Web-Based Compliance Training

facstaff5HRWant to know which training is required for your research projects? Looking for help to register for UMBC’s web based training (CITI or Webnett)? Having trouble logging in the web training sites?

The Office of Research Protections and Compliance (ORPC) is here to help. Join the ORPC team for a brief interactive session on accessing these training sites. We’re offering several sessions in the Fall semester; click here to register. Remember to bring your laptop to the training so that we can work with you through the steps.

Maurice Berger, CADVC, Latest “Race Story” in The New York Times

In the latest essay for his Race Stories column in The New York Times, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, examines the shifting attitudes toward the Confederate battle flag. “The image was at once mundane and historic. In Alabama last Wednesday, on the order of Gov. Robert Bentley, workers took down the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the state Capitol and were photographed as they did. The camera, whose role it was to record a reality — and thus to make visible its compelling details of the world — now documented a symbol’s imminent invisibility,” notes Berger, but adds, “In the end, retiring an icon is not the same as dealing with the underlying institutional, emotional, economic and historic complications that it represents.”

Read “Making a Confederate Flag Invisible” and view the photographs at The New York Times Lens blog.

Berger’s Race Stories column, which appears monthly on The New York Times website, is “a continuing exploration of the relationship of race to photographic portrayals of race.”

Govind Rao, CBEE, Describes Medicines on Demand Research to Bioprocess Online

When the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Battlefield Medicine site found that soldiers posted overseas can sometimes go months without biopharmaceuticals, they looked for a way to quickly produce pharmaceuticals on demand for wartime and disaster situations by seeking out research teams to address the problem.

raoGovind Rao, chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering, is the principal investigator of one such research team focused on creating medicines on demand. He spoke to Bioprocess Online, a leading source of biotherapeutic industry and technical information, about his cutting edge research.

Rao was initially skeptical about the feasibility of the project, but reached a breakthrough when he found Thermo Scientific, a company that that could remove the need for cold chain shipping due to their ability to produce large proteins within hours. After partnering with Thermo Scientific, Rao found David Wood, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University, to help purify the proteins in a small container.

The team recently finished the project’s first phase, which proved that their basic ideas could work. They are now in their second phase, which includes creating the device that can produce therapeutic proteins in a ready-to-inject form. “We are entering a new realm of figuring things out,” Rao said. “Everything that happens today to manufacture a biopharmaceutical has to be miniaturized into this briefcase-sized device.”

Click here to read “DARPA’s Challenge: Manufacture A Biopharmaceutical In Less Than 24 Hours” in Bioprocess Online.

Fall 2015 Convocation

FROM: Provost Philip Rous

We look forward to your participation in our Fall 2015 Convocation on Tuesday, August 25 at 3:30 p.m. in the Retriever Activities Center (RAC). This important event marks the formal beginning of UMBC’s academic year; one that holds much promise for excellence in teaching and learning, research, and service in our academic community.

12662635094_f87ada2242_kConvocation is a special opportunity for faculty and staff to welcome new students to the UMBC community. We encourage you to participate in the academic procession that symbolizes the community of scholars and professionals that our talented and enthusiastic new students have joined. President Hrabowski will address the gathering, and we will continue the tradition of pinning the new students. The Presidential Teaching Professor for 2015-18, Dr. Michelle Scott, Associate Professor of History, will also make brief remarks.


Immediately following Convocation, faculty and staff are invited to attend the community-wide picnic on the Quad. There is no charge for faculty and staff. We appreciate the assistance of our dining service provider, Chartwells, in sponsoring the picnic for the UMBC community. In the event of inclement weather, the picnic will be held in the Residence Life Dining Hall.

If you plan on participating in Convocation, please fill out the online registration form by August 15 so we can ensure you have a reserved seat at the event and place at the picnic.


Faculty and staff, including members of the platform party and all those in the academic procession, are required to march in regalia. To order regalia, please fill out the online registration form. The deadline for ordering regalia is July 12. If you plan to wear your own regalia, we ask that you please indicate so on the registration form.

The cost of regalia rental is underwritten by the Provost’s Office, if ordered by the deadline. Faculty and staff who order after the deadline will be charged a $25 late fee. Regalia will be available for pick-up at the UMBC Bookstore August 17-21. Faculty and staff must be present to pick up their order.

NOTE: If you have ordered from UMBC before, your information will automatically populate in the form. If this is your first time ordering regalia, please be prepared to submit the following information: height, weight, cap size, highest degree earned, and name of the school where degree was earned.

Robert Provine, Psychology, Explains Why We Yawn in Wired Magazine

In a Wired article published on June 23, Psychology Research Professor and Professor Emeritus Robert Provine shared insight into why humans yawn when they do. Provine has done extensive research on the topic and is author of Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond.

Robert ProvineIn the article, Provine noted that we tend to yawn when we are tired: “Right after waking and before bedtime,” he said, “which is consistent with yawning’s role in facilitating state changes: sleep to wakefulness, wakefulness to sleep, arousal to de-arousal, or vice versa.”

When further examining the reasons for yawning beyond physiological state changes, Provine shared that, “Nervous people will definitely yawn more, but there haven’t been a lot of formal studies investigating why.”

The article also stated that: “Some psychologists, including Provine, suggest that anxious yawning could be an example of what’s known as a displacement activity—i.e., behavior that results from an uncomfortable or stressful situation and that seems out of context. Examples in humans include scratching one’s head, stroking a non-existent beard, or repeatedly tugging on an earlobe. Animals do it too. Ever see a cat go after a bird, miss, and then immediately start grooming itself? That’s not some awkward attempt to play it cool. It’s a displacement behavior.”

To read the full article “Big Question: Why Do I Yawn When I’m Nervous or Stressed?” click here.

Flying Fruit Fantasy Turns 35 (7/2)

FFF15002-35th Flyer-page-001The Choice Program’s Flying Fruit Fantasy Fruit Shake stand is turn 35 on July 2. To celebrate, they will be giving away prizes like Orioles tickets, gift cards, and a year of free fruit shakes. Enjoy a fruit shake or smoothie on July 2 from 12-2 p.m. to be automatically eligible to win.

Flying Fruit Fantasy is located in the Inner Harbor, next to the Maryland Science Center in the Inner Harbor Promenade. The stand is the on-the-job training site for The Choice Program’s Ready By 21 and Jobs initiatives.

Rebecca Adelman, Media and Communication Studies, Questions Assumptions Surrounding Shark Attacks in Discovery

Rebecca Adelman, an assistant professor of media and communication studies, was recently interviewed for a story in Discovery about the narratives and sensational news headlines surrounding shark attacks. In the article, Adelman said that common language describing such attacks can often minimize the role of humans.

Rebecca Adelman“It neatly erases any kind of human culpability for the shark bite while underscoring the notion that humans […] ought to be able to roam freely and safely anywhere on the planet, regardless of what other creatures might have preceded them there by millions of years,” she explained.

“Yet it also makes a kind of sense out of the event of a shark biting a hapless child, swimmer, surfer, or fisherman by attributing a kind of malevolent agency to the offending creature. It deflects the question of whether the human might have made a mistake by being in that part of the ocean at that time (or might have made a faulty calculation about the risk associated with their actions), but also provides a defense against the terrifying idea that bad things just happen,” she added. The full article can be accessed here.