Credit: Marlayna Demond
“The University of Maryland, Baltimore County chess team tied four other college teams for first place at the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship on Sunday — maintaining its record as one of two colleges with the most top finishes in the history of the international event,” wrote Kevin Rector in the Baltimore Sun.
The UMBC chess team tied for first place December 30, 2012 in the Pan-Am Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, advancing to the 2013 President’s Cup, known as the “Final Four” of chess.
The team headed into the 2012 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship with a record nine titles to its name. The competition known informally as the Pan-Am, was held December 27 to 30 in Princeton, New Jersey. Since the tournament began in 1946, dozens of universities throughout the Americas have participated. The Retrievers won their first Pan-Am title in 1996, and then embarked on a five-year title streak from 1998 to 2002.
This year, the Retrievers tied for first place with 3 other Universities: University of Texas, Dallas; Webster University, which had 2 teams; and the University of Illinois.
“It was an exciting finish. This was the strongest Pan Am in the history of the event. Twenty – three grandmasters as well as 5 teams rated over 2500 competed,” says Alan Sherman, Director of the UMBC Chess Program.
The UMBC team, all on chess scholarships, is composed of students not only with exceptional chess skills but also with strong academic records, Sherman says. UMBC requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA to maintain chess scholarships.
The Retrievers last won the Pan-Am title in 2009, and took second last year. This year’s team will compete in the 2012 President’s Cup, the “Final Four of College Chess,” to be held in April 6-7, 2013 in Herndon, Va.
Angel Chinn, Dance ’08, was featured in The Gazette this month when the newly formed dance company, NonaLee Dance Theatre, was slated to perform an adventurous, site-specific program at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier. In the article, Angel Chinn speaks about her switch from competitive running and studying education, to pursuing a degree in dance at UMBC with an honesty and openness that is mirrored in her performance which featured movements about life questions, faith and hope.
The NonaLee Dance Theatre, created and directed by Angel Chinn was developed in 2011, with the intention of striving to give dancers with diverse backgrounds the “opportunity to perform and grow artistically.” The dance troupe has evolved since its induction, but always aims to bring its own identity to the world of modern dance. This most recent performance was a “fresh take on modern dance and something people haven’t seen yet. It has a modern feel, it also has a hip hop feel, it has a funk feel.” NonaLee blurred “the line between audience and performer” by leaving the stage and performing in close proximity to the viewers in the museum lobby in a piece called “The Living Art Museum”.
Angel Chinn will return to UMBC to perform in the 2013 Baltimore Dance Project February 7-9. Read the entire article, including Associate Professor of Dance, Doug Hamby’s comments on Chinn’s dance at Gazette.net.
Psychology professor Robert Provine was featured in a November 26th web article published on the Canadian news network CTV’s website, which discussed the mystery of why people get the hiccups.
Provine, whose book Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond was published in August, spoke with reporter Helen Branswell about his research into the involuntary action, which can often occur after drinking too much.
He also discussed possible cures, which can include being observed by another person. Provine noticed this particular approach when he attempted to record hiccupping children during his research. ”In fact, my first nine attempts to do this in every case the hiccupping stopped as soon as I turned the tape recorder on,” he said. “That’s my tape recorder cure.”
Erle Ellis, geography and environmental systems, was interviewed for an upcoming edition of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) podcast Field Talk. The interview was regarding an article Ellis co-wrote with fellow scholars Laura J. Martin and Bernd Blossey entitled “Mapping where ecologists are: biases in the global distribution of terrestrial ecological observations.”
The article was a result of five years of research and deals with what the authors feel are biases towards the protected and temperate regions of wealthy countries where most ecologists reside. Ellis spoke with ESA communications officer Liza Lester of the importance of the subject to the future of academic research, saying, “It matters because we’re facing global change – these are global phenomena, so we need global information.”
Panos Charalambides, mechanical engineering, was a guest on Midday with Dan Rodricks for the WYPR program’s weekly news review hour, broadcast on November 16.
Charalambides spoke in regards to the recent troubles of the Baltimore region’s infrastructure, with a number of major water main breakages in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The issue isn’t a problem just for Charm City, but has been a concern in recent years across the country.
With this year’s World AIDS Day approaching on December 1st, the Office of Student Life’s Mosaic Center, University Health Services, and the UMBC Women’s Center have announced a partnership which aims to raise awareness and education about HIV/Aids, beginning today, November 26th, through November 30th.
Events for the week include:
-Free & Confidential Rapid HIV Testing on November 27th & 28th, from 10am – 4pm in The Commons, Room 329.
- An HIV/AIDS Brown Bag Discussion on November 27th, from 10am – 11am in the Women’s Center.
-The World AIDS Day Health Fair on November 27th, held from 11am – 1pm, on The Commons Main Street.
Staff and faculty participation is encouraged. To find out more about these and other events planned to help awareness of World AIDS Day, please visit the Office of Student Life’s Mosaic Center group page on myUMBC here.
UMBC’s Earle Ellis, geography and environmental systems, spoke with BBC journalist Andrew Luck-Baker for a recent two-part article examining modern society’s potential contributions to the future fossil record.
In “Leaving our mark: Fossils of the future,” Luck-Baker wrote of one particular aspect of our culture which will likely remain for future scientists millions of years from now: the bones of small and medium-sized animals. Ellis told the reporter that an important aspect of this possibility is the way in which humans discard the bones of these domesticated creatures, whether they’re our pets or our meals.
For more on humanity’s potential legacy, click on the link above, as well as the first-part exploring the possible record of our cities here.
Language, Literacy, and Culture PhD candidate Amy Pucino ’15 was profiled by Diverse on September 18th for her volunteer work with UMBC’s Refugee Youth Project (RYP).
Pucino spoke with the magazine about her personal experience with aiding a family of Iraqis who fled their country during the Iraq War and relocated to Baltimore. She helped the family on issues ranging from English tutoring to navigating the city’s institutions in order to help them obtain housing and health care. The experience inspired Pucino to base her dissertation on “the relationships between Iraqi refugees and those who play an educational role in their lives.”
“Through working with the family, I’ve picked up that the Iraqi population is an increasing population across the U.S. It’s our social responsibility to figure out ways to better serve the increasing population here. It taught me the importance of the need to work better with diverse communities. I wanted to do research that had some sort of practical application,” she said.
Alumnus and former UMBC lacrosse attackman Conor Devlin ’08, economics, was named new lease analyst for Colliers International in Baltimore, according to an article published in The Daily Record October 1st.
The report in The Record’s “Movers & Shakers” section said Devlin’s duties at Colliers “will include lease administration, accounts receivable, account analysis and administrative tasks.” Previous experience also mentioned included stints with CoStar Group as research associate, Wells Fargo as a credit manager and STX LLC as a marketing intern.
History professor George Derek Musgrove spoke The Greene County Democrat for aSeptember 26th story entitled “Newswire: Cong. Maxine Waters cleared of House ethics charges.” The story concerned Congresswoman Maxine L. Waters (D-Calif.) and her recent acquittal on violating ethics codes in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Waters ws investigated by the House Ethics Committee for advocating for inclusion of minority-owned banks in the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) while her husband Sidney Williams was still invested in one such bank, OneUnited Bank.
Musgrove, a ’97 alumnus of UMBC, recently published the book Rumor, Repression, and Racial Politics: How the Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post-Civil Rights America, which examines the history of governmental investigations of black elected officials in the United States after the 1960′s and those politicians’ allegations of state and media bias against them.
The professor said that the case could have ramifications in terms of future ethics probes being muddied by partisan applications. “Based on our current political climate, it is all but certain that conflicts like this, both real and imagined, will come up in the future that both political parties will try to use them against the opposition and that voters will find themselves in a difficult position yet again, trying to figure out whether their member really does deserve sanction or if they’re just doing the same thing that everybody else is doing,” he said.