Rebecca Adelman, Media and Communication Studies, in The Conversation

Rebecca AdelmanIn the wake of Brian Williams’ six-month suspension from NBC News, Rebecca Adelman offered a fresh perspective on the story and argued that Williams’ actions were more complex than their first appearance on the surface.

Adelman, an assistant professor of media and communication studies, wrote an article for The Conversation in which she examined public reactions to Williams’ false claims about his experience reporting in Iraq and how they spoke to the way military service is valued in American culture: “…I’d suggest instead that Williams inadvertently revealed something about the profoundly contradictory place military service occupies in American culture,” Adelman wrote.

In her article, Adelman discussed how the automatic nature of public gratitude for military service in the United States makes it easy to mistake its origins.

“The Williams story revealed how readily, and convincingly, such attachments can be fabricated. Indeed, he explained his wrongdoings in terms of bewildered appreciation. It all started, he said in his apology, ‘in an effort to honor and thank’ the man who had protected him. This turned, he admitted, into a ‘bungled attempt … to thank one special veteran’ of the many who have his ‘greatest respect.'”

She added: “The public anger at Williams, in other words, may be rooted in something more than his deceitfulness. What may be upsetting us is his very visible failure to perform what many see as the purest expression of good citizenship – thanking the military.”

To read the full article titled “Brian Williams, the military and American culture, click here.

Biology and Batteries

In the quest to make a better battery Evgenia Barannikova, a graduate student at UMBC in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, has isolated a peptide, a small sequence of amino acids, which binds to lithium manganese nickel oxide (LMNO), a material that can be used to make high performance batteries.

DSC_7334

“Biology provides several tools for us to solve important problems,” said Evgenia Barannikova, a graduate student at UMBC. Barannikova works in the lab of Mark Allen and studies how biological molecules in general can improve the properties of  in batteries. “By mimicking biological processes we can find the better solution,” she told phys.org

Read more at:

Phys.org 
Newelectronics
Scientific American

John Rennie Short, Public Policy, in The Conversation

In light of the recent significant snowfall across parts of the Northeast, School of Public Policy professor John Rennie Short wrote an article for The Conversation in which he analyzed the impact of climate change on extreme weather events.

John Rennie ShortIn referencing the 60 inches of snow that fell in 30 days on Boston and parts of the wider region, Short wrote: “This is the new normal for weather in the US. Global climate change increases the chances that the once-a-century event is now a once-every-twenty-years occurrence. The country is now experiencing more severe weather events: long droughts in the Southwest, destructive wildfires in the West, and more intense hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.”

In his article, Short discussed urban planning and climate adaptation and the value of publicly funded services, among other topics.

“Immediately after a storm, there is public outcry for more and better emergency responses, but these priorities quickly move to the back of the line of government priorities as the event passes from memory. We are not good at using public monies for extreme, irregular events,” Short wrote. “Major weather events also expose the recurring dilemma of balancing public concerns with private interest. The shift of the past forty years towards private interests is embodied in the desire for small government, reducing taxation and shrinking the public sector.”

To read the full article titled “Extreme weather exposes the vulnerability of our cities to climate change,” click here.

Carlo DiClemente, Psychology, in the Baltimore Sun

In the wake of three hit-and-run accidents in the Baltimore region, the Baltimore Sun recently published an article addressing the question of what leads someone to flee an accident where another person may have suffered harm?

Carlo DiClemente

Psychology professor Carlo DiClemente was quoted in the article and discussed how alcohol, a factor in about 30 percent of traffic fatalities nationally, can amplify emotions of fear, shame, and guilt which overwhelm self-control.

“Rational decision-making is clearly difficult in an intoxicated state, particularly as blood-alcohol levels increase,” said DiClemente. “Fear and escape motivations kick in and, without good executive functioning, make flight more probable.”

DiClemente, who researches addictive behavior, was recently appointed to the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The council advises and makes recommendations to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) secretary, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) director on research program and policy matters in the field of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. For more information, click here.

To read the full article in the Baltimore Sun, click here.

Roy Meyers, Political Science, on WYPR’s Maryland Morning

On February 9, WYPR’s Maryland Morning hosted political science professor Roy Meyers to discuss education spending in Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s budget. Meyers discussed in-depth what K-12 education spending looks like for schools in the proposed budget.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)

“There are two kinds of cuts in the governor’s budget for all the counties and the cities across the board. One cut is the cut in the Geographic Cost of Education Index which under law he is allowed to make in his budget. That’s about $68 million in savings,” said Meyers. “The other savings, about $76 million, is in proposed changes to the law that allocates funds by formula to the 24 local school boards, and the legislature will have to agree to those cuts for those to go into place.”

Over the course of the discussion, Meyers commented on the history behind the Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) and how the proposed education spending will affect Baltimore City schools, among other topics.

To listen to the full segment and to hear more in-depth analysis from Meyers, click here.

Michelle Stefano, American Studies, in City Paper

In a recent article published in the “City Folk” section of City Paper, Michelle Stefano, visiting assistant professor of American studies, wrote about Henry Reisinger, the longtime owner of E.M. Fenwick’s Choice Meats in Baltimore’s Cross Street Market.

Michelle StefanoStefano’s profile of Reisinger traces the history of the business and the hard work Reisinger has put into it for four decades. It also provides a glimpse into how the market business has changed in recent years.

“Reisinger tells of the old days, when there were six or seven meat vendors at the market. Now, there remains only Fenwick’s and his competition, Nunnally Bros., just down the path. ‘Unfortunately, we have a lot of empty businesses now,’ he laments, crediting the vacant stalls to the introduction of fast food in the 1980s, and the fact that ‘droves’ of workers from places like the shipyards off Key Highway are a lunchtime dream of the past. Camden Yards was full of businesses with employees patronizing the market—’now? It’s two stadiums,’ he says.”

To read more about Henry Reisinger in Stefano’s article titled “Henry Reisinger of E.M. Fenwick’s Choice Meats carves out a good life at Cross Street Market,” click here.

Kimberly Moffitt, American Studies, on The Marc Steiner Show

WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show hosted a panel discussion on February 9 on charter schools vs. traditional public schools, school closings, school funding, and the future of education.

Kimberly Moffitt

Kimberly Moffitt, an associate professor of American studies and a founding parent at the Baltimore Collegiate School For Boys, discussed her views on charter schools and the reason she decided to help found the Baltimore Collegiate School For Boys.

“Even as I’m someone who is at the table creating a charter school, I’m very cognizant of charter schools are not the panacea,” Moffitt said. “It was more about a mission that was very much tied to the academic research that I do that looks at what we have done in this country for young black males and the need to really focus educational opportunities for them in environments that help them thrive.”

Other panelists in the discussion included Jessica T. Shiller, professor of urban education at Towson University, Roni Ellington, associate professor of mathematics education at Morgan State University, and Bobbi Macdonald, executive director of the City Neighbors Foundation.

To listen to the full segment, click here.