Jessica Berman presents research at prominent international symposium in Sweden

Jessica BermanAt a recent symposium held at Uppsala University, Sweden featuring prominent international modernist research, Jessica Berman, director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities and professor of English, presented an invited lecture about her research on transnational movements of people in the development of twentieth century media, with a focus on global radio.

Berman’s talk “Radio Relations and Transnational Listening” examined listening in the early days of radio in India. She argued that the diverse nature of the radio environment that used several languages, particularly in programs sent out over the All India Radio airwaves, helped to create a community among the listeners that resisted the directed messages coming to them from the center of the British Empire.

The talk was part of a symposium with the theme “Intimate Modernism.” The event forms part of a collaboration between the Department of English, Uppsala University, and the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow. For more information about the symposium and other scholars who presented, visit Uppsala University’s English department website. Read more about Jessica Berman’s research.

UMBC education department, CADVC partner with Arbutus Middle School for environmental art outreach project

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Photo courtesy Parastoo Aslanbeik, IMDA graduate student

As part of an ongoing partnership with professional development schools, UMBC’s education department and Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) hosted Arbutus Middle School students and teachers on campus October 26 and Nov 2 to learn about environmental art and artists.

During the program, students participated in an instructional session about artists Andy Goldsworthy and Scott Wade, learned about the elements of art, and defined terms such as ephemeral art and reverse graffiti, among other topic areas in environmental art.

Students then learned about the process of creating nature journals, walked over to the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park, and after completing outdoor observation work, they worked on sketching and journaling activities. The students’ completed art projects will be featured in an exhibition on campus.

“This experience is about more than art,” explains Barbara Bourne, clinical instructor and director of elementary education and arts coordinator in the education department. “In addition to the hands-on activities and the follow-up gallery show, students take their first steps onto a college campus. It’s especially rewarding to watch as they proudly share this campus experience with their parents and siblings, many of whom are visiting a university for the first time themselves.”

“It is important for CADVC’s Educational Outreach Program to partner with professional development schools such as AMS because it allows us to make our gallery exhibitions accessible to K-12 groups and the families of those students. This is our mandate as we are a community art institution as well a gallery for the campus, and we receive Maryland State Arts Council grant funding for this purpose,” shares Sandra Abbott, curator of collections and outreach for the CADVC.

Beginning November 12, the student artwork will be displayed as part of an exhibit titled “Natural Connections: Linking Art and Nature,” UMBC’s K-12 Educational Outreach Exhibition, Fall 2015. The exhibit runs until December 17 and is open to the public in the hall gallery on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building.

Ramon Goings spotlights possible harm to minority-serving institutions from new teacher-prep policy

Writing on the website Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Ramon B. Goings raises red flags about a federal regulation-in-the-making that will require states to come up with formulas to evaluate teacher-education programs.

ramongoingsGoings, the program coordinator of the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program, and co-author Larry J. Walker, an educational consultant, argue that such evaluations are likely to threaten minority-serving institutions (MSIs) more than other higher-education institutions because MSIs typically enroll a higher proportion of students underprepared for college work. If teacher- preparation programs don’t meet the new standards, they may lose federal funding, including grants that support students who agree to teach in high-poverty schools.

“While it is important to hold universities accountable for preparing teachers [well] … policymakers must consider the important role of MSIs in educating [aspiring teachers] of color,” Goings and Walker write.

Despite school districts’ increased interest in hiring minority teachers, the regulation could discourage talented but underprepared students from pursuing education majors by, for example, imposing minimum test-score requirements. The teacher-prep programs either adopt the federally mandated standards or risk losing federal funds, including grants that draw students.

Either way, according to the authors, the capacity of the institutions to graduate dedicated minority teachers for underserved schools would be undercut.

Walker and Goings urge states to carefully consider the impact of the new standards. If states want to diversify their K-12 teaching workforce, the authors write, they must find ways to support MSIs in their longstanding contributions to the preparation of teachers of color.

In addition to his position at UMBC, Goings is a doctoral candidate in urban educational leadership at Morgan State University

Read the article here.

Prof. Tinoosh Mohsenin gets NSF grant for wearable biomedical computing technology

CSEE Professor Tinoosh Mohsenin received a $212,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a three-year project that will develop a heterogeneous ultra low-power accelerator for wearable biomedical computing. The work will be done in collaboration with researchers at George Mason University and students in the UMBC Energy Efficient High Performance Computing Lab.

With the rapid advances in small, low-cost wearable computing technologies, there is a tremendous opportunity to develop personal health monitoring devices capable of continuous vigilant monitoring of physiological signals. Wearable biomedical devices have the potential to reduce the morbidity, mortality, and economic cost associated with many chronic diseases by enabling early intervention and preventing costly hospitalizations. These low-power systems require to have the capacity to provide fast and accurate processing and interpretation of vast amounts of data and generate smart alarms only when warranted. The project will build the foundation of the next generation of heterogeneous biomedical signal processing platforms that can address the current and future generation energy-efficiency requirements and computational demands.

Lisa Gray discusses the role of education, awareness, and empowerment in raising young girls to be politically and socially conscious

lisa_gray_2015Following the #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName movement over the past year, WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show hosted a panel discussion on how parents and educators are incorporating the living history of the events which sparked these two social movements into lessons for their children and students, especially young girls of color.

Lisa Gray, Director of Student Life for Cultural and Spiritual Diversity, participated in the discussion and shared her experiences as a leader for cultural diversity on campus, and as a mother of an 11 year-old daughter growing up in an era where these social justice issues are quickly rising to the surface.

During the program, Gray described the importance of connecting her daughter with her professional work and exposing her to powerful black female leaders who can serve as role models. “I think we have to be intentional about really digging for those role models that are there,” said Gray.

Listen to the full segment »

Lynne Schaefer, administration and finance, named chair of EACUBO

StrategicPlanning-4949Lynne Schaefer, Vice President, Administration and Finance, has been named chair of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO), effectively October 13.

Schaefer has been actively involved in the association for nearly 10 years, previously serving as chair of the region’s Research Universities Constituent Council. In 2010, she was elected to the board of directors, where she helped to develop and implement a mentoring program for senior finance and administration leaders. She has also represented the region’s chapter as part of the national Research Universities Council, where she helped develop special programming relevant to business officers at research universities.

“I am honored to serve as chair of this organization of my peers and colleagues. This is a time when our profession is increasingly challenged to support and assist our institutions to strategically find a way forward through a rapidly changing environment and increasing unknowns,” said Schaefer.

She rose to chair of EACUBO after being elected as vice chair in 2013. The leadership position is a two-year commitment.

EACUBO is an affiliate of the NACUBO. Its mission is to foster the professional development of its membership through educational programs, committee activities, and informal exchanges on current issues. Membership includes public and private colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions, as well as other agencies and for-profit organizations affiliated with or serving with higher education.



Billy Heavner Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team

UMBC junior goalkeeper Billy Heavner has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Men’s Soccer Team, as the organization announced all of its men’s and women’s regional recipients.

Heavner earned First Team All-District honors for District 2. First-team Academic All-District™ honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.