The mechanical engineering capstone poster session will be held 10-1 in the ENGR Atrium. A total of 12 projects will be on display.
Amy Hurst, Collaborates on Multi-University Project To Improve Web and Cloud Computing Accessibility
“The researchers are working on methods for easily modifying software to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Researchers will develop ways to make it easier for people with disabilities to log on to the Web, make user interfaces more accessible, and change the presentation of information on the Web to streamline experiences for people with disabilities, caregivers and service providers. The researchers also will look for ways to leverage help from other people on the Web — crowdsourcing — to increase accessibility for all.
“Authentication or logging into a service is an integral yet mundane part of peoples’ Internet experience,” said Yang Wang, assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse. “However, most existing authentication schemes tend to be difficult to use for people with disabilities. We’re very excited about this opportunity to explore new authentication schemes that can provide a much better experience for people with disability.”
The team also will explore ways to dynamically change pointing and clicking actions on Web pages. “For example, if an individual is having difficulty smoothly controlling a mouse, we could detect this and smooth their input,” said Amy Hurst, assistant professor of human-centered computing in the Information Systems Department at UMBC.”
In an effort to assist employees during these economic times, the Dept. of Human Resources has updated their online resources and professional development opportunities for the Fall 2013 semester.
This is a follow-up to keep the campus community informed regarding the unexpected closure of the Y Preschool Center at UMBC on Sept. 18 due to water damage and related safety considerations. There have been a number of questions about the center, and we would like to provide the campus community with additional information.
How has the closure impacted UMBC families using campus child care services?
The 18 UMBC families directly impacted by the closure faced a very difficult challenge in finding alternative arrangements for their children on such short notice. Individuals and offices throughout the campus stepped up to support affected parents and families, serving as points of contact to hear needs and concerns, and assisting with referrals to other campus offices, as needed. Human Resources was able to arrange for liberal leave policies to go into effect for employees unable to make it to work in the days following the closure. The Office of Undergraduate Education worked with students affected by the closure to address any short-term academic concerns.
On behalf of the campus, we would particularly like to thank Jess Myers, director of the Women’s Center, Fritze Charne-Merriweather, special assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Jarrett Kealey, assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Education, and the Human Resources and The Women’s Center staff.
For anyone still facing concerns or challenges, please contact Fritze Charne-Merriweather at 410-455-2395 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Women’s Center is located in The Commons, Room 004 and can be reached at 410-455-2714 or email@example.com.
When will we know more about the future of child care/preschool service on campus?
After the remaining materials in the center are removed (to be completed the week of Oct. 7), we will consult outside experts to determine the logistics and cost associated with repairing the damaged building, which will help us to determine the feasibility of the repairs. We anticipate a full report, including a cost estimate, by December.
UMBC values child care as an important part of supporting families and a good work-life balance. While the building evaluation is conducted, we will bring together a group of interested campus community members to explore the future of child care for the UMBC community. Anyone interested in participating in this discussion should contact Lynne Schaefer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why wasn’t the problem found sooner?
The child care center situation was identified when staff in the center reported water damage on a portion of the drywall. Facilities Management then removed several feet of drywall to determine the cause.
UMBC has two methods for identifying water infiltration problems in buildings: visual inspection and self-reporting. As our building engineers and tradespersons perform work throughout the campus, they will take note of anything they see that may require further investigation. Occasionally, we receive calls from offices to report visible water damage. Unfortunately, with more than 4 million sq. ft. of building space on campus, these are the only feasible methods for identifying such occurrences. It is not advisable to perform destructive testing unless water damage is evident, visually.
We will continue to periodically report on this issue, as it evolves. In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please contact Lynne Schaefer, Vice President for Finance and Administration at email@example.com.
UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former governor of Michigan John Engler and U.S. Manufacturing Council’s Mary Isbister to discuss the role of higher education in preparing the U.S. workforce for global competitiveness in a panel discussion at NBC News’ fourth annual Education Nation Summit.
The segment, What It Takes: Keeping Up with the Competition, Part II – Our Workforce, moderated by NBC News “TODAY” co-anchor Matt Lauer, revolves around the recently released Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) report, which compares the skills and competencies of the adult workforce in 23 countries. According to the exam, Americans performed below the international average on math, reading and problem-solving.
“Scores will continue to go down until we bridge the gap between the haves and have nots,” said Dr. Hrabowski. “We need a new value system that it’s cool to be smart in America. We need to celebrate academics like we celebrate sports.”
The panel discussion was also covered by WBAL-TV in a story highlighting the disparity in test results between the U.S. and other nations. Dr. Hrabowski agreed with Sec. Arne Duncan that the growing “opportunity gap in our country” needs to be addressed. “We have so many, a large percentage, of our Americans who are from low-income families, who have not had an education and have not had the opportunity to learn to read and think critically,” Hrabowski said.
The Education Nation Summit brings together more than 300 of the country’s top thought leaders and influencers in education, government, business, philanthropy and media to discuss the relationship between education and opportunity – helping to engage the U.S. in an unprecedented discussion about how to improve education and prepare our youth for the jobs of the future.
PMP mid-year feedback meetings should be completed by the end of November 2013.
During the meeting, supervisors should review expectations, assess and update goals and identify training and development needs. Employees should also come to the feedback meetings prepared to discuss performance progress.
Remember that it’s a process, not an event. If you have questions about the process, contact Elmer Falconer, 410-455-3645 or Shobhna Arora, 410-455-1638.
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!
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:
Professor and Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies Affiliate Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture
Chair, Interdisciplinary Activities Task Force
Professor, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Director, Interdisciplinary Studies
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture
Affiliate Assistant Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies
Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
Associate Professor, Physics
Director, Global Studies
Professor, Political Science
Chair and Associate Professor, Media and Communication Studies
Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems
Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Director, Asian Studies Program
Affiliate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies’
Ex Officio members:
Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Research
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
Advance Distinguished Lecture Series
October 7, 2013
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (reception to follow)
AOK Library Gallery
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com by Friday, November 1.