Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
President, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Fall Opening Meeting
Thursday, August 21, 2014
We come together each year, as the fall semester approaches, to renew our shared purpose and commit to our guiding principles—supporting people and building excellence in education and research. These principles were reflected in the shared governance that recently brought us together through challenging fiscal times, and they are now guiding discussions in the next phase of our development as one of America’s rising public research universities.
As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2016, we have reached one of those unique moments when we can look both back to a remarkable past and forward to a promising future. And we can see that our principles have deep roots. UMBC was founded at an inflection point in our nation’s history. Between 1963, when our campus was authorized by the Maryland General Assembly, and 1966, when we admitted our first students, our nation saw passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965, both of which promised greater educational opportunity for Americans. Our campus is a 20th century experiment in access, diversity, and educational aspiration, one that has been a great success. The celebration of this success will begin next fall, a year before our actual 50th birthday in September 2016, as we engage faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the general public.
But just as we have been governed by the notion of “putting people first” over the last 50 years, we are also guided by the principle that “success is never final” as we plan for the future. During the past two-day retreat, the strategic focus groups established by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) had the opportunity to discuss with participants four topics: the student experience; innovation in curriculum and pedagogy; research, scholarship, and creative achievement; and community and extended connections. Strategy group work will continue this fall with recommendations delivered to the SPSC in the spring of 2015. At that point the SPSC will begin writing the strategic plan, deliver a draft for community discussion at next year’s retreat, and then complete the draft in the fall. The final implementation plan will be delivered in the spring of 2016.
The campus is also engaged through the fall of 2016 in our self-study process for the Middle States accreditation process, led by Provost Philip Rous and Professor Bob Carpenter. Both the accreditation and strategic planning processes provide an opportunity for us to reflect on our accomplishments, to take an honest look at ways we can improve, and to put plans into place to move the campus forward. The entire campus will have an opportunity to participate in the process.
Community, Collaborative Governance, and Leadership
We should be energized by our work because the state of our university is strong and we have a solid foundation on which to build. This foundation begins with a strong sense of community and collaborative governance.
I congratulate the campus on its recognition by the Chronicle of Higher Education, for the fifth year in a row, as one of America’s Great Colleges to Work For. We are a great place to work, because people come first and we have built a community that seeks to support the success of students, faculty, and staff. We support and respect each other and deeply value collaboration.
For example, the university just received an NSF award that will enable us counter some of the career-life balance factors that impede the advancement of women associate professors in the natural sciences, engineering, and the social sciences. This grant will provide targeted research support to a number of associate professors as a way to accelerate their progression to full professor after a family leave. This project will be embedded within an aggressive career-life balance integration campaign designed to ensure that our campus culture is deeply committed to work-life integration for our faculty, staff, and students.
On the subject of work-life balance, I would like to take a moment to focus specifically on our progress in re-opening the Child Care Center. Many will remember its unexpected closure because of water infiltration. Considerable campus discussion has occurred about the importance of child care to our campus community and the building is now being restored with a reopening date of August 2015. A task force has been meeting to focus on quality programming, giving priority to UMBC families, and communicating information about child care services to the campus.
Our sense of community is also a reflection of our system of shared governance. I want to thank those who served in our senates. This past year, this has included: Kathleen Carroll, President of the Faculty Senate; Laila Shishineh, President of the Professional Staff Senate; and Dorothy Caplan, President of the Non-Exempt Staff Senate. Those serving us for the coming academic year are Sarah Shin, President of the Faculty Senate; Joshua Lubben, President of the Professional Staff Senate; Dorothy Caplan, President of the Non-Exempt Staff Senate; Ganesh Mysore, SGA President; and Dan Miller, GSA President. I want to also thank Bill Slowikowski, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, for chairing the Adjunct Faculty Advisory Committee and Barbara Linam-Church for chairing the Graduate Assistant Advisory Committee. Finally, let’s thank the members of the President’s and Provost’s Councils, department chairs, program directors, and the entire UMBC community for being full partners in the work that we do.
We continue to attract outstanding people to our leadership team. Earlier this month, Julia Ross, Constellation Professor of Information Technology and Engineering and previously chair of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, became Dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology. This past year, Dean Ross served as Special Assistant to the Provost for Inter-Institutional Research Initiatives, an important position for building our partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In other key appointments, Belay Demoz joined the UMBC community this August as Director of the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and Professor of Physics, and Kala Andrews has joined us as Associate Athletics Director for Compliance.
Budget and Accountability
We have completed the development of our FY 2015 budget, which totals $405 million, including funds from state, federal, and other sources. Our State operating budget totals over $229 million, a net increase of $12 million over our adjusted FY 2014 budget.
This increase comes primarily from two sources. First, the campus received over $6 million in net new State appropriations. Second, we project an increase of $6 million in revenues due to modest tuition increases and healthy enrollment growth. Together, these funds finance mandatory costs and campus priorities:
- $9 million will cover mandatory costs, including $7 million in COLA and Merit increases; $1 million to support the opening of Phase II of the Performing Arts and Humanities building; and $1 million for Facilities Renewal to support renovation of the Fine Arts building – a task that will cost $16.4 million when completed;.
- Over $2 million will be used to enhance academic programs, including almost $1 million for new faculty positions, $231,000 for new academic support staff, $395,000 for academic program support, $308,000 for undergraduate and graduate internships and support, and $152,000 for the Library;
- About $750,000 will focus on our efforts to support student success, including $689,000 for financial aid and tuition assistance; and
- An additional $261,000 will be used to expand our outreach and fundraising efforts to diversify our funding sources.
We’re focused on maintaining high standards of accountability and compliance as we spend out our resources. This past year, the university fared well on USM audits for fiscal compliance in the areas of campus construction, auxiliary services, fraud monitoring, and intellectual property. In addition, a number of positive grant-related agency audits reflect the work we have done to improve our contracts and grants post-award records. I want to thank the campus community for this strong showing. We always welcome the constructive feedback from the auditors. We take these responsibilities very seriously.
Our Shared Services Centers (SSC) project is moving forward with many business process improvements implemented and more on the way. The two initial Phase I Shared Services Centers will be established this fall in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Academic Affairs Other Units. The SSC Project Team will be establishing a new website tracking SSC progress and providing detailed process documentation for all University business processes. The website will be known as TAP – the Toolkit for Administrative Professionals. These centers, along with the business process improvements implemented with them, will allow for increased standardization, tracking, and accountability, leading to more effective financial and administrative management, compliance, and internal controls.
As the economy continues to recover, the UMBC endowment continues to grow, reaching almost $75 million at the close of the fiscal year, our highest level to date. UMBC raised $9 million in gifts and pledges in FY 2014, with fundraising efforts directed toward institutional priorities, including student scholarships, fellowships, and internships and faculty development and research. As we look toward our 50th anniversary and the launch of our next major fundraising campaign, we are engaging with deans and other campus leaders to identify fundraising priorities. We need the entire campus to be engaged in friend- and fund-raising. OIA will be developing tools and training resources to prepare campus partners for the next campaign.
Meanwhile, we continue to explore opportunities to engage donors through social media and web-based funding, piloting a project-based “crowdfunding” initiative this past year through GiveCorps. Many of the projects promoted through GiveCorps were student-based initiatives, from our Engineers Without Borders group, which raised funds for its water quality project in Kenya, to the “Down and Dirty Dawg Band,” the UMBC Pep Band. Almost 10 percent of UMBC’s first-time alumni donors contributed through GiveCorps.
We also continue to build campus traditions through Homecoming (October 8–11) and activities that will attract alumni and families, along with current students, faculty, and staff. UMBC’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards will be presented during Homecoming on October 9. The honorees this year are:
- Engineering and Information Technology: Dr. Claudia Pearce ’89 M.S., ’94 Ph.D., Computer Science, Senior Computer Science Authority, National Security Agency
- Humanities: Donna Lewis ’86, English, Attorney, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Natural and Mathematical Sciences: Michael Adelstein ’96, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, CEO, Potomac Photonics, Inc.
- Social and Behavioral Sciences: Kaliope Parthemos ’93, Psychology, Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office, City of Baltimore
- Visual and Performing Arts: Hadieh Shafie ’04 M.F.A., Imaging and Digital Arts, Independent Artist
- Distinguished Service: Gib Mason ’95, Economics, Chief Operating Officer & Director of the Center for Leadership and Innovation, UMBC Training Centers
- Young Alumni Rising Star: Isaac Kinde ’05, Biological Sciences, M.D./Ph.D. Candidate, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Also this year, a new award will be presented to one full-time faculty member to honor extraordinary teaching as demonstrated by the effectiveness in motivating students in ways that have a lasting influence on their lives. The inaugural recipient of this award is Dr. Anne Spence, Professor of the Practice, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Student Enrollment and Completion
This year, fall enrollments remain strong. In fact, we have seen an increase of 50 percent in applications over the past five years and we will welcome about 2,900 new students on campus this fall, over 1,600 of them new freshmen. Moreover, total fall enrollment will exceed 14,000 students for the first time, up by several hundred over last year. These include 11,200 undergraduates and 2,800 graduates students from 48 states and more than 100 countries.
It is important to give the campus a full sense of the students in credit and non-credit courses whom we serve. For example, last year, in addition to more than 13,900 fall students, we also served more than 2,200 summer and winter students in courses and about 3,900 students in the UMBC Training Centers and English Language Institute, for a total of 20,000 degree and non-degree students in the 2013-2014 academic year.
Our incoming freshmen are a remarkable group of students. Overall, they have mean SAT scores in the low 1200s for math and verbal and slightly above 1800 when writing is included. The incoming freshmen in the Honors College have a mean three-part SAT score above 2100. The new class includes National Merit and National Achievement Scholars, Regents and Maryland Distinguished Scholars, many valedictorians, and new Sondheim, Humanities, Linehan, CWIT, Sherman, Meyerhoff, Cybersecurity and other special scholars.
Increasing postsecondary success has emerged as an important national strategy for ensuring a strong workforce and competitive economy for our nation for the future. The Association of Governing Boards recently wrote, “Despite criticism of higher education, the nation continues to look to colleges and universities to open their doors to more students and do more to encourage enrolled students to succeed and graduate.”
Student success remains at the core of our mission, and we are working to increase our retention and completion rates. The latest one-year retention rate for full-time, first-time freshmen is 87.3 percent from the first to the second year. The six-year graduation rate for the 2007 cohort of full-time, first-time freshmen was 63.4 percent, up from 61 percent for the 2006 cohort. We can also report that 68 percent of the 2007 cohort graduated from UMBC or another four-year institution in Maryland within six years, up from about 65 percent for the fall 2005 cohort, and about 75 percent of our full-time freshmen earn a postsecondary degree within six years. At that point another 15 percent are still enrolled in postsecondary education, 6 percent at UMBC and 9 percent elsewhere.
We are making steady progress in ensuring student success, as we innovate in the classroom and on campus generally. Examples include the following:
- Providing academic initiatives such as Introduction to an Honors University, First Year Seminars, Living Learning Communities, the Collegiate Summer Institute, and Scholars Programs
- Providing ways for students to affiliate through academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs—because these activities provide a robust student experience and these connections promote belonging, retention, and graduation
- Supporting transfer students before and after they transition to UMBC
- Reaching out to near-completers—those students who have earned high credit levels but are not enrolled—to encourage re-enrollment and degree completion, providing financial aid as needed
- Redesigning and flipping courses, providing active and team-based learning, deploying educational technology, and engaging undergraduates in research
- Infusing courses with meaningful “real-world” connections, including globalization, entrepreneurship, and service
- Providing opportunities for service through The Shriver Center and BreakingGround
- Using data analytics to support student achievement by harnessing “big data” around course utilization, grade distributions, student progress, and retention and completion to help pinpoint opportunities for intervention—for courses and for students—in real time.
These initiatives and programs are designed to ensure that students learn and make significant progress toward completion, and they are working.
For our undergraduates, we have continued to innovate and grow across our colleges to enhance the academic experience.
- Our New Student Book Experience was very successful last year. The ballroom was filled when Mark Hertsgaard spoke about his book, Hot: Living through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. This year we read Enrique’s Journey and the author, Sonia Nazario, is coming to campus to discuss her book on September 23. This book is especially timely given the large number of children migrating to the U.S.
- The new Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA), whose mission is to inspire and promote inquiry and experimentation in and across the Arts, marked its inaugural year in 2013. CIRCA supports innovative project-based research in the arts by students, faculty, and visiting scholars, and promotes the development of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects that advance the arts in an environment of emerging technologies.
- The ACTIVE Center is a new classroom designed by the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering to facilitate active student learning and laptop-based laboratory activities. The Center, with support from the Innovation Fund, BAE Systems, and Northrop Grumman, features movable furniture and whiteboards, a smart projector, and flat-panel displays around the room. We are also developing and documenting a “virtual environment” for the classroom, by creating “design patterns” for how computing technology can be used in this type of space to facilitate student learning.
- The Chemistry Discovery Center (CDC) and CASTLE, both of which are also classrooms designed for active, team-based learning, act as catalysts for faculty on campus to experiment with novel approaches to teaching and learning in the natural sciences, and also continue to generate a high level of external interest.
- The Science Learning Collaboratory—a modern, active learning laboratory funded by HHMI—officially opened in April. This shared space functions as the HHMI Science Education Alliance facility in the winter and summer semesters. During the fall and spring semesters, UMBC faculty will have the opportunity to use the facility to develop innovative instructional approaches.
- We continued to work closely with area community colleges to improve the transition of students, particularly in STEM fields, into four-year degree granting institutions. A multi-divisional team, led by Provost Philip Rous, is now deep into this $2.6 million project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- UMBC’s growing campus at Shady Grove now offers bachelor’s programs in History, Political Science, Psychology, and Social Work, and applied master’s programs in Geographic Information Systems, Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Cybersecurity and Biotechnology.
- An award-winning new course—The Next Generation Engineer: Global Engineering, offered collaboratively by faculty at UMBC and University of Porto in Portugal—grouped students in cross-continent teams and challenged them to work on global and multidisciplinary problems, proposing solutions acceptable in different cultural and social contexts.
- Through Summer STEM, CNMS has restructured and augmented its summer and winter programs to provide a comprehensive set of foundational courses in the sciences and mathematics. This “third” semester is designed to accelerate the progress of UMBC students toward degree completion, provide unique global and research opportunities, and open the UMBC experience to visiting students
- Directed research and creative activities allow students to engage in substantive academic work they can share through student publications and presentations. Particularly impressive were this year’s publications of the UMBC Review: Journal of Undergraduate Research, Bartleby, our creative arts journal, our 18th annual Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievement Day (URCAD), with presentations by students in more than 30 disciplines, and the GSA’s 36th Annual Graduate Research Conference.
- 70 courses across all of our colleges were infused with training in entrepreneurship, through support from the Kaufman Foundation, and over 50 students are now enrolled in a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. With this progress, UMBC last year opened “Entrespace,” a collaborative work-space for student entrepreneurs. We also hosted a business plan competition, funded with a generous gift from UMBC alumnus and serial entrepreneur Greg Cangialosi.
- The Shriver Center placed over 1,000 students in internships in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The Center’s Choice program, part of the national AmeriCorps service network, also served 850 youth and families across the state, with a 92% success rate. The Shriver Peaceworker program now has nearly 150 graduates and welcomed its 21st class. In partnership with UMBC’s Department of Global Studies, the Peaceworker program will launch “Peace Corps Prep,” creating significant opportunities for UMBC undergraduates to prepare for global citizenship and service. Twenty UMBC faculty, and 160 UMBC students participated in the Center’s SUCCESS (Students United for Campus-Community Engagement for Post-Secondary Success), Maryland’s first college experience program for students with cognitive disabilities.
- UMBC continues to be a national leader in community service and civic engagement through BreakingGround. With funding provided by Provost Rous, in 2013-2014 faculty developed or redesigned 11 courses, and students, faculty and staff launched 5 community projects, around themes of civic innovation and agency. Based on UMBC’s progress at deepening our culture of civic agency, the Kettering Foundation invited David Hoffman and Bev Bickel to be partners in the next phase of a research project called Rebuilding Democracy’s Colleges, which explores faculty roles in transforming higher education to support democratic engagement.
- Over the past academic year, our Career Services Center posted over 7,800 opportunities on UMBC’s online job board, UMBCworks, and 452 employer visits were arranged to connect with students. In total, over 5,700 individual students and alumni engaged with Career Services through career counseling, programming/workshops, interviews, internship placements, and career fair attendance.
We continue to enhance graduate and professional education at UMBC. This fall we anticipate enrolling over 2,800 graduate students, including nearly 900 in the Division of Professional Studies’ professional master’s programs in Cybersecurity, Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Education, TESOL, and Instructional Systems Design. The Graduate School has also seen results from its retention and student success initiatives, graduating over 100 Ph.D.s for the first time. I would like to share a number of exciting innovations in graduate and professional study.
- The Department of Psychology established the Psychological Training, Research, and Services Center, which provides clinical practice training for graduate students in Human Services Psychology and low-cost or pro bono psychological services to the surrounding community (on a limited scope for a targeted population).
- A new MPS program in Health Information Technology, enrolling students for the fall, is designed to prepare computer science, information systems, healthcare, and other experienced professionals to fill a range of opportunities within the healthcare profession. MPS programs in Cybersecurity and Biotechnology are also now offered at Shady Grove.
- We have focused on better aligning graduate programs with career opportunities in response to the national report Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers through such activities as graduate student success seminars, discipline-focused activities with our department-based graduate student organizations, and a partnership with the Career Services Center/Shriver Center that provides students with skills, information, and connections. The Graduate School is collecting data from a range of sources to understand how our graduate students network and connect as they transition to careers.
- The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs supports the professional development needs of postdoctoral fellows. This is a collaboration between the Graduate School, the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and Research Administration.
- UMBC Training Centers, part of our professional studies enterprise, instructed an additional 5,500 professional students this year in Maryland and globally, including more than 850 students studying at its Columbia-based Center for Cybersecurity Training.
In Research Universities and the Future of America, the National Academies argued that research—producing new knowledge and ideas—is a critical driver of economic innovation and growth and an essential asset in our work to improve the nation’s health, provide for national security, and meet a variety of other goals from environmental stewardship to sustainable energy to food security. As a growing research university, UMBC places a strong priority on the pursuit of excellence in research and sponsored programs. Our faculty and research scientists have again been very active and successful in pursuing external contracts and grants, securing $72.8 million for FY 2014.
To improve UMBC’s research position and our ability to translate research outcomes for the benefit of the state, we are now focusing on the following initiatives:
- Interdisciplinarity: Following a critical trend in science, we are increasingly focused on how interdisciplinarity can contribute new approaches to understanding both basic science and our society’s biggest problems. Having explored the ways that other research universities are approaching interdisciplinarity, we believe that building a new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building at UMBC, for which detailed planning will commence this fall, will provide the facilities to create similar interactions—and advances in science—at UMBC. This research can help catalyze further innovation in Maryland’s biotech industry and contribute to the creation of new companies and jobs. Life sciences are a key sector for Maryland’s economy—3 percent of all employment and 6.5 percent of the state’s GDP.
- Big Data: We have begun to think strategically about how big data can be harnessed in key fields, such as health informatics and cybersecurity. For example, over the past couple of years, researchers from UMBC have been working with colleagues at UMB to develop a key competency in Health IT. This project is benefitting from unique access to the VINCI database of the Veterans Administration, providing one of the largest national databases of medical data and patient history—covering over 23 million individuals over the past 14 years—that can be used for research, epidemiology, decision support, and business intelligence. In support of this and many other initiatives, we received a major donation of an IBM Supercomputer from NASA Goddard that was installed on the UMBC campus in late 2013 and has led to a significant increase in our research computing capacity.
- Collaborations: Building partnerships is a critical component of our strategy for increasing UMBC’s research portfolio. Here we have built collaborative work with diverse academic, industry, and federal partners:
- We are building our relationship with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. UMB’s strengths in medicine and the legal issues surrounding the balance between privacy and security are a natural match for our strengths in information technology and the science of big data. We funded six joint research programs a year ago, building on a long history of faculty research collaboration and also fostering further collaboration. A new funding cycle is underway now, with a new set of projects to be funded January 2015. Proposals are due October 31.
- As an indication of our growing connection to the private sector, Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, the Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Chair of Biochemistry, received a major research award from MedImmune, one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in Maryland, as part of a larger collaborative agreement between MedImmune and USM. The UMB-UMBC partnership has been very helpful in developing work under this agreement. Her research project will evaluate an immunotherapeutic compound for the treatment of primary and metastatic cancers.
- On June 6, 2014, UMBC and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) enabling future collaboration. Immediately after the CRADA was signed, Karl Steiner, vice president for research at UMBC, and Suzanne Milchling, director of program integration at ECBC, signed a Joint Work Statement giving Professor Bradley Arnold, chemistry and biochemistry, and a graduate student the opportunity to conduct research at RDECOM’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC).
- In fall 2012, we established the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, founded on our solid reputation for leadership in cybersecurity research, education, and entrepreneurship. Under the direction of Professor Anupam Joshi (CSEE), the Center is developing partnerships with industry sponsors and federal agencies, including the National Security Agency and the U.S. Army.
- The Hilltop Institute partnered with IMPAQ International to win a five-year Research, Measurement, Assessment, Design and Analysis (RMADA) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a wide range of analytic support and technical assistance activities that support models and demonstration programs created or derived under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This contract puts IMPAQ and Hilltop on the “short list” of bidders for a variety of task order contracts under this solicitation.
- UMBC’s Physics Department received funding from the Maryland Energy Administration for a 3-year partnership to work on advancing research for offshore wind energy projects. UMBC’s Mechanical Engineering Department also received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation for wind turbine research.
Faculty and Staff Achievements
Many faculty and staff received USM or Presidential awards. Faculty receiving these include Jeff Leips, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, USM Board of Regents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching; Marie DesJardins, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, 2014-2017 Presidential Teaching Professor; and Robert L. Rubinstein, Professor, Sociology and Anthropology, 2014-2017 Presidential Research Professor. UMBC staff members were also recognized. Our Presidential Distinguished Staff Award winners were Kevin Joseph, Assistant Director, Business Systems Groups, DoIT (Professional Staff), and Susan Augsburger Velli, Business Services Specialist, Music Department (Non-Exempt Staff). Justine Marie Johnson, Associate Director, Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program, received the Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award. Jane Gethmann, Assistant to the Chair, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, received the Karen L. Wensch Endowment Award for Outstanding Non-Exempt Staff.
Many of our faculty received prestigious appointments and awards this past year. Let me highlight four:
- Tim Brennan, Professor of Public Policy, was named Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission.
- Kate Brown, Associate Professor of History, won two major prizes this past year for Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters – the George Perkins Marsh Prize of the American Society for Environmental History and the Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians.
- Warren DeVries of the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) has been elected an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
- Lorraine Remer, JCET Research Professor, has been named among the world’s top scientists, according to the recently launched Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list.
Notable research and creative activity this past year has included:
- Linda Dusman, Music, and Eric Smallwood, Visual Arts, working in collaboration with the School of Music at College Park, received our first Maryland Innovation Initiative Award in the arts and humanities (the second such award in the state). Their project, “Symphony Interactive,” is developing a tablet app that enhances the symphony experience by providing audiences with facts and information about the music, conductor, and context digitally in conjunction with a live performance.
- Research Professor Maurice Berger, Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), was awarded a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support his forthcoming curatorial project: Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television.
- The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has received a two-year grant from the Kresge Foundation to continue to provide timely information on emerging trends and important issues related to community benefit.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a three-year grant to the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research and the Green and Healthy Homes InitiativeTM (GHHI) to study how healthy housing interventions reduce asthma in low-income children.
- Upal Ghosh is partnering with researchers in universities around the world—from Brazil, to India, to the United Kingdom—on a project focused on the development of innovative methods to detect and monitor existing and emerging threats to the urban water environment, and sustainable technologies to reduce identified pollution releases and to remediate existing pollution deposits.
- Amy Hurst, Information Systems, is leading the UMBC team in a multi-university project to improve web and cloud computing accessibility. Dr. Hurst is the UMBC PI for a US Department of Education-funded five-year project led by Carnegie Mellon that will develop methods to enable people with disabilities to take full advantage of resources available on the Internet.
- Yonathan Zohar, professor of marine biotechnology, has continued to develop efficient and sustainable technologies for the in-captivity production of bluefin tuna, prized for sushi and overfished in the wild. This summer, his team has been working to raise tuna larvae into juvenile fish, a step that, if successful, could lead to producing the high-demand fish for the marketplace—the “holy grail” of aquaculture.
- Tom Cronin, professor of biology, has received notice for his research on mantis shrimp that engage in extremely complicated behavior and have, perhaps, the most unusual eyes ever evolved. Cronin is examining their color vision systems, photic environments, systems of color communication, photoreceptor cells, and ocular movements and control systems to learn how the photoreceptors evolved and how their visual proteins are specialized for color vision and for seeing the polarized-light signals that many species of mantis shrimps produce.
- Zhibo Zhang, an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department, and his collaborators received a three-year grant from NASA’s Sciences of Terra and Aqua program to study the Marine Boundary Layer clouds that cover about 20 percent of Earth’s surface.
Notable training grants this year have been:
- The effort to replicate the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Pennsylvania State University with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The effort has been led by Mike Summers and Keith Harmon.
- The PROMISE AGEP program, now expanded to include all universities within the University System of Maryland through a new multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. PROMISE AGEP, a national and international model, provides professional development for graduate students and postdocs throughout USM.
- Other ongoing training grants support (i) students in high-demand fields in engineering and IT, (ii) transforming the freshman experience in computing, (iii) the Cybersecurity Scholarship for Service, (iv) a program to work on increasing the expertise of Maryland high school teachers in teaching computer science, (v) sustaining and enhancing the capacity for graduate teaching and research in areas of national need, (vi) the Bridge to the Doctorate and the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, and (vii) UMBC’s MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) program.
Once again, a record number – almost 40 percent—of our seniors who just graduated are entering graduate and professional schools this fall. For example, Samantha Hawkins, who was recently crowned Miss Baltimore, is entering the Ph.D. program in anthropology at Harvard this fall. We also have graduates who are entering into the MD-PhD programs at Harvard-MIT and Johns Hopkins.
Alexis DeVance, a UMBC dance student, won the Outstanding Student Choreography Award at the American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center. Six UMBC student-athletes were named AEC Presidential Scholar-Athletes for their outstanding academic achievements throughout their collegiate careers. Seven undergraduates have been awarded Fulbright, Boren, or Goldwater Fellowships and one was awarded a Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security. These prestigious awards allow students to study languages, teach English, or conduct research abroad, or pursue research careers in math, science and engineering.
Our graduate students hold prestigious Earth and Space Science, NSF Graduate Research, Ford, GEM, and Presidential Management Fellowships for the coming year. Justin Jacobs, who just received his PhD in statistics at UMBC, has won the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Another example is Joseph Rosebrock, who plans to focus on his startup, ID My Pill, which helps patients identify their prescription pills in a snap of their smartphones.
Our athletes had an outstanding year in the America East Conference, with three conferences championships in men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and men’s cross country. The men’s soccer team compiled the best NCAA Division 1 record and, in a Cinderella season, the women’s team produced the biggest turnaround in America East history. Congratulations to Coach Peter Caringi, Coach Leslie Wray, and Coach Matt Gittermann. Congratulations as well to Athletics Director Tim Hall, who has been elected as the chairman of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics for the fall of 2014.
Sustainability and the Environment
UMBC is growing greener, with a deepening commitment to sustainability through our research, courses, student initiatives, service, policies and operations.
Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, UMBC has reduced net carbon emissions by 12.7 percent. This was accomplished even with a nearly 16 percent increase in enrollment and a 4 percent increase in building square footage. We continue to take steps to eliminate campus carbon emissions by conserving energy, purchasing renewable energy, and implementing innovative solutions. Energy efficiency upgrades in progress right now are expected to reduce our carbon emissions by an additional 12 percent. Construction of new green buildings included the Patapsco Hall Addition (LEED Gold Certified), the Apartment Community Center (LEED Silver Certification pending) and the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building (LEED Silver Certification pending).
UMBC’s sustainability efforts are thriving across our community, with students, faculty and staff actively engaged. The environmental work of faculty contributes significantly to our development as a research university and our strengths in the geosciences, with faculty applying new knowledge in environmental sciences and policy to advance health, safety, and the economy. Moreover, UMBC is the field headquarters for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (a federally-funded urban ecology project), and our campus is home to both the U.S. Geological Survey’s regional water science center and the Maryland Clean Energy Incubator.
New programs and projects are popping up everywhere. In June, a second workshop to Incorporate Sustainability Across Disciplines was held, with faculty exploring opportunities to teach students skills and concepts to shape a sustainable future. A recently installed student-led community garden serves as a research platform, with students studying the impact of civic engagement, awareness, and interconnection that The Garden seeks to cultivate. UMBC’s new Green Office Program promotes sustainable practices in campus offices and buildings by providing resources, checklists, and training in energy conservation, waste minimization, and sustainable transportation. A new team of student Eco-Ambassadors will be in place this fall to lead and promote a culture of environmental stewardship within the student body and across campus.
Recycling and composting rates have doubled in recent years, thanks to new collection systems and improved signage. UMBC ranked among the best colleges in the annual Recyclemania competition for the 7th year.
We are continuing to reduce transportation-related emissions by optimizing UMBC Transit and offering preferred parking to registered carpoolers. The SGA, Athletics and a local businesses partnered to establish a free bike share program at the RAC. Zip cars, electric vehicle charging stations, and MTA also help keep UMBC low-carbon and accessible.
We are at the forefront of using IT for campus communications, data analytics, student support, instruction and learning, research cyberinfrastructure, and administration. UMBC has just received one of the first 100 NSF cyberinfrastructure awards to universities for advanced computing thanks to the work of PI Jack Suess, our CIO and VP for Information Technology. Jack has also recently published a feature article on next generation learning in EDUCAUSE Review and was named to the Board of Directors for IMS Global, the organization responsible for developing technology standards for learning systems. I also commend Jack and DoIT staff for their response to recent new requirements from the Regents on data privacy and security. To date, we have eliminated over 90 percent of the records that would be classified as sensitive and contain a SSN and name, and we will continue to take steps in this critical area.
This fall and winter there was a special emphasis on expanding our high-performance computing systems (HPC) to support research across the sciences and engineering. Working closely with Matthias Gobbert and Milt Halem, this effort is a partnership between the colleges, the VP of Research, and the Division of IT, and the new equipment is valued at over $2 million. Through this effort UMBC now has two systems capable of processing 10 trillion arithmetic operations a second. In addition, over the last year UMBC added over 600 terabytes of data storage for research computing. These efforts are part of our campus commitment to support research computing at UMBC.
This past year we also worked to improve and update our campus technology infrastructure in preparation for the opening of the second phase of the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building. Last year, DoIT updated or installed over 1,500 wireless access points, upgraded almost 2,500 data ports, and upgraded our network to support advanced research needs.
During the summer, DoIT worked closely with the Provost’s office to upgrade and refresh our classroom technology in two lecture halls and 15 classrooms. In addition, DoIT committed some one-time funds from salary savings to upgrade the remaining five Registrar-controlled classrooms to smart classrooms. We now have smart technology in every Registrar-controlled classroom at UMBC.
The State has been very supportive of the university and our capital projects. At the same time, our healthy enrollments have provided our own support for facilities. Together, these sources will provide three-quarters of a billion dollars in developing and building state of the art facilities for instruction, research, and student residential life for the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019. Indeed, over the last 15 years, we have spent about $460 million on capital projects, of which over $300 million went to build new or renovate existing academic buildings. The remainder was used for student facilities, including the Commons, residences, recreation, athletics and parking. For the next five years, we plan to spend another $250 million. We have also invested $110 million during this time period in the research park.
Our new $160-million Performing Arts and Humanities Building is now complete and the departments of music, dance, ancient studies, and philosophy are settling in. The building has already had a major impact, dramatically enhancing the academic experience of students, providing new outlets for creative expression, and making UMBC a cultural and intellectual destination in greater Baltimore and beyond.
We are investing $16.4 million in the renovation of the Fine Arts Building to create “like-new” offices, classrooms, and teaching studios. Critical infrastructure—electric, heating and cooling systems—will be renewed to ensure that the building serves well the twelve departments of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences that will be housed there.
We are grateful to the Maryland State Legislature for providing design funding for the new $123-million Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building. This building will embody the core elements of our mission—integrating research, teaching, and learning—and it is an essential element of our plans to provide strategically important labs and facilities to advance the State’s biotechnology industry and Maryland’s competitiveness in the innovation economy. We will begin design in 2015, start construction in 2017, and move into the building over the summer of 2019.
The transformation of our residential communities continues with a $19.3-million, three-phase renovation of the West Hill Apartments. Scheduled to reopen for fall 2016, the interior and exterior upgrades to this popular student housing will enhance the overall living environment for our residential community and address the need for beds to respond to enrollment growth.
Construction has begun on development of the Campus Gateway, a project that will transform the campus entrance along UMBC Boulevard to enhance access, reduce traffic backups, and improve campus aesthetics. The entrance will be completed by fall 2015.
We are very excited that design has begun on a new Event Center and Arena. This facility will serve as a large community gathering place—unlike anything currently available on campus—to host activities that will enrich the UMBC experience for all students. With 5,000 fixed seats and a total capacity of 6,000 seats, the center will be an exciting venue for athletic events, concerts, performances, and major student life events. Clearly, it will be an excellent venue for our America East basketball games. The new facility will be under construction during our 50th year and completed in time to host basketball games during the 2017/2018 season. The Event Center and Arena will provide the opportunity for expanding recreation and physical fitness options in the RAC for the benefit of the entire campus.
Despite the many pressures higher education is facing today, I feel tremendously optimistic about our future as a university. We are increasingly known as a national model of inclusive excellence and innovation in American higher education. We have built strength in research across the disciplines. We can take great pride in knowing that the rest of the nation is beginning to understand what we already know—that we are a very special place. The recognition we receive—great college to work for, best buy, #1 up-and-coming national university—are not just nice accolades, but reflect a strong underlying reality about our work and our community that we can use as a foundation for an even stronger university.
Over the years, putting people first has been at the heart of our success—supporting and guiding students as they learn and grow; supporting faculty in their research and teaching; supporting staff in their work with students and colleagues; and responding to the needs of a growing range of external constituents. Whether you’ve been here for decades or recently arrived, you make a difference through your contributions. As I say every year at this time, it is an honor each day to serve as president. Thank you.
Student, Faculty, and Staff Achievements
As a research university with undergraduate teaching and learning at its core, the institution has many students and alumni who excel. Our 2014 graduates are launching careers with major corporations, agencies, non-profit groups, and public school systems, focusing on financial analysis, software engineering, information systems, education, human services, theatre, education, and multimedia and graphic design. Many are also beginning graduate and professional programs at top schools across the nation.
A number of our recent and current undergraduates have been selected for prestigious awards and programs:
- Four UMBC students have been awarded Fulbright grants, the prestigious program that takes students around the world to teach English or conduct original research. Two students were awarded English teaching assistantships: Lauren Raubaugh (’11, English and history; ’13, MA TESOL) and Joshua Gehret (’14, English and ancient studies); both will teach English in Indonesia for the coming academic year. Mitchell Donovan (’11, geography and environmental systems; ’14, MS, geography and environmental systems) will research estuary sedimentation in Finland, while Coco Tang (’14, political science, history and visual arts) will research the issue of Syrian refugee populations and regional water shortage in Jordan this year.
- Jamila Ellis ’15, global studies, and Anna Kearns ’16, global studies and Asian studies, were awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship for International Study. The Boren allows students to study languages and cultures that are critical to US national security and go on to work in federal agencies. Ellis will study Arabic in Jordan in order to learn more about the role of Middle Eastern and North African women in promoting conflict resolution in the region. She plans to have a career in the State Department. Kearns will study Korean in South Korea to learn more about Korean security policy. She is planning to work in intelligence.
- Michael Moubarek ’15, biochemistry and molecular biology, and Akua Nimarko ’15, biological sciences and psychology, have been named recipients of the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. The intensely competitive Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program offers scholarships for students to pursue research careers in math, science and engineering.
- The Women’s Center celebrated two Charlotte Newcombe Scholars. Melissa Hartman came back to school at age 33 as a single parent and graduated this year with a social work degree she earned while mentoring pregnant women with substance abuse problems. Amy Conner was working as an artist when she found herself searching for answers after a life-threatening illness. She plans to teach chemistry after obtaining her master’s degree at UMBC. Both nontraditional students found their niche at UMBC.
- Six UMBC student-athletes were among the 48 America East student-athletes named to the conference’s inaugural Presidential Scholar-Athlete class for their outstanding academic achievements throughout their collegiate careers. The Presidential Scholar-Athlete award recognizes graduating student-athletes who compiled a cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher as an undergraduate student. The Retriever honorees were tennis’ Kim Berghaus, swimming and diving’s Patty Hallberg, volleyball’s Robbin Lee, men’s soccer’s Corbin McCarron, cross country/track athlete Kirsten McGovern and baseball’s Luke Seppi.
- Earlier this year HP and the Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS) selected Victoria Lentz ’15, cybersecurity, and 10 other female cybersecurity students from across the U.S. to receive scholarships. With particular interests in malware and digital forensics, Lentz plans to work in the cybersecurity industry after finishing her undergraduate education before returning for a Master’s degree.
- Alexis DeVance, dance, was just one of 31 student choreographers nationwide selected for the American College Dance Festival at Kennedy Center. DeVance won the Outstanding Student Choreography Award.
- Samantha Hawkins ’14, interdisciplinary studies, was crowned Miss Baltimore on January 25, 2014. As Miss Baltimore, Samantha will continue her work helping low-income families by launching a state-wide campaign to expand the Food Resource Program.
- UMBC had nine participants in the highly selective National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) summer program. These students conducted research and then presented their findings at the conclusion of the session. One of our students, Gary Eurice, was elected to present a plenary talk on “Analysis of Factors in Photovoltaic EVA Degradation.”
- The Ethics Bowl Team placed third in the Mid-Atlantic regional tournament this past fall, earning team members the right to compete in the national championships for the fourth year in a row.
- Our Chess Team was again among the nation’s elite, earning second place in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, also known as the “World Series of Chess.”
Similarly, our graduate students hold a variety of notable fellowships. GSA President Dan Miller, PhD candidate in atmospheric physics, has received the prestigious Earth and Space Science Fellowship from NASA. Three students—in geography and environmental systems, statistics, and computer science—will hold NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Two students in intercultural communications are attending UMBC on Fulbright Fellowships. One computer science graduate students has continued her Ford Fellowship and another continues his GEM fellowship.
Several of our 2014 Ph.D. graduates have accepted positions as faculty members or postdocs at universities and national research labs across the country, including the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine; Johns Hopkins University; University of Maryland School of Medicine and School of Nursing; University of Minnesota; University of Washington; the Ohio State University; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Jiaotong University in China; National Yulin University of Science and Technology in Taiwan; Morgan State University; Bowie State University; the Community College of Baltimore County; the National Institutes of Health; and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
Others are working for companies, government agencies, and major labs, holding such positions as statistician at the Census Bureau, engineer systems architect at Northrop Grumman, technical director of the CSTL Cryptographic and Security Testing Lab at Leidos, leading the DSP Technology Group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working at or starting non-profit organizations in the Baltimore area, and providing leadership in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Three students of note include:
- Dr. Joseph Rosebrock plans to focus on his startup, ID My Pill, on helping patients identify their prescription pills in a snap of their smartphones.
- Alyse Altenburg, a master’s student in applied sociology and a Shriver Center Peaceworker Fellow, has been selected as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) for the Class of 2014. The PMF is a prestigious two-year paid government fellowship for recent graduate students who seek work with a United States government agency. Following the conclusion of the two year fellowship, PMFs have the opportunity to convert their fellowship into a permanent position.
- Justin Jacobs, a doctoral candidate in statistics at UMBC, has won the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, and recognizes Justin’s work with the intelligence community.
Our athletes had an outstanding 2013-14 school year in the America East Conference, with three conference championships (in men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and cross-country) and four second-place finishes (in volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s lacrosse and men’s outdoor track and field). For the fourth time in the last six years, the Retrievers placed third in the America East Conference Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner’s Cup race.
- The 2013 UMBC men’s soccer squad posted the NCAA Division I’s top record with 16 wins, one loss and three draws. The team became the first UMBC Division I program to host and compete in an NCAA Tournament contest, when they welcomed UConn to Retriever Soccer Park on Nov. 24, 2014. The program’s final RPI was No. 8. After the America East championship, UMBC was ranked No. 5 in Top Drawer Soccer, College Soccer News and in the Continental Tire NSCAA Poll and No. 10 in Soccer America poll.
- The women’s soccer team posted a momentous 2013 season, completing a Cinderella story by registering the second-biggest turnaround in the country and the largest turnaround in America East history. UMBC captured a share of its first-ever regular-season title with a 6-2-0 conference mark. The Retrievers then took the tournament crown and automatic NCAA Championship bid with a come-from-behind win against Stony Brook at Retriever Soccer Park. Leslie Wray’s forces set a program-record with 13 wins.
- The men’s cross country team won its first America East championship since 2005 and went on to finish ninth as a team at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region to earn the school’s first top-ten finish at a regional meet.
Many faculty members have distinguished themselves this year. Faculty receiving USM or Presidential awards include Jeff Leips, associate professor, biological sciences, USM Board of Regents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching; Marie DesJardins, professor, computer science and engineering, 2014-2017 Presidential Teaching Professor; and Robert L Rubinstein, professor, sociology and anthropology, 2014-2017 Presidential Research Professor. Collectively, this group reflects the commitment of our faculty to excellence in teaching, mentoring, and research.
Several UMBC faculty have received prestigious appointments:
- Tim Brennan, professor of public policy, was named chief economist of the Federal Communications Commission, a significant appointment reflecting his expertise and exemplifying the tradition of collaborations between our social sciences faculty and governmental agencies and NGOs. Dr. Brennan’s appointment, from January through December 2014, is part of an FCC program that brings in scholars from academia to provide outside perspectives and advice on challenging issues.
- Devin Hagerty, professor of political science and founding director of the global studies program, has been named the Lipitz Professor of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences for 2014-2015. This professorship is supported by an endowment created by Roger C. Lipitz and the Lipitz Family Foundation “to recognize and support innovative and distinguished teaching and research in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.”
- Marie DesJardins, computer science and electrical engineering, has been selected as a participant in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Fellows Program. DesJardins is one of just 31 faculty and administrators chosen as ACE fellows from across the United States this year. In addition, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) has selected Professor DesJardins as one of four awardees of the 2014 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. The award comes with a gift to UMBC of $5,000, sponsored by AT&T, that can be used to further Professor DesJardins’ mentoring activities.
- Patrice McDermott, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, has been named Senior Fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) where she will partner with Project Kaleidoscope on research initiatives designed to increase the number of women and women of color in academic STEM disciplines.
- Niels Van Tomme, visiting curator of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, has been named curator of the 7th Bucharest International Biennial for Contemporary Art, to take place May 26-July 17, 2016. The Biennale is interested in exploring links between creative practice and social progress, as well as correspondences between local and global contexts. Now in its tenth year, the Biennale continues to build a strong partnership between Bucharest—a geocultural space where the political is reflected in all aspects of life—and the rest of the world. In transcending specific geographical, historical, or political frameworks, it connects to a broader complexity, namely the one of “resistance” within the quotidian realm.
Two UMBC faculty have received Fulbright Awards:
- Dr. Eric Zeemering, assistant professor of public policy, was named a 2013-14 Fulbright Scholar by Fulbright Canada. He spent five months at the University of Ottawa investigating how urban sustainability is defined in Canadian cities, with special attention on how social policy and programs are integrated with economic and environmental initiatives.
- Associate Professor Lynn Cazabon, visual arts, has received a Fulbright Teaching Award to work at Leipaja University for the spring 2015 semester. Leipaja University is in Leipaja, Latvia, a city of 75,000 located in the western part of the country on the Baltic Sea. Cazabon’s project proposal is to develop and teach classes centered on Photography and Public Art in their New Media Arts Program. She will also pursue a project of her own focused on local traditions centered on mushroom harvesting as they connect to country-wide environmental conservation policies.
We are very excited about the prizes and awards that UMBC faculty have won this past year for their academic research and creative projects:
- Kate Brown, associate professor of history won two major prizes this past year for Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, the 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) for the best book in environmental history and the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH).
- Education Professor of Practice Joan Shin has received the 2013 Ben Warren International House Trust Prize for her book Teaching Young Learners English (National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning, 2013). Shin coauthored the book with JoAnn Crandall, professor emerita and former director of the Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. program. The award is given annually to the author or authors of the most outstanding work in the field of language teacher education
- Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, visiting artist at UMBC, has been named recipient of the 2014 Thomas Nast Award. The Overseas Press Club of America presents this prestigious award for excellence in cartoons about international affairs. KAL is an editorial cartoonist for The Economist and The Baltimore Sun.
- We are very excited that Lorraine Remer, a UMBC research professor in physics working at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, has been named among the world’s top scientists, according to the recently launched Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list, “The Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014.” According to Thomson Reuters, Highly Cited Researchers is a compilation of influential names in science that spotlights some of the “standout researchers of the last decade.”
- Two UMBC faculty members, Fow-Sen Choa in CSEE and Brian Cullum in chemistry and biochemistry, have been elected as fellows of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. SPIE fellows are honored for their technical achievements and for their service to the general optics community
- Anne Brodsky, psychology professor and associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has received the 2014 SCRA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Theory and Research in Community Psychology from the Society for Community Research and Actions of the American Psychological Association.
- Curtis Menyuk recently received the IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award. The award is given to recognize an exceptional single scientific contribution which has had a significant impact in the field of lasers and electro-optics in the past 10 years. The award is given for a relatively recent, single contribution that has had a major impact on the Photonics Society research community.
- Tom Cronin, professor of biology, has received notice for his research on mantis shrimp that engage in extremely complicated behavior and have, perhaps, the most unusual eyes ever evolved. Cronin is examining their color vision systems, photic environments, systems of color communication, photoreceptor cells, and ocular movements and control systems to learn how the photoreceptors evolved and how their visual proteins are specialized for color vision and for seeing the polarized-light signals that many species of mantis shrimps produce.
- Yonathan Zohar, professor of marine biotechnology, has received recognition for his continued to develop efficient and sustainable technologies for the production of bluefin tuna, prized for sushi and overfished in the wild, in captivity. This summer, his team at IMET has been working to raise tuna larvae into juvenile fish, a step that, if successful, could lead to producing the high-demand fish for the marketplace—the “holy grail” of aquaculture.
UMBC faculty have secured over $1 million since January 2013 in the Maryland Innovation Initiative, which makes competitive awards to faculty and staff at UMBC, UMB, UMCP, Hopkins, and Morgan who are working to develop prototypes or Proof of Concept projects aimed at commercializing research coming from our research labs. Faculty in each of our colleges have won awards, including Charles Bieberich in biology, Karuna Joshi in CSEE, Sue Ostrand Rosenberg in biology, Yan-Hua Shih in physics, Vikram Vakharia in IMET, Kevin Sowers in IMET, George Karabatis in information systems, Nilanjan Banerjee in CSEE and Linda Dusman in music. An interesting example includes Mark Marten, who is developing novel food additives for the poultry industry that might one day replace antibiotics that are costly and have lasting negative impacts on the environment. A company has been formed from this work, MycoInnovation, which is based in the research park. Linda Dusman’s project “Symphony Interactive,” is working to develop technologies that enhance the live symphony experience by providing facts and information about the music, conductor, and context digitally in conjunction the performance.
UMBC staff members were recognized for their work this year. Our Presidential Distinguished Staff Award winners were Kevin Joseph, assistant director, Business Systems Groups, DoIT (professional staff), and Susan Augsburger Velli, business services specialist, music department (non-exempt xtaff). Justine Marie Johnson, associate director, Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program, received the Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award. Jane Gethmann, assistant to the chair, computer science and electrical engineering, received the Karen L. Wensch Endowment Award for Outstanding Non-Exempt Staff.
UMBC staff have received prestigious awards and honors over the last year:
- Dean Warren DeVries of the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) has been elected an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). DeVries will be recognized in November for his “distinctive contributions to engineering education and research as a professor, for dedication to advancing the frontiers of discovery and innovation through public service, and for striving to advance the recognition of engineering’s contributions to humankind through leadership in professional societies.” Honorary membership is ASME’s oldest award and just five members are selected annually to receive this special recognition.
- Antonio “Tony” Moreira, vice provost of academic affairs and professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, has been awarded the National Order of Civil Merit of Public Education by the president of Portugal on behalf of the Portuguese government. The award is given to distinguished individuals from the Portuguese diaspora community and is in celebration of the National Day of Portugal on June 10. The decoration will be presented to Moreira at the Portuguese Embassy in Washington, D.C. in the fall.
- Lee Hawthorne Calizo, director of Student Life, was recognized at the American College Personnel Association’s National Conference in Indianapolis in this year’s class of Diamond Honorees. Lee was nominated by colleagues who recognize her as a distinguished teacher, administrator, researcher, writer, and an association leader. The award recognizes sustained contributions to ACPA, higher education, and the Student Affairs profession at the local, state, regional, national, or international levels.
- UMBC Director of Athletics Tim Hall has been elected as the chairman of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics for the fall of 2014. Hall, who has served on the 15-member, multi-divisional committee since 2011, replaces current CWA chair Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano of the University of Hawaii. He had previously chaired the CWA/MOIC (Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee) Disability Subcommittee from 2012-14.
- VP of IT Jack Suess published a feature article on next generation learning in EDUCAUSE Review and was named to the Board of Directors for IMSGlobal, the organization responsible for developing technology standards for learning systems.
- Denise Gagnon Perdue, coordinator in Student Support Services, has been appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to the Maryland School for the Deaf Board of Trustees for a six-year term. The Maryland School for the Deaf was established in 1868 and provides day and residential education to more than 400 deaf and hard-of-hearing K-12 students.
- UMBC Library Associate Director Joyce Tenney was elected president of the North American Serials Interest Group, Inc. (NASIG) for the 2013/2014 term. NASIG is the premier professional organization focused on serial publications.
- Jessica Berman, director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities and professor of English, has been elected to be the second vice president of the Modernist Studies Association (MSA). She is set to take office in fall 2014, succeed to be first vice president in fall 2015 and then become the president of the MSA for the 2016-17 year.
- David Bobb, Retriever alumnus and current UMBC track and field head coach, was selected to the Big South Conference All-Decade Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Team for the years 1994-1999. Bobb is one of eight sprinters named to the team after he swept the 100m and 200m dash events in back-to-back years (1994 and 1995) as a freshman and sophomore.
- Lee Boot, associate director, Imaging Resource Center, was chosen to present the keynote speech at the 2014 Cultural Arts for Education (CAFE) conference on Thursday, May 29, 2014. The conference, presented by Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance, invites arts educators and advocates from around the state to share, learn and discuss themes of “education, creativity and innovation” in their fields. The title of this year’s CAFE Conference was “Fresh Food for Thought: Come Nurture Your Creativity.”
- Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies Program Director, has been selected as a Smithsonian expert for tours of Japan. As a director, the Smithsonian Journeys program will periodically ask Vaporis to lead tours in Japan, with the first one set for 2015.
- Robert Deluty, associate dean of the graduate school, has published a new volume of poetry, “Gifts in Disguise.” In his review, Joseph DeVitis writes: “Robert Deluty’s poems give us quick, yet profound, glimpses into the old adage that ‘things aren’t usually what they seem.’ He incorporates and transcends that theme because he wants us to look at things as if they could be otherwise. Deluty urges us to become wider awake, to feel and reflect upon everyday experiences so that we might repair the damages in our lives. He is a remarkably hopeful poet who pulls us up when we stumble—and then claps his hands for us to dance.”
Research and Training Grants
Notable research grant recipients this past year have included:
- Gymama Slaughter, assistant professor in computer science and electrical engineering, received an NSF CAREER Award for her work to fabricate and characterize a self-powered, bio-implantable biosensing microsystem that simultaneously generates bioelectricity and monitors glucose. Essentially she is enhancing the quality of life for diabetes patients. This is the 27th NSF CAREER Award that UMBC faculty have received since 1995. She is currently one of four faculty with NSF CAREER Awards, the other three being Dr. Gougousi (2009-2015), Dr. Banerjee (2012-2016), and Dr. Starz-Gaiano (2011-2016).
- The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded a $100,000 grant in support of Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) Research Professor Maurice Berger’s forthcoming curatorial project: Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television. This project will travel to the Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Addison Gallery of American Art, Boston, MA; Smart Museum, Chicago, IL; and the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA.
- The Hilltop Institute’s Hospital Community Benefit Program has received a two-year, $350,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation to continue to provide timely information on emerging trends and important issues related to community benefit. Kresge’s generous support will enable the program to enhance its information dissemination and update its Community Benefit State Law Profiles, which present a comprehensive analysis of each state’s community benefit landscape as defined by its laws, regulations, tax exemptions, and, in some cases, policies and activities of state executive agencies. The program will also publish a series of Hospital Community Benefit News Alerts, sharing timely information on important events, new legislation, or writings in the field, and will continue to make presentations to national audiences.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a 3-year, $750,000 grant to the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research and the Green and Healthy Homes InitiativeTM (GHHI) to study how healthy housing interventions reduce asthma in low-income children. The research team includes principal investigator David Salkever, public policy; Michael Abrams (Ph.D. candidate) of The Hilltop Institute; researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and co-principal investigator Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning/GHHI.
- Zhibo Zhang, an assistant professor in the physics department, and his collaborators received a three-year grant of $710,000 from NASA’s Sciences of Terra and Aqua program to study the Marine Boundary Layer clouds that cover about 20% of Earth’s surface. They play a pivotal in Earth’s radiative energy budget. Zhang’s research will help us understand the horizontal and microphysical structure of MBL clouds and provides guidance for the development of future NASA satellite missions.
- UMBC’s physics department received $400,000 in funding from the Maryland Energy Administration for a 3-year partnership to work on advancing research for offshore wind energy projects. UMBC’s mechanical engineering department also received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $178,000 for wind turbine research.
- Upal Ghosh, professor in chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, has partnered with Newcastle University in the project: Development of Sustainable Technologies to Investigate, Restore and Protect the Urban Water Environment. Newcastle University, UMBC, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India) and CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Nagpur (India), are partnering in this project focusing on the development of innovative methods to detect and monitor existing and emerging threats to the urban water environment, and sustainable technologies to reduce identified pollution releases and to remediate existing pollution deposits.
- Amy Hurst, information systems, will lead the UMBC team in a multi-university project to improve web and cloud computing accessibility. Dr. Hurst is the UMBC PI for a US Department of Education five-year, $3.7 million project led by Carnegie Mellon University that will develop methods to enable people with disabilities to take full advantage of resources available on the Internet.
This September, we will launch a new, user-friendly research website to better position the outstanding research accomplishments of our faculty and staff members, to direct faculty and external partners to key assets and facilities, and to support the development of new partnerships and opportunities. (www.research.umbc.edu)
Notable training grant recipients this past year have included the following:
- Under the leadership of Mike Summers and Keith Harmon, UMBC has worked with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Pennsylvania State University, with substantial funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), to replicate the Meyerhoff Scholars Program on their campuses.
- The IS, CSEE, and ME departments in COEIT have, through several grants, received more than $2 million through 2017 to support students in high-demand fields in engineering and IT and transform the freshman experience in computing.
- Alan Sherman (CSEE) and Richard Forno (Cybersecurity MPS) have received $2.5 million over five years for the UMBC Cybersecurity Scholarship for Service and Program and Innovations in Cybersecurity Education Workshop Series.
- Marie Desjardins received a research award of $845,000 in funding over a three year period from the National Science Foundation to work on increasing the expertise of Maryland high school teachers in teaching computer science. The goal of the project is to increase the number of computer science classes offered in Maryland and the number and diversity of students taking them. The project involves collaborators from the computer science department at the University of Maryland, College Park and high school teachers from Charles County and Baltimore County.
- The biology and IS departments received $400,000 each through 2015 as recipients of the highly competitive U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance to Areas of National Need (GAANN) grant program that provides support to sustain and enhance the capacity for graduate teaching and research in areas of national need.
- The PROMISE AGEP program has been expanded to include all universities within the University System of Maryland through a new multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. The expanded “PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation” program provides professional development for graduate students and postdocs throughout USM. The PROMISE AGEP is becoming a national and international model and has been used as a basis for graduate student diversity and professional development programs at other universities. Based on the success of PROMISE, and other initiatives at UMBC, we also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a delegation to Ecuador to discuss international engagement and issues of career-life balance.
- UMBC also received NSF support of $1.4 million for the Bridge to the Doctorate and the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program; and continuation funding from NIH in the amount of $1 million dollars UMBC’s MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) program. UMBC hosts the nation’s largest MARC U-STAR program.
Albin O. Kuhn Library
Breitmeyer, John, Librarian I
B.A., Michigan State University, 1990; M.A., University of New Orleans, 1998; MLIS, University of South Carolina, 2004
Research and Instruction Librarian/Web Support Specialist at Loyola/Notre Dame Library since 2004
Belilgne, Maleda, Assistant Professor
B.A., Hunter College, 2003; Ph.D., Duke University, 2011
Adjunct Instructor, Duke in New York Arts and Media, Global Education Office for Undergraduates since Fall, 2013
Bailey, Melissa, Visiting Assistant Professor
B.A., Rice University, 2004; Ph.D., Stanford University, 2012
Jones-Lewis, Molly, Visiting Lecturer
B.A., Swarthmore College, 2003; M.A., The Ohio State University, 2006; Ph.D., 2009
A Visiting Assistant Professor at Austin College since 2013
Lane, Michael, Assistant Professor
B.A., University of Indiana, 1989; M.Sc., University of Sheffield, 1993; Ph.D., 2004
Visiting Assistant Professor at UMBC in Ancient Studies for the 2013-14 academic year.
Feeser, Elizabeth, Lecturer
B.S., Georgetown University, 2002; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2008
NRSA Postdoctoral Research at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania 2009 to 2013
Hughes, Jennifer, Lecturer
B.S., University College Cork, Ireland, 1998; Ph.D., University College Dublin, Ireland, 2003
Post-doctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions since September, 2006
Smith, Tracy, Lecturer
B.S., Washington College, 2000; M.Ed., Wesley College, 2002; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, pending
Instructor in Biology at UMBC since Summer, 2013
Williams, Tory, Visiting Assistant Professor
B.S., Johns Hopkins University, 2007; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2013
Graduate Research Assistant at UMBC 2007 through 2013
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Kyoung, Minjoung, Assistant Professor
B.A., Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea, 1998; M.S., 2000; Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2007
Has been an Assistant Research Scientist at UMBC since 2012
College of Engineering and Information Technology and Division of Professional Studies
Moore, Thomas, Professor of the Practice of Engineering and Assistant Graduate Program Director for Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
B.Sc., Northwestern University, 1986; M.Sc., 1987; Ph.D., 1989
Director, Systems Engineering & Logistics, Northrop Grumman since March 2012
Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Kim, Seung-Jun, Assistant Professor
B.S., Seoul National University, 1996; M.S., 1998; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005
Research Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, June 2013 to present
Marron, Christopher, Professor of the Practice
B.S., Mary Washington College, 1987; M.S., University of Virginia, 1990; Ph.D., 1994
Since 2006, has been an Applied Research Mathematician at the United States National Security Agency (NSA). He has also been a Lecturer at UMBC since Spring, 2012
Matuszek, Cynthia, Assistant Professor/Lecturer
B.S., University of Texas, Austin, 1999; M.Sc., University of Washington, 2009; Ph.D., Pending
Research Assistant at the University of Washington, 2007 to present
Behnam Shariati, Lecturer and Assistant Program Director of the MPS in Cybersecurity at Shady Grove
M.S., The George Washington University, 1998; Ph.D., 2001
Visiting Lecturer and Interim Assistant Director of UMBC Cybersecurity Program at Shady Grove since October, 2013
Laurita-Spanglet, Jessie, Artist-in-Residence
B.F.A., University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 2003; M.F.A., University of Maryland, College Park, 2014
Ceraso, Stephanie, Assistant Professor
B.A., Washington and Jefferson College, 2004; M.A., University of Vermont, 2006; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2013
Lecturer at Georgetown University during the 2013-14 academic year
Holman, William, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director
B.S., Frostburg State University, 1991; B.S., Towson State University, 1995; M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2008
Mr. Holman was President/CEO of the CCNRC Family Care Center beginning February, 2011.
Gender and Women’s Studies
Ergun, Emek, Visiting Lecturer
B.A., Bogazici University 2002; M.S., Towson University, 2002
Adjunct Faculty in GWST during the 2013-14 academic year
Blair, Melissa, Lecturer
B.A., Grinnell Collegee, 1997; M.A., University of South Carolina, 2002; Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2014
Pan, Shimei, Assistant Professor
B.Sc., Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 1991; M. Phil., Columbia University, 1998; Ph.D., 2002
Research Scientist at IMBC, T. J. Watson Research center since 2001
Sponaugle, Richard, Lecturer
B.S., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1995; M.S., 1997
Database Specialist Supervisor in the Office of Health Care Quality at Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since August, 2007. Also an Adjunct faculty member in Information Systems since August 2007
Zhu, Qian, Assistant Professor
B.Sc., SiChuan Normal University, China, 2000; Ph.D., Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2005
Assistant Professor of Medical Informatics – College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic since 2012
Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program
Herring, Cederic, Professor
B.A., University of Houston, 1980; M.A., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 1981; Ph.D., 1985
Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Institute of Government and Public Affairs since 1995
Mathematics & Statistics
Sousedik, Bedrich, Assistant Professor
Ing. (M.Eng. equivalent), Czech Technical University in Prague, 2001; Ph.D., 2008; M.S., University of Colorado, Denver, 2008; Ph.D., 2010
Research Associate at UMCP since August, 2013
Gadsden, Andrew, Assistant Professor
B.Eng.Mgt., McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 2006; Ph.D., 2011
Post-doctoral Fellow and Research Assistant at the Centre for Mechatronics and Hybrid Technology, McMaster University since 2011
Yu, Melin, Assistant Professor
B.E., Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2007; Ph.D., Iowa State University, 2012
Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Kansas since September, 2012
Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication
Shorkey, Catalina, Visiting Lecturer
B.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1994
Spanish Interpreter for the Howard County School System since 2012; Spanish Interpreter and Translator for the Maryland State Courts since 2008
Demoz, Belay, Professor and Director of the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology
B.Sc., Asmara University, East Africa, 1984; M.Sc., University of Nevada, Reno, 1989; Ph.D., 1992
Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Howard University since 2012
Zhai, Pengwang, Assistant Professor
B.S., Jilin University, 1998; M.S., 2001; Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2006
Has been at the NASA Langley Research Center since 2009
Political Science and Global Studies
Filomeno, Felipe, Assistant Professor
B.Sc., Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, 2003; M.Sc., 2006; M.A., The Johns Hopkins University, 2009; Ph.D., 2012
2012 to present, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and International Relations, Federal University of Santa Catarina
Anderson, Robert, Lecturer
B.Sci., Towson University, 1975; M.A., 1979; Ph.D., Catholic University of America, 1985
Senior Adjunct II in the Department of Psychology at UMBC since 2012
Rose, Laura, Lecturer
B.A., Ithaca College, 2006; M.A., Boston College, 2008; Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2014
Instructor in the Department of Psychology at UMBC since Fall 2013
Sy, Jolene, Assistant Professor
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2002; M.A., University of the Pacific, 2008; Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville, 2011
Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University School of Social Work since 2011. Also, Director of Applied Behavior Analysis Programs at the St. Louis University School of Social Work since 2012.
Edwards, Lauren, Assistant Professor
B.B.S., Hardin-Simmons University, 2003; M.A., University of North Texas, 2007; Ph.D., Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, 2011
Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Sam Houston State University since August of 2011
Kusmaul, Nancy, Assistant Professor
B.A., University of Rochester, 1999; M.S.W., University of Michigan, 2000; Ph.D., University of Buffalo School of Social Work, 2013
Since 2013, has been a Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY, College at Brockport
Sociology and Anthropology
Henderson, Loren, Assistant Professor/Lecturer
B.A., Northeastern Illinois University, 2006; M.A., Universrity of Illinois at Chicago, 2008; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pending
Currently a Project Manager at the University of Illinois with Dr. Mendenhall. Was an Adjunct Faculty member at Northeastern Illinois University from January to May, 2013.
Smith, Dena, Assistant Professor
B.A., Goucher College, 2003; M.A., Rutgers University, 2006; Ph.D., 2011
Visiting Assistant Professor at Goucher College, 2011 through 2014.
Abele, Eric, Visiting Lecturer
B.A., Centre College, 2003; M.F.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2009
Director of Design and Production at the Lexington Children’s Theatre since 2013; Resident Designer/Costume Director at the Lexington Children’s Theatre from May 2010 until February 2013.
Bisbee, Michelle, Visiting Assistant Professor
B.F.A., Kent State University, 2003; M.F.A., University of Arizona, 2013
Parks, Corrie, Assistant Professor
B.A., Dartmouth College, 2001; M.F.A., University of Southern California, 2006
 Tuition increased 3% for in-state undergraduates and 5% for out-of-state undergraduates and graduate students.
 Last January, eligible faculty and staff received a 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) – the second in six years. In April 2014 the campus distributed a 2.5% merit pool to all eligible employees and on July 1, 2014 an additional 2.5% merit pool was also awarded. Effective January 1, 2015, a 2% COLA will be awarded to eligible faculty and staff. All of these increases will become part of everyone’s base salary going forward. Together, these represent significant increases in compensation for a richly deserving faculty and staff.