About Dinah Winnick

Communications Manager for Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

UMBC ranked as one of the world’s top universities for geosciences

UMBC has been ranked one of the top universities in the world for geosciences in the 2015 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities.

This recognition is released by the National Taiwan University Ranking (NTU Ranking), based on the production and impact of scientific papers by faculty in specific disciplines.

Geosciences at UMBC made headlines recently when UMBC’s Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) partnership renewed its cooperative agreement with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, bringing up to $46 million to JCET and UMBC over the next five years.

LorraineRemerEarlier this summer, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced it would recognize Lorraine Remer, physics professor and JCET researcher, as an AGU fellow at their Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

This is a tremendously prestigious honor, as only 0.1% of members are elected as AGU fellows. Fellowships are given to AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences.

Upon receiving the honor, Remer said, “I am hoping that my election to AGU Fellow will help the broad scientific community become better aware of the excellent Earth science research taking place at UMBC.”

U.S. News names UMBC one of 2016’s “Best Global Universities”

UMBC spiritLess than a month after naming UMBC as the #4 “Most Innovative” university in the U.S. and #6 for commitment to undergraduate teaching (tied with Yale), U.S. News & World Report has included UMBC in its 2016 Best Global Universities ranking.

This is the second edition of the Best Global Universities rankings, which now includes the top 750 universities from 57 countries around the globe. Rankings are based on 12 indicators, in areas from research reputation to publications to PhDs awarded.

The 2016 Best Global Universities list includes 184 U.S. universities, featuring three USM institutions: UMBC; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; and the University of Maryland, College Park.

Times Higher Education recognizes UMBC as a top world university in 2015-16 rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) has named UMBC one of world’s top universities for the fourth consecutive year.

THE World University Rankings “judge world class universities across all of their core missions—teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook,” utilizing metrics in 13 categories.

THE World University RankingsThe 2015-16 list of top 800 global universities includes 147 in the United States and highlights three in Maryland: UMBC, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland, College Park. Universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland were also well represented in the 2015-16 list.

In addition to the World University Rankings, UMBC has appeared in Times Higher Education‘s “100 Under 50” ranking for four consecutive years — one of seven U.S. universities to be recognized this year.

THE’s “100 Under 50” ranks the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years old. Editor Phil Baty has noted that universities on the list “are a truly exciting and dynamic group of institutions which should serve as a lesson to the rest of the world – that the traditional global world order is not unassailable and visionary young universities can break through.”

Dean Julia Ross receives “Outstanding Chemical Engineer” honor

Ross windowPurdue University has honored Dean Julia Ross of UMBC’s College of Engineering and IT as one of six Outstanding Chemical Engineers for 2015.

Dean Ross is an alumna of Purdue and received her PhD in chemical engineering from Rice University in 1995. She has served as dean of COEIT since August 2014, and is also UMBC’s Constellation Professor of Information Technology and Engineering.

Prior to her appointment as dean, Ross served as special assistant to the provost for inter-institutional research initiatives, 2012-14, and was instrumental in enhancing research collaborations between UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Among her current projects, Dean Ross has collaborated with colleagues Jon Singer and Chris Rakes from UMBC’s department of education, and Richard Weisenhoff from Baltimore County Public Schools, on developing curriculum and training resources to integrate engineering into high school biology and technology classrooms. Most recently, NSF supported UMBC-BCPS Inspires through a $3 million grant in 2014.

As dean, Ross has contributed to several important national initiatives, including signing on to a letter of commitment to improve the inclusiveness of engineering education at the first White House Demo Day, hosted by President Barack Obama in August 2015.

Joining Dean Ross are fellow award recipients Norm Kidder, CEO of Lomar Corporation; John Klier, a global R&D director at Dow; Seung Bin Park (PhD ’88) a vice president at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Charles E. Smith, president and CEO of Countrymark; and Vijay Swarup, vice president of R&D for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

Nobel Prize winners recognize alumni Benyam and Isaac Kinde as “Bright Young Minds”

When Science News asked 30 Nobel Prize winners to name early-career scientists who have caught their attention, two UMBC alumni stood out from the crowd. Brothers Benyam Kinde ’10, and Isaac Kinde ’05, both biological sciences, made the top ten list of “Bright Young Minds”—inspiring scholars who are “up-and-coming stars” completing high-caliber research.

Science News highlights Benyam’s work on how genetic changes affect brain cell activity in Rett syndrome, a disorder marked by developmental delays and seizures, and Issac’s work to create technology to detect cancer very early, giving patients a better chance at survival.

Benyam Kinde“We still don’t know very much about how individual cells in the brain coordinate the activity of higher-level function that defines us as humans,” says Benyam. It’s this mystery that drives his passion for neurobiology. Benyam got his first neuroscience research experience as a Meyerhoff Scholar at UMBC, prior to becoming an MD and PhD student at Harvard Medical School and MIT.

Isaac KindeIsaac Kinde also discovered his passion for research as a Meyerhoff Scholar at UMBC, before going on to receive his MD and PhD at Johns Hopkins. Today he is chief scientific officer at PapGene, a biotech startup in Baltimore that is producing innovative technology to detect cancer at very early stages, before tumors can be detected through imaging or symptoms.

As a graduate student Isaac studied with cancer researcher Bert Vogelstein, who told Science News, “He’s not only devised a technology that is groundbreaking in terms of its ability to detect rare mutations…he’s also been able to implement that technology and show that it can be useful…in patients.”

Learn more about these “Bright Young Minds” in their Science News profiles (Benyam Kinde and Isaac Kinde). See also a 2013 UMBC Magazine profile of Isaac Kinde to learn more about his UMBC experience and his path as a cancer researcher.

Renetta Tull shortlisted for GEDC Airbus Diversity Award

Renetta TullRenetta Tull, associate vice provost for graduate student development and postdoctoral affairs, is one of ten impressive candidates shortlisted for this year’s GEDC Airbus Diversity Award.

The GEDC Airbus Diversity Award honors people and projects worldwide that “have encouraged students of all profiles and backgrounds to study and succeed in engineering.” This year’s shortlist includes scholars from Germany, South Africa, Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Tull’s profile in the GEDC/Airbus announcement reads:

Renetta Tull leads the PROMISE Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), a program that has grown to include a global STEM diversity and inclusion initiative. This aims to build a global engineering workforce capacity through focused attention on increasing the numbers of future engineering faculty from underrepresented groups.

Partnering with programs like ADVANCE for women faculty, and programs that broaden participation in engineering, PROMISE trains undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career faculty. The initiative has resulted in a significantly increased pipeline of underrepresented alumni and engineering program participants.

Learn more about Renetta Tull’s work and #ThinkBigDiversity through her blog, and watch Tull’s nomination video to learn more about her inspiration:

The Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) is an international network of engineering deans working to advance engineering education, research and service. The organization notes, “The importance of diversity and inclusion in the engineering education community is a consistent theme in the GEDC’s conversations on improving the quality of engineering and engineering education.” Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services, and is a corporate member of the GEDC.

Three finalists will be selected from the shortlist and announced at the IE Reinventing Higher Education conference in Madrid, Spain, October 19-20, 2015. They will also be invited to present their project before a distinguished jury at the annual GEDC conference, on December 1, 2015, in Adelaide, Australia.

*Update: Renetta Tull has been named a finalist for this award.

UMBC joins National STEM Collaborative supporting opportunities for underrepresented girls and women

Philip RousResponding to the underrepresentation of minority women in STEM fields, UMBC has joined a new national collaborative committed to supporting educational opportunities for girls and women of color in STEM.

The White House Council for Women and Girls announced the formation of the National STEM Collaborative at a special event at the White House on September 15, 2015 (watch video).

In addition to UMBC, the consortium, led by Arizona State University, consists of 19 institutions of higher education and nonprofit partners, including Amherst College, City College of New York, Diné College, Maricopa Community Colleges, Spelman College, University of Alabama, University of California-Riverside, and Harvard University.

In response to the announcement Provost Rous said, “Our participation in the consortium reflects UMBC’s established national reputation for supporting students from all backgrounds. At the national level, it provides an opportunity to share the best practices and innovative ideas we have developed to promote greater educational opportunities for women of color who are underrepresented in many fields, including the STEM disciplines.”

Over the next 3-5 years the collaborative will focus on providing analysis and information on best practices to support women and girls in STEM in educational settings; develop networking resources to help talented students enter and persist in STEM programs; and determine best practices to support women of color transitioning from community college to four-year university STEM programs.

The National STEM Collaborative emphasizes, “Our mission is not to simply populate the STEM pipeline with more women of color. Rather we seek to provide institutions, students, leaders, corporations, and organizations the skills and resources to change the pipeline to be more equitable for more underrepresented women.”