Mapping Baybrook: From Main Street to the Harbor (12/1)

The Departments of American Studies and Visual Arts at UMBC and the Baybrook Coalition, a non-profit community development corporation, will host an event celebrating the history and culture of the Baltimore neighborhoods Brooklyn and Curtis Bay (referred to together as Baybrook), on Saturday, December 1 from 1 to 5pm. The Polish Home Hall is located at 4416 Fairhaven Avenue in the Curtis Bay neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.

Students in Professor Nicole King’s American studies course and Professor Steve Bradley’s visual arts course worked together on various aspects of programming for this event. This work is funded by a UMBC BreakingGround grant and illustrates how the successes and failures of urban industrial development contribute to our understanding of historic places and the creation of social space. A central theme of this project is that preserving places through original research, virtual mapping, and public humanities and arts programming creates social space—the room for diverse people and perspectives to come together and enhance today’s urban environments. “Mapping Baybrook: From Main Street to the Harbor” recognizes historic main streets as an essential place for the future development of the community and features the aesthetic resources within the community. The event will also mark the launch of the Mapping Baybrook website, which was designed in collaboration with UMBC’s Imaging Research Center (IRC).

A $10 ticket provides a pulled pork barbeque lunch with all the fixings, a copy of Mapping Baybrook’s main streets walking tour brochure, an event program, live music, public history programming, and an art exhibit designed and executed by Professor Steve Bradley and UMBC’s IRC Fellows. Children under 10 will be admitted free of charge and are invited to participate in special activities just for kids. Anyone who lives or works in Baybrook will receive $2 off the $10 ticket price.

All proceeds raised at the event will be donated to the non-profit Baybrook Coalition for the continued preservation of the historic Polish Home Hall. The Polish Home Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as an anchor for the communities of Baybrook.

This event is sponsored by the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture in the Department of American Studies, the Visual Arts Department, a Breaking Ground grant, the Imaging Research Center (IRC) Fellows all at UMBC as well as the Baybrook Coalition, a non-profit community development corporation serving the residents of Brooklyn and Curtis Bay.

The Mathematics of Life — Decisions, Decisions (11/30)

James P. Keener, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Utah, will talk about the “Mathematics of Life” on Friday, November 30.

In order to survive, living organisms must constantly make decisions, about what to eat, when and where to move, when to reproduce, when to build, when to destroy, etc. In this talk, Keener will give an overview of the mathematics of decision-making, namely the mathematical principles that underlie biological processes of measurements, switches, and signals. The short answer to how decisions are made is that the rate of molecular diffusion contains information that can be transduced by biochemical reactions to give control over behavior. These processes can be given quantitative descriptions using diffusion-reaction equations, and the study of these equations gives valuable insights into how organisms work as well as an opportunity to learn and develop new mathematics. Keener will illustrate this dual role of quantitative reasoning by way of several specific examples from cell biology.

Date: Friday, November 30, 2012
When: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Lecture Hall 1

This talk will be given as a part of the National Science Foundation Award in Undergraduate training in Biology and Mathematics (UBM).

God is Not One: The Eight Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter (11/29)

Stephen Prothero, an acclaimed expert on religion and a professor of religion at Boston University, will give a talk and facilitate a discussion on November 29. In his book, “God is Not One,” Prothero looks at the differences between religions and how they have shaped the world. Prothero earned his Ph.D. in Religion from Harvard, and is a specialist in Asian religious traditions in the United States. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History. He is a regular contributor to’s Belief Blog. He is a frequent guest on NPR, has appeared on The Today Show and The O’Reilly Factor, and has written for and The New York Times Magazine. You can read more about Prothero here.

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Time: 7-9pm
Location: The Commons, Skylight Room

All UMBC community members are welcome to attend. A facilitated discussion, book signing and informal reception will immediately follow Dr. Prothero’s remarks. This event is sponsored by The Office of Student Life’s (OSL) Mosaic Center, Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE), Humanities Living and Learning Community, Language, Literacy and Culture Program (LLC) and Asian Studies. Click here to learn more.

World AIDS Day Awareness and Recognition Begins (11/26-11/30)

With this year’s World AIDS Day approaching on December 1st, the Office of Student Life’s Mosaic Center, University Health Services, and the UMBC Women’s Center have announced a partnership which aims to raise awareness and education about HIV/Aids, beginning today, November 26th, through November 30th.

Events for the week include:

Free & Confidential Rapid HIV Testing on November 27th & 28th, from 10am – 4pm in     The Commons, Room 329.

– An HIV/AIDS Brown Bag Discussion on November 27th, from 10am – 11am in the Women’s Center.

The World AIDS Day Health Fair on November 27th, held from 11am – 1pm, on The Commons Main Street.

Staff and faculty participation is encouraged. To find out more about these and other events planned to help awareness of World AIDS Day, please visit the Office of Student Life’s Mosaic Center group page on myUMBC here

Still Time to Give to the Maryland Charity Campaign! (Ending 12/4)

UPDATE: The deadline to contribute to the Maryland Charity Campaign has been extended to the morning of Tuesday, December 4. You can contribute by completing your pledge form or by visiting

FROM: Nancy Young, Vice-President for Student Affairs and Jack Suess, Vice President of the Division of Information Technology

As we reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday, we can think of no better embodiment of the spirit of the season than UMBC’s remarkable participation in the Maryland Charity Campaign. We are delighted to announce that we are nearing our goal of 1,000 participants: more than 800 donors have contributed a total exceeding $131,000, and contributions are still coming in.

We are moved by this demonstration of caring and commitment by the UMBC community. Your contributions, no matter their size, make a tangible difference to the many charities that you support and to the people that they in turn serve.

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign so far and encourage those who have not yet had a chance to make a gift that there is still time. The deadline for gifts to the Maryland Charity Campaign has been extended to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 27. You can contribute by completing your pledge form or by visiting

Jessica Lassiter, Residential Life, was the winner of the drawing for a Kindle Fire, but everyone who turns in their form by November 27, 2012 is eligible to win UMBC’s Maryland Charity Campaign grand prize: two travel vouchers for round trip tickets from Southwest Airlines. These vouchers can be used for travel to any destination in the United States served by Southwest. The tickets must be used between December 15, 2012 and December 15, 2013 and are subject to any restrictions Southwest puts on their use.

Again, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your concern about others and for your wonderful generosity. If you have not made a gift yet, please join your UMBC colleagues in making this a happy holiday season for one of the many wonderful organizations that the Maryland Charity Campaign supports.

How to Motivate Employees (11/29)

How do you get your employees to do their very best work?

Supervisors play a key role in successful motivation of their teams. In this workshop, you will learn how to create an environment that will help employees feel engaged, perform at their best and accomplish their work goals. You will analyze what motivates you and your employees, understand the concept of “Pygmalion Effect,” discuss the newest findings on motivation in the workplace and identify specific action steps to take with your employees.

The workshop will be Thursday, November 29, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., in the University Center, Room 312.

Register by Friday, November 16, at

Get a flyer with details at

The Jubilee Singers and the UMBC Gospel Choir (12/1)

Saturday, December 1 at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall, the Jubilee Singers will perform their final program of the semester under the direction of Janice Jackson. The Jubilee Singers will be followed immediately by a performance by the UMBC Gospel Choir (also under Jackson’s direction).

Admission to this event is free, donations will be accepted.