GRA Pradeep Guin Publishes Article and Presents at National Conference

Hilltop LogoHilltop Institute graduate research assistant and UMBC Public Policy Ph.D. candidate Pradeep Guin is co-author of an article recently published in the journal Health, titled Health Status and Access to Health Services in Indian Slums. The article presents the findings of a study that analyzed the status of health and access to health services among the urban poor in India, based on data from a primary survey conducted among 2000 households, covering 10,929 individuals from four cities of India. The results of the study indicate continued vulnerability of the urban poor, and the need for urgent government action. Guin presented a paper on this study at the Health Systems Reform in Asia Conference in Singapore which took place December 13-16, 2013. Citation: Gupta, I., & Guin, P. (2015). Health status and access to health services in Indian slums. Health, 7, 245-255.

Guin also presented a poster at the Association for Education Finance and Policy’s (AEFP) 40th Annual Conference on February 27, 2015, in Washington, DC, titled The Impacts of Exposure to Natural Disasters on Children’s Education and Health Outcomes. This dissertation research attempted to answer the question: Does (a) exposure to natural disasters and (b) economic losses from disasters have any impact on a child’s education and health outcomes? Guin found that there is no significant impact on a child’s outcome measures in a one-year exposure period due to various types of disasters. There is evidence, however, that disasters that lead to especially large economic losses can reduce students’ performance on math assessments.

Choice Program Assistant Director to be Honored by Baltimore Mayor’s Office

PrintZeevelle Nottingham-Lemon, an assistant director for the Choice Program at UMBC, has been selected by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Baltimorphosis Committee as a Baltimorphosis Changemaker. Changemakers are selected because of their impact on violence prevention in their communities.

Zeevelle was selected for the work she has been doing spearheading the Choice Program’s Youth in Action project. Four adults and eight youth living in Baltimore City were chosen as Baltimorphosis Changemakers. They will be honored on Wednesday, March 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Baltimore City Hall Rotunda. The ceremony takes place during Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Manil Suri, Mathematics, Named Contributing Opinion Writer for the New York Times

Mathematics professor Manil Suri has been named a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. In this role, Suri will publish columns around once a month. To read an announcement published in Capital New York, click here.

Manil Suri 2In light of Pi Day celebrated on March 14 and this year celebrated as a once-in-a-century event with the full date in line with the first five digits of pi’s decimal expansion, Suri published his first column about understanding what pi truly is, the history behind it, and why it remains so significant.

At the beginning of his column, Suri explained how pi’s importance can be found in many places: “And yet pi, being the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is manifested all around us. For instance, the meandering length of a gently sloping river between source and mouth approaches, on average, pi times its straight-line distance. Pi reminds us that the universe is what it is, that it doesn’t subscribe to our ideas of mathematical convenience.”

Suri also discussed what pi can tell us about computers as they’ve developed over the last several decades: “With the advent of computers, pi offered a proving ground for successively faster models. But eventually, breathless headlines about newly cracked digits became less compelling, and the big players moved on. Recent records (currently in the trillions of digits) have mostly been set on custom-built personal computers. The history of pi illustrates how far computing has progressed, and how much we now take it for granted.”

To read the full column published in the New York Times, click here.

Erickson School Presents Memory Care Summit 2015: The Positive Case for Change in Dementia Services

Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell presents the keynote address.

Earlier this year, the Erickson School presented Memory Care Summit 2015 in Captiva Island, FL. The event was designed to address practical issues for the future of caring for those with memory impairment and their families. Several leading experts in dementia care, including Dean Judah Ronch and Dr. Bill Thomas from the Erickson School, presented at the summit to discuss innovative practices, growth strategies, and success for aging services leaders.

Among the speakers at the event was Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell featured in the major motion picture I’ll Be Me.” Campbell presented the keynote address at the event and shared her family’s experiences, challenges, struggles, discovery, and moments of joy in the journey of her husband Glen’s Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis. To watch video clips of Kim Campbell’s keynote address, click here.

To learn more about the event, including a list of speakers and presentations from Memory Care Summit 2015, click here.

UMBC To Be Represented at U.S. Women’s Chess Championship


Junior Information Systems major, Nazi Paikidze, has been invited to compete in the invitation-only, U.S. Women’s Chess Championship, scheduled to take place at the Chess Club & Scholastic Center of St. Louis, March 31 – April 13, 2015.

Ms. Paikidze, 21 and an International Chess Master, was the 2007 World Under-14 Girl’s Chess Champion, the 2008 World Under-16 Girl’s Chess Champion, and has multiple European Youth Championships to her name.

With such a distinguished series of achievements in the sport at such a young age, I felt inclined to ask what has been most memorable for her thus far. Nazi answered, “One of my favorite moments from my chess career is winning the women’s section of the 2010 Moscow Open. It was the largest tournament I’ve won. I was not even in top 20 by rating and I won the tournament by beating Valentina Gunina in the last round (she is twice European woman champion now and rated 2500 plus, I think).”

Hailing from Moscow, Russia, when asked what she misses most about home, she said, “I miss the city. I loved living in a big city – Moscow. And of course I miss my family and friends.”

Nazi anticipates graduating with a degree in Information Systems in May 2016. When asked of her plans for post-graduation, Nazi replied, “I just recently decided to minor in entrepreneurship and that’s what I really want to pursue after school. I don’t think I’m cut out for nine to five job and I want to be my own boss.”

Spoken like a true chess player.

UMBC has a proud history of being represented at both the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Championships. Several former students, including Sabina Foisor, Timur Gareev, Sergey Erenburg, and former U.S. Champion, Alexander Onischuk have competed and continue to compete in this prestigious tournament.

We continue to be proud of their achievements both over the board and in the classroom.

If you would like to share well-wishes with Nazi before she competes, you can send her e-mail at

Performing Arts and Humanities Building Receives LEED Gold Designation

12662356073_93b2f6dea8_oUMBC’s new Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB) has been certified as a LEED Gold building. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a designation by the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes buildings that are designed and built to conserve resources and promote clean, renewable energy. LEED Gold is the second highest designation a building can receive.

The PAHB is UMBC’s second LEED Gold project and the University has committed to designing new construction to a minimum certification of LEED Silver.

Faculty and Alumni Recognized by Maryland State Arts Council

15365064460_649cdd1abb_zA number of UMBC faculty members and alumni received 2015 Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. The Maryland State Arts Council awards grants to individual artists and non-profit organizations for arts programming, projects, and assistance.

Timothy Nohe, visual arts, was recognized in the non-classical music composition category, while Susan McCully, theatre, and Mark Squirek ’91, history, were honored in the playwriting category. Ben Marcin ’80, economics, and Jaimes Mayhew ’10 M.F.A., imaging and digital arts, received awards in the photography category.

Click here to see the complete list of winners.