Justin Jacobs, Statistics Ph.D. Student, Receives Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering

Justin Jacobs, a doctoral candidate in statistics at UMBC, has won the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, and recognizes Justin’s work with the intelligence community.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper presents UMBC's Justin Jacobs with PECASE honor.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (far right) presents UMBC’s Justin Jacobs (center right) with his PECASE plaque.

Justin received the award from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on January 23, 2014, and he will be recognized by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House later this month.

At UMBC, Justin is being co-advised by Anindya Roy and John Zweck (now at UT Dallas), and plans to graduate this May. His dissertation is titled, “Density Estimation on Differential Manifolds.” He is completing his Ph.D. while employed with the National Security Agency.

President Clinton established the PECASE award program in 1996. The White House website notes, “Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.” Learn more about PECASE and this year’s recipients in this White House Press release.

Congratulations, Justin, for this is a remarkable achievement!

Asian Studies Program Holds First Food Pantry at Longwood Apartments in Howard County

Asian Studies food pantry

Asian Studies Food Pantry at Longwood Apartments in Columbia, Md.

On Saturday, April 5, the Asian Studies Program had its first, successful food pantry at the Longwood Apartments (Section 8 HUD housing and Senior Center) in Columbia, Maryland, where organizers provided the residents, mainly Korean and Chinese, with food to supplement their food stamp allowances. Six Asian Studies student volunteers helped the pantry to run smoothly and communicated with the residents in Korean and Chinese.

The food pantry program has been greatly assisted with a start-up grant from BreakingGround. It has involved Boy Scout groups and faith-based groups as well as the UMBC community in the effort. Asian Studies Program Management Specialist Julie Rosenthal runs the Howard County non-profit Food on the 15th, which partnered with the Asian Studies Program to develop a free food pantry for the residents of Longwood Apartments. Organizers hope to hold the pantry monthly.

Kevin Wisniewski, LLC Doctoral Student, Named 2014 Michael Denker Chesapeake Chapter Fellow

Language, Literacy and Culture doctoral student Kevin A. Wisniewski was recently named a 2014 Michael Denker Chesapeake Chapter Fellow at the American Printing History Association. The fellowship is named after a former Chesapeake Chapter president, and it offers a one-year membership and active participation in the association’s various activities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including a presentation of original research at an upcoming symposium on the history of colonial printing and typography.

Kevin Wisniewski

Wisniewski will also be presenting a paper at the upcoming American Literature Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. with professors from Ohio University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Massachusetts from May 22-25 in a panel entitled, “Graphic Humor in the 19th-Century Periodical.”

Finally, Wisniewski’s review of Michael David Cohen’s monograph Reconstructing the Campus: Higher Education and the American Civil War (University of Virginia Press, 2012) is forthcoming in the journal Civil War History, and he is awaiting the publication of sections he completed on the early American republic for a forthcoming online, Open Access American History textbook entitled American Yawp. 

The project is edited by Joseph Locke (University of Texas-Pan American) and Ben Wright (Rice University) and boasts an impressive editorial board that includes Edward Ayers, Kathleen Brown, Joyce Chaplin, Woody Holton, James Merrell and Richard White.

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program in Appalachia

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz recently traveled to Sewanee, Tennessee to the University of the South, where she was invited as a guest lecturer in the pioneering program, “Child, Family and Community Development in Rural Appalachia.”

EHS at Sewanee

Ellen Handler Spitz reads to children as part of the “Child, Family and Community Development in Rural Appalachia” program.

The program is sponsored by the University of the South, The Yale Child Study Center and Scholastic. A major goal of the program is to help children and families in poverty-stricken Appalachia while building community and fostering a rich cultural life.

As part of the program, Spitz lectured and read story books to four groups of children ranging from three to six years old and met with colleagues and planners, sitting in on a variety of sessions and classes that involve the program, the arts, children’s literature and psychology.

Lee Hawthorne Calizo, OSL, Recognized as ACPA Diamond Honoree

lee_calizo_300x375Lee Hawthorne Calizo, Director of Student Life, was recognized at the American College Personnel Association’s National Conference in Indianapolis in this years class of Diamond Honorees.

Lee was nominated by colleagues who believe she has distinguished herself as a teacher, administrator, researcher, writer, and an association leader. In addition, Lee has demonstrated sustained contributions to ACPA, higher education, and the Student Affairs profession at the local, state, regional, national, or international levels.

Shriver Center Peaceworker Fellows Meet With City Council

P1060529The Shriver Center’s Peaceworker Fellows recently met with City Council President Jack Young and City Councilman Jim Kraft to discuss their history of public service and their vision for moving Baltimore forward.

UMBC’s Peaceworker Fellows have worked in public service internships at City Hall with Councilman Kraft for nearly a decade. This partnership has allowed Peaceworker alumni to hold positions in various City Hall offices.

The above photo features the current cohort of Peaceworker Fellows at Baltimore City Hall on March 28, joined by Peaceworker alumni Kristyn Oldendorf from Councilman Kraft’s Office, Lisa Fink from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Cailin Benson from Council President Young’s Office and Brian Greenan from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development.

Freshman Goalkeeper Connor Gordon Named America East Rookie of the Week

UMBC red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gordon has been named America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week for games ending March 29, the league office announced on March 31.

Gordon fell one save shy of his season high, making 15 stops against Stony Brook as the Retrievers prevailed, 12-11, in overtime.

The Retriever netminder made a one-on-one save with his team two men down midway through overtime, setting up Pat Young’s game-winning goal with 9.6 seconds to play in extra time. He has recorded more saves than goals allowed in eight of his nine starts for UMBC (5-4, 1-0 America East) this season.

Gordon is averaging 12.33 saves per game, good for sixth place in the nation through games of March 30. His save percentage is an outstanding 56.3 percent, which is 14th-best in the country.

Doug Frey, CBEE, Chosen As Yale’s Horvath Memorial Lecturer

Doug Frey, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, will be this year’s Horvath Memorial Lecturer at Yale University.

The prestigious Csaba Horvath lecture series is in memory of Professor Csaba Horvath, who is responsible for developing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), without which modern chemistry and biotechnology would be difficult, if not impossible. The lecture is sponsored by Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and The Goizueta Foundation.

Dr. Frey will speak on new methods and applications for the chromatography of biological macromolecules at Yale on April 16.

UMBC’s 36th Annual Graduate Research Conference

UMBC’s 36th Annual Graduate Research Conference was held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Organized by the Graduate Student Association, the conference had over 85 oral and poster presentations across a variety of disciplines. The successful conference ended in a lively Pathways to Success Panel.

Poster Presentation with Judges

The Graduate Research Conference seeks to provide an opportunity for students to gain experience presenting their work. Judges evaluate each presenter and provide feedback, giving special recognition to exceptional presentations. This year’s poster and oral presentation winners are listed below.

Poster Session Winners
Morgan Madeira – CSEE
Saadi Habib – Mechanical Engineering
Hui Jun Lim – Psychology
William Easley – Information Systems
Arundhathi Venkatasubraman – CBEE
Kenneth Childers – Chemistry & Biochemistry
Molly Van Appledorn – GES
Kayla Lemons – Biological Sciences
Arya Ashok – Biological Sciences

Oral Presentation Winners
Jonathan McHenry – Mathematics & Statistics
Evgenia Barannikova – Chemistry & Biochemistry
Daniel Schall – GES
Michele Williams – Information Systems
Kimberly Feldman – LLC
David Harris – CSEE

COEIT Uses Constellation Energy’s Education Award For Undergraduate Research

UMBC’s College of Engineering and Information Technology is using an Energy Education Award from Constellation Energy to provide energy research opportunities for a significant number of undergraduate students.

This semester, students in IS 420: Advanced Database Development received technology to collect the power consumption data of different appliances and devices. They are also working to build a web-portal (GUI), which will capture human actions, energy behavior and footprint over a specific period.

Project involvement encourages the students to think differently about energy systems and promotes advanced study and career preparation in the energy industry. The Constellation project helps students gain a greater sense of social awareness and deeper understanding of energy system technologies, as well as enhance their basic research and development skills through this hands-on experience. By combining their intrinsic research abilities and inspiration, the students will become conscious about the importance of being a responsible energy user in their daily lives and beyond.

Read more about the Energy Education Award here.