Eric Zeemering, Public Policy, to Present Talk on Sustainability in Baltimore (7/15)

A new book out by Eric Zeemering, an assistant professor of public policy, examines what Baltimore can do to become a more sustainable city. The book, titled, “Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Cities: Economy, Environment and Community in Baltimore” (Routledge Studies in Public Administration and Environmental Sustainability) was published on May 28, 2014. In the above video, Zeemering shares his research on how sustainability is defined in Baltimore, and how city government officials, community organizations and state and federal agencies have taken a collaborative approach to sustainability policies.

Zeemering’s teaching and research interests focus on public management, intergovernmental relations and urban policy. He is presenting a talk on his new book at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch on Tuesday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the event, click here.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Herald-Mail

Maryland’s race for governor has received most of the attention, but the attorney general’s race is also seeing a competitive primary. An article published in The Herald-Mail on June 11 examines the duties and responsibilities of the attorney general and sheds light on the importance of the office.

Laura Hussey

Laura Hussey, an assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for the article and shared that the office is important because of political and policy issues. Below is an excerpt from the story:

“The attorney general advises the governor on legal matters, [Hussey] said. It was Doug Gansler — the current attorney general who is running for governor — who decided in 2010 that Maryland would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, according to Hussey. The Maryland attorney general is one of a very small number of statewide offices. The person in that position could be a “counter-weight” to the governor if he or she decided to do so, Hussey said.”

To read the full article in The Herald-Mail, click here.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun

With less than two weeks until Maryland’s Democratic primary, new polls in the gubernatorial and attorney general’s race show one race is likely already decided and the other could swing in either direction.

Donald Norris UMBC

Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was interviewed by The Washington Post about the two polls. A new Washington Post poll shows Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown holding a commanding lead with 46 percent of likely Democratic voters supporting him, with 23 percent backing Attorney General Doug Gansler and 16 percent supporting Del. Heather Mizeur (Montgomery).

“Absent a gigantic mistake from the Brown campaign, this is probably over,” Norris said. “I think the only strategy left for a candidate in Gansler’s situation is to attack, attack, attack, and that’s likely to backfire.”

Meanwhile, in the attorney general’s race, Del. Jon Cardin (Baltimore County) narrowly leads Sen. Brian Frosh (Montgomery) with 26 percent of likely Democratic voters saying they support him. That’s compared to 20 percent supporting Frosh and Del. Alisha Braveboy (Prince George’s), who is running third at 13 percent. Forty percent of likely Democratic voters say they have no preferred candidate or are disengaged: “People are generally not paying attention,” said Norris. “I’m not sure whose advantage that is.”

To read “Lt. Gov. Brown holds commanding lead over Democratic rivals in Maryland governor’s race,” click here. You can read “Polls show two candidates for Md. attorney general are locked in a tight battle” here.

Norris was also interviewed for an article published in The Baltimore Sun on June 13 about spending in the governor’s race. To read, “Candidates have millions to spend in final days before primary,” click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-ed in The Baltimore Sun

A recent Baltimore Sun poll shows Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has the support of 41 percent of likely Democratic voters in the gubernatorial primary. That number gives him a lead of 2 to 1 over Attorney General Doug Gansler (20 percent) and a 3 to 1 advantage over Del. Heather Mizeur (15 percent).

Tom Schaller

In his latest column in The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller offers an explanation for why Brown is so far ahead in the race, but also why he has yet to put a lock on the job.

“The first observation is that the key party players, including Gov. Martin O’Malley and many of the state’s key unions, consolidated very early behind Mr. Brown. A second, equally obvious observation is that Mr. Gansler’s candidacy has imploded, thanks to his mostly self-inflicted wounds in the trooper and teen drinking episodes,” Schaller writes.

He observes that criticism from Gansler against Brown over management of the failed health exchange hasn’t gained momentum but likely would have if Gansler were a Republican candidate running in a red or even purple state.

Even with a big lead in the polls, Schaller writes Brown will need to think long-term and come up with a clear vision for how he wants to govern the state should he win the nomination: “Gubernatorial candidates should clearly articulate what the state will look like under their stewardship four or even eight years hence. Perhaps Mr. Brown is saving his grander designs for the general election phase, after he secures the nomination,” he adds.

You can read the full column in The Baltimore Sun by clicking here.

Ann Christine Frankowski, Center for Aging Studies, in The New York Times

In a recent article published in The New York Times blog “The New Old Age,” Ann Christine Frankowski provides insight into sexual behavior policies at assisted living facilities. Frankowski, a senior research scientist for UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies, has conducted studies in 23 Maryland assisted living complexes over the last several years and she says, “none of them have formalized policies to deal with sexual behavior.”

Frankowski commented further on the issue and said many aspects still need to be looked into, but she said assessing such policies at assisted living complexes is beginning to be brought to the forefront.

“Ascertaining whether encounters are consensual, who is capable of consent, how to balance couples’ privacy with that of other residents – ‘these issues have not been thought through,’ said Frankowski. ‘But people are beginning to talk about it.'”

You can read the full blog post titled “Sex in Assisted Living: Intimacy Without Privacy,” by clicking here.

Robert Provine, Psychology, on The Atlantic Video and ABC Australia Radio

Robert Provine“We have the illusion that laughter is a choice, that we speak laughter as we speak any other word. But we don’t speak hah-hah when we laugh. It’s an involuntary action,” says Psychology Professor Robert Provine in a compelling new video exploring why humans laugh. The video is part of The Atlantic Video web series.

Provine narrates the video and it’s broken into parts including segments on the anatomy of laughter and the danger of laughter. During one portion of the video, Provine visits The Commons at UMBC and conducts an experiment simply by sitting down and observing the people around him.

“Breakthroughs in science come from studying things that are simple and easily described. I call it sidewalk neuroscience,” says Provine. In the video, he listens to two people laughing nearby and highlights that social laughter is caused by relationships, not jokes.

Provine has been studying the social and neurological roots of laughter for 20 years and his latest book, Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond (2012), is an exploration of neglected human instincts.

To watch the complete video titled, “Why We Laugh,” click here 

Provine also participated in a recent discussion about laughter on ABC Australia Radio’s “Life Matters” program. To listen to the complete interview, click here.

Dave Marcotte, Public Policy, in The Washington Times

Dave MarcotteA recent Washington Times article discusses Maryland officials joining other states in reconsidering school start dates that have been pushed earlier in the summer over the last several years. Some officials say moving the start dates to after Labor Day could benefit the state economically due to additional tourism dollars.

Public Policy Professor and Graduate Program Director Dave Marcotte was interviewed for the article and commented on potential academic effects of moving school start dates to after Labor Day.

“With the state testing schedule, schools that start early have an advantage,” Marcotte said. “In the state of Wisconsin, schools started moving their start dates up in order to do better on standardized tests. The state had to restrict the early start dates because the schools were creeping up into early August.”

Marcotte said that students from lower income families suffer the most from long learning gaps during the summer and tend to lose many educational gains made during the school year.

To read the full article in The Washington Times titled, “Starting school later could generate an extra $7.7 million for Maryland’s coffers, click here.

Anne Rubin, History, on C-SPAN

Anne RubinOn Saturday, May 31, C-SPAN 3 aired a talk given by History Associate Professor Anne Rubin at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. The talk was part of the 2014 Civil War Symposium held at the beginning of May.

Rubin discussed Union General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea and the concept of “civilized war.” In 1864, General Sherman marched his troops from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, and Rubin described the destruction along the way as setting the precedent for “total war” tactics in subsequent conflicts.

Rubin opens her talk by discussing basic Google and Internet searches of General Sherman and that many of them represent “a really popularly held view that William T. Sherman and the march through Georgia and the Carolinas in the final months of the Civil War have something to do with the creation of total war.”

You can watch the full talk on C-SPAN 3 by clicking here. Rubin’s book, A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868, won the 2006 Avery O. Craven book prize for the best book in Civil War history

Nathan Rehr ’13, Political Science, on Humanities Connection

National History Day is set to take place next month at the University of Maryland, College Park. The competition is an exciting experience for students in grades six through twelve to learn about ideas, events and people in history and apply what they learn through original projects.

Nathan Rehr ’13, political science, participated in National History Day as a high school student. For his project, he decided to research Sargent Shriver and as part of his research he interviewed Joby Taylor, Director of the Shriver Peaceworker Program. He credits Taylor with helping him guide his choice of where to go for college and recently shared his story on WYPR’s Humanities Connection.

“For me, History Day helped me determine a few of the next steps in my life,” Rehr said. By interviewing Taylor, Rehr said, “I learned more about UMBC’s social and academic atmosphere, and I decided to start college there the following fall.”

Rehr is currently serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal working as a Preventive Health Educator to help improve the health and well-being of the community he is serving. To listen to the full segment on Humanities Connection, click here.

Devin Hagerty, Political Science, Named 2014-2015 Lipitz Professor

Devin Hagerty Devin Hagerty, professor of political science and founding director of the global studies program, has been named the Lipitz Professor of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences for 2014-2015. This professorship is supported by an endowment created by Roger C. Lipitz and the Lipitz Family Foundation “to recognize and support innovative and distinguished teaching and research in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.”

An internationally recognized scholar of South Asian international relations (India-Pakistan and South Asia-US), Hagerty came to UMBC from the University of Sydney in 2001. Since then he has published two books, five articles, and 13 book chapters. He founded the journal Asian Security in 2003 and has served as its managing editor or co-editor ever since. He teaches courses in international relations and has won the Political Science Teacher of the Year award three times. He has served as chair of the political science department, currently chairs one of the working groups for the university’s strategic planning, and now directs our new, fast-growing global studies program—among a long list of service to UMBC. In November 2013, Hagerty wrote an op-ed published in Inside Higher Ed in which he introduced UMBC’s global studies program and argued that a liberal arts education is essential in developing a “global competence” among students.

During his year as the Lipitz Professor, Dr. Hagerty will work on a book project entitled “Fear, Ambition, and the Sturdy Child of Terror: South Asia’s Triangular Nuclear Dilemma.”