since the founding of our university, interdisciplinary activities have been central to UMBC’s mission, our spirit of innovation, and our pursuit of academic excellence. UMBC is proud to have developed a broad array of interdisciplinary units, ranging from longstanding programs to emerging areas of curricular innovation and scholarly endeavor.

It is critical that the campus supports the continuing expansion and vitality of all of our interdisciplinary endeavors. To that end, I am appointing a UMBC Task Force on Interdisciplinary Activities. Please join me in offering your support as committee members complete their charge to gather information about ongoing activities, identify opportunities and barriers posed by existing policies, practices, and campus culture, assess national models of best practices in support of interdisciplinary teaching and research, and recommend changes to maximize our institutional strengths. With campus-wide support of their efforts, we can create tangible change to further our position as a national model for teaching and research.

I am delighted that Dr. Carole McCann has agreed to serve as the Chair of this task force. She brings to this work her demonstrated leadership experience in the advancement of interdisciplinary programs and research at UMBC. Dr. McCann is Chair and Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and led the new department through the critical stages of its development. Dr. McCann is also an affiliate faculty member of the Language, Literacy, and Culture Ph.D. Program, where she serves on the steering committee, and is the track coordinator for the Comparative Globalizations track of the new Global Studies Program.

Task Force members include:

Carole McCann
Professor and Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies Affiliate Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture
Chair, Interdisciplinary Activities Task Force

Tulay Adali
Professor, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Marie-Christine Daniel-Ontua
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Steve Freeland
Director, Interdisciplinary Studies
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Claudia Galindo
Assistant Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture
Affiliate Assistant Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies

Matthias Gobbert
Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Theodosia Gougousi
Associate Professor, Physics

Devin Hagerty
Director, Global Studies
Professor, Political Science

Jason Loviglio
Chair and Associate Professor, Media and Communication Studies

Andy Miller
Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems

Wendy Salkind
Professor, Theatre

John Schumacher
Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

Constantine Vaporis
Professor, History
Director, Asian Studies Program
Affiliate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies’

Ex Officio members:

Diane Lee
Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education

Tony Moreira
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Karl Steiner
Vice President for Research

Rachel Carter
Ph.D. Student, Language, Literacy, and Culture
Graduate Assistant to the Task Force

Yes We Can! A Woman’s Perspective On a Life In Science (10/7)

Yes We Can! A Woman’s Perspective On a Life In Science
Advance Distinguished Lecture Series

October 7, 2013
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (reception to follow)
AOK Library Gallery

Susan Lindquist (credit: MIT)

Susan Lindquist (credit: MIT)

UMBC’s ADVANCE Program is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special distinguished lecture by Dr. Susan Lindquist, with opening remarks by President Freeman Hrabowski. Dr. Lindquist is recipient of the 2009 National Medal of Science, former director (2001-2004) of the Whitehead Institute, professor of biology at MIT, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series 10 Year Anniversary – Advancing Women Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics At UMBC.

Upcoming Baltimore Collegetown Programs (10/31; 11/7)

Motivating Your Employees: Innovative Motivational Techniques for Supervisors

Thursday, October 31, 8:30 – 11 a.m.
Notre Dame of Maryland University- Doyle Formal, located in Doyle Hall

This workshop is designed for new supervisors, or perhaps supervisors who have not had a chance to attend training on the topic of motivating employees. The workshop will provide supervisors from the Collegetown campuses with new and simple ideas for keeping their employees engaged. Investments in employee engagement have both short-term and long-term pay offs in increased levels of commitment and productivity. The workshop will cover informal and formal rewards, awards, and other effective ways to motivate teams and retain top talent. Breakfast will be served. RSVP to by Friday, October 25.

Working Effectively with Students on the Autism Spectrum

Thursday, November 7, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Towson University – TU Institute for Well-Being

This workshop is for campus professionals who would like to learn more about autism and how they can be most effective in supporting and working with students who are on the autism spectrum. Staff from TU’s Center for Adults with Autism will conduct the training. The idea for this program came out of the Collegetown Student Affairs meetings, as Student Affairs staff in all roles are interacting with students on the spectrum. However, the event will certainly be useful to staff from all parts of campus, so feel free to promote this as you see fit. More details will follow and be sent to the Collegetown Student Affairs Vice Presidents to forward to staff. RSVP to by Friday, November 1.

Sign up for the Homecoming 2013 Decorating Contest

homecoming-decorating-contestThe Homecoming Decorating Contest is back! Show your retriever fever by participating in the contest and decorating a space in your department or office area/floor. You can choose from themes based on Homecoming events like the crab feast and community picnic or feel free to express your retriever fever with any unique ideas that come to mind! Register Now!

The Spirit Committee will be offering fun tips and suggestions to help spark some ideas for showing your spirit when decorating for the contest. Also, departments and offices that register by Monday, September 16 will receive spirit packs – essentials for transforming your office into a mecca for Homecoming spirit.

Each office may submit up to two photos of their own for judging. The Judge’s Choice office winner will receive 10 tickets to the Homecoming Picnic and a trophy to proudly display in their office. The People’s Choice office winner will receive a catered party in Flat Tuesday’s with finger foods and discounted beverages. Announcement of the winners will take place on Wednesday, October 9 from 5-6 p.m. at the Homecoming Faculty and Staff Social at Flat Tuesday’s.

Important dates to remember for the Homecoming Decorating Contest:

  • Monday, September 16: Early bird registration deadline for receiving Homecoming spirit packs
  • Thursday, September 19: Spirit packs delivered
  • Monday, Spetember 30: Contest registration deadline
  • Friday, October 4: Contest judging and photographing
  • October 5-8: Voting open for The People’s Choice

Be on the look out for a UMBC Paw Path across campus that will lead spectators to and from the different participating departments and offices to view your beautiful and spirited decorations. We will also be sending a link to the the People’s Choice voting form shortly after the registration deadline.

If your office, student organization or residence hall is not participating and you would like to volunteer to judge please e-mail Jessica Bard ‘08 ‘12, at

Don’t miss Retriever Fever: Homecoming 2013!

Join the UMBC community for an extravaganza of arts, athletics, reunions and other family-friendly events!

Highlights this year include a comedy show with Nick Offerman from NBC’s Parks & Recreation, a morning with Arrested Development star Jeffrey Tambor, an all-you-can-eat Crab Feast, the annual 5K Dawg Chase, the community picnic with Dr. Hrabowski, and much more. Check out our calendar of events for a complete list of Homecoming activities.

Shared Services Centers and Business Process Improvement Update

This past spring, the Shared Service Centers Taskforce published its recommendations in a report to the President, Provost and V.P. for Administration and Finance that led us to initiate our next three major steps:

  • Business Process Improvement
  • Training Development
  • Phase I SSC Implementation

The Taskforce has since sent a survey to all faculty and staff. Participation was excellent and led directly to identification of the highest priorities for business process improvement and training development. In addition, two workgroups have been formulated with cross campus representation to review business processes related to Accounts Payable & Procurement (Group I) and Hiring & Payroll (Group II). Summaries of their reviews and proposed business process improvements will be shared in the next few weeks.
Results of the survey and additional documents related to progress and next steps are posted to the myUMBC Group, Shared Service Centers at myUMBC. We encourage you to visit as we continue to progress on this exciting initiative.

Your participation is critical to our success, as we move forward. Your feedback is valuable and will directly influence the priorities. Please continue to post concerns via the myUMBC Group. The Taskforce will continue to monitor and respond to them. Thank you.

Joining the myUMBC Shared Services Centers Group

Please go to your myUMBC home page, choose “Groups” from the dropdown, then “Browse/Search Groups” for the “Shared Services Centers at UMBC” group. Click the blue “Follow Group” button on the top right. This will enable you to communicate with the Task Force and enable the Task Force to provide you with updates as we move forward on this initiative.

James Smith: Modeling Earth’s Biosphere

James Smith: Modeling Earth’s Biosphere, His love of nature fueled his research by Susan Karlin, September 9, 2013

IEEE Fellow James Smith occasionally ditched class as a kid to wander with friends in the woods of rural Michigan. As he got older, his love for nature remained, and it became part of his work. Merging his studies in math and physics with his passion for the outdoors, Smith found a career in remote sensing of Earth to study the effects that changes in flora and fauna have on one another.

UMBC Athletics’ Hall of Fame Nominations

The UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame Committee is seeking nominations for induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The next induction ceremony will take place on Jan. 25, 2014.

To be considered for the UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame , a STUDENT-ATHLETE must have:

  1. Participated in intercollegiate athletics for UMBC for no less than two years
  2. Received a bachelor’s degree from UMBC, UMAB or UMUC prior to induction
  3. Represented the highest level of excellence when performing as a student-athlete at UMBC
  4. Must be nominated no less than five years after completing his or her eligibility at UMBC

For any student-athletes that have competed in NCAA Division I conference competition (1990-), they must have earned at least one First-Team All-Conference or multiple Second-Team (or greater) All Conference honors.

To be selected as a COACH or ADMINISTRATOR, the candidate must have represented the highest level of excellence when performing his or her duties as an intercollegiate coach or administrator.

To nominate a worthy candidate, please submit a nomination formThe deadline for nominations is Oct. 11, 2013.

Fall Benefits Open Enrollment (10/1 – 10/16)

The second benefits open enrollment period will be from October 1-16, 2013. During the open enrollment period eligible faculty and staff can change existing benefit coverage, enroll for benefit coverage, or cancel current coverage. The Human Resources (HR) Department will send campus-wide announcements as we receive further information from the State of Maryland about open enrollment. Please review the announcements carefully since there will be changes related to:

  • Coverage year (from fiscal to calendar year);
  • Federal health care reform;
  • Same sex spouse and same sex domestic partner updates;
  • Prescription Plan Changes for Retirees; and
  • Other related changes

Rates for the new plan year have not been finalized. Open enrollment packets will be delivered to the HR Department. We will notify departmental payroll representatives when open enrollment materials are available for pick up. In the meantime, the HR Department will be sending out notices regarding open enrollment changes and planned events.

SPECIAL NOTE: Prior to the start of the Fall Open Enrollment Period, the State Department of Budget and Management’s Employee Benefits Division has scheduled several information sessions related to prescription plan changes for retirees and employees considering retirement.

2012-13 Women’s Tennis Team Earns ITA All-Academic Honors; Berghaus, Lansinger Cited for Scholar-Athlete Award

A pair of UMBC Retriever tennis players, senior Kim Berghaus and junior Justin Lansinger, each received an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete Award for carrying a 3.5 or higher for the 2012-13 academic year.

Moreover, the women’s tennis team was named an ITA All-Academic Team for having a team GPA of 3.2 or higher for the 2012-13 academic year.

“Once again I am very proud of the academic achievement of our women’s tennis team,” head coach Rob Hubbard said. “Four of the past five years they have been awarded this honor by the ITA (barely missing in 2011-12) which shows the resolve these ladies have for excellence not only on the court but in the classroom as well.”

Berghaus, one of the Retrievers’ top players, suffered an injury and was unable to compete in the spring of 2013. The physics and economics major was selected to the America East Tennis All-Academic squad and earned America East First Team accolades in doubles play in 2012 after receiving the league’s Rookie of the Year honor in 2010-11.

After a stellar high school career at Liberty, Lansinger joined the Retriever squad as a sophomore in 2012-13. He was a member of the 2013 America East Conference runners-up.