UMBC Among World’s Top 500 Universities

The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) released their 2015 global rankings this week- placing UMBC among the top 500 universities worldwide.

UMBCCWUR takes eight indicators into account when compiling their rankings, including quality of education (alumni who have won major international awards); alumni employment (as CEOs in companies worldwide); quality of faculty (faculty who have won major international awards); research publications, influence and citations; broad impact; and international patent filings.

UMBC is one of only three University System of Maryland institutions featured in the rankings, along with the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. American universities with CWUR rankings similar to UMBC include Clemson University and Syracuse University.

Explore the full CWUR rankings here.

Hilltop Publishes New Issue Brief on Hospital Community Benefit Policy

The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has just released the eleventh issue brief in its series, Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA. The brief discusses the fact that payment reform focusing on value and quality is driving change that is redefining the hospital’s role in the continuum of care and the health of the broader population.

This brief also identifies opportunities for state policymakers to encourage the evolution of hospital community benefit policy in ways that complement and support the realignment of the hospital business model, proactively address the social determinants of health, and ultimately improve the health of the entire community.

For more information, contact Gayle Nelson, hospital community benefit program director, at

Women’s Team, 11 Tennis Student-Athletes Earn ITA Academic Honors

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has announced the 2015 ITA All-Academic Teams and ITA Scholar-Athlete award winners and both of UMBC’s teams are well represented.

Head Coach Rob Hubbard’s women’s team earned ITA All-Academic Team status and seven student-athletes achieved the distinction of ITA Scholar-Athlete. In addition, four men’s players earned ITA Scholar-Athlete honors.

UMBC Basketball Teams Make Trip to Higher Achievement Center at Lakeland Elementary-Middle School

The UMBC men’s and women’s basketball teams joined forces to put their knowledge and skills to great use on Friday, July 10, by visiting the Higher Achievement Center at Lakeland Elementary-Middle School in Baltimore to participate in the Friday Center Fun Day.

Higher Achievement implements a rigorous year-round learning environment through afterschool and summer academic programming to close the opportunity gap for middle school youth in at-risk communities.

Michael Summers, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Awarded Distinguished Scientist Fellowship

Mike2012Michael Summers, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was awarded a Distinguished Scientist fellowship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). CAS is the national academy for natural sciences in China and offers the President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI), which gives highly-qualified scientists from around the world the opportunity to work, study, and collaborate with Chinese institutions and researchers.

Summers was one of 30 scientists worldwide awarded a 2015 Distinguished Scientist fellowship by CAS and will conduct a lecture tour in China next month. Distinguished Scientists are internationally recognized for their research and are chosen for their outstanding scientific accomplishments.

Clifford Murphy, American Studies, Selected for National Arts Director Position

Clifford Murphy, an adjunct lecturer of American studies, has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to be its new director of folk and traditional arts. Murphy, an adjunct lecturer of American studies, will manage NEA grantmaking in folk and traditional arts, oversee the NEA National Heritage Fellowship program, and represent the agency in the field as part of the new role.

Clifford MurphyMurphy is currently director of Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) and last year helped bring MSAC’s 40 years of folklife archives into UMBC’s library system, making the collection available to the public.

“Working as a state folklorist in Maryland has brought me into close collaboration with remarkable artists, communities, and innovative organizations” said Murphy in a press release announcing the new position. “I’m incredibly excited about joining the NEA and being of service to folk and traditional artists, advocates, and programs nationwide.”

“Clifford has an impressive range of experience in the folk and traditional arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The NEA will surely benefit from his skills as an administrator, a university professor, a field folklorist, and his time as a touring musician.”

Murphy was featured in UMBC Magazine earlier this year for his research on country and western music in his home region of New England. The New Hampshire native and ethnomusicologist recently published his findings in a new book: Yankee Twang: Country and Western Music in New England (University of Illinois, 2014).

UMBC Awarded Maryland Humanities Council Grant for “Mapping Dialogues” Project

As part of its latest major grant cycle, the Maryland Humanities Council awarded UMBC a $10,000 grant for “Mapping Dialogues,” a project that focuses on the history and culture of the Baybrook and Sparrows Point communities.

Working with industrial neighborhoods in Baltimore, the project uses maps as starting points for discussions on the past, present, and future of industrial space. The project centers on two historically interrelated yet geographically separate areas: Baybrook in the southern tip of Baltimore and the Sparrows Point Steel Mill communities situated just across the southwestern city border in Baltimore County.

46-Mill-Stories-640x425Dialogues will be held with residents in both local communities and then brought to the general public at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI). People will interact with large maps to engage in conversation and share their stories and memories, including their experiences of how neighborhoods change when industry declines and leaves.

“Grant categories and criteria encourage free public programming in many forms, using the humanities as the central tools to explore and understand the complexity of our human experience. Grant awards aim to engage diverse audiences and serve Maryland communities that are not currently served by other MHC programs,” a press release announcing the grant stated.