Spaces/Stipends available for Faculty Sustainability Workshop (5/26 & 5/27)

Faculty Curriculum Development Workshop: Incorporating Sustainability Across Disciplines will take place Thursday, May 26th and Friday, May 27th, 2016. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Registration is open for faculty wishing to incorporate environmental sustainability into courses. Stipends are available for those who attend the workshop and successfully update their syllabus to include sustainability. Space is limited. Lunch and coffee is included.

Incorporate sustainability into your course syllabus with facilitator and sustainability education expert Dr. Rita Turner, author of the book Teaching for EcoJustice: Curriculum and Lessons for Secondary and College Classrooms (2015). Guest faculty presenters from several academic disciplines will provide case studies and examples of assignments, lessons, and activities used in their classrooms. The workshop will include a range of models and resources for designing content that will engage students with locally relevant issues, generate innovative research, and encourage active ecological citizenship on campus and beyond.

Faculty who attend will:

  • Gain new concepts, detailed examples, and materials useful for developing engaging new course content
  • Collaborate and connect with colleagues and faculty
  • Develop innovative course components that inspire critical thinking in students and address pressing environmental issues

This is the fourth annual workshop, originally developed in 2013 with gracious support from Provost Phillip Rous; BreakingGround; Dean of Undergraduate Education, Diane Lee; Climate Change Task Force Chair and VP of Admin and Finance, Lynne Schaefer.

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.

Are you or your child or spouse graduating this spring? Get reserved seating!

For faculty and staff who are graduating this spring, or have a child or spouse graduating, UMBC offers reserved seating for you and up to six guests at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 19 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md.

For more information and to make your reservations, please contact Paige Bauder in the Office of Institutional Advancement at or 410-455-5656.

We would like to hear from you as soon as possible so that we can plan accordingly.

Please note: this amenity is only for current UMBC faculty and staff members and is not for the general student body.

Tagide deCarvalho to manage Keith R. Porter Imaging Facility, a growing resource for the UMBC community

A message from William LaCourse, Dean, College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences:

The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Tagide deCarvalho as manager of the Keith R. Porter Imaging Facility. The college welcomes faculty and staff from across UMBC, and in our surrounding academic and industrial communities, to utilize the resources of this expanding facility.

The Keith R. Porter Imaging Facility is located on the ground floor of the Biological Sciences Building. It offers specialized microscope equipment for biological and materials science research, and facility staff can provide training in sample preparation, equipment use, and image processing.

The facility offers an array of optical (i.e. light) instruments, including epi-fluorescent microscopes for visualizing labeled structures and a confocal laser microscope for high-resolution fluorescent imaging that allows reconstruction of an image in 3D. A transmission electron microscope is also available; it uses a beam of electrons transmitted through an ultrathin specimen to provide high-resolution, 2D images on the order of nanometers. The facility also houses an atomic force microscope, which uses a probe to form 3D images that are more than 1000 times more precise than optical microscopes. Unlike electron microscopes, the atomic force microscope requires minimal sample preparation. Within the next few years, the facility intends to acquire new, state-of-the-art microscopes.

Tagide deCarvalho will be responsible for managing and developing the facility, maintaining the instruments, and training users. She received her Ph.D. in behavior, ecology, and systematics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 and completed postdoctoral work in neuroscience in the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore. Most recently, she taught on the faculty of Georgetown University. She brings extensive experience and knowledge of microscopy and advanced imaging techniques, and deCarvalho looks forward to connecting the campus community with the resources the Keith R. Porter Imaging Facility offers.

Academic Freedom

A message from President Freeman Hrabowski:

I am writing to affirm the University’s commitment to academic freedom, consistent with the values of UMBC. During this week’s URCAD event, an undergraduate research poster was moved from a prominent position. On behalf of the University, I apologize to the student researchers and their mentors. Dean Diane Lee and I have been discussing this situation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. She and Dean Scott Casper will write to the campus soon about an opportunity for the student researchers to present their work and for a faculty panel to discuss lessons learned from this URCAD experience. I will also be meeting with the student researchers to express the University’s support for their scholarly work and our deep regret about the circumstances.

I commend the faculty for mentoring and supporting our students.

UMBC Transit to Catonsville Farmers’ Market (5/4 & 5/11)

Want access to healthy, local food? Don’t want to lose your parking space? Need to shop but don’t have a ton of time?

All good reasons to take advantage of the FREE UMBC Transit to the Wednesday Catonsville Farmers’ Market (5820 Edmondson Avenue)! Bus departure from Commons Circle between 11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. and returning to campus by 1 p.m. Please help us spread the word!

We will be piloting on May 4 and 11. Depending on participation, we will continue through the entire season (May-November).

  • Items available: produce, breads, meats, eggs
  • Preferred payment is cash and some vendors accept credit cards.

Registration deadline is Tuesday, May 3, 2016 for the 5/4 market. Register Now:

Registration deadline is Tuesday, May 10, 2016 for the 5/11 market. Register Now:

Please register now!

Featuring: New and Improved Wellness Initiative Website

The Wellness Initiative is thrilled to announce the launch of its new and improved website: The Wellness Initiative remains committed to providing resources on 5 key dimensions of wellness:  Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Nutritional, and Physical. As you explore the website, you will find campus resources and events linked to each of these dimensions. We encourage you to use the website and reinvest in your own health & wellness in ways that are uniquely yours, and to share these resources with others. We also invite your feedback and participation as we continue to engage our faculty and staff community in wellness opportunities. Please check out our Wellness Ambassadors page which provides information on opportunities to serve in volunteer activities that promote campus participation and awareness. You may also send us any feedback under the Contact Us page.

The re-design and development of our Wellness Initiative website, and our initiative in general, is an ongoing collaboration with you, our campus partners. We hope it is a valuable tool for you, and look forward to hearing your feedback.