2016 Summer Construction Projects

As we continue work on the Event Center, there are several other construction projects scheduled during the summer in which we would like you to be aware of. The map below shows the construction activity that will be underway during the summer of 2016; and, in some cases, into the 2016-2017 academic year.

The project locations are shown in yellow and the Map Key indicates the project title and duration. Click on the image below to see the full, high resolution map.


For more information, please visit the Facilities Management website or join our myUMBC group.

Strategic Plan Adoption: A Video Message from President Hrabowski and Provost Rous

As UMBC celebrates 50 years of exceptional achievement, we are delighted to announce adoption of Our UMBC: A Strategic Plan for Advancing Excellence. This new strategic plan, developed over three years by a broad group of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, points the way toward UMBC’s future development in the areas of student experience; research, scholarship and creative achievement; teaching and learning; and community connections.


We invite you to view this video for more detail about the plan and the process for its implementation.

We Need Hundreds of You to Reach Thousands of Us

A message from President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous:

As the semester ends, we want to share highlights of UMBC’s 50th anniversary celebration and encourage your participation in upcoming events, particularly the special weekend celebration planned for September 16–19.

UMBC50 celebrates the Grit & Greatness that make UMBC a national model of inclusive excellence in higher education. Thank you for all you do to make our UMBC such an exceptional community.

Commencement 2016

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust will speak at undergraduate Commencement May 19 to celebrate our institutions’ shared commitment to greater inclusivity in higher education. We are also thrilled to welcome UMBC alumnus and Clemson University President Jim Clements back to campus as our graduate Commencement speaker May 18. Both of these distinguished speakers will receive honorary degrees.

Alumni Engagement

UMBC now has almost 70,000 alumni. Over the past 10 years, 30 percent of those alumni have been engaged with the campus through events, volunteering, and philanthropy. This is a good foundation, and there is plenty of room to expand alumni connections with the current life of the campus. We are delighted that more than 70 departments, programs, and alumni groups submitted proposals for 50th anniversary alumni programming during this academic year and next year. The Office of Institutional Advancement, with input from a campus-wide committee, has awarded nearly $100,000 to 30 applicants. OIA also continues to work with many other departments that plan to engage alumni during this special year. OIA staff will offer three workshops in May and June for colleagues planning 50th anniversary events. Click here for more information.

September 16–19 Celebration

The weekend leading into the actual anniversary date of September 19 represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically increase alumni engagement. We know that robust faculty and staff participation during that weekend is essential to attracting alumni participation. The September celebration will span Friday, September 16, through Monday, September 19. It is especially important to have faculty and staff on campus Saturday, September 17, when the greatest number of alumni are expected to attend. For one day only, UMBC will be a party school, as we celebrate the collective Grit & Greatness of our special community.

  • A luncheon will honor retired faculty and staff, founders no longer with us, and past winners of Presidential and Regents awards.
  • An afternoon, family-friendly festival will center around the Performing Arts and Humanities Building so that alumni can experience this transformational new building. There will be smart-fun, recreation activities, a soccer match, performances, and many opportunities for reunions with alumni. GRIT-X talks featuring faculty and alumni experts will run through the afternoon in the PAHB.
  • After sunset, a spectacular celebration finale will feature a UMBC trivia quiz competition and a light show accompanied by fireworks.

We need hundreds of you to reach thousands of us. Please mark your calendar now for September 17 and contact alumni you know to invite them to join you.

Retriever Stories

The 50th celebration is already underway online at Retriever Stories —retrieverstories.umbc.edu — an innovative website built through a partnership involving the Imaging Research Center, the Division of Information Technology, and the Office of Institutional Advancement. The beta version has attracted 300 posts and 250 unique users in just two weeks. We encourage you to visit the site often to enjoy stories from alumni and share your own.

For more information on UMBC50, please visit 50.umbc.edu.

Professor Michael Summers elected to membership in National Academy of Sciences

A message from President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous:

Please join us in congratulating Michael Summers, Robert E. Meyerhoff Chair for Excellence in Research and Mentoring and University Distinguished Professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who has just been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Summers is one of only 84 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences this year, one of the highest honors a researcher can receive.

This is a major milestone for our campus as we approach our 50th anniversary, one that acknowledges Professor Summers’ exceptional contributions to the scientific community and UMBC’s stature as a nationally and internationally recognized research university.

Dr. Summers, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1994, focuses on HIV-1, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. His lab’s groundbreaking work has determined the 3D structure of several components of HIV-1. The overarching goal of this work is to develop alternative therapies for AIDS that target different steps in the viral replication cycle.

Dr. Summers is also known for his deep commitment to training the next generation of leading scientists, from high school through postdoctoral levels. Many of his UMBC undergraduates have had the uncommon opportunity to publish their work in high-profile, peer-reviewed journals. He has received mentoring awards from the White House, AAAS, and many others.

Michael Summers represents the best of UMBC, and we are so proud to call him a member of our community.

A Campus Conversation About Academic Freedom, May 12

A message from Dean Scott Casper and Vice Provost Diane Lee:

Last week before URCAD began, the decision was made to move an undergraduate research poster. This decision has fostered a thoughtful conversation on our campus about several issues: the nature of artistic, humanistic, and scientific research and representation; the presentation of research to academic and public audiences; and the meaning and centrality of academic freedom.

We invite you to continue this conversation at a campus forum on Thursday, May 12, at noon in the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery. At this forum, students Zoe Wang and Riley Auer will present their poster, “Illustrating the Unseen: Analogy and Metaphor in an Ancient Gynecological Text.”

Several members of UMBC’s faculty, Carole McCann, Preminda Jacob, Molly Jones-Lewis, and Stephen Freeland, will reflect upon the issues that the poster and its presentation raise for scholarship and for our academic community. We welcome those in attendance to join the dialogue.

This situation reminds us all of the importance of critical conversation and the role of research in stimulating that conversation. We hope you will be able to join us on May 12.

Zika awareness reminder from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


As Maryland colleges break for summer, a Zika awareness reminder
Mosquitoes spreading virus in many C. America, S. America, Caribbean countries

As Maryland college students study for final exams and complete their projects, travel can factor heavily into their summer plans. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is reminding them and their families to take precautions to minimize the risk of contracting Zika.

“Planned summer vacations could take Marylanders to popular destinations where the Zika virus is being spread by mosquito and through sexual contact,” said Secretary Van T. Mitchell. “We are reminding our residents to exercise caution, given the link between Zika infection of pregnant women and the occurrence of birth defects in their babies.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika virus is chiefly spread through mosquito bites, though less frequently, transmission via sexual contact, blood transfusion and to newborns during pregnancy has been documented. Because of the link between Zika and the microcephaly birth defect, characterized by smaller heads and underdeveloped brains in newborns, the CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus is spreading. These areas now include several additional countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant are advised to not travel to countries with known Zika transmission. Travelers also should be sure to guard against mosquito bites for the seven days after they return home, to prevent a mosquito from passing on any potential infection.

The CDC says most infected people are non-symptomatic. Men who have traveled to an area with Zika and whose partners are pregnant should use condoms every time they have sex – or they should abstain from sex – during the pregnancy.

When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes are found, travelers are advised to take the following steps:

  • Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window screens and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
  • If you have a baby or child:
    • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
    • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or
    • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
    • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
  • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
  • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

Visit the CDC Zika awareness website for more information on avoiding the Zika infection during travel. CDC also offers this resource in Spanish.

Health and Mental Hygiene’s Maryland Zika case count, prevention information and video from our employee Zika town hall meeting can be found on the DHMH Zika awareness site. Maryland’s Department of Agriculture also has a page about mosquito control and other Zika-related information.