Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
President, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Fall Opening Meeting
Thursday, August 20, 2015
We are here, as the fall semester approaches, to renew our commitment to our guiding principles – supporting people, shared governance, and excellence in education, research, and service. These principles guide us as we continue our development as one of the nation’s premier public research universities.
The university was founded at a critical point in our nation’s history. Between 1963, when the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation for the creation of UMBC, and 1966, when we admitted our first students, the nation saw passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965, both of which promised greater educational access. Over the years, the achievements of our graduates have represented the success our nation envisioned. Today, UMBC serves 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students who come from throughout the United States and more than 100 countries.
As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2016, we are celebrating our success while planning for the future. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) will shortly deliver a plan addressing the student experience; innovation in curriculum and pedagogy; research, scholarship, and creative achievement; and community and extended connections. We will use this report to set implementation priorities, beginning with the 2016-17 budget. The campus has also been engaged in a self-study process for Middle States accreditation 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, take an honest look at ways we can improve, and develop plans for moving the campus forward. The entire campus is now participating in the process.
In the meantime, following two years of research and discussion, the Provost’s Task Force on Interdisciplinary Activities recently delivered a comprehensive report with recommendations for improving the campus environment for interdisciplinary teaching and research. Professor Carole McCann, who led this effort, has been appointed Special Assistant to the Provost for Interdisciplinary Activities. She will work with the provost and collaborate across academic and other units to implement the recommendations of the task force report. We look forward to our work in this area paying off for both student learning and faculty research.
Others who are taking on new leadership roles include Marie DesJardins who just completed a year as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and will now serve here as associate dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology. Anne Spence will be serving for the coming year as acting director of the Center for Women in Technology, also in COEIT. We also welcome John Fox ‘91 as the Director of Residential Life, Howard Tia as the Community Director in Residential Life, and Mike Buccino as Director of Major Gifts.
Congratulations to the campus on its recognition by the Chronicle of Higher Education—for the sixth year in a row—as one of America’s Great Colleges to Work For. Special commendation to the Division of Student Affairs, recently named one of 31 “Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs” by the American College Personnel Association and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. These 31, including just 14 research universities like UMBC, were identified based on the extent to which diversity and inclusion permeate aspects of their work.
Diversity and inclusion continue to be core values for our community. For example, “Telling Our Stories,” launched by the Women’s Center and the Women of Color Coalition in the spring through an AAUW grant, created spaces for the voices and counter-narratives of women of color, raised awareness, and rejected stereotypes. Meanwhile, with one of the most diverse student bodies of any institution of higher education in the United States, we will continue to focus on attracting faculty from underrepresented groups, particularly African Americans and Hispanics. Our Executive Committee on URM Faculty is working closely with the provost and deans to lead this effort. In addition, we continue to support the LGBTQ community on our campus.
One new strategy for enhancing our workplace environment is our Career-Life Balance Initiative. With support from the National Science Foundation, this effort showcases policies that raise awareness of career-life balance for faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. We will be presenting profiles of people who have used these policies for achieving career-life balance. Topics highlighted include parental leave, family and medical leave, our Family Support Plan, tenure review extension for new parents, redistribution of duties, and workload modifications.
Our sense of community is a reflection of our system of shared governance. I want to thank those who serve in our senates. Sarah Shin, who has been president of the Faculty Senate this past year and will continue in that position for the coming year; Joshua Lubben, who served as president of the Professional Staff Senate this past year and Sue Plitt who will serve in that capacity for the coming year; and Dorothy Caplan, who was president of the Non-Exempt Staff Senate this past year, and will continue as president of that senate for the coming year. I would also like to thank Anthony Jankoski and Jonathan Graf who will serve as SGA and GSA presidents, respectively, for the coming year, and Bill Slowikowksi, who serves as chair of the Adjunct Faculty Advisory Committee. Finally, let’s thanks the members of the President’s Council, department chairs, program directors, and the entire UMBC community for being full partners in the work that we do.
Budget and Accountability
Our FY 2016 budget, which draws on funding from tuition, state, federal, and other sources, will be $420 million. Despite a challenging fiscal climate, our State operating budget—funded primarily by state appropriations and tuition and fees—comprises almost $236 million, with a net increase of $6.9 million over the FY 2015 budget.
- The Governor has restored most of the $3.6 million cut from the UMBC budget mandated by the Board of Public Works last January and he also maintained the mid-year COLA. Even with these additional dollars, however, funding from State appropriations decreased by almost $600,000 over the FY 2015 level.
- The $6.9 million revenue increase, therefore, came from other sources, including a $6.7 million increase in tuition revenue due to a tuition rate increase and enrollment growth. The tuition rate has increased 7% for in-state undergraduates and 5% for all other students.
Our FY 2016 State operating budget includes $8.4 million in new expenses covered by the noted $6.9 million revenue increase and budget reductions of $1.5 million from the previous year’s budget. These funds allow us to meet mandatory costs and campus priorities:
- Over $5.6 million in mandatory costs include annualizing the FY 2015 mid-year COLA, funding mandated pay scale changes; increasing fringe benefits for faculty and staff, including health insurance and retirement; increases for utilities and contractual services; and renovation of the Fine Arts building and other projects.
- Over $1.4 million for academic program enhancements, including new faculty positions, lecturers and adjunct faculty to ease enrollment growth pressure, academic program support and new academic support staff, and additional funding for the Library.
- Almost $1.2 million increases our efforts to support student success through financial aid and tuition assistance; and
- Over $200,000 for campus-wide efforts, including Title IX compliance and fundraising.
We are focused on maintaining high standards of accountability and compliance as we carry out our operations. This past year, we saw positive results on USM audits for fiscal compliance in the areas of campus construction, athletics, health services, technology and development, the bwtech@UMBC Research Park, and contracts and grants. The improvement in the contracts and grants audit was significant.
Our Shared Services Centers (SSC) project is moving forward with many business process improvements implemented and more on the way. Electronic timesheets and E-travel improvements are just two of the many improvements implemented over the past year. New initiatives will include workflows that will make approval processes faster, trackable, and more efficient. The two Phase I Shared Services Centers are up and running in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Academic Affairs – Other Units. Planning for Phase II centers will begin in the fall.
The UMBC endowment reached more than $76.6 million at the close of the fiscal year, our highest level to date. We raised more than $20.8 million in gifts and pledges in FY 2015, with fundraising efforts directed toward institutional priorities, including student scholarships, fellowships, and internships, and faculty development and research. This was our second-highest fundraising year.
Highlights in FY 2015 included a $10 million commitment from Earl and Darielle Linehan to continue support for the Linehan Artist Scholars Program and the arts at UMBC. In recognition of their generosity, the concert hall in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building was dedicated in their name this past spring. We have also received a generous $8 million pledge from Robert Meyerhoff to support the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, including a $1 million gift to establish the Robert E. Meyerhoff Endowed Chair for Excellence in Research and Mentoring. The inaugural recipient of that chair is Michael Summers.
We also continue to build our annual giving program, focusing on increasing alumni support for UMBC. In addition to the success of our phonathon, which uses student callers to engage alumni, the online “crowdfunding” program launched last year, which supports student-based initiatives, continues to draw new donors. We are also working in partnership with deans and department chairs on an annual department-based fundraising appeal. More than 60% of our first-time donors give through the combined efforts of phonathon and the department appeals, and more than 30% of current donors make a second gift in response to the department appeal.
As we look toward our 50thanniversary and the launch of our next major fundraising campaign, we are working with campus leaders to identify fundraising priorities, emerging from the campus’s strategic plan, developing a case for support. We anticipate the 50th anniversary will help build a strong platform for engagement with our campus partners and alumni. We see opportunities to create new alumni affinities, and we look forward to strategic regional programs that will engage our alumni outside of the immediate area. Our first event will be a reception in New York City in September, in connection with the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture’s exhibition, “Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television,” at the Jewish Museum of New York. The exhibition is curated by Research Professor Maurice Berger.
We also continue to build campus traditions through Homecoming (October 7 – 10) and activities that will attract alumni and families along with current students, faculty, and staff. Our first on-campus event to celebrate the start of UMBC’s 50th anniversary year will take place during Homecoming. UMBC’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards will be presented during Homecoming on October 8. (Honorees are listed in the Appendix.)
The Student Experience
Enrollment and Completion
This year, fall enrollments remain strong. With an increase of 40 percent in applications over the past five years, we will be welcoming about 2,900 new students this fall, including about 1,600 new freshmen. Moreover, total fall enrollment will exceed 14,000 students for the first time, including 11,200 undergraduates and 2,800 graduate students from 48 states and more than 100 countries.
It is important to give the campus a full sense of the students all of us serve, in credit and non-credit courses. For example, last year, in addition to more than 13,900 fall students, we also served more than 2,300 students in summer and winter courses and just over 3,900 students in the UMBC Training Centers and English Language Institute, for a total of 20,275 degree and non-degree students in the 2014-2015 academic year.
Our incoming freshmen are a remarkable group of students. Overall, they have mean SAT scores in the early 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.
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 89.1 percent from the first to the second year. The six-year graduation rate exceeded 60 percent for the third year in a row; the rate for the 2008 cohort of full-time, first-time freshmen was 60.1 percent. We can also report that 68.8 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. We are providing academic initiatives, student affiliation opportunities, transfer student support, assistance for near-completers, and opportunities for the kind real-world connections afforded through the Shriver Center, BreakingGround, and the Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. Over 70 courses across all our colleges have been infused with an entrepreneurial emphasis, and the minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation currently has 112 students enrolled. These initiatives and programs are designed to ensure that students learn and make significant progress toward completion, and they are working.
UMBC faculty and staff work to continually improve our academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels to provide students with quality education and training. Notable developments this year included:
- Our New Student Book Experience was very successful last year. The ballroom was filled when Sonia Nazario spoke about her book, Enrique’s Journey. Incoming students in fall 2015 will read and discuss An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison. This book is timely given the increased attention to mental health issues among college students and their impact on student success.
- The Peer Alumni from Community College (PACC) program launched their online Connect Me initiative matching community college transfer students in STEM fields with peer mentors from UMBC who can guide them through the transfer process.
- UMBC bachelor’s programs in history, political science, psychology, and social work, and applied master’s programs in geographic information systems, industrial and organizational psychology, cybersecurity, and biotechnology are now offered at the Universities at Shady Grove. New programs in engineering and translational life science are being planned.
- 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 19th annual Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) with presentations by students in more than 30 disciplines, and the GSA’s 37th Annual Graduate Research Conference.
- Continued efforts to develop new approaches to teaching and learning. The Hrabowski Fund for Innovation funded 8 teams out of 24 applications in funding cycles for 2014 and 2015. These grants supported, for example, the development of a course by Anne Rubin and Marc Olano called “Re-playing the Past: Building a Digital Game for the History Classroom,” the work of a team led by Sally Shivnan for “The Future of Feedback: An Audio-Only Response to Writing,” and the initiative of a team led by Bradford Peercy for “Learning and Innovation at the Intersection of Mathematics and Medicine: A New Approach.”
- Our public policy program was formally named the UMBC School of Public Policy in a November 2014 event. With this new designation, the School takes its place among similar schools at our regional and national peer institutions.
- The Psychological Training, Research, and Services Center was established by the department of psychology to provide 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).
- The Dresher Center’s Humanities Forum presented 18 talks by prominent thinkers and scholars to over 3,400 members of the UMBC and Baltimore communities. A number of these events included special co-programming with UMBC students.
- The music department’s partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) now includes involvement with the BSO’s OrchKids program and participation in hosting the BSO Academy for music teachers and amateur musicians from around the United States, in our Performing Arts and Humanities Building.
- In fall 2014, Hindi became the thirteenth non-English language, and the first South Asian language, offered at UMBC.
- The Erikson School held its third Annual Memory Care Summit in January, a national event with 140 attendees from around the US and Canada.
- NIH has granted UMBC over $18 million for STEM BUILD@UMBC, a holistic student support initiative in STEM led by William LaCourse, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Philip Rous, provost. The program leverages effective components of existing UMBC programs to provide multifaceted student support in STEM through experiential learning and undergraduate research, group work and supportive peer networks, living-learning communities, and internships. It includes collaborations with five community colleges, Gallaudet University, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. This funding is part of a five-year NIH’s Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program designed to enhance diversity in biomedical research fields.
- NIH has also granted UMBC $6.8 million for a 5-year renewal of our Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program led by Professor Lasse Lindahl. The program has been funded continuously since 1997 under Dr. Lindahl’s directorship and has to date supported over 350 students. The grant provides a research training scholarship for juniors and seniors in the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics. Students must have an outstanding academic record, a strong desire to pursue a Ph.D. degree and career in biomedical research or mathematics, and a demonstrated commitment to increasing the number of persons from underrepresented groups who pursue these goals.
- UMBC is now the host of two Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) Awards: We received a renewal of the REU Interdisciplinary Program in High Performance Computing, with Matthias Gobbert in mathematics and statistics as PI. The program provides intensive training in scientific, statistical, and parallel computing and team-based interdisciplinary research in application areas of mathematics, statistics and computing. We also received notice in early July that NSF is recommending a second REU program at UMBC – this one in Advanced Chemical Sensing and Imaging beginning next summer. Zeev Rosenzweig, chair of chemistry and biochemistry, will serve as PI and director of this REU program.
- The research projects of 119 undergraduate and high school students were featured at the 17th Annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fest (SURF), which was held in August 2014. The student-focused conference featured a plenary session, two poster sessions, and a closing ceremony. Forty-three faculty mentors from UMBC and neighboring institutions supported the student investigations.
- UMBC, along with more than 120 U.S. engineering programs, is leading a transformative movement to establish educational programs designed to prepare undergraduates to solve “Grand Challenges.” This initiative was announced at the White House in March at a special meeting of the White House and the National Academy of Engineering. Julia Ross, dean of our College of Engineering and Information Technology, represented UMBC at the meeting.
- UMBC has been re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security for both Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) and Education (CAE-IA/CD) for the academic years 2014-2021. UMBC is one of only 38 institutions in the US that have been recognized by NSA and DHS for both education and research.
- Penny Rheingans, director of the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT); Susan Martin, associate director of CWIT; Carolyn Seaman, information systems; and E.F. Charles LaBerge, computer science and electrical engineering, recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to support transfer scholars in computer science, computer engineering, and information systems. The grant, continuing the work of the Transfer Scholars in Information Technology and Engineering (T-Site) program, provides scholarship funds, academic and professional programming, and a supportive community to encourage transfer student success in computing majors. The program is open to transfer students from Maryland community colleges.
- The Counseling Center (CC) received full accreditation from the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS). It also obtained an initial seven-year APA accreditation of Doctoral Psychology Internship Program and completed its first year providing full-time doctoral internships in psychology. The CC also has a new collaboration with the University of Maryland Baltimore that allowed us to become an internship site for the social work Program. The first intern for this partnership has been selected and will begin this year.
- In FY 2015, the Shriver Center placed UMBC undergraduates in over 1000 public and community service internships.
- The UMBC Career Center empowers students to actively explore, experience, and succeed in their future careers. Over the past academic year, the Career Center posted nearly 9,000 opportunities on its online job board, UMBCworks, and arranged 572 employer visits (347 unique employers) to connect students with organizations such as Amazon.com, Nielsen, NSA, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Hershey, Northrop Grumman, and Google. In total, 6,259 individual students and alumni engaged with the Center through career counseling, programming/workshops, interviews, internship placements, and career fair attendance. All of these totals represent significant increases. Job postings were up by 15%, employer visits up by 26%, and student engagement increased by 9
- Each year, the Career Center surveys the UMBC graduating class (undergraduate and graduate) to assess their post-graduation employment status and continuing education goals. Graduates are surveyed just before graduation. Employment data is also gathered from graduates’ LinkedIn profiles. Results for the undergraduate class of 2014-2015 were as follows: 58% of survey respondents reported firm plans of being employed and 24% were heading to graduate or professional school. Of those employed, 73% indicated their positions are directly related to their career goals.
- Student Judicial Programs partnered with Residential Life to implement Restorative Practices, a program to help rebuild community, to educate and to set things right when the integrity of the community is challenged by harmful behaviors. By the end of summer orientation, every incoming residential student will have participated in discussion about how to deal with new challenges and what type of environment they need to be at their best for learning in their new community.
- The Women’s Center received a BreakingGround grant to support programming for returning women students. In addition to providing scholarships, the Center launched a peer mentoring program this year and hosted a successful networking/mock interview event in the spring.
- University Health Services (UHS) successfully responded to new Title IX requirements by launching Sexual Assault Prevention Program (HAVEN) to all new matriculating freshmen, transfer and graduate students with 2,500 students signing up for the program and nearly 2,300 completers. A Voices Against Violence Coordinator is on board to manage victim support and reporting.
Undergraduate students and alumni won a range of prestigious scholarships, including 2015-2016 Fulbright English teaching assistantships, the UNCF-Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award, the 2015 Undergraduate Award from the American Chemical Society’s Division of Environmental Chemistry, a 2014-2015 HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) scholarship, and a Leadership Alliance Program scholarship for summer 2015 research.
Once again, a record number of our seniors across disciplines who just graduated are entering graduate and professional schools this fall, ranging from Stanford to UC Berkeley to Johns Hopkins and Princeton.
Our 2014 doctoral graduates have accepted positions as faculty members or postdocs at universities and national research labs across the country, including the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Yale and Harvard Schools of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, and here at UMBC. Others are working for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, Food and Drug Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Howard County Public School System, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Samsung Research America, Raytheon, Amazon, Potomac Photonics, Merck & Co., Westat, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
This year marks the first year that UMBC doctoral students have won Fulbright awards to conduct research abroad. Students have also won the American Printing History Association’s 2014 Michael Denker Chesapeake Chapter Fellowship; a 2014-2015 HASTAC Scholarship, and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. James Kruger III, Ph.D. student in public policy, was appointed to the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission by Governor Larry Hogan. Brian Frey, PhD student in information systems, developed, along with colleagues at Georgia Tech, the Braille Touch App – which embeds braille communication in the iPhone. Kavita Krishnaswamy ’07, computer science and mathematics, Ph. D. candidate, computer science, was featured on the National Science Foundation website for her research on adaptive technology.
Extracurricular and Athletic Achievements
- Team Huebotics, composed of students in computer science and visual arts, developed Huebots – an animated puzzle game for Windows PCs and Windows phones. This game won them a berth in the 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup, the “Final Four” for game development.
- UMBC’s Cyber Defense Team (the ‘Cyber Dawgs’) took first place at the 2015 National CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. As the winner, the team represented UMBC at the national competition in San Diego in April.
- UMBC students Michael Bishoff and Sekar Kulandaivel won third place at MHacks, a competitive 1000-student hackathon at the University of Michigan, winning them a summer trip to represent UMBC at the Global Hackathon in Seoul, South Korea.
- An interdisciplinary team of UMBC undergraduates—engineers, environmental scientists, and artists—designed and built a human-powered vehicle for Baltimore City’s “Kinetic Sculpture Race.” Their prize in the race included an invitation to travel to California for the national competition.
- The UMBC chess team placed third in the 2014 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, qualifying for the President’s Cup—known as the “Final Four” of College Chess—in April at the New York Athletic Club.
- In athletics, the biggest story of the year was the journey of the men’s soccer team to the College Cup, thereby becoming the first UMBC athletic team to reach the Final Four in its sport. The team, winning its third straight conference championship, made NCAA tournament history by advancing through four consecutive away games and recording four shutouts along the way. Coach Pete Caringi was voted the NCSAA Coach of the Year and Goalkeeper Billy Heavner received the Elite 89 award for top academics in NCAA men’s soccer.
- The men’s and women’s swimming teams also won league titles. Sophomore All-American Emily Escobedo advanced to the NCAA’s for the second straight year and became the first UMBC/America East to score at the national meet.
- UMBC Swimming & Diving standout Mohamed Hussein ’14, mechanical engineering, just qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. His 2:00.22 time in the 200m individual medley semifinals at the 16th FINA World Championships is also a new Egyptian National Record.
Faculty and Staff Achievements
Many faculty and staff received USM Regents, Presidential, or Special awards. Faculty receiving these include Kate Brown, professor, history, 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship/Research/Creative Activity; Eileen O’Brien, senior lecturer, psychology, 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching; Michelle Scott, associate professor, History, and affiliate associate professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, Africana studies and language, literacy and culture doctoral program, 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring and 2015-18 Presidential Teaching Award; and Katherine Seley-Radtke, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, 2015-18 Presidential Research Award. Shawn Bediako, psychology, was selected as the first recipient of the UMBC Marilyn E. Demorest Faculty Advancement Award.
UMBC staff members were also recognized: Julie Rosenthal, Program Management Specialist, Asian studies program, 2013-2014 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Mission of UMBC (Non-Exempt); David Hoffman, assistant director of student life for civic agency, 2013-2014 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Mission of UMBC (Professional Staff); Susan Martin, associate director, the Center for Women in Technology, 2015-16 Presidential Distinguished Professional Staff Award; Susan L. Harrell, executive administrative assistant, English, 2015-16 Presidential Distinguished Non-Exempt Staff Award; Dottie Caplan, executive administrative assistant, College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences, 2014-2015 Karen L. Wensch Endowment Award for Non-Exempt Staff; and Brian V. Souders, associate director, International Education Services, 2014-2015 Jakubik Family Endowment Award.
Many of our faculty and staff received prestigious prizes, awards, and appointments this past year.
Examples of External Leadership Appointments
- Carlo DiClemente, professor, psychology, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
- Janet Rutledge, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, was elected to the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Board of Directors.
- Joby Taylor, Peaceworker Program director in the Shriver Center, was seated as chair of the Board of Directors of the National Peace Corps Association.
- Jack Suess, vice president for information technology, was named chair of the IMS Global Board of Directors, named to the Board of Directors of EDUCAUSE.
- Katherine Seley-Radtke, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, currently serves as president of the International Society for Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids, the leading scientific society for her field.
- Craig Berger, coordinator for campus and civic engagement in UMBC’s Office of Student Life and a member of the BreakingGround working group, was elected chair of the American Democracy Project national steering committee for 2016-2017.
- The National Endowment for the Arts has selected Clifford Murphy, an adjunct lecturer in UMBC’s American studies program, as its new director of folk and traditional arts.
- UMBC Men’s Soccer coach, Pete Caringi was named the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He was recently referred to as the “Soccer Mayor of Baltimore.”
- Kate Brown, professor, history, has won numerous awards for her book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, including the American Historical Association’s 2014 Albert J. Beveridge Award and the Organization of American Historians’ 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize for the best book-length historical study of the US political economy, politics, or institutions.
- Curtis Menyuk, professor, computer science and electrical engineering, won the prestigious Humboldt Research Award. The award is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to scholars who have made a significant contributions to their discipline and plan to continue cutting-edge research.
- Shawn Bediako, associate professor, psychology, received the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s 2014 Champion Award, given annually to individuals who have made a significant impact in the sickle cell community.
- Ana Maria Schwartz Caballero, associate professor of Spanish and second language education in MLLI was awarded the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award by the Baltimore Ravens for her dedication to the Hispanic population of Baltimore.
Career and Young Investigator Awards
- Christopher Hennigan, assistant professor, chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering, has received an NSF CAREER Award to conduct research related to understanding the sources, transformation and fate of pollutants in the atmosphere. This is UMBC’s 28th CAREER Award for young faculty since 1995.
- Felipe Filomeno, political science and global studies, was awarded the Early Career Prize of the Economics and Politics Section of the Latin American Studies Association. The award recognizes his article “Patterns of Rule-Making and Intellectual Property Regimes: Lessons from South American Soybean Agriculture,” in the Journal of Comparative Politics in 2014.
- Danielle Beatty Moody, assistant professor, psychology, received a career development award (K01) from the National Institute on Aging for her project entitled “Race, Childhood Social Disadvantage, and the Adult Brain.”
- Ryan White assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry, was awarded the Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry’s Royce W. Murray Young Investigator Award from for the coming year (2016). This award is presented to the best young electrochemist in the world.
- The U.S. Department of Energy has selected Jeffrey Gardner, assistant professor, biological sciences, for a 2015 Early Career Research Program award.
- Carlos Romero-Talamas, assistant professor, mechanical engineering, has received a DARPA Young Faculty Award for his work on computational models of nuclear fusion technology.
- The National Academy of Public Administration has inducted Roy Meyers, professor, political science, as a new fellow for the organization.
- Narsingh Singh, research professor, chemistry and biochemistry, has been elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Chemistry of the UK for his multidisciplinary work in chemistry and materials.
- Anupam Joshi, professor, computer science and electrical engineering, has been named an IEEE Fellow, recognized for his for contributions to security, privacy and data management in mobile and pervasive systems.
Scholarship and Creative Work
- Lynn Cazabon, associate professor, visual arts, received a Fulbright Scholars Award to teach in the New Media BA and MA programs at Liepajas University in Latvia, spring 2015.
- Timothy Nohe, director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts, and professor of visual arts, was selected by the Warnock Foundation as a “social innovator” for his work to create accessible online and smartphone-delivered urban forest stewardship resources.
- Bill Shewbridge, professor, media and communication studies, and Michelle Stefano, professor, American studies, screened their film Mill Stories: Remembering Sparrows Point at the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) film festival. The film presents personal stories based on interviews collected when the Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore closed.
- English writer in residence Lia Purpura was featured in the November 24 edition of The New Yorker, which published her poem “Study with Melon.”
Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement
In order to grow our research portfolio, UMBC moved ahead this past year with several important research collaborations. In FY 2015, UMBC secured $76.16 million in external awards, an increase of 2.9% above the prior year. Overall research expenditures during FY 2015 totaled $75.18 million.
- UMBC and the US Naval Academy signed a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) in April and the office of Naval Research has funded five collaborative UMBC-Naval Academy cybersecurity research projects.
- We also deepened our partnership with UMB. Our UMBC-UMB Research & Innovation Partnership Seed Grant program, designed to enhance promote inter-institutional research collaborations and stimulate joint grant proposals to federal agencies and foundations, is now in its second year. To celebrate the growth of this program, we joined with UMB for a Research & Innovation Partnership Symposium in January that included scientific talks presented by the 2013 Partnership Grant teams and an interactive poster session.
- The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) initiated the IMET–Partner Institutions Seed Grant Program, which funds work by a teams that include members from IMET and at least one of its partner institutions. A UMBC-IMET project led by Steve Miller, associate professor, biological sciences at UMBC, and Yantao Li, assistant professor at IMET and UMCES, pursues a project to develop commercially competitive biofuels.
- Northrop Grumman Corporation announced an expansion of its cybersecurity work with UMBC that will include research on health data analytics in partnership with the UMBC Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR), under the leadership of Yelena Yesha, professor in CSEE.
In addition, we initiated a new series of semi-annual Research Forums that bring together researchers and scientists from across UMBC and partner institutions to establish collaborations around common research themes.
UMBC will play an exciting role in strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure through a new Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded a contract to operate the center to the MITRE Corporation, which will partner with the University System of Maryland to carry out the center’s goals. UMBC and the University of Maryland, College Park are collaborators with MITRE and Anupam Joshi, director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, will serve in a leadership role for UMBC. According to NIST, this is the first center “solely dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation’s information systems.” The FFRDC contract has a maximum amount of $5 billion over 25 years and will support the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which NIST, the state of Maryland, and Montgomery County, established in 2012 to help businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together information security experts from industry, government, and academia.
UMBC faculty have received several major awards recently. Govind Rao, director the Center for Advanced Sensor Technology and professor of biochemical, chemical, and environmental engineering, secured a Phase II renewal award by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for $8 million over two years. The team is developing a portable device that can produce therapeutic proteins, such as insulin, in only a few hours and in small batches. The device would be critical in challenging situations, like war zones or the aftermath of a natural disaster. Jack Suess, vice president for information technology, Matthias Gobbert, professor, mathematics and statistics, and Don Engel, Office of Research Development and department of physics, received $500,000 from the National Science Foundation for “Enabling Big Computing and Data Intensive Cyberinfrastructure,” a redesign of our campus network to better support data-intensive computing: higher speeds (100Gb), software-defined networks, low-latency research transfers, and Internet2 Innovation Platform.
Several UMBC faculty are key researchers on two major federal awards related to sustainability that will receive $32 million over 5 years from NSF. Under the NSF Sustainability Research Network, “Urban Water Innovation Network (U-WIN): Transitioning Toward Sustainable Urban Water Systems,” led by the University of Colorado at Boulder, will establish six highly connected regional urban water sustainability hubs in densely populated urban regions across the US to serve as innovation centers to help communities transition to sustainable management of water resources. Claire Welty, chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering serves as the U-WIN Associate Director for Research for this national network. The NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, led by the University of Wisconsin, is a multi-institutional partnership devoted to investigating the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which nanoparticles interact with biological systems to enable the development of nanotechnology in a sustainable manner, for societal benefit. Zeev Rosenzweig, chemistry and biochemistry, serves as UMBC’s lead faculty.
UMBC has also been very successful in applications for the NSF Major Research Instrumentation Awards. In September 2014, NSF made a $175,000 award to develop a 3D Motion Capture System with Marc Olano, CSEE, as principal investigator. In July 2015, UMBC received an award for $360,000 to create a 3-D Immersive Display for Discovery Science, Creativity, and Education with Jian Chen, CSEE, as PI. Both of these core facilities will enable faculty and students to significantly expand their research within the three-dimensional realm, by enabling the scanning and immersive visualization of highly complex objects and simulations.
The Surdna Foundation, dedicated to fostering sustainable communities, has awarded $95,882 to the Imaging Research Center, in partnership with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, to establish a spring 2015 residency by Liz Lerman, a renowned choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship and a United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance.
In a year in which we have focused so much attention and concern about Baltimore City, I would like to highlight three projects that explore the city in different ways. Dan Bailey, director, Imaging Research Center, coordinated a major IRC project in collaboration with the Maryland Historical Society and the State of Maryland Bicentennial Commission that led to the permanent MHS installation of “Visualizing Early Baltimore.” The Maryland Humanities Council awarded a grant to Nicole King, incoming chair of American studies, Michelle Stefano, American studies; Stephen Bradley, visual arts; and Bill Shewbridge, media and communications studies, for Mapping Dialogues: Deindustrialization in Baltimore.” During community dialogues to be held in Baybrook and Sparrows Point participants will share their stories and memories of how neighborhoods change when industry declines and leaves. Denise Meringolo is collaborating with the Maryland Historical Society and University of Baltimore on BaltimoreUprising2015.org, a digital project to collect the images, oral histories, and videos taken by citizens documenting events in Baltimore following the April death of Freddie Gray.
We have been proactive in establishing new models to accelerate economic development. Two mechanisms include an Express License Agreement to make it easier for faculty to start a company and the Technology Catalyst Fund to provide Stage-Zero funding to advance innovations toward more commercially viable technologies. Our faculty have been very successful in pushing Maryland Innovation Initiative opportunities, with over 48% success rate over the past two years since its inception. A total of 15 MII awards have been secured by UMBC faculty, totaling almost $1.3 Million. Some recent MII awardees include Linda Dusman, music, and Eric Smallwood, visual arts, to develop a concert app for the iPad called “Octava” and Nilanjan Banerjee and Ryan Robucci in CSEE on a wearable sensing system to help paralysis patients.
As a research university, we are publicly engaged at the national, regional, state and local levels. Our recent national engagement has included:
- As part of the White House College Opportunity Initiative in 2014, UMBC co-organized and co-hosted, with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), one of four regional conferences nationwide on improving undergraduate STEM education.
- UMBC will host the 2015 National Conference for Imagining America, a prominent consortium of universities and organizations dedicated to advancing the public and civic purposes of the humanities, arts and design. More than 300 leaders from across the U.S. will convene this October in Baltimore and at UMBC to build relationships and explore initiatives (including many already underway in Baltimore) that can help enact the ideals of a democratic society.
Our local engagement, meanwhile, has also included the following:
- The Shriver Center’s Choice program, part of the national AmeriCorps service network, served 945 youth and families across the state, with a 97% success rate. The Shriver Peaceworker program now has nearly 150 alumni and graduated its 20th class. In partnership with US Peace Corps and UMBC’s Department of Global Studies, the Peaceworker program launched “Peace Corps Prep” with an initial cohort of 19 UMBC undergraduates. This initiative provides opportunities for students to prepare for global citizenship and service. This summer, the center also launched Summer Enrichment Experience (SEE), engaging nearly 100 middle and high school students in campus STEM and arts-related experiences led by UMBC faculty.
- UMBC’s BreakingGround initiative has continued to support innovations in teaching and community engagement through grants funded by Provost Rous. Three grant recipients—faculty member Tim Nohe and recent Ph.D. graduates Jessica McNeely and Allyssa Allen (applied psychology)—were named as social innovators by the Warnock Foundation based on their BreakingGround projects, and were profiled in the Baltimore Social Innovation Journal. BreakingGround was featured in several publications, including AACU’s Diversity & Democracy and the new book Democracy’s Education: Public Work, Citizenship, & the Future of Colleges and Universities.
UMBC faculty are also deeply engaged in K12 outreach:
- UMBC partnered with the Community College of Baltimore County and the Baltimore County Public Schools to develop the Baltimore County Collegiate Alliance Program, designed to increase college-going in the County.
- Julia Ross, Dean of the College of Engineering and Information and Technology, along with Jon Singer and Chris Rakes from the department of education at UMBC and Richard Weisenhoff from Baltimore County Public Schools, received an NSF $3 million grant for engineering education. In this study, “Engineering Teacher Pedagogy: Using INSPIRES to Support Integration of Engineering Design in Science and Technology Classrooms,” UMBC will partner with the Baltimore County Public School System to implement a professional development model that incorporates engineering curriculum in high school biology and technology classrooms.
- Marie desJardins, professor, computer science and electrical engineering, is collaborating with Maryland educators and researchers for the NSF-funded CS10K Teacher Training Project that seeks to change how computer science is taught by high school teachers. Researchers work together with teachers to craft new curricula for high school computer science programs. The CS10K Maryland Project team includes faculty from UMCP, as well as high school teachers from Charles County and Baltimore County.
- Susan Hoban and Catherine Kruchten of JCET continued their work developing the STEM pipeline. With the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the team brought students to campus for summer research, provided ongoing professional development for AACPS educators, and served as subject matter experts for STEM student events. With Howard County Library, the team provides instruction in the Hi Tech program, which brings STEM to underrepresented students outside of regular school hours.
- Four years ago, Kimberly Moffitt, associate professor, American Studies, joined a group of individuals to create a school in Baltimore City to address the needs of and cultivate the abilities of young African American males in the city. Now, Moffitt is founding parent/trustee of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, a public liberal arts college preparatory charter school that opens its doors to 264 4th-6th grade boys on August 26, 2015.
Sustainability and the Environment
From innovative student ideas, to new courses and programs, to campus-wide initiatives, UMBC is growing greener with a deepening commitment to sustainability through our research, courses, service, policies and operations.
Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, UMBC has reduced net carbon emissions by 14.4%. This was accomplished even with a nearly 20% increase in enrollment and a 6% 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%. Construction of new green buildings included the Patapsco Hall Addition (LEED Gold Certified), the Apartment Community Center (LEED Silver Certified) and the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building (LEED Silver Certified).
We are continuing to reduce transportation-related emissions by optimizing UMBC Transit and offering preferred parking and matching services to carpoolers. The SGA, Athletics and a local business partnered to establish a free bike share program at the RAC and new bike repair stations have been installed. Zip cars, electric vehicle charging stations, and MTA also help keep UMBC low-carbon and accessible.
New programs and projects are popping up everywhere. In June, a third 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. This year, a new student enterprise called True Greens brings campus grown salad greens from a UMBC greenhouse to students’ plates in the dining hall.
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 was developed in the fall to lead and promote a culture of environmental stewardship within the student body and across campus. The SGA is providing grant funding to two student sustainability projects. One brings solar-powered charging stations to picnic tables. The other supports the collection and resale of useful items that would otherwise be discarded during move-out.
Recycling and composting rates have doubled in recent years, thanks to new collection systems and improved signage. UMBC ranked amongst the best colleges in the annual Recyclemania competition for the 8th year.
The State of Maryland has been very supportive of the university and our capital projects. At the same time, our healthy enrollments have given us the capacity to further support facilities projects. 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 life for the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019. Indeed, over the last 16 years, we have spent over $540 million on capital projects, of which nearly $340 million was used to build new or renovate existing academic buildings. The remainder was used for student facilities, including the Commons, residences, recreation, athletics and parking. We plan to spend another $167 million over the next five years. We have also invested over $110 million during this time period in the bwtech@UMBC research park.
One of the most visible signs of our progress—and state support—is the development of the $13-million Campus Gateway. The transformation of the campus entrance along UMBC Boulevard has reduced traffic backups, improved the pedestrian experience, simplified visitor access to the Administration Drive Garage, and created a sense of arrival onto our campus. The finishing touches to the new Campus Gateway will be completed within the next few months.
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—are being renewed to ensure that the building serves the twelve departments, programs, and centers of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, as well as the dean’s office and the interdisciplinary studies program that will be housed there. Some moves into the newly renovated space have begun and the building will be fully occupied by March 2016.
We are grateful to the State for providing design funding for a 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 plan to provide strategically important labs and facilities to advance the State’s biotechnology industry and Maryland’s competitiveness in the innovation economy. The ongoing design process is engaging numerous faculty and staff. We will start construction in 2017 and move into the building over the summer 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.
We are very excited that design is nearly finished 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 over 4,700 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. The new facility will be under construction during our 50th anniversary year and completed in time to host basketball games during the 2017/2018 season. Having the Event Center will provide an opportunity for expanding recreation and fitness options in the RAC for the benefit of the entire campus.
The Library Pond that stores and treats rain water from all uphill areas of the west side of campus is being restored as a stormwater management component of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building project. The water storage and treatment capacity of the pond is being improved, to protect the watershed flowing into the Bay. An accessible path will connect the Walker Avenue Garage to the academic core. Perimeter planting and seating will create a more natural setting. Upon completion this fall, Library Pond will be an iconic green space and destination for students and faculty to gather and enjoy.
The new vegetative roof system—our campus’ third “green roof”—installed on the Administration Building this summer, demonstrates UMBC’s dedication to sustainability. We are grateful to the France-Merrick Foundation for their gift to support the Green Roof project and sustainability interns.
We are also very pleased that the renovations to the Preschool Center have been completed in time to provide a high quality early learning environment for children this fall.
During the spring, I had the opportunity to give the keynote speeches at conferences hosted by Internet2 and IMSglobal. Both organizations are at the forefront of work in higher education that is focused on using technology to advance research or teaching and learning. The leaders of each organization spoke highly of our Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and its engagement in their activities. UMBC is an institution others look to as a model in IT.
Nearly every week we become aware of another major information security incident. During the past year, DoIT focused on several major efforts to improve our information security. They worked to safeguard our IT assets from cyberattack by removing unneeded confidential data from our systems and/or encrypting sensitive personal information that must be retained in our systems. Also, in partnership with the Center for Women in Technology, they funded three scholarships for students to work in DoIT’s security group. This summer we have five students working with full-time staff to improve security. We also are working with the State’s auditors to review our procedures and we actively participate on the USM’s IT Security Council.
During FY 2015, DoIT has been working closely with the Shared Services Task Force to provide business process improvements. These include the new electronic time sheet and travel forms, enhancements to the UMBC Request Tracker (RT) system to support online business service requests, and separating the Human Resources and Student Administration systems so UMBC would remain compliant with the Affordable Care Act. The Student Administration system has been enhanced to support the student degree planner required under Maryland Senate Bill 740, additional enhancements to the advising functionality, full rollout of Digital Measures to replace the faculty annual report, and improved mobile support for students. There continues to be extensive collaboration with Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRADS) to provide additional reports through REX.
One of the major trends in information technology has been leveraging cloud computing to provide campus services that are more cost effective, faster to implement, tailored to the needs of the campus, and utilize best practices in securing confidential information. By the end of 2015, UMBC will have 42 cloud applications licensed for campus use.
Conversations in the strategic planning process have demonstrated how central the Internet has become to communications and collaboration. Over the last year DoIT has worked closely with the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) and others to revamp our campus web environment so that it is robust enough to support the demands of a campus emergency and it now can accommodate much higher volumes of web traffic. Over the past academic year we added another 50 departments and units to our web hosting environment, bringing the total to 250. This summer we launched an update to myUMBC to provide more focused communication to individuals and better support group communication and collaboration. In July, through work we did with Mindgrub, we released an update to our UMBC mobile app that provides a comprehensive mobile experience and location-based services. This effort will be extended through work we are doing with the Imaging Research Center (IRC) and OIA on the development of a mobile app for UMBC’s 50th anniversary and beyond.
Supporting faculty use of technology in the classroom is always a priority. In the past year, we filled three vacancies with strong team members, moved our Blackboard system from on-campus to a cloud environment, and launched a new version of Collaborate, the tool we use to support virtual instruction. We also worked with instructors on campus to deploy the learning analytics system and give faculty deeper insight into how students use technology. DoIT staff participated in the USM Academic Transformation Advisory Committee and UMBC is now part of a small number of USM schools experimenting with the provision of digital badges to students for career readiness.
Demand for technology continues to expand. On an average day we experience as many as 15,000 wireless devices simultaneously connected to our network. As a result of this growth, we have added 300 more wireless access points and now have almost 1,800 of them on our campus. Over the past year we also worked closely with the Provost’s office to provide all our Registrar-controlled classrooms with digital projection technology.
During the last year we have worked closely with the colleges and the Vice President of Research (VPR) to advance our research computing capabilities for faculty. We have tripled the high-performance computing (HPC) capability on campus and are in the final stages of our NSF-funded grant to upgrade our campus research Internet connection to 100 gigabytes. In May, all this work culminated in a symposium organized by the vice president for research on high performance computing and cybersecurity.
Despite the many pressures higher education is facing today, we have many reasons to be 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 recognitions 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 know to be true – and we can use as a foundation for an even stronger university.
For the past two days, 200 leaders from across the campus participated in our annual retreat. We listened to University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret as well as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Adrienne Jones discuss the broad context for higher education in Maryland. On day one, we previewed and reflected on the draft strategic plan that will be delivered shortly, discussed the Middle States accreditation process, and began preparation for UMBC’s 50th anniversary in 2016. We spent day two focused on how we as a campus respond to critical challenges, including the troubling issues of entrenched inequality, in the Baltimore region. Significantly, we have already identified more than 140 ways that faculty, staff, and students are connected to and engage with partners in the City. We heard from colleagues and alumni about this critical work—including engaged scholarship, teaching, and community partnerships—that is helping us meet our strategic goals, and changing minds and lives in meaningful ways.
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.
Student, Faculty, and Staff Achievements
UMBC’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards honorees this year are:
- Engineering and Information Technology: Andre Gudger ’99, information systems, Director of Small Business Programs, U.S. Department of Defense
- Natural and Mathematical Sciences: Yoon-Ho Kim ’01 Ph.D. physics, professor of physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea
- Social and Behavioral Sciences: Bryan Kelly ’92, political science, Co-founder and managing partner, Kelly Financial, LLC
- Visual and Performing Arts: Lisa Urkevich ’86, visual and performing arts/music, Associate Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, American University of Kuwait
- Distinguished Service: The Honorable Allan Kittleman ’81, political science, Howard County Executive
- Young Alumni Rising Star: Nicole DeBlase ’06, financial economics, Vice-President for Equity Research, Morgan Stanley
- The Alumni Association’s Outstanding Faculty Award will be presented to Dr. Tara Carpenter, senior lecturer, chemistry and biochemistry, College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
As a research university with undergraduate teaching and learning at its core, the institution has many students and alumni who excel. Our 2015 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.
Our undergraduate students have received a variety of notable fellowships.
- Several undergraduate students and alumni received 2015-2106 Fulbright English teaching assistantships, including Tyler McCafferty ‘15, cultural anthropology and environmental studies (Malaysia); Stevenson Ramsey ‘14, political science (Indonesia); and Stephen Moore ‘15, computer engineering and mathematics (Poland).
- Hollie Adejumo, chemical engineering, won the UNCF-Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award, which provides an academic scholarship as well as an internship at a Merck facility or other research institutions.
- Nicholas Rogers, chemical engineering, received the 2015 Undergraduate Award from the American Chemical Society’s Division of Environmental Chemistry.
- Corey Kirk ‘15 English was named a 2014-2015 HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Scholar. HASTAC is an alliance committed to exploring the use of technology to improve teaching, learning, and communication.
- Brandon Enriquez was awarded a Leadership Alliance Program scholarship for summer 2015 that allowed him to conduct research with professor Bridget Terry Long at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (in Baltimore City), the VA Hospitals and Medical Centers in Durham, Long Beach, Pittsburgh, and Salem, the Yale School of Medicine, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in Thailand, Sokendai University in Japan, Texas A&M University, here at UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park, Towson University, Yarmouk University in Jordan, Georgetown University, the National Cancer Institute, Keene State College, the University of Pittsburgh, Harvard Medical School, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Johns Hopkins University, and Thomas More College.
Others are working for companies, government agencies, and non-profits, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Samsung Research America, Raytheon, Amazon, Potomac Photonics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Westat, US Army Research Laboratory, Shimadzu Corporation, Howard County Public School System, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Diplomatic Language Services, Captricity, GE Global Research, Merck & Co., Children’s National Medical Center, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Cowlitz Tribal Health Services.
Our graduate students hold a variety of notable fellowships.
- This year marks the first year that UMBC Ph.D. students have won 2015-2016 Fulbright awards to conduct research abroad. Four students were awarded research grants: Patrice Matthews ’15, environmental studies (Ecuador); Kate Witt ‘13, M.A., intercultural communication; Cheryl Camillo, Ph.D. student in public policy (Canada); and Jared Margulies, Ph.D. student in geography (India).
- Kevin Wisniewski, PhD student, language, literacy, and culture, was awarded the American Printing History Association’s 2014. Michael Denker Chesapeake Chapter Fellowship.
- Dorothy Stachowiak, master’s student, English, was named a 2014-2015 HASTAC Scholars Scholar.
- Mariya Shcheglovitova, PhD student, geography and environmental systems, awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Research Internship Award.
Five students of note include:
- Governor Larry Hogan appointed James Kruger III, Ph.D. student in public policy, to the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission.
- Jessica McNeely and Allyssa Allen, recent graduates of the Human Services Psychology doctoral program, were named Warnock Foundation Social Innovators for their work on nutrition and food deserts in Baltimore.
- Brian Frey, PhD student in information systems, has developed, along with colleagues at Georgia Tech, the Braille Touch App, which embeds braille communication in the iPhone. With Apple’s release of iOS8, the app is included as one of only a very small number of native apps on the iPhone.
- Kavita Krishnaswamy ’07, computer science and mathematics, Ph. D. candidate, computer science, was featured on the National Science Foundation website for her research on adaptive technology. Krishnaswamy’s work focuses on developing robotic prototypes that can assist people with severe disabilities and improving robotic interfaces. In the article, Krishnaswamy discusses how the support of research fellowships and mentors at UMBC has aided her research. She has won several competitive fellowships, receiving a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation Fellowship.
- Romy Huebler (BA ’09, MA ’11, and PhD ’15), language, literacy and culture, is the Imagining America National Fellow and is engaged in the promotion of active learning and civic engagement in higher education.
- Team Huebotics—Michael Leung (computer science), Tad Cordle (computer engineering), Erika Schumacher (visual arts), and Jasmine Martin (business technology administration)—developed Huebots, a colorful, animated puzzle game for Windows PCs and Windows phones. This game won them a berth in the “Final Four” for Game Development with a spot in the 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup.
- UMBC’s Cyber Defense Team (the ‘Cyber Dawgs’) took first place at the 2015 National CyberWatch Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. As the winner, the team represented UMBC and the Mid-Atlantic at the national competition in San Diego in April.
- UMBC students Michael Bishoff and Sekar Kulandaivel won third place at MHacks, a competitive 1000-student hackathon at the University of Michigan, by creating a haptic feedback suit that makes virtual reality more immersive. Their placing won them a summer trip to represent UMBC at the Global Hackathon in Seoul, South Korea.
- Steven McAlpine, assistant director of the interdisciplinary studies program, pioneered new student-based, project-based learning by leading an interdisciplinary team of UMBC undergraduates to design and build a human-powered vehicle for Baltimore City’s “Kinetic Sculpture Race.” Engineers worked with artists and environmental scientists over a period of 18 months to create a human-powered vehicle celebrating out of “upcycled” materials in order to highlight the threat posed to our oceans by plastics. The result was a triumphant win of a notable prize for this event (against stiff competition) and an invitation to travel to California for the national finals.
- The UMBC chess team placed third in the 2014 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, qualifying for the President’s Cup — known as the “Final Four” of College Chess in April at the New York Athletic Club.
- Tanguy Ringoir ’18, financial economics, won the Grandmaster Norm Invitational at the Chinggis Chess Club in Burlingame, California, earning the prestigious title of Grandmaster.
- International Master Nazi Paikidze ’16, information systems, finished second place at the US Women’s Chess Championship held in St. Louis. Nazi went undefeated through eleven rounds, finishing with seven draws and four wins, including one against the seven-time and defending champion, Grandmaster Irina Krush.
- The UMBC men’s soccer team won the America East Championship and reached the NCAA College Cup Tournament, thereby becoming the first UMBC athletic team to become a national semifinalist. The Retrievers, winners of three consecutive league titles, were the first team in NCAA tournament history to advance to the Final Four through four consecutive road games and post shutouts in all four contests. Coaches and team members were recognized with a host of awards including: Peter Caringi, Jr. voted NSCAA/Soccer America National Coach of the Year, Billy Heavner awarded America East Elite 18 and NCAA Elite 89, and Oumar Ballo named ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.
- Ranking as high as #6 in the Northeast region (NSCAA), Women’s Soccer took second in the AEC and advanced to the America East Semi-finals. Jessy Brown received national recognition as a Wooden Cup Semifinalist and was named Midfielder of the Year.
- Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams won league championships in 2015. The men captured the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association title, while the women won the America East championship for the first time since 2011. Sophomore All-American Emily Escobedo advanced to the NCAA’s for the second straight year and became the first UMBC/America East athlete to score at the national meet. UMBC Swimming & Diving standout Mohamed Hussein ’14, mechanical engineering, just qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. His 2:00.22 time in the 200m individual medley semifinals at the 16th FINA World Championships is also a new Egyptian National Record. Coach Chad Craddock and staff were named AEC Coaching Staff of the Year.
- After finishing second in conference play, Baseball made their first post season appearance since 2008 earning their way to the America East Tournament Championship Title Game. Bob Mumma was named AEC Coach of the Year. Matt Chanin was AEC Rookie of the Year and Conrad Wozniak was AEC Pitcher of the Year.
- Women’s Indoor Track, Men’s Outdoor Track, and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field finished second in the AEC and sent three athletes to post season NCAA East Preliminaries: Paulette Fogle, Vincent Rentzsch, and Hassan Omar. Vincent Rentzsch advanced to NCAA finals, 21st in Javelin.
- Women’s Indoor Track and Field also took second in the AEC championships. Mercedes Jackson was named AEC’s Most Outstanding Female Track Athlete and was recognized as ECAC’s Most Outstanding Track Performer of the ECAC Meet. David Bobb and staff were awarded Female Coaching Staff of the Year.
- UMBC Athletics posted their best year grade-point-average (GPA) since joining America East in 2003-04, as Retriever student-athletes compiled a 3.08 GPA during the 2014-15 academic year. The women’s swimming and diving team led their America East rivals, finishing with a 3.45 GPA.
- Sprinter Daryian Miles and soccer goalkeeper Billy Heavner each won America East Elite 18 awards (top academic mark in league championships), and Heavner earned the Elite 89 Award at the NCAA College Cup.
- Junior Nikki Boretti was selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Division I Women’s Soccer First Team. Boretti becomes the first women’s soccer player at UMBC to receive the nation’s top academic honor and the sixth student-athlete in school history to earn first team honors.
- Four Retrievers were named America East Conference Presidential Scholars, (graduating senior with cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher): Michael DiCesare (MSO), Eric Schuler (MXC), and Kathleen Sharp (SOF).
UMBC staff members were recognized for their work this year. Julie Rosenthal, program management specialist, Asian studies, 2013-2014 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Mission of UMBC (Non-Exempt); David Hoffman, assistant director, student life for civic agency, 2013-2014 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Mission of UMBC (Professional Staff), Susan Martin, associate director, the center for women in technology, 2015-16 Presidential Distinguished Professional Staff Award, Susan L. Harrell, executive administrative assistant, English department, 2015-16 Presidential Distinguished Non-Exempt Staff Award, Dottie Caplan, executive administrative assistant, college of natural & mathematical sciences, 2014-2015 Karen L. Wensch Endowment Award for Non-Exempt Staff, and Brian V. Souders, associate director, international education services, 2014-2015 Jakubik Family Endowment Award.
UMBC staff have received prestigious awards and honors over the last year:
- UMBC Men’s Soccer coach, Pete Caringi was named the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The recognition follows his team’s appearance in the NCAA College Cup—the first appearance of a UMBC athletics team in the final four of the national tournament in its sport.
- The president of Portugal has honored Antonio Moreira, vice provost for academic affairs and professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, with the title Commander of the Order of Public Instruction.
- Janet Rutledge, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, was elected to the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Board of Directors.
- Job Taylor, Peaceworker Program Director in the Shriver Center, was seated as chair of the Board of Directors of the National Peace Corps Association, the leading organization representing the community of 250,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Staff.
- Jack Suess, vice president for information technology, was named chair of the IMS Global Board of Directors, named to the Board of Directors of EDUCAUSE, and reelected to the Management Council for the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace.
Many faculty members have distinguished themselves this year, including Kate Brown, professor, history, 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship/Research/Creative Activity; Eileen O’Brien, senior lecturer, psychology, 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching; Michelle Scott, associate professor, history, and affiliate associate professor, gender and women’s studies, Africana studies and language, literacy and culture doctoral program, 2015 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring and 2015-18 Presidential Teaching Award; and Katherine Seley-Radtke, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, 2015-18 Presidential Research Award. Shawn Bediako, psychology, was selected as the first recipient of the UMBC Marilyn E. Demorest Faculty Advancement Award. Collectively, this group reflects the commitment of our faculty to excellence in teaching, mentoring, and research.
Kate Brown, professor, history, has won numerous awards for her book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, including the American Historical Association’s 2014 Albert J. Beveridge Award, the Organization of American Historians’ 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, the American Society for Environmental History’s 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best book in environmental history, the Western History Association’s 2014 Robert G. Athearn Prize for best published book on the twentieth-century American West, and the Association for Women in Slavic Studies’ Heldt Prize in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies. The book was also named by Physics World to its 2014 Books of the Year list.
The National Endowment for the Arts has selected Clifford Murphy, and adjunct lecturer in UMBC’s American Studies program, as its new director of folk and traditional arts. Murphy has also served as director of Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council.
Bill Shewbridge, professor of the practice, media and communication studies, and Michelle Stefano, professor, American studies, screened their film Mill Stories at the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) film festival. Mill Stories: Remembering Sparrows Point presents a collection of personal stories based on ethnographic interviews collected when the Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore closed.
The National Academy of Public Administration has inducted Roy Meyers, professor, Political Science, as a new fellow for the organization. The Academy is an independent, non-profit organization that assists government leaders to build more transparent, efficient, and effective organizations.
Felipe Filomeno, political science and global studies, was awarded the Early Career Prize of the Economics and Politics Section of the Latin American Studies Association. The award comes in recognition of his article “Patterns of Rule-Making and Intellectual Property Regimes: Lessons from South American Soybean Agriculture,” published in the Journal of Comparative Politics in 2014.
Carlo DiClemente, professor, psychology, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The council advises and makes recommendations to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) secretary, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) director on research program and policy matters in the field of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Shawn Bediako, associate professor, psychology, received the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s 2014 Champion Award, given annually to individuals who have made a significant impact in the sickle cell community. Bediako has done extensive research on sickle cell disease, including race and social attitudes and optimism and perceived stress.
Charles Catania, professor emeritus, psychology, received the Victor G. Laties Award for Lifetime Service to the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
Danielle Beatty Moody, assistant professor, psychology, received a career development award (K01) from the National Institute on Aging for her project entitled “Race, Childhood Social Disadvantage, and the Adult Brain.”
Scott Farrow, professor, economics, has been named part-time economics coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Center on the Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). The center was established in 2004 and is an interdisciplinary national research center based at the University of Southern California.
The International Center of Mental Health Policy and Economics awarded David Salkever, professor, public policy, and Brent Gibbons, Ph.D., ’13, an Excellence in Mental Health Policy and Economics Research Award for the article “Increasing Earnings of Social Security Disability Income Beneficiaries with Serious Mental Disorder.”
Tanya Olson, a lecturer in UMBC’s English department, received the Before Columbus Foundation’s 2014 American Book Award for her book Boyishly (YesYes Books, 2013). The book is a collection of poems which explores personal and public constructions of gender, violence, and America.
Piotr Gwiazda, associate professor, English, participated in the 23rd Ars Cameralis Festival in Katowice, one of Poland’s most prestigious arts and literary festivals. On November 15, he gave a reading from his poetry in Polish translation at Kinoteatr Rialto. On November 17, he presented a lecture “Dreams of a Common Language: On Contemporary U.S. Poetry” at the English Language Institute of the University of Silesia in Sosnowiec.
English Writer in Residence Lia Purpura was featured in the November 24 edition of The New Yorker, which published her poem “Study with Melon.”
Ana Maria Schwartz Caballero, associate professor of Spanish and second language education, modern languages, linguistics, and intercultural communication was awarded the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award by the Baltimore Ravens for her dedication to the Hispanic population of Baltimore.
Zakaria Fatih, modern languages, linguistics and intercultural communication, has been selected to the editorial staff of the French Review, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of French. After serving two years as the Assistant Editor, he has been promoted to the position of review editor (section: Culture and Society). The French Review “has the largest circulation of any scholarly journal of French and Francophone studies in the world.”
Elaine Rusinko, associate professor, modern languages, linguistics, and intercultural communication received the John Mihalasky Humanitarian Award from the Carpatho-Rusyn Society. The award honors those who have dedicated themselves to the cause of Rusyn culture, heritage, and humanitarian aid.
Denis M. Provencher, associate professor of French and intercultural communication, co-organized the international symposium, Queer Québec, as part of the biennial American Council of Québec Studies (ACQS) in Montreal, Canada in October 2014. He and co-organizer Charles Batson (Union College), will guest edit two special issues of the journal Québec Studies (Liverpool UP), on the symposium’s theme, which will appear in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Joan Shin, professor of practice, education, has received additional recognition for her book series Our World with National Geographic Learning. The series is designed to give learners the skills and knowledge they need to learn English and understand the world around them. Our World: Level 4, has been chosen as the Best Entry for Learners in the HRH Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Awards which are awarded to acknowledge innovation and achievement in the field of English language teaching.
Zane Berge, professor, education, was named by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) as winner of the Distance Education Book Award, for Handbook of Mobile Learning (Routledge 2013) co-edited by Berge and his colleague at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Lin Muilenburg.
Susan McCully, theatre, Timothy Nohe, visual arts, Ben Marcin ’80, economics, Mark Squirek ’91, history, and Jaimes Mayhew ’10, MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts, received 2015 Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Art Council.
Timothy Nohe, director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts, and professor of visual arts, has been selected by the Warnock Foundation as a “social innovator” for his work to create accessible online and smartphone delivered urban forest stewardship resources.
Niels Van Tomme, visiting curator of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, has been named a 2014 Vilcek Curatorial Fellow by the Foundation for a Civil Society. The Vilcek Curatorial Fellowship was established as part of the Foundation for a Civil Society’s Young Visual Artists Awards (YVAA) program and is awarded annually to U.S.-based curators with demonstrated experience and excellence in engaging with international contemporary art.
Eric Dyer, associate professor, visual arts, was one of the three Mary Sawyers Baker prize winners for 2015.
Lynn Cazabon, associate professor, visual arts, received a Fulbright Scholars Award to teach in the New Media BA and MA programs at Liepajas University in Latvia, spring 2015.
Marie desJardins professor, computer science and electrical engineering, completed a year as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, including a placement in the office of President Laurie Leshin at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Marie’s fellowship project focused on the broad role of institutional research in strategic planning and data-driven decision making. Upon her return to campus, Marie will begin a new position as associate dean for academic affairs in COEIT.
Curtis Menyuk, professor, computer science and electrical engineering, won the prestigious Humboldt Research Award. The award is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to scholars who have made a significant contributions to their discipline and plan to continue cutting-edge research. Menyuk’s research concentrates on optical and photonic systems, including optical fiber communications and switching, solid state device simulations, and nonlinear optics. In 2013, he received the IEEE Photonics Society Streifer Award, another major international award.
Anupam Joshi, professor, computer science and electrical engineering, has been named an IEEE Fellow, recognized for his for contributions to security, privacy and data management in mobile and pervasive systems. This designation is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors on individuals with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
Carlos Romero-Talamas, assistant professor, mechanical engineering, has been recognized with a DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) for his research in computational models of nuclear fusion technology. The YFA program exists “to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions.”
Upal Ghosh, professor, chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, received the American Academy of Environmental Engineering and Sciences’ Honor Award in University Research for his work in developing in-situ remediation technology using activated carbon amendment to sediment. CBEE graduate students Hilda Fadaei Khoei and Eli Patmont were also recognized for their contributions to the project.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs recently invited Antonio Moreira, vice provost of Academic Affairs and professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, to visit Argentina to discuss best practices of STEM education. Moreira visited the Argentine cities of Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata in late May and was hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Argentina. During his time in Argentina, Moreira met with government officials, universities, think tanks, students, and many other audiences to talk about the importance of investing in STEM education.
Charles LaBerge, professor of the practice, computer science and electrical engineering, was recognized at the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) 2015 annual Symposium Awards Luncheon for his work on the “Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Avionics Supporting Next Generation Satellite Systems.” His research focuses on aeronautical navigation and communication applications, as well as digital signal processing, coding theory, and radio frequency interference.
Christopher Hennigan, assistant professor, chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering, has received an NSF CAREER Award to conduct research related to understanding the sources, transformation, and fate of pollutants in the atmosphere. This is UMBC’s 28th CAREER Award for young faculty since 1995.
Ryan White assistant professor, chemistry and biochemistry, was awarded the Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry’s prestigious Royce W. Murray Young Investigator Award from for the coming year (2016). This award is presented to the best young electrochemist in the world, with past winners being some of the most well recognized electrochemists in the country.
Narsingh Singh, research professor, chemistry and biochemistry, has been elected as a fellow to the Royal Society of Chemistry of the UK for his multidisciplinary work in chemistry and materials. The backbone of the Society is its fellowship, which is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers, and technologists from the UK and abroad.
Katherine Seley-Radtke, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, currently serves as president of the International Society for Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids, the leading scientific society for her field.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Jeffrey Gardner, assistant professor, biological sciences, for a 2015 Early Career Research Program award. This program supports exceptional researchers early in their careers, when many scientists do their most formative work.
Phillip Sokolove, professor, biological sciences, was selected to receive the 2015 Carl S. Weber Excellence in Teaching Award.
Thomas Cronin, biological sciences, was honored at the 2014 annual meeting of the International Society for Neuroethology (in Sapporo, Japan) as a fellow of the society. He is a member of an elite group of 14 internationally recognized neuroethologists that the society has chosen to honor. His book, Visual Ecology shortlisted for a 2015 PROSE award (The American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence) for “Biological Sciences” (the top award category for this subject) and won the 2015 PROSE award for “Best Textbook/Biological and Life Sciences.”
Philip Farabaugh, chair of biological sciences, presented a plenary talk on his research on the mechanisms that insure the accurate synthesis of proteins in cells at an international conference in Kyllini, Greece. His was recognized during the conference as one of the four researchers who have made the greatest contribution to understanding this problem—a group that included three scientists from Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the last one being the Nobel prize winner, Venki Ramakrishnan. He has presented this work to researchers across Europe and this year was invited to visit and collaborate with researchers at a research center of France’s CNRS (its equivalent of the NIH and NSF) and Uppsala University in Sweden.
Stephen Caruso, biological sciences, is responsible for the UMBC Undergraduate Phage Hunters program in which undergraduate students have isolated, characterized, and archived 169 bacteriophages. The DNA sequences of 16 have been determined and seven have been submitted a national database with three hundred undergraduates listed as coauthors. Two publications with over two hundred undergraduate co-authors are about to be submitted.
Manil Suri, professor, mathematics, was appointed as contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He will write monthly op-ed pieces. Topics covered so far range from the modeling of crab populations to political analyses of events in India.
The department of mathematics and statistics held the 9th Annual Probability and Statistics Day during April 17–18, 2015. This annual event was initiated by Bimal Sinha (Conference Chair) in 2007, and has been continuously funded by the National Security Agency. The event consists of a half-day workshop on a contemporary research theme, and a full day conference that consists of invited talks by top researchers, both nationally and internationally known. In addition, graduate students get an opportunity to interact with statisticians from academia, federal government and industry, and to showcase their work through oral and poster presentations.
Statistics faculty at UMBC have been instrumental in organizing a series of African International Conferences on Applied Statistics: first at Dakar University, Senegal, in March 2014; second at Jimma University, Ethiopia, in March 2015, and third to be held in Cameroon in March 2016. The conference aims to expose statisticians working in educational, government, and private institutions in the African continent to the latest developments and novel applications of statistics, and to foster exchange of ideas.
The 10th annual Probability and Statistics Day will be a celebration of the 70th birthday of Bimal Sinha, the founder of our statistics program. NSA has already approved funding for this day and half conference (May 20-21, 2016). The program will include invited talks by several internationally known statisticians on theory, methods and applications of statistics, and invited comments by statisticians from academia and the federal government on the impact of Sinha’s contributions
Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement
Major Research Initiatives and Grants
Major Collaborative Initiatives
- UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Superintendent Vice Admiral Ted Carter signed a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Both leaders shared their excitement about the potential discoveries that can be made through this new collaboration, with Hrabowski remarking, “We’re delighted to be forming this partnership.” The CRADA formalizes opportunities for collaboration between faculty from UMBC and USNA.
- Five collaborative research projects with the US Naval Academy, focused on cybersecurity, have been awarded funding from the Office of Naval Research. The projects, with an overall value of over $2 million, will focus on such fields as quantum computers, self-aware computer systems that can detect when they are being hacked, detection of cyber-attacks from social media posts, and novel authentication practices for mobile devices to make them more secure.
- Celebrating the rapid growth of our collaborative research programs, UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) joined together for an inaugural Research & Innovation Partnership Symposium on Friday, January 30, 2015. UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and UMB President Jay Perman greeted a standing-room only audience of faculty researchers, students, and research support staff, and reflected on the value of collaborative research for both institutions. Yvonne Maddox, acting director of the NIH Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), delivered a keynote address focusing on the need to expand research on health disparities and how our institutions can support diverse young researchers entering this field. Scientific talks presented by collaborative research teams that received UMBC-UMB Partnership Grants in 2013 and an interactive poster session rounded out the symposium agenda.
- The UMBC-UMB Research & Innovation Partnership Seed Grant program seeks to establish, enhance, and promote inter-institutional research collaborations between the two USM institutions and to stimulate joint grant proposals to federal agencies and foundations. The grant mechanism is now in its second year, and the UMBC-UMB symposium offered an exciting stage to announce a new group of grant recipients.
- This year’s grant program consists of two tracks – Innovation Seed Grants of up to $50,000 and Innovation Challenge Grants for senior researchers for up to $75,000 per year for two years.
- The committee received 21 applications – nine for the innovation seed track and 12 for the innovation challenge track – and awarded funding to four teams of three researchers each, two Innovation Seed Grants and two Innovation Challenge Grant
- The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) initiated the IMET–Partner Institutions Seed Grant Program. The program stipulates that proposals include team members from IMET and at least one of its partner institutions, which include UMBC, the University of Maryland – Baltimore (UMB), and the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science (UMCES). “Our seed grant program is an excellent example of the way that IMET can serve as a catalyst for collaboration among our partner institutions,” said IMET Director Russell Hill. The selection committee chose four projects in the first cycle to fund at $100,000 each. The UMBC-IMET project by Steve Miller, associate professor of biological sciences at UMBC, and Yantao Li, assistant professor at IMET and UMCES/UMBC pursues an algae project to develop commercially competitive biofuels. The IMET/DMB-UMD project is a collaboration between Kevin Sowers, professor at IMET/DMB and C.S. Raman, associate professor at the School of Pharmacy, UMD, that studies methanogenic microorganisms.
- On Friday, November 21, UMBC hosted its inaugural Research Forum, the first event in a new, semi-annual series to bring together researchers and scientists from across UMBC and partner institutions to establish collaborations around common research themes. The first event was titled, “The Nexus of Social Sciences and Human Health Research,” and it was sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The forum aimed to advance intra-campus and inter-campus collaborations in the social and health sciences and to initiate conversations about the role of social sciences in basic and translational research. William Riley, the acting director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), presented the event’s keynote address.
- The second semi-annual Research Forum was hosted on May 1, 2015 with a focus on “The role high-performance computing (HPC),” which plays in a variety of interdisciplinary applications, and featured speakers from diverse programs such as information systems, chemistry and biochemistry, geography and environmental systems, and computer science and electrical engineering. UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski noted, “The mid-Atlantic region has one of the greatest concentrations of super-computing in the world. That gives us a certain advantage as researchers.” One key advantage is the facility of creating partnerships, “not just between universities, but with companies,” Hrabowski said. The keynote speaker, Al Grasso, is the CEO of MITRE Corporation, a critical UMBC partner. MITRE and the University System of Maryland are developing the first federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) devoted exclusively to cybersecurity. It’s also unique among the FFRDCs, because it addresses applications in both the public and private sectors.
- Govind Rao, director the Center for Advanced Sensor Technology (CAST) and professor of biochemical, chemical, and environmental engineering (CBEE), secured a Phase II renewal award by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for $8 million over two years. The team is developing a portable device the size of a briefcase that can produce therapeutic proteins, such as insulin, in only a few hours and in small batches. The device would be critical in situations where medical supply lines have been cut, such as in war zones or following natural disasters. The project is known as BioMOD, for “biologically-derived medicines on demand.”
- Jack Suess, vice president for information technology, Matthias Gobbert, professor, mathematics and statistics, and Don Engel, Office of Research Development and department of physics, received $500,000 from the National Science Foundation for “Enabling Big Computing and Data Intensive Cyberinfrastructure,” a redesign of our campus network to better support data-intensive computing: higher speeds (100Gb), software-defined networks, low-latency research transfers, and Internet2 Innovation Platform.
- The Surdna Foundation, dedicated to fostering sustainable communities in the United States, has awarded $95,882 to the Imaging Research Center, in partnership with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, to establish a spring 2015 residency by renowned choreographer Liz Lerman. Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award.
- UMBC has been very successful in applications for the NSF Major Research Instrumentation Awards. In September 2014 NSF made a $175,000 award to develop a 3D Motion Capture System with Marc Olano in CSEE as principal investigator. In July 2015, UMBC received an award for $360,000 to create a 3-D Immersive Display for Discovery Science, Creativity, and Education with Jian Chen in CSEE as principal investigator. Both of these core facilities will enable faculty and students at UMBC to significantly expand their research within the three-dimensional realm, by enabling the scanning and immersive visualization of highly complex objects and simulations. Over the past six years, UMBC has secured six Major Research Instrumentation Awards from NSF for a total of $1.7 million to support the acquisition of $2.4 Million in state-of-the-art research instrumentation for our campus.
Environmental Sciences and Sustainability
- Several UMBC faculty are key researchers on two major federal awards related to Sustainability, which will receive $32 Million over 5 years from NSF.
- Under the NSF Sustainability Research Network, the Urban Water Innovation Network (U-WIN): Transitioning Toward Sustainable Urban Water Systems, led by Colorado University at Boulder, will establish six highly connected regional urban water sustainability hubs in densely populated urban regions across the US to serve as innovation centers to help communities transition to sustainable management of water resources. Claire Welty, chemical, biochemical and environmental Engineering serves as the U-WIN Associate Director for Research for this national network, which also includes Andrew Miller and Chris Swan (geography and environmental systems) as collaborators.
- The NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology led by the University of Wisconsin is a multi-institutional partnership devoted to investigating the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which nanoparticles interact with biological systems to enable the development of nanotechnology in a sustainable manner, for societal benefit. Zeev Rosenzweig, chemistry and biochemistry, serves as UMBC’s lead faculty. The first annual meeting of this center is planned for April 2016 here at UMBC.
- UMBC will play an exciting role in strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure through a new Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded a contract to operate the center to the MITRE Corporation, which will partner with the University System of Maryland (USM) to carry out the center’s goals. UMBC and the University of Maryland, College Park are collaborators with MITRE and Anupam Joshi, director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, will serve in a leadership role for UMBC. According to NIST, this is the first center that is “solely dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation’s information systems.” The contract to operate the FFRDC has a maximum amount of $5 billion over 25 years. This new FFRDC will support the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), which NIST, the state of Maryland, and Montgomery County, Md., established in 2012 to help businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together information security experts from industry, government, and academia.
- Northrop Grumman Corporation announced an expansion of its cybersecurity work with UMBC to include research on health data analytics in partnership with the UMBC Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR), under the leadership of Yelena Yesha, Professor in CSEE. CHMPR is an NSF-sponsored industry/university cooperative research center and consortium focused on addressing the productivity, performance, and scalability issues in meeting the computational demands of its sponsors’ applications through the continuous evolution of multi-core architectures and open source tools.
Research, Scholarship and Creativity Activity
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS)
- Dan Bailey, director, Imaging Research Center, coordinated a major IRC project in collaboration with the Maryland Historical Society and the State of Maryland Bicentennial Commission. In October 2014, a permanent installation was completed entitled “Visualizing Early Baltimore.”
- The Maryland Humanities Council has awarded a major grant to faculty Nicole King (Dresher Center 2010 Summer Faculty Fellow) and Michelle Stefano, American studies; Stephen Bradley, visual arts; and Bill Shewbridge, media and communications studies, for “Mapping Dialogues: Deindustrialization in Baltimore. During,” community dialogues to be held in Baybrook (Curtis Bay-Brooklyn) and Sparrows Point in 2015-16, participants will engage in conversation and share their stories and memories of how neighborhoods change when industry declines and leaves.
- Denise Meringolo is collaborating with the Maryland Historical Society and University of Baltimore on BaltimoreUprising2015.org, a digital project to collect the images, oral histories, and videos taken by citizens documenting the events in Baltimore, following the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. Meringolo and the project were featured in articles in The Baltimore Sun and The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.
- Michele Osherow and Manil Suri co-authored a play, The Mathematics of Being Human, that has been performed in a range of venues, including at MoMath (Museum of Mathematics) in NYC and the Comparative Literature Conference in Baltimore.
- Anne Rubin, associate professor, history, presented a series of talks last fall on her new book, Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and American Memory (UNC Press 2014). In the book, Rubin analyzes stories and myths about Sherman’s March, one of the most symbolically potent events of the Civil War, as a lens for examining how Americans’ ways of thinking about the Civil War have changed over time. Rubin also appeared on WYPR’s Humanities Connection on November 27 to discuss her interactive online storytelling project, “Mapping Memory: Digitizing Sherman’s March to the Sea.”
- History Professor Kate Brown has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Collaborative Research Fellowship to study the long-term effects of low doses of radiation on human health in the context of the Chernobyl disaster nearly three decades ago. Brown will be working with Timothy Mousseau, an evolutionary biologist at the University of South Carolina. The two scholars, with Brown providing the humanist perspective and Mousseau the scientist perspective, will collaborate to explore how knowledge and ignorance of the impact of the disaster has been produced over the last thirty years. The two-year project, titled Chernobyl Revisited: An Historical Inquiry into the Practice of Knowing, will aim to historically analyze three decades of scientific research on Chernobyl and Fukushima to highlight the known and debated impact on humans, animals, and plants from long term, low dose exposure to radiation. The research comes at a time when nuclear power is being discussed as a solution to climate change and energy independence.
- Susan McDonough was selected to attend the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) 2015 Summer Institute on “Negotiating Identities: Expression and Representation in the Christian-Jewish-Muslim Mediterranean,” in Barcelona, Spain.
- The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $40,000 in support of the exhibition Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television, curated by Maurice Berger, research professor and chief curator of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC). The exhibition, which opened May 1, 2015 at The Jewish Museum before embarking on a national tour, addresses the modernist aesthetic and conceptual principles that have influenced American television from its inception, and examines how early television introduced new trends in art, design, and avant-garde art.
- The University of Southern California has awarded a $75,000 grant to Scott Farrow, economics, and Anupam Joshi (CSEE) for a project titled “Towards an Economic Behavior Science Approach to Cyber Security” that will develop a set of detailed economic models that reflect cyber security microeconomic concerns. This project, a model that links economics with cyber security guidance taxonomies, may help guide investments and policy in cyber security.
- The American Educational Research Association awarded Claudia Galindo (LLC) a grant for “Narrowing Early Disparities: How Does Kindergarten Advance Latino Children’s Cognitive Outcomes and Social Skills,” that will to examine the cognitive and social-emotional growth of Latino kindergarteners in relation to policy-relevant classroom factors such as class composition and language mix, teaching practices, and teachers’ beliefs regarding the importance of social-emotional skills versus cognitive skills. Results of this research are expected to help identify policies and interventions to narrow the achievement gap between Latinos and other children.
- The National Institute of Aging awarded three grants to UMBC sociology and anthropology faculty: J. Kevin Eckert and Sarah E. Chard, a grant of $1,366,700 for “The Subjective Experience of Diabetes Among Urban Older Adults”; Robert L. Rubinstein and Ann C. Frankowski, a grant of $2,399,317 for “Autonomy in Assisted Living: A Cultural Analysis (DCU)”; and Robert L. Rubinstein, a grant of $1,400,000 for “Adult Day Services.”
College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT)
- Nilanjan Banerjee and Ryan Robucci, computer science and electrical engineering have been awarded an NSF grant from the NSF-NIH Smart and Connected Health program. The project deals with building wearable sensing systems for environmental control and therapy for paralysis patients, and cuts across electronics, sensor analytics, and usability. Robucci and Banerjee, along with Chintan Patel, have been awarded a TEDCO grant of $150, 000 for the wearable sensing systems project. The TEDCO grant focuses on developing a prototype for environmental control for patients with paralysis.
- Cynthia Matuszek, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, co-authored a study that found that Google image search results underrepresent female professionals, use stereotypes, and influence gender bias. Matuszek recently came to UMBC from the University of Washington, where her coauthors are based. The researchers analyzed top Google image search results for over 40 professions and found that women were underrepresented when compared to data from the Bureau of Labor statistics. They also found that the image results affected perceptions of female representation in those occupations.
College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS)
- For the third consecutive year, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation has made a generous philanthropic gift to support the sustainable aquaculture work of marine biologist Yonathan “Yoni” Zohar Chair of UMBC’s Department of Marine Biotechnology at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. This year’s grant of $600,000 is the foundation’s largest gift to Professor Zohar, and brings the foundation’s total support of his pioneering research to nearly $1 million.
- With funding from industry and BP, Yoni Zohar and his team in marine biotechnology at IMET continued to make progress towards closing the life cycle and developing hatchery technologies for the giant blue fin tuna, with the goal of enabling the aquaculture of this important species that is being fished-out from our oceans.
- Kevin Sowers from marine biotechnology and IMET, in collaboration with Upal Ghosh from chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, started field studies applying their technology to bio-remediate PCBs from heavily polluted waters. Their research is funded by DOD and the town of Altavista, Virginia.
- Chuck Bieberich and his collaborators at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, collectively received over $3.5 million Prostate Cancer Foundation toward cancer research since fall 2013; $750K of those grants have been allocated directly to the UMBC Bieberich Lab. Bieberich’s lab is using state-of-the-art animal models to test the efficacy of new prostate cancer therapies being developed at Hopkins and Harvard.
- Kevin Omland, biological sciences, is funded by a $1.8 million collaborative grant from the Research Council of Norway. He and his colleagues at the University of Oslo are studying the formation of hybrids between two species of ravens in the western US. This example of “speciation reversal” in ravens is strikingly similar to our own hybridization with Neanderthals, which caused their extinction thousands of years ago. His Ph.D. student, Karan Odom is working on bird song, specifically on female song. She was interviewed live on the BBC World Service about her work showing that that majority of the world’s songbirds have both male and female song, contradicting a belief going back to Darwin. She just presented her work at the American Ornithologists Union Meeting at the University of Oklahoma in which she showed that females likely use song to defend their territories from other females.
- Suzanne Rosenberg, biological sciences, has presented her work aimed at developing a novel immunotherapy for the treatment of advanced cancer at nine national and international conferences this year. These include events in Ljubljana in Slovenia, Rome and Stockholm, Sweden. She continues to be a leader in establishing research collaborations with industry, including winning grants for three industrial collaborations (a UMBC Technology Catalyst award and awards from Nora Therapeutics and Medimmune/Astrazeneca).
- Hua Lu, biological sciences, has received a four-year grant from National Science Foundation with a total of $800,000 to study how the circadian clock affects plant innate immunity. The circadian clock has profound influence on physiology and behavior of many organisms, including plants where her work suggests it is essential to plant’s resisting disease-causing pathogens.
- Bernard Lohr, biological sciences, has received a fourth consecutive year of funding by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ($80,000) for his lab’s work on the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, the most endangered songbird in the continental U.S. Work led by his graduate student, Sarah Luttrell, produced the first successful hatching of the species in captivity. The work was presented at the meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists in Nova Scotia, Canada.
- James Lo, mathematics and statistics, was awarded a $350K, 3-year grant from NSF on the subject of “Recurrent Deep Learning Machine for Robust, Adaptive, or Accommodative Filtering.”
Join Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET)
- Jay Herman of JCET/UMBC is the PI on a major satellite instrument. The DSCOVR spacecraft has just started obtaining full Earth view data from the Sun-Earth Lagrange-1 point. This satellite will study climate change and solar flares (Solar Wind) in a totally new way from the L-1 point – a point in deep space where the gravitational pull between Earth and Sun is equal.
- Lorraine Remer of JCET/UMBC was appointed Deputy Team Leader to NASA’s PACE (Pre-Aerosols, Clouds and ocean Ecosystem) Science Team. The PACE Science Team will define the science for the PACE mission. PACE is NASA’s only designated global atmospheric and oceanic satellite mission for the 2020s, and Remer will help lead this team to a consensus statement of these science objectives.
- Vanderlei Martins submitted a $90 million satellite proposal to NASA. Just submitting the proposal is a big step and, if selected, it would be a major accomplishment for UMBC.
Economic Development Initiatives
- UMBC’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) developed and implemented an Express License Agreement to significantly reduce the burden to start a company based on technology licensed from UMBC and the Technology Catalyst Fund (TCF), which provides up to $25,000 grants to advance innovations originating from UMBC research to more commercially viable technologies.
- OTD continued to actively interact with Maryland Sustainable Mariculture (MSM), the Baltimore-based company that licensed UMBC/IMET’s urban aquaculture IP, towards commercialization and scaling up of this technology in Baltimore City.
- Over the past year, ORD granted a total of twelve Technology Catalyst Fund awards spanning computer science to biology during the past year. The awards were made possible by new funding from the state of Maryland designated to support the transfer of academic research into marketable products. “The state is supporting anything that involves entrepreneurial activity,” said Wendy Martin, OTD Director. Funding incipient projects with the TCF puts them in a better position to earn larger grants down the road.
- Specifically, entrepreneurs from UMBC and four other Maryland universities are eligible to apply for funding from the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), sponsored by the Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). UMBC has been very successful in pursuing support through the MII program. Since 2013, UMBC faculty have been awarded a total of 15 MII awards with a total value of almost $1.3 Million. Recent MII awards in FY 2015 include:
- Linda Dusman, music, and Eric Smallwood, visual arts, in partnership with the School of Music at the University of Maryland, College Park, have received a $150,000 Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) grant for their work on the tablet app, “Octava” (formerly known as “Symphony Interactive”).
- UMBC professors Nilanjan Banerjee and Ryan Robucci have been awarded an NSF grant from the NSF-NIH Smart and Connected Health program. The total sum is $650,000 over three years. This is a collaboration between UMBC, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and UA. The collaborators include Susan Fager, a physical therapist from Madonna, and James Parkerson from UA, who is helping with the energy-harvesting component of the project. The SCH program is very competitive, and last year the acceptance rate was close to 6%. The project deals with building wearable sensing systems for environmental control and therapy for paralysis patients, and cuts across electronics, sensor analytics, and usability.
Jasmine Abrams, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Keisha Allen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Education
Ian Anson, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Adam Bargteil, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Catherine Berger, Lecturer/Retention Specialist, Sociology, Anthropology and Health Administration and Policy
Renee Lambert-Bretiere, Assistant Professor, Modern Languages & Linguistics
William Blake, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Eric Campbell, Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Susan Casciani, Lecturer, Sociology
Collin Closek, Research Associate, Marine Biotechnology
Lili Cui, Senior Lecturer, Physics
Chris Curran, Assistant Professor, Public Policy
Jeremy Dixon, Lecturer, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Matthew Fagan, Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Sciences
Caroline Freissinet, Assistant Research Scientist, Center for Space Science Technology
Bronwyn Hunter, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Lee Jenkins, Associate Professor, Emergency Health Services
Lindsay Johnson, Lecturer, Music
Andrea Kleinsmith, Assistant Professor, Information Systems
Donald Knight, Lecturer, Shady Grove, Psychology
Tania Lizarazo, Assistant Professor, Modern Languages & Linguistics and Global Studies
Jiyoon Lee, Assistant Professor, Education
Bing Ma, Lecturer, Economics
Thania Munoz, Assistant Professor, Modern Languages & Linguistics
Nkiru Nnawulezi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology
Elizabeth Patton, Assistant Professor, Media Communications Studies
Bryce Peake, Assistant Professor, Media Communications Studies
Lynnae Quick, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Space Science Technology
Sarah Sharp, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts
Mejdulene Shomali, Postdoctoral Fellow, Gender and Women’s Studies
Nathaniel Sinnott, Assistant Professor, Theater
Michele Stites, Assistant Professor, Education
Cale Whitworth, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biology
Christine Yee, Assistant Professor, Economics