Jerilyn Johnson Receives AA Degree from CCBC

true_grit_homecomingJerilyn Johnson, executive assistant to Provost Philip Rous, is receiving an Associate of Arts degree from the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) during a commencement ceremony on May 31, 2015.

A current student at University of Maryland, University College (UMUC), Jerilyn qualified for her associate’s degree through participation in “Credit When It’s Due” – Maryland’s Reverse Transfer Associate Degree Program.  Through this initiative, Jerilyn was able to use UMUC coursework she is pursuing for her Bachelor’s degree at UMUC to “reverse transfer” to CCBC to fulfill her remaining Associate’s of Arts degree requirements.

John Rennie Short, School of Public Policy, in The Conversation

John Rennie Short“Now that the dust has settled and the media have moved onto the next crisis, we can ponder what the Baltimore riots tell us about broader and deeper issues in the US,” School of Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short wrote in an article published in The Conversation on May 15. In his column, using his “stress test” approach, Short examined the forces at play in Baltimore that contributed to the recent events: “Among them are decades of biased economic policies, class differences as well as racism, structural problems in metropolitan America, the consequences of aggressive policing and the geography of multiple deprivations.”

The article provided an in-depth look at deindustrialization, the geo-economic disconnect, and policing in America. Short discussed the need to consider issues of class and a greater commitment to job training for people who have been displaced by the loss of manufacturing jobs. He also noted the challenges facing Baltimore are similar to other parts of the country.

“But there are other Baltimores outside of Maryland. They include Akron, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Toledo. It is not just an inner city problem. Along with Bernadette Hanlon and Tom Vicino, I have documented the problems of inner ring of suburbs,” Short wrote.

“Baltimores of economic neglect, massive job loss, aggressive policing and multiple deprivations are found throughout metropolitan regions across the country. They are the places of despair that house the voiceless of the US political system, the marginalized of the US economy and those left behind in the commodification of US society,” he added.

To read the full article titled “There are more Baltimores: America’s legacy of hollowed-out cities,” click here.

“The Mathematics of Being Human” Reviewed in Siam News

Photo by Marlayna Demond.

Photo by Marlayna Demond.

Ahead of a scheduled performance of “The Mathematics of Being Human” on July 29 at the BRIDGES Conference in Baltimore, the play received a positive review in Siam News. It debuted at UMBC on November 4, 2014, and has since been performed across the country in San Antonio, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

Featuring Michele Osherow, associate professor of English, Manil Suri, mathematics professor, Savannah Jo Chamberlain ’16, theatre, Chaz Atkinson ’16, theatre, and directed by Alan Kreizenbeck, associate professor of theatre, the play chronicles the struggles of two professors trying to develop a joint seminar studying the intersection of math and literature.

“I was lucky enough to get a seat at a performance held at UMBC, along with apparently a dozen or more of the students who had taken the real-life freshman humanities seminar that inspired this play. Judging by their appreciative laughter at pivotal plot points, I think that much of the performance rang true to their experience as humanities students suckered into a mathematics class,” wrote Katherine Socha, who reviewed the play for Siam. 

“Wonderful selections of mathematics connections in literature and art highlight the rich opportunities for the cross-cultural battles led by these sharply defined faculty characters,” she added.

To read the complete review “Play Takes Aim at the ‘Two Cultures’ Divide,” click here. For more information on the July 29 performance in Baltimore, click here.

Donald Norris (School of Public Policy) and Thomas Schaller (Political Science), Provide Analysis Ahead of Martin O’Malley’s May 30 Announcement

Donald NorrisFormer Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is scheduled to announce his presidential plans on May 30 in Baltimore. School of Public Policy Director Donald Norris was interviewed by WJZ Channel 13 and commented on what the Democratic party landscape could look like for O’Malley should he officially declare his candidacy. “There is an increasing number of voices that are saying we need an alternative to Hillary Clinton,” he said.

Tom Schaller 1Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, was quoted in a Governing article about how the recent events in Baltimore could impact O’Malley’s presidential plans. “The bad news is that the country is paying attention to O’Malley and policing in Baltimore because now that’s a negative issue,” he said. But the good news is that O’Malley’s “name is in the news now in a way that never would have happened otherwise.”

Schaller was also quoted in a New York Times Magazine article discussing what the 2016 election could look like in Maryland for the seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski. “Any financial advantage by [Rep. Chris Van Hollen] will probably be evened out by the sweat equity of progressive grass-roots volunteers. So resourcewise, this is a draw. The differentiator will be policy stuff.”

In two articles focusing on what the national political scene could look like for Republicans in 2016, Schaller’s latest book The Stronghold was reviewed in Vox and America’s Voice.

To read complete media coverage, click below.

O’Malley to Announce Presidential Plans May 30 (WJZ)
Mayor Martin O’Malley Versus Governor Martin O’Malley (Governing)
The Great Democratic Crack-Up of 2016 (New York Times Magazine)
Will Republicans’ stronghold in Congress cripple their quest for the White House? (Vox)
GOP Control of the House Comes at a High Cost to Party’s Future (America’s Voice)
Four policy changes that could improve race equality in America (Baltimore Sun)

Stipends Available: Faculty Sustainability Workshop (6/1, 6/2)

sustainabilityStudents are interested in environmental sustainability. As a relevant issue facing the world today, tomorrow’s leaders will need to understand the factors impacting our environment and prioritize the wise use of limited resources.

Whether you are a professor, instructor, or lecturer at UMBC, in any discipline, sustainability can be incorporated easily into any class. Whether solving a math problem, writing an essay, or another hands on project, UMBC’s sustainability efforts can easily be advances while providing applied learning experiences. Join us for a two day workshop to advance the understanding and application of sustainability in the classroom.

Faculty Workshop: Sustainability Across the Disciplines
Facilitated by Dr. Rita Turner, Author, “Teaching for EcoJustice”

Third annual faculty curriculum development workshop. Stipends available for the first 10 UMBC faculty, instructors, and lecturers to register.
10am- 4pm Monday, June 1st and Tuesday, June 2nd 2015.
Register Now

Receive a​ ​​curriculum ​​guidebook of sample classroom assignments, lessons, discussion prompts, and strategies that encourage students to think critically about how modern problems of sustainability and environmental destruction have developed, their root causes, and how they can be addressed.
Learn how UMBC faculty bring sustainability into classes in a broad range of disciplines through interesting course modules described by a variety of guest presenters
Discuss the sustainability challenges explored in your discipline and how to engage students in applying their field of study
Spend time on your syllabus, adopting new principles and modules into your own courses with support and discussion with colleagues

The workshop will take place at the new UMBC Performing Arts and Humanities Building, Seminar Room 229 with on-campus site visits to the community garden, the kinetic sculpture, and more.

Vote on an Icon for UMBC

15365064460_649cdd1abb_z“UMBC: An Honors University in Maryland” continues to serve the institution well, but digital media has dramatically transformed the world of communications since the wordmark’s development in 1995. The current mark sometimes limits our ability communicate the brand effectively with a consistent look. UMBC’s 50th anniversary and new campus entrance provide a great opportunity to add an icon to our graphic identity system, which will allow greater flexibility.

We have spent the past year developing and testing icon options with the campus community that included early versions at last August’s University retreat and a revised set at the campus-wide Strategic Planning Interactive Gallery in February. With feedback from those sessions, we offer four options in an online survey to find out which you prefer—and why.

Click here to see the new icon options and tell us what you think.

Business Managers Meeting (Input Requested)

12662635094_f87ada2242_kThe next Business Managers meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 28, 8:30-11 a.m., 312 University Center. A light breakfast will be served from 8:30-9 a.m. with the formal agenda beginning at 9 a.m.

In preparation for the meeting, please email the topics or concerns that you feel should be shared or addressed to Ben Lowenthal ( For best possible consideration, send your suggestions to Ben by COB on Monday, May 18. We appreciate your valuable input.