Constantine Vaporis, History, To Serve as Smithsonian Journeys Expert in Japan

vaporisIn April 2014, Asian Studies Program Director Constantine Vaporis was selected as a Smithsonian expert for tours of Japan. Vaporis is leaving next week to deliver five formal lectures and will also be providing the informal educational component for the tour, Eternal Japan: From Tokyo to Kyoto. The formal lectures are as follows:

  1. From Edo to Tokyo
  2. The Countryside and Agriculture in Japan: Past and Present
  3. Sake: From Rice to Ritual
  4. Samurai and the Castle Towns of Tokugawa Japan
  5. Buddhism & Japan’s Ancient Capitals

To read a profile of Vaporis on the Smithsonian Journeys website, click here.

UMBC in Times Higher Education’s “100 Under 50″ 2015 Rankings

100-under-50-logoUMBC has been named to the Times Higher Education “100 Under 50″ ranking for the fourth consecutive year — one of seven U.S. universities to be recognized on this year’s list. THE’s “100 Under 50″ ranks the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years old.

“So many universities in this ranking have shown they can match the ancient global elite and have proven that with the right drive, what others have developed over centuries can be achieved in a matter of decades,” said Phil Baty, editor of THE. “They are a truly exciting and dynamic group of institutions which should serve as a lesson to the rest of the world – that the traditional global world order is not unassailable and visionary young universities can break through.”

Click here for details.

NeighborhoodNet Wins First Place at Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition


From left: Patrick Wheltle, Robert Oehrli, Greg Cangialosi, Michael Gardner, Annah Seo

The second annual Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition (CBIC) was held on Thursday, April 23. The CBIC allows graduate and undergraduate students from UMBC the chance to plan a start-up and is coordinated by the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship through a gift from Greg Cangialosi ’96, English. The award offers teams cash awards, as well as a membership to Betamore, an incubator and educational facility in Federal Hill co-founded by Cangialosi.

This year, seven teams were chosen out of 28 applicants to present their business ideas to a panel of three judges, including Ed Chalfin, co-chair of the Baltimore Angels, Kelly Trumpbour, founder of See Jane Invest, and Demian Costa, partner of Plank Industries.

Michael Gardner ’17, information systems, and Nathan Hefner won the first place award of $5,000 by presenting NeighborhoodNet, a software platform for creating and managing community association websites. Patrick Wheltle ’87, emergency health services, and Robert Oehrli ’14, mechanical engineering, and ’15 M.A.T., technology education, placed second with Baltimore Emergency Medical Technology, an electronic triage tag that can be used in mass casualty accidents to help save more lives. Annah Seo ’13, psychology, and M.P.S., industrial/organizational psychology, won the third place award by presenting PiVot, an app that would let students and professionals independently assess their abilities and interest to explore career paths.

Upal Ghosh, CBEE, Receives AAEES Award

Upal Ghosh, chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, received an award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineering and Sciences (AAEES) last week. The AAEES awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made contributions to environmental engineering, environmental science, and public health/environmental protection.

Upal Students AAEES-award-2015Ghosh received an Honor Award in the category of University Research for his work with developing in-situ remediation technology using activated carbon amendment to sediment. CBEE graduate students Hilda Fadaei Khoei and Eli Patmont were also recognized for their contributions to the project. Ghosh has used the technology, named SediMite in his work with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources to remediate Mirror Lake. The Mirror Lake project was also recognized by the AAEES, receving an Honor Award in the Small Projects category.

Click here to read more about Ghosh’s work in remediation technology and here to learn more about the Mirror Lake project.

Craig Saper, LLC, Co-Edits New Publication on Critical Studies in the Humanities

ElectracyLanguage, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) Professor and Director Craig Saper, with contributions to the manuscript preparation and index from LLC doctoral students Felix Burgos and Kevin Wisniewski, has co-edited and introduced a new book Electracy: Gregory L. Ulmer’s Textshop Experiments (2015).

According to a description on the book’s website, “‘Textshop’ in the title refers to a pedagogy for teaching rhetorical invention, with application to any form of production of texts or works in Arts and Letters fields, or for teaching creative thinking in general. More specifically this book provides background and context for the published work of Ulmer, filling in gaps between his books, and showing the genealogy of Ulmer’s innovative approach to media education.”

Growing out of the book, Burgos and Wisniewski have started a peer-review scholarly journal on Textshop Experiments. To learn more about the project, click here.

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program 2015 in Appalachia

Ellen Handler Spitz SewaneeHonors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz recently traveled to Sewanee, Tennessee to participate in the Program on Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia. The program is co-sponsored by the University of the South, Scholastic Books, and the Yale Child Study Center.

In addition to presenting a public lecture at the University of the South library on Appalachian-based children’s books, Spitz taught several classes jointly sponsored by the psychology and arts departments and read aloud to children at three elementary schools and two day care programs sponsored by the program and the university.

The trip took place April 14-18, and it was Spitz’s third time participating in the program. A major goal of the program is to research the surrounding community, a former coal-mining region facing challenges, with the goal of making a difference in the quality of life for its inhabitants. For more information on Spitz’s participation in the program, click below.

PSYC 230 Hears from Ellen Handler Spitz
Reading Appalachia Exhibit, with Dr. Ellen Handler Spitz

Renetta Tull, Graduate School, Interviewed on Global Webcast

RenettaRenetta Tull, associate vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, was interviewed as part of a global webcast featuring women in data. The webcast was hosted by O’Reilly Media, which published a report on Women in Data in February that also featured Tull.

In the interview, Tull spoke about resources for women in tech from underrepresented backgrounds and mentioned programs such as the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate at UMBC. Tull was joined by Michele Chambers, president and COO at RapidMiner, Laurie Skelly, data scientist at Datascope and curriculum developer and instructor for the Data Science bootcamp at Metis, and Alice Zheng, director of Data Science at Dato.

Click here to watch the webcast.