State of the University 2013

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
President, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Fall Opening Meeting
Thursday, August 22, 2013


People with a shared purpose have the opportunity to create a community that allows all to achieve at a higher level.  This sense of community is at the core of who we are at UMBC.  We come together each year, as the fall semester approaches, to renew our shared purpose and commit to our guiding principles — supporting people and building excellence in education and research.  These principles were reflected in the shared governance that brought us together through challenging fiscal times, and they are now guiding discussions as we plan – in the midst of a stronger state budget and fiscal outlook – for achieving our aspirations as one of America’s rising public research universities.

As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2016 and develop a plan for our institution through the next decade and beyond, we are increasingly aware of the hard work of people who have devoted their careers to building this institution.  Their contributions inspire us as we prepare to take UMBC to the next level.  The National Academies recently reported on the increasingly vital role American research universities – including UMBC –will play in the future and outlined recommendations that will allow these institutions to continue to produce the new knowledge and talented people critical to the future well-being of the nation.  As we consider these recommendations — and issues more specific to UMBC — in our strategic planning process, we will strengthen our academic mission and increase our ability to meet the needs of American society.

As we move to this next phase in our development, we have many successes to build on and celebrate.

  • For the fourth year in a row, based on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual survey, UMBC has been named one of America’s Great Colleges to Work For.  As I stated when the survey results were recently announced, “the Chronicle has once again recognized UMBC for what those of us who work here already know: UMBC is a great place to work.  We support and respect each other and deeply value collaboration. Year after year, that makes us a ‘Great College to Work For.’”
  • We continue promoting UMBC’s selection by U.S. News & World Report the past four years as America’s #1 “Up-and-Coming” university – for academic innovation – as well as our consistent designation as a “Best Value” campus by both the Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
  • Meanwhile, affirming the strong programs we have built, the Times Higher Education Supplement (in the UK) included UMBC on its “100 Under 50” list for the second consecutive year, ranking us 60th on a list of the best young universities globally.
  • For the sixth consecutive year, UMBC was awarded the Maryland Charity Campaign Governor’s Cup for Outstanding Performance, with a 70% participation rate among full-time faculty and staff.

With such a strong foundation, we now face the challenge of defining our next level of development.  This means we will focus on attracting additional federal, state, and private funding to support our research and educational programs.  It means we will create more partnerships with public agencies, corporations, and the philanthropic community.  We will continue to focus on sound stewardship of resources – through implementation of business service centers and other innovations – and also invest strategically to leverage internal and external resources and partnerships.  We continue to develop innovative programs and practices in teaching, learning, research, and other areas on campus.  We are developing an exciting and growing relationship with UMB in research and education that will allow both institutions to thrive in new ways.  This is an exciting time for UMBC and all of us who care about, sustain, and grow this university.


As a growing research university, UMBC continues to attract outstanding individuals to our leadership team, including Karl Steiner as Vice President for Research, Scott Casper as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Tim Hall as Director of Athletics.  Each will bring new ideas and energy to his area, as will Tim Nohe, Professor of Visual Arts, who was recently appointed director of the new Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts.  The Center will bring a focus to scholarly activity in those disciplines at UMBC, just as the Dresher Center has done for the humanities.

We’ve made several other key leadership appointments this year.  Peter Henderson, formerly with the National Academy of Sciences, has joined us as Senior Advisor to the President.  Elyse Ashburn has moved to the President’s office where she serves as Chief of Staff, coordinating the office and handling a range of matters of institutional importance.  Julia Ross was appointed as Special Assistant to the Provost for Inter-Institutional Research Initiatives, an important position for building our partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Bobbie Hoye was appointed University Counsel last September, augmenting our legal team.

Our sense of community is largely a reflection of our system of shared governance.  I want to thank members of the President’s and Provost’s Councils, department chairs, program directors, senate leaders, and the entire UMBC community for being full partners as we have worked through recent fiscal challenges and now look to build in a brighter state fiscal climate.  First, please help me thank those who served us last year: Tim Nohe, President of the Faculty Senate; Carrie Sauter, President of the Professional Staff Senate; and Dorothy Caplan, President of the Non-Exempt Staff Senate.  Second, let’s thank those who are serving us for the coming academic year: Kathleen Carroll, President of the Faculty Senate; Laila Shishineh, President of the Professional Staff Senate; and Dorothy Caplan, President of the Non-Exempt Staff Senate.  In addition, UMBC now has an Adjunct Faculty Advisory Committee representing each of the Colleges.  The committee is co-chaired by Marc Mogavero and Nicole Shiflet.  The committee is working collaboratively with us to raise and address critical issues.  Similarly, the Graduate Assistant Advisory Committee has members from across the three colleges representing teaching assistants, research assistants and those with administrative duties.  Dan Miller, doctoral student in physics, chairs this committee.  Finally, our student leaders play important roles in shared governance here.  Please give a round of applause to SGA President Jeffrey Kee and GSA President Doaa Rashed for all that they contribute to our community.


As a growing research university, we will continue to generate and invest financial resources to build our capacity for teaching, learning, and research.

Here, there is much good news to report beginning with the opportunity that a brightening fiscal climate provides us to reward the outstanding work of the people who drive UMBC.  Last January, eligible faculty and staff received a 2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) – the first in five years.  Effective January 1, 2014, a 3% COLA will be awarded to eligible faculty and staff.  And for the first time since FY2009, there will be a merit increase for eligible employees, beginning in April of 2014.  Both of these increases will become part of everyone’s base salary going forward.

We have completed the development of our FY 2014 budget, which totals almost $390 million, including funds from State, Federal, and other sources.  Our State operating budget totals over $217 million, a net increase of $13 million over our adjusted FY 2013 budget.  This increase comes primarily from two sources.

First, our campus continues to experience healthy enrollment growth, driven by both an increase in the number of new students and higher retention rates among continuing students. Increased enrollments translate into higher revenues that help us to address priorities.  And strong enrollment has been accompanied by modest tuition rate increases of 3% for in-state undergraduates, 4% for out-of-state undergraduates, and 4% for all graduate students.  Together, the enrollment and tuition increases have contributed over $5 million to the net increase in our State operating budget.

Second, the campus received over $8.1 million in new State funds, including $3 million representing UMBC’s share of new State funding to USM, dedicated to enhancement strategies.   These latter dollars were the result of vigorous efforts by Chancellor Kirwan, USM staff, Lisa Akchin, and our colleagues who helped us in Annapolis.  We must focus these resources on campus priorities, including student success, college completion, enhancing academic programs, building our research capacity, and infrastructure to support faculty.  These enhancement funds will be tied to performance measures to be reported to the State, and continued funding will be dependent upon the university successfully achieving these measures.

Together, these funds, along with funding from our reserves, provide $13 million to finance mandatory costs and our campus priorities as follows:

  • About $8.5 million will cover increased mandatory costs, including $2 million in fringe benefits (health insurance and retirement), $1.7 million for the 3% COLA, and almost $780,000 for the annual merit increase;
  • These funds will also pay $1.4 million for renovation of the Fine Arts Building – a task that will cost a total of $16.4 million when completed;
  • Over $2.5 million will be used to enhance academic programs, including $1.2 million for new faculty positions, $266,000 for new academic-support staff, $592,000 for new programs and enrollment growth, and $100,000 for the Library;
  • About $1.6 million will focus on our efforts to support student success, including $824,000 for financial aid and tuition assistance; and
  • An additional $445,000 will be invested to enhance our research infrastructure and improve commercialization of research findings.


As a growing research university, we recognize that wise stewardship allows us to be accountable to our funders and to invest strategically in our priorities.

The investment strategies we have followed in recent years have allowed us to continue moving forward and now – with an improving state fiscal climate – we are positioned to accelerate the innovations that will advance our institution.  But as we begin the new academic year, I want to reinforce the importance of our taking responsibility to be good stewards of the resources we receive.  We must hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability.

This past year, the university fared well on USM audits for fiscal compliance, equipment, campus construction, and intercollegiate athletics.  We always welcome the constructive comments that remind us that we can and should do even more to ensure our strong performance. I want to express my appreciation to the campus community for this strong showing.  We take these responsibilities very seriously.

We have made substantial progress in strengthening our infrastructure for post-award management of grants, recognizing that compliance and internal controls are more important than ever.  We have been successful in putting our contracts and grants management systems in good order over the past year and building our research administration infrastructure for a solid foundation for growth.  I am especially encouraged by the development of a shared services approach to administrative management on campus.  The recent report in this area has moved us to improve business processes even as we begin the process of establishing such centers.  These centers and the business process improvements planned as part of this effort will allow for increased standardization, tracking, and accountability, leading to more effective financial and administrative management, compliance, and internal controls.


To continue building a culture of innovation and grow as a research university, UMBC must increase its alumni giving and attract major donations.

It has been an extraordinary year for UMBC’s fundraising efforts as UMBC secured $25.6 million in gifts and pledges—the highest one-year total in our history.  Fundraising efforts continue to be directed towards institutional priorities, including student scholarships, fellowships, and internships; faculty development and research; and endowed chairs and professorships.  Among the accomplishments that we can celebrate is the $3 million that endowed our Innovation Fund to support innovative course redesign.  I am also pleased to report that our endowment is recovering strongly from the downturn a few years ago.  Through June, the endowment was at its highest in UMBC history, closing the fiscal year at almost $68 million.

We have benefited tremendously in our history from many large donations.  For example, over the past decade, George and Betsy Sherman have been among UMBC’s strongest and most visionary supporters, with pledges of more than $11 million to date.  Our relationship with the Shermans dates from 1996, when they helped the university establish a scholarship program for students in engineering.  Since then, the Shermans have contributed regularly, including a major gift to launch the Sherman STEM Teacher Education Program, which encourages students to teach in underserved classrooms in the Baltimore region.  Most recently they contributed an additional $1 million to develop a novel partnership program between UMBC and Lakeland Elementary/Middle School that has also attracted additional funds from Baltimore City and the Maryland State Department of Education.  Their example of intentional philanthropy is exactly the kind of model we look to as we work to develop a culture of philanthropy for UMBC.  To recognize their sustained generosity and their commitment to high-quality education for students from all backgrounds, the USM Board of Regents has approved our request to formally rename Academic IV building “George and Betsy Sherman Hall.”  The UMBC community is invited to join us for the dedication on September 19th.

Our fundraising efforts include an increased focus on donor stewardship through the 1966 Society, which celebrates and acknowledges donors with planned gift commitments, and the Hilltop Society, which acknowledges donors giving $1,000 or more in the previous fiscal year.  The UMBC Giving Blog and “Retriever Believer” newsletter are telling compelling stories of donors and the impact that their philanthropy has on students, faculty, and the campus.  And the result is we are making steady progress, building a base of consistent donors, and creating a culture of philanthropy that will help to support the UMBC community in the future.

The UMBC Magazine has proven to be a powerful vehicle for reconnecting alumni to campus and inspiring them to become involved.  And the entire campus can be proud that the magazine, with Richard Byrne (’86) as editor and Jim Lord (’99) as design director, won national honors from the CASE Circle of Excellence awards this June.

UMBC’s Homecoming celebration, filled with events from October 10-12, will attract more alumni and families than ever, along with many current students, faculty, and staff.  The Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards will be presented during Homecoming on October 10, and alumni to be honored include the following:

  • Engineering and IT: Jeehye Yun ’97, computer science (CEO, Secured Sciences Group)
  • Humanities: The Honorable Ricardo Zwaig ’77, Spanish (Judge, District Court of Maryland)
  • Natural and Mathematical Sciences: Dr. Mary Loeken ’80, biological sciences (Research Investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School)
  • Social Sciences: Sherece West-Scantlebury ’07, public policy (CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation)
  • Visual & Performing Arts: Brigitte Pribnow-Moore ’05, acting (Executive Director, Young Playwrights Theatre)

In addition, we have been aggressively “friend-raising,” attracting a steady stream of visitors eager to learn more about us.  We launched a marketing campaign in advance of the opening of Phase I of the Performing Arts & Humanities Building in September that involved advertising, press coverage, extensive internal communications, and sponsorships from The Baltimore Sun and WYPR-FM.  Attendance grew at promoted events (e.g., average attendance at Humanities Forum grew 60%), and we saw an increase in audience members from the external community.

The building opening also provided opportunities to enhance external partnerships, including a chance to thank public officials and to invite major cultural leaders to campus to participate in a special forum with our faculty.  Later in the fall, we cultivated those relationships during a special reception and viewing of the exhibit “For All the World to See.”  Stories about our arts and humanities faculty and student accomplishments have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, the Baltimore Business Journal, and other publications.

As we build momentum towards our 50th anniversary, leaders across the campus will be working to encourage further giving from alumni, companies, foundations, and friends, as philanthropy has become increasingly important to the future of the university.


Student success remains at the core of our mission.  The latest one-year retention rate for full-time, first-time freshmen is 85% from the first to the second year.  We are also making progress on increasing our six-year graduation rate, a top goal for both UMBC and USM.  We can report now that for the 2006 cohort of full-time, first-time freshmen, almost 61 percent graduated from UMBC within six years, up from the 55 percent reported for the 2005 cohort, and 68 percent graduated from UMBC or another four-year institution in Maryland within six years, up from about 65 percent for the fall 2005 cohort.  Overall, about three-quarters of our full-time freshmen earn a postsecondary degree within six years.

In the fall of 2012, we enrolled more than 10,900 undergraduates and 2,700 graduate students.  In addition to these 13,600 fall students, we also served another 2,300 students who took courses for credit in winter, spring, and/or summer terms.  In non-credit courses, UMBC Training Centers also engaged almost 3,000 students and the English Language Institute (part of the PeopleSoft continuing education center) another 400.  Including these students, UMBC served 19,300 total students in the 2012-2013 academic year.

This year, fall enrollments remain strong – indeed we are the only campus in the System that is marking continued increases.  This reflects our continuing recruitment and retention efforts and our work to build strong academic programs.  We will enroll approximately 13,800 students overall, an increase of about 200.  This includes 1,650 new freshmen, approximately 100 more than a year ago; about 1,350 new students who have transferred here from other institutions; and approaching 2,800 graduate students, a slight increase over this past year and about twice the number enrolled a decade ago.  The overall fall enrollment is approaching 14,000 for the first time.  Our residence halls are again at capacity, housing nearly 4,000 students, including more than three-quarters of all new freshmen and nearly half of our full-time undergraduates.

Our incoming freshmen are a remarkable group of students.  Overall, they have mean SAT math and verbal scores just shy of 1220 and mean math, verbal, and writing scores above 1800.  The incoming freshmen in the Honors College have a mean three-part SAT score of 2107.  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.  They hail from countries spanning the globe, from Bulgaria, Greece, Panama, and St. Lucia to Ethiopia, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.

Academic Programs

We enjoy this success because of the academic programs we offer and the innovative practices we implement to improve both teaching and learning.

For our undergraduates, we have continued to innovate and grow across our colleges.  The faculty in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) is offering a new major in Global Studies to provide students with the broad understanding they will need to find solutions to global challenges. The College has re-designed Freshman Composition in the English Department.  In this challenging and highly interactive format, the instructor meets with the full class for one 75-minute session each week and uses the other weekly class for small group conferencing. Students not scheduled for group conference that day meet in the computer lab with a Writing Fellow who provides one-on-one help and assists with peer review groups.  Faculty are also using the state-of-the-art facilities of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building to provide students with enhanced course experiences.  In addition, we are pleased to announce the establishment of two new academic departments in CAHSS: the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWST) and the Department of Media and Communication Studies (MCS), each of which has grown rapidly from a small program into a mature department with a substantial number of students and excellent faculty.  Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on their accomplishments and acknowledging the hard work and commitment of Carole McCann and Jason Loviglio, who will serve as the chairs of our newest departments.

The faculty in the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) has also innovated to meet the changing needs of its students.  For example, COEIT has introduced Global Engineering within the framework of a traditional engineering track; an Environmental Engineering and Sustainability track; and such new courses as Energy Sources for The Future.  Faculty members have also developed an innovative Information Systems Infused Entrepreneurship Course, and they are re-designing courses to include team-based learning, student reflection, and a greater emphasis on writing.

The College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS) continues to build on its recent history of innovation and course redesign.  Through Summer STEM, CNMS has restructured and augmented its summer and winter programs to provide a comprehensive set of foundational courses in the sciences and mathematics.  This “third” semester is designed to accelerate the progress of UMBC students toward degree completion, provide unique global and research opportunities, and open the UMBC experience to visiting students.  The first summer of this initiative yielded a 16% increase in student enrollment.  A partnership between HHMI and UMBC, the Science Learning Collaboratory, has resulted in a modern, active learning laboratory at UMBC.  This shared space functions as the HHMI Science Education Alliance facility in the winter and summer semesters.  During the fall and spring semesters, UMBC faculty will have the opportunity to use the facility to develop innovative instructional approaches. A grand opening is expected in the coming academic year.

CNMS continues to re-design its courses to improve student learning and success, with recent attention given CHEM 351, and MATH 150 and 151.  Additionally, faculty are also re-inventing numerous courses throughout the college by incorporating active-learning pedagogies, including flipped classes in chemistry and biology and problem-based learning in CHEM 300.  The Chemistry Development Center (CDC) and CASTLE continue to generate a high level of interest and act as a catalyst for faculty to experiment with novel approaches to teaching and learning efficiency.  The CDC continues to pass students at a higher rate using increased standards.  The CASTLE is beginning to generate assessment data to be used for evaluating effectiveness of new teaching paradigms.

Across all three of these colleges and their disciplines and with support from a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, UMBC has also developed courses infused with training in entrepreneurship.  As a result of the grant, and the tremendous support of our faculty and staff, we now have a new Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation with over 50 students currently enrolled from a wide range of disciplines.  We have had over 70 courses infused with an entrepreneurial emphasis, and over 10,000 students have enrolled in one of these courses to date.  Last fall a student company was formed as a result of the first-year seminar in Creativity, Innovation and Invention.  The students recently sold their company (Banana Bones) to a local company, and they are donating a portion of their proceeds back to UMBC to support additional entrepreneurial initiatives on campus.

We encourage our students to engage in activities that develop them professionally and introduce them to civic opportunities.  Many students have participated in directed research and creative activities.  Particularly impressive were this year’s publications of the UMBC Review: Journal of Undergraduate Research, and Bartleby, our creative arts journal, as well as our 17th annual Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievement Day featuring hundreds of presentations by students with majors in more than 30 disciplines.  The GSA hosted its 35th Annual Graduate Research Conference, inviting graduate alumni to join faculty and staff as judges.

We have also put in place this year a process to integrate and enhance career and internship support. Combining the high-performing teams working in these areas will help us engage more UMBC students in intentional career development and experiential learning activities while providing critical one-stop service to employers.  I would like to thank John Martello and Michele Wolff for their continued leadership of the Shriver Center.  I also want to congratulate Christine Routzahn, who has been appointed Director of the Career Services Center, and her strong team.

In another innovative campus initiative launched last fall – BreakingGround – UMBC is helping to lead an exciting national movement in higher education focused on civic engagement.  Through informal networks, we are linking civic engagement projects developed over the past decade by student organizations and other units.  Promoting these connections – that foster community, embrace diversity, and celebrate innovation – BreakingGround seeks to empower our students, faculty, and staff as agents of substantive change.  In addition, the Provost’s Office awarded BreakingGround grants for creating and modifying courses that focus students’ attention on change processes.  Student organizations and campus departments were encouraged to apply for modest implementation grants designed to transform what otherwise would be one-time community service projects into forums focused on civic engagement and change.  The program has drawn national attention, and students, faculty and staff were invited to give presentations on UMBC’s experience with it at the national meeting of the American Democracy Project.

We are also enhancing graduate education at UMBC.  For example, we have recently established a new master’s program in Texts, Technologies, and Literature in the English Department, and we have seen tremendous growth in the Master in Professional Studies in Cybersecurity, surpassing expectations.

This year, in response to the national report Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers, we will be focusing on ways to better align graduate programs with career opportunities.  We will focus on such activities as graduate student success seminars, discipline-focused activities with our department-based graduate student organizations, and a partnership with the Career Services Center/Shriver Center that provides students with skills, information, and connections.  The Graduate School is collecting data from a range of sources to understand how our graduate students network and connect as they transition to careers. The goal to create a systematic program which will help all graduate students move into jobs.

In addition, staff and students from the Graduate School, Enrollment Management, and Financial Services has been awarded a two-year grant from the Council of Graduate Schools in collaboration with TIAA-CREF to support and enhance financial literacy on campus.  A working group is currently developing a comprehensive financial literacy website which, in conjunction with workshop modules and success seminars, will provide valuable tools and resources for enhancing this important life skill.

We also want to be supportive of our postdoctoral fellows.  We are launching a new website for the Office of Post Doctoral Affairs ( that will serve the needs of our postdocs and their faculty mentors.  This is a collaboration between the Graduate School, the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Research Administration.  In parallel with the Dissertation House for graduate students, we will have a Post Doctoral Fellow Writing Suite where postdocs will receive the mentoring and coaching needed to develop the consistent discipline of writing and publishing their research.

Finally, we are expecting to hear any day now about a new grant from the National Science Foundation that will allow us to expand our PROMISE program from three USM research universities to the dull system.

Our Division of Professional Studies is working with academic departments to enroll more than 8,000 UMBC undergraduate and graduate students in programs offered on campus, at UMBC’s South Campus, at Shady Grove, and in five Maryland counties.  More than 800 students are enrolled in the division’s professional master’s degree programs in Cybersecurity, Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Education, and Instructional Design, and more than 5,000 students take courses during the Summer and Winter sessions, a number expected to increase through the new Summer STEM initiative.  At UMBC’s growing campus at Shady Grove, we are offering bachelor’s programs in History, Political Science, Psychology, and Social Work, and applied master’s programs in Geographic Information Systems and Industrial & Organizational Psychology.  This fall, we will begin master’s programs in Cybersecurity and Biotechnology at Shady Grove as well.  UMBC Training Centers, part of our professional studies enterprise, is offering instruction to an additional 3,000 professional students this year in Maryland and globally, including more than 850 students studying at the center’s new location in Columbia Gateway at the Center for Cybersecurity. Congratulations to Training Centers on having been named by Inc. magazineas one the fastest-growing private companies in America for the third year in a row.

Student Achievements

As a research university with undergraduate teaching and learning at its core, the institution has many students and alumni who excel.  Our 2013 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.  A number of 2013 graduates have been selected for prestigious programs.

  • 2013 graduate Brian Brown (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) participated in the 63rd annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany. The selection process to attend the meeting is very competitive; according to the judges, invitations are extended only to the world’s most promising young researchers based on their ability “to contribute to and share the scientific excellence of the Nobel Laureate Meetings.”
  • Five UMBC students have been awarded Fulbright grants, the prestigious program that takes students around the world to teach English or conduct original research.  This ties last year’s number, which set a record for the most UMBC students to receive the award in one year.  Four students were awarded English teaching assistantships: Yasmin Radbod ’13, Asian studies, for Nepal; Alexandra Mills ’13, gender and women’s studies, for Malaysia; Hannah Kurlansky ’13, English and media and communication studies, for Slovakia; and Andrew Holter ’12, English and history, for the Czech Republic. In addition, Madeline Hall ’12, environmental studies, received a grant to conduct research in New Zealand.
  • Many of our 2013 graduates are beginning graduate and professional programs at top schools across the nation.
  • Two graduating seniors (both Meyerhoff Scholars), seven recent alumni (four Meyerhoff Scholars), and four current UMBC graduate students received NSF Graduate Fellowships to pursue graduate work in their fields.  Two UMBC graduate students received GEM Fellowships, and another received a Ford Foundation Fellowship.
  • Madiha Tahseen, Applied Developmental Psychology PhD student, is one of five students nationally to receive the prestigious Society for Research in Child Development Student and Early Career Council Dissertation Award.
  • Master’s student Katie Witt, Intercultural Communications, received the prestigious U.S. Department of State Boren Fellowship to spend a year in Brazil studying immigration policy.
  • Several of our 2013 Ph.D. graduates have accepted positions as faculty members or postdocs at universities across the country, including the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, UMBC’s research centers, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Others are working for companies, government agencies, and major labs, holding such positions as statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), economist in the Climate Change Division of the Maryland Department of the Environment, and research engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.  Karuna Joshi (computer science) was recently selected by the National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps program to explore commercializing her research, and she has created a startup company.

Here are some of the ways that current undergraduates, graduating seniors, and recent alumni distinguished themselves this year.

  • In June, UMBC alum Cory Fleischer (BS ’05, MS ’08 Mechanical Engineering), now with Lockheed Martin, was the season winner on the Discovery Channel’s “Big Brain Theory,” an achievement that recognized his talent as a young innovator.
  • The Ethics Bowl Team placed second in the Mid-Atlantic regional tournament this past fall, earning team members the right to compete in the national championships for the third year in a row.
  • Our Chess Team was again among the nation’s elite, tying for first place in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, also known as the “World Series of Chess.”

In intercollegiate athletics, UMBC matched its best-ever finish by placing third in the race for the America East Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup.  The men’s soccer squad captured its second America East title in three seasons and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  Liam Paddock (’13) was named the 2013 America East Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and also became just the second UMBC student-athlete ever to receive a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.  Junior Mohamed Hussein became just the third Retriever in program history, and first male swimmer, to make the cut for the NCAA Swimming Championships.  He helped the squad to an undefeated regular season and an America East title, and he recently broke the Egyptian record he had set previously in the 200-meter individual medley. Meanwhile, our cricket team, a club sport at UMBC, won the national collegiate Cricket Championship.  Finally, we are pleased that Under Armour is now the official outfitter of Retriever Athletics.

Faculty & Staff Achievements

Faculty members comprise the core of a research university, and many at UMBC have  distinguished themselves this year.  Professor James Grubb (History) received the USM Board of Regents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, Professor Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg (Biological Sciences) received the USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Professor Tulay Adali (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) received the USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarship/Creativity, and Professor Nagaraj Neerchal (Mathematics and Statistics) received the USM Board of Regents’ Award for Innovative Excellence.  In addition, we recognized Presidential Teaching Professor Manil Suri (Mathematics and Statistics) and Presidential Research Professor Constantine Vaporis (Asian Studies, History) for their work.  Collectively, this group reflects the commitment of our faculty to excellence in teaching, mentoring, and research.

Many other faculty also received recognition.  Raymond Hoff (physics) was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, 2012.  In recognition of his work to advance state-of-the-art software engineering applications and tools, Nilanjan Banerjee (CSEE) was awarded a Microsoft Software Engineering Innovation (SEIF) Award.  And Shaun Kane and Amy Hurst (Information Systems) won a second such award.  No other institution received two of these competitive awards.  Linda Dusman (Music) was selected as the Lipitz Professor of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for AY 2013-14.  James T. “Tim” Oates (Computer Science and Electrical Engineering) was named an Oros Family Professor of Computer Science and Technology.  Suzanne Rosenberg (Biological Sciences) was awarded the 2013 American Association of Immunologists Excellence in Mentoring Award.  Mike Summers (chemistry and Biochemistry) gave the Keynote Lecture at the Keystone Symposium on Frontiers of NMR in Biology.

Faculty were also selected for distinguished scholar and fellows positions.  John Sturgeon (Visual Arts) received a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar Award (London).  Julia Ross (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering) was named a 2013-14 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow.  Tyson King-Meadows (Political Science) was selected by the American Political Science Association for the 2012-2013 class of ASPA Congressional Fellows.  Philip Farabaugh and Cynthia Wagner (Biological Sciences) were selected as National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences for 2012-2013.  Michelle Scott (History) has been named a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  Kevin ‘KAL’ Kallaugher, cartoonist-in-residence at the Imaging Research Center, has been invited to give a TEDx talk in Mumbai on satire.  He has also recently completed a book tour for his new work, Daggers Drawn: 35 Years of KAL Cartoons in The Economist.

Two of our faculty have been recognized for their scholarship and national reputation by appointment to study committees of the National Research Council of the National Academies.  Anthony Johnson (Physics and Computer Science/Electrical Engineering) has been appointed to the National Academies’ Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences and Claire Welty has been appointed to the Committee on the On-Site Reuse of Graywater and Stormwater: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits.

Meanwhile, several faculty translated their work in the lab into new businesses.  Mark Marten completed the NSF I-Corps program, received a Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) award, and started a company called MycoInnovation based on large-scale fermentation technology which he developed through earlier NSF grants.  The company is developing feed additives for the agricultural industry that promote animal growth, increase food safety, and serve as an alternative to antibiotics.  Two other UMBC faculty, Drs. Wei-Dong Zhu and Chuck Bieberich also received MII grants.  Dr. Lorraine Remer and Dr. Vanderlei Martins started a clean energy company called AirPhoton LLC with the assistance of staff at bwtech@UMBC and the UMBC Office of Technology Development.  Dr. Yonathan Zohar from Marine Biotechnology established a collaboration with a company called In-Tuna to develop efficient and sustainable technologies for the production of bluefin and yellowfin tuna the development of optimal food formulations.

Several staff members also were recognized for their work this year.  Arlene Wergin, Director of International Education Services, and Janet Magruder, Business Manager in the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, received USM Board of Regents’ Staff Awards for Outstanding Service.  Our Presidential Distinguished Staff Award winners were Tim Lynch, Assistant Director, Winter and Special Programs (Professional Staff), and Peggy Major, Program Management Specialist, The Honors College (Non-Exempt Staff).  Lee Hawthorne Calizo, Director of the Office of Student Life, received the Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award.  Katie Morris, Department of Social Work, won the Program Director of the Year award at the Universities at Shady Grove.

In professional circles, Associate Director of the Library, Joyce Tenney, also a UMBC alumna, has been elected President of the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG).  Michael Glasser was elected as member of the board of Higher Education Data Warehouse Forum, an organization that promotes business intelligence solutions in higher education.  Michele Wolff, Director of the Shriver Center, won the Charles M. Mathias, Jr. Award for State Government Public Service from theMaryland Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).  John Martello received an award from Paul’s Place recognizing the partnership and contributions of The Shriver Center with the community.  David Clurman, Assistant Director of Residential Education was awarded the James Hurd Distinguished Service Award by the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers (MACUHO).  Charlie Brown, Athletics Director, was named an UnderArmour Athletics Director of the Year ,and Anthony Adams was named one of nation’s top assistant coaches by College Soccer News.

Beyond our walls, staff also received important appointments and awards.  Sandra Abbott, Curator of Collections and Outreach for the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture was appointed to the board of the Baltimore Public Art Commission.  Julie Rosenthal, Program Management Specialist for the Asian Studies Program, has been named the Association of Community Services Volunteer of the Year for her role in creating and directing the not-for-profit Food on the 15th Program.  Jamie Harrison, a staff member in the Department of Institutional Technology (DoIT), and president of the United States Youth Cricket Association, was inducted into Cricket Hall of Fame in Hartford, Connecticut.

Research & Sponsored Programs

As a growing research university, UMBC places a strong priority on the pursuit of excellence in research and sponsored programs.  And we have good news.

For FY 2013, we are projecting total awards from contracts and grants of $80 million, an increase of $2 million (or 2.5%) over FY 2012.  Several centers have brought significant increases in resources.  The Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), which operates under a cooperative agreement with the Goddard Space Flight Center to develop new technology for environmental remote sensing, has increased funding of $2.8 million, for a total FY13 budget of $8.9 million.  The Hilltop Institute, a health research organization dedicated to advancing the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations, has funding of $14.2 million for FY 13, an increase of $3.4 million.  The Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) received more than $4.0 million in research grants in 2012 and 2013, and the institute is currently administering grants totaling more than $25 million, which includes $7.1 million from NIH for the Center for Aging Studies, $15.8 million from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and $2.3 million from other research sponsors.

Notable award recipients include Govind Rao (CAST), who received a $7.9 million DARPA contract over two years for research and development in support of the biologically-derived medicines on-demand program that provides battlefield medical supplies for front line medics responsive to emergency settings and emergent in-theater needs; James Franson (Physics), who will receive $4.1 million from DARPA over three years for work investigating quantum communication; and David Salkever (Public Policy) who received $500,000 from AHRQ via Johns Hopkins to compare effectiveness of care-delivery interventions.  The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) and Maurice Berger, Research Professor & Chief Curator, CADVC, are the recipient of a 2013 Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television, a forthcoming project. The grant will assist in the planning of an exhibition, book, and website. It represents a collaborative institutional effort between the CADVC and the Jewish Museum in New York, where Dr. Berger holds the title of consulting curator.

We do not measure success in research just by the dollars we bring in, but also by the impact it has in the world.  Let me cite just one example from the social sciences: a month before the election this past November, T.H. Gindling (economics) and Marvin Mandel (public policy) released “Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream Act,” a working paper funded by the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC.  They concluded that for each annual cohort of students who utilize the Dream Act, total net benefits to the economy are approximately $66 million.  The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, NPR, and the Time magazine Swampland blog all shared the results of this research. The Maryland Dream Act won voter approval in a referendum on November 6, 2012.

We are building our relationship with the University of Maryland Baltimore. UMB’s strengths in medicine and the legal issues surrounding the balance between privacy and security are a natural match for our strengths in information technology and the science of big data.  The fMRI facility we jointly established a year ago has led to significant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is available to researchers from both campuses, including faculty and students.  Building upon a long history of intermural faculty research collaboration, and also to foster further collaboration, we have funded this year six joint research programs, supporting work on spinal cord injury pain, regulation of cancer cell proliferation and survival, cognition neural networks after stroke, dendronized drug nanocarriers, control of transcriptional regulators in muscle fibers, and geriatric emergency medical and trauma care.  We are now in talks to pursue large federal funding opportunities.

In fall 2012 we established the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, founded on our solid reputation for leadership in cybersecurity research, education, and entrepreneurship. Under the direction of Professor Anupam Joshi (CSEE), the Center is developing partnerships with federal agencies and industry sponsors to advance the field of cybersecurity. The Center is establishing a strong relationship with Army researchers who have recently been relocated through BRAC process to Aberdeen Proving Ground. To that end, we are in process of finalizing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with I2WD (Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate) on behalf of CERDEC (United States Army Communications-Electronics Research). We have seed-funded internal collaborations to incorporate the social sciences into the Center for Cybersecurity, and these projects have already led to external proposals for federal funding.

Other partnerships have also broken new ground in diverse areas.  UMBC and the Maryland Energy Administration recently formed an $890,000, three-year partnership to advance research for offshore wind energy projects.  Other partnerships have examined the uses of technology in care for the aging and led to the creation of a tablet app, called Symphony Interactive, which enhances the music experience of audiences at musical performances.

For our work involving diversity, we continue to receive national visibility and grant support, particularly for successful initiatives focused on women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering.  These include our NSF ADVANCE program, designed to recruit and advance women faculty members; WISE, our Women in Science & Engineering program; CWIT, our Center for Women in Technology which also partners with the CyberScholars program to promote women in Cybersecurity; the McNair and Meyerhoff undergraduate and graduate scholars programs for preparing minority researchers; and PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education & the Professoriate) and LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate programs to increase the numbers of minority graduate students in STEM fields.

Other awards have also reflected the strong commitment of UMBC to education and training.  A multi-divisional team, led by Provost Philip Rous, has received a $2.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to work with area community colleges to improve student transitions into four-year degree granting institutions.  Faculty in IS and CSEE  received more than $150,000 from NSF for “Transforming the Freshman Experience of Computing Majors,” a pilot program designed to improve retention and support the graduation of more students in IT fields.  The IS and ME departments in COEIT have, through several grants, also received $2 million through 2017 to support students in high-demand fields in engineering and IT.  The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT), working with multiple departments in COEIT, won a NSF S-STEM grant for “A Community of Transfer Scholars in Information Technology and Engineering.”  Alan Sherman (CSEE) and Richard Forno (Cybersecurity MPS) have received $2.5 million over 5 years for the UMBC Cybersecurity Scholarship for Service and Program and Innovations in Cybersecurity Education Workshop Series.

Capital Projects

As a growing research university, we are developing and building state of the art facilities for instruction, research, and student residential life.

The first phase of our new $160-million Performing Arts and Humanities Building opened this past fall, and construction continues on the second phase, with an August 2014 move-in date for the departments of Music, Dance, Ancient Studies, and Philosophy.  The building has already had a major impact, dramatically enhancing the academic experience of students, providing new outlets for creative expression, and making UMBC a cultural and intellectual destination in greater Baltimore and beyond.

We are also moving to invest $16.4 million in the renovation of the Fine Arts Building to  create “like-new” offices, classrooms, and teaching studios.  Critical infrastructure – electric, heating and cooling systems – will be renewed to ensure that the building serves well the twelve departments of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences that will be housed there.

We are grateful to the Board of Regents and the Governor for including the new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building in the Governor’s five-year plan for capital projects.  This building will embody the core elements of our mission – integrating research, teaching, and learning — and it is an essential element of our plans to provide strategically important labs and facilities to advance the State’s biotechnology industry and Maryland’s competitiveness in the innovation economy.  We are hopeful that – with legislative support – we will begin the design phase in 2015.

This fall, two major projects serving our residential students will be completed: the $3.7-million construction of the new 8,500-square-foot Community Center and the $24.3-million renovation of the Hillside and Terrace Apartments.  The transformation of our residential communities will continue with a $19.3-million three-phase renovation of the West Hill Apartments, scheduled to begin next summer and conclude by fall 2016.  Together, these projects enhance the overall living environment for our residential community and provide a net increase in beds to respond to enrollment growth.

Progress continues on development of the Campus Gateway, a project that will transform the campus entrance along UMBC Boulevard to enhance access, reduce traffic backups, prevent accidents, and imporve campus aesthetics.  Construction is expected to begin next summer.

We are very excited that our capital plans include a new events center. 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. We are moving forward with design next year and expect construction to start in fall 2015 for a fall 2017 opening. When the facility is complete, expanded opportunities for recreation and physical fitness will be available in the RAC for the benefit of the entire campus.  With 5,000 fixed seats and a total capacity of 6,000 seats, the events center will be an exciting venue for athletic events concerts, performances, and major student life events – clearly, it will be an excellent venue for our America East basketball games.

Sustainability and the Environment

From innovative student ideas, to new courses and programs, to campus-wide initiatives, UMBC, as a growing research university, is practicing what it teaches by going green.  The Princeton Review, in its new Guide to Green Colleges, recognized UMBC as one of 322 colleges and universities nationwide demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability.

UMBC’s sustainability efforts are thriving, with many undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty actively engaged in promoting, leading and initiating sustainability efforts.  This past year, a group of undergraduates organized and hosted a statewide student conference on clean water. In June, we held our first workshop for Sustainability across disciplines, with faculty discussing opportunities for creative interdisciplinary collaboration and teaching innovations.  Our new Global Studies track in Development, Health and the Environment and our new Chemical Engineering track in Environmental Engineering and Sustainability expand our ability to inform and engage in sustainability in the classroom and beyond.

The environmental work of faculty contributes significantly to our development as a research university and our strengths in the geosciences, with faculty applying new knowledge about environmental science and policy to advance health, safety, and the economy.  UMBC recently ranked 18th nationally among universities in federal research funding in the environmental sciences.  Moreover, UMBC is the field headquarters for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (a federally-funded urban ecology project), and our campus is home to both the U.S. Geological Survey’s regional water science center and the Maryland Clean Energy Incubator.

We are continually advancing environmentally sustainable practices on campus through our research, courses, service, policies and operations. Since I signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, we have taken many steps to reduce our campus carbon emissions by conserving energy, purchasing renewable energy, and raising awareness.  To date, UMBC has reduced net emissions by 13.3% since committing to reduce carbon pollution in 2007. This was accomplished even with a 15% increase in enrollment and campus construction that resulted in a 2% increase in square footage.

How was this accomplished?  Sourcing 20% of our annual electricity from renewable energy sources has been one major factor in our reduced carbon footprint.  Recycling rates increased from 28% in 2011 to 40% of total waste in 2012 as UMBC participated in the national Recyclemania competition for the 5th year, adopted a new composting program for food waste, offered e-cycling for electronics, and continued dual-stream recycling.  We also advanced our sustainability goals by hiring, in 2012, our first full-time campus environmental sustainability coordinator, and we are continuing to reduce transportation-related emissions by optimizing transit and offering preferred parking to carpoolers.  Our most recent construction includes the LEED Gold Certified addition to Patapsco Residence Hall, complete with our campus’s first green roof, and the LEED Silver Certified Performing Arts and Humanities Building (phase I).

Two more developments this summer have also improved our campus environment.  In July, the campus went smoke-free.  In August, the State of Maryland debuted the newly renovated Halethorpe MARC train station, increasing ease of use at one of the closest MARC stations to the UMBC campus.  This renovation will help us continue reducing the size of our carbon footprint by allowing more students, faculty, and staff to easily commute to campus by rail. The university runs shuttles to the Halethorpe station and the BWI rail station as part of UMBC Transit.

Information Technology Update

As a growing research university, UMBC is leveraging leading-edge information technology solutions that advance our work.  In fact, UMBC has worked at the forefront of IT for campus communications, data analytics, student support, instruction and learning, research cyberinfrastructure, administration, and grant management.

Security and compliance were again a major effort this past year as DoIT staff completed work on two USM audits.  It is again significant that the USM Audits did not include a single finding about our efforts in IT, and I want to commend Vice President Jack Suess and the DoIT staff on their efforts.  Of course, success is never final, and DoIT will focus much of its work this year on preparing for the legislative auditors to return to campus in 2014. This year, there will be a special focus on complying with new state regulations around data privacy and security.

A second focus was the broad-based work around data analytics. This began as a partnership between OIR, Enrollment Management, Finance, and DoIT to provide high quality data analytics and reporting for student administration (SA). The 2013 efforts started at the campus retreat with the Data Gallery, and culminated with the spring launch of a new campus reporting website,, our campus reporting exchange. UMBC’s work in this area is nationally recognized, with an EDUCAUSE Center for Advanced Research (ECAR) publication by John Fritz detailing our insights regarding learning analytics. In addition to John’s work, UMBC was featured in two national webinars, as well as articles in EDUCAUSE, Blackboard, Libraries & Analytics, and edu1world.  In addition, DoIT staff presented at six conferences and consulted with colleagues at Purdue, U. of Nebraska, and Drake to discuss our strategy for success.

In terms of instructional use of technology, DoIT has been active on campus and nationally.  UMBC has continued to participate in a Gates Foundation grant to Purdue University involving learner analytics.  On campus, DoIT continued partnering with the Faculty Development Center on pedagogical workshops in the use of technology to support active learning in the classroom. DoIT also played an instrumental role in new initiatives supporting team-based learning, expansion of hybrid learning, active learning, and the use of digital storytelling to teach multi-media and visual communication skills across disciplines.

During the past year we continued to expand our service-request tracking system (RT) on campus, extending the new system to Financial Aid.  For FY 2013, we expect the system to have supported 125,000 service requests.  This represents a four-fold increase in the past three years. As part of this effort, we have built into our system a self-service component called “Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ.”  Its focus is to enhance support, especially after hours, by presenting a “show and tell” (video and text) solution to many common questions.  This year, DoIT worked with other departments to add in their own FAQs, and we have seen a 10-fold increase in the number of entries.  In addition, we have seen usage increase by over 66 percent in the last year as more people get accustomed to using the system.  Following well-attended presentations at this year’s national and mid-Atlantic conferences, EDUCAUSE is also publishing a feature article this summer on UMBC’s use of RT and FAQs to improve customer service across campus.

During FY 2013, no research university in the nation was more focused on Internet2 cloud adoption than UMBC. We are among the early adopters for the service to make files accessible anywhere and from any device.  In addition, we worked with Tulane and Texas A&M on a new cloud-based voice services, we are working with Utah and Cal Tech on desktop video conferencing, and we began an effort to partner with Amazon to use their technology to deliver infrastructure services.  To make this possible, we rolled out a new 10gigabit network across campus and have upgraded our Internet capacity.  Working with our research faculty, we added over 200 terabytes of research storage on campus. Finally, during the fall, we completed the build-out of a new computer facility in the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park to improve business continuity and reliably on campus.

Last, but by no means least, FY 2013 saw a number of development enhancements to myUMBC and PeopleSoft that continue to bring added functionality and support to users. In the case of myUMBC, our new features are tightly integrated with the campus web strategy, and we have enabled over 40 campus websites.  In addition, the number of myUMBC groups doubled this year, and these groups are now being used as a critical communication link between departments and students.  With regard to PeopleSoft, notable enhancements included automating the First Year Intervention (FYI) alerts, launching an improved transcript service for students, piloting Digital Measures, and working with HR to support a modified COLA process in April.  In addition, much effort was expended behind the scenes working with Grants and Sponsored Programs to support the shared services initiative and address issues in grants management. Finally, development was begun on major efforts that will be launched in FY 2014 to support electronic timesheets, provide mobile support in myUMBC and Student Administration, and enhance the process for managing and updating courses.

Concluding Thoughts

In 2016, we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary. When UMBC first enrolled students in 1966, it was a historic moment for the state.  This institution was the first university established in Maryland that opened its doors from the beginning to students from all backgrounds, regardless of race or ethnicity.  This legacy has been a defining feature of our community as one of the most diverse universities in the United States.

The legislation establishing our institution was approved 50 years ago, on April 30, 1963.  It charged us with enrolling highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students and, recognizing the connection between research and the economy, called on the new university to serve as a “nucleus for scientific research and development” that would help to build new industry in the metropolitan region.  This charge provides a second defining feature of our community as we strive to be a distinctive model of innovation in undergraduate teaching and learning and a place where faculty can pursue excellence in research and graduate education.

In some respects, the past five years have been difficult.  We made a commitment at the beginning of the recent economic recession that our guiding principle would be to support and protect people on this campus – our students, faculty, and staff – and the academic programs.  We kept that commitment – and we did so as a community, with every one of us making sacrifices.  Difficult times reveal a lot about one’s character, and this shared commitment is a third defining feature of our community – the ability to work together, through good times and bad, with optimism, common purpose, and a strong belief in ourselves.

It is that same optimism that we feel today 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.

Over the years, putting people first has been at the heart of our success – supporting and guiding students as they learn and grow; supporting faculty in their research and teaching; supporting staff in their work with students and colleagues; and responding to the needs of a growing range of external constituents.  Whether you’ve been here for decades or recently arrived, you make a difference through your contributions.  As I say every year at this time, it is an honor each day to serve as President.  Thank you.

New Faculty (2013-14)

Ancient Studies

Lane, Michael, Visiting Assistant Professor
B.A., University of Indiana, 1989; M.Sc., University of Sheffield, 1993; Ph.D., 2004

Phin, Timothy, Assistant Professor/Lecturer
B.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2004; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, pending

Biological Sciences

Freeland, Stephen, Associate Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program
B.A., Oxford University, 1991; M.Sc., University of York, 1993; Ph.D., Cambridge University, 2000

Green, Erin, Assistant Professor
B.A., Bryn Mawr College, 2000; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2007

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Rosenzweig, Zeev, Professor and Chair (beginning January 1, 2014)
B.Sc., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1986; Ph.D., 1992

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Morawski, Maksym, Lecturer
B.S., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2010; M.C.S., 2013

Sadeghian, Pedram, Lecturer
B.A., Transylvania University, 2000; M.S., University of Louisville, 2003; Ph.D., 2006


Rouiller, Florian, Artist-in-Residence
M.F.A., University of Maryland, College Park, 2012


Tabaa, Mary Jeanette, Clinical Instructor
B.S., Towson State University, 1996; M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2000; Ph.D., pending


Sorokin, Anissa, Lecturer and Director of the Writing Center
B.A., Temple University, 2006; M.A. (Education), 2007; M.A. (Language & Communication), Georgetown University, 2009; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, pending

Gender and Women’s Studies

MacManus, Viviana, Assistant Professor
B.A., Occidental College, 2003; M.A. University of California, San Diego, 2007; C.Phil., 2007; Ph.D., 2011

Geography and Environmental Systems

Aufseeser, Dean, Assistant Professor (beginning Spring 2014)
B.A., Brown University, 2003; M.Sc., London School of Economics, 2007; Ph.D., University of Washington, 2012

Studds, Colin, Assistant Professor
B.A., Brown University, 1997; M.S., University of Rhode Island, Kingston, 2001; Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2009


Casper, Scott E., Professor and Dean of the College Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
A.B., Princeton University, 1986; M.A., Yale University, 1990; M. Phil., 1990; Ph.D., 1992

Information Systems

Mentis, Helena, Assistant Professor
B.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2000; M.S., Cornell University, 2004; Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2010

Roy, Nirmalya, Assistant Professor
B.E., Jadavpur University, India, 2001; M.S., University of Texas at Arlington, 2004; Ph.D. 2008

Mathematics and Statistics

Biswas, Animikh, Associate Professor
B.S., Indian Statistical Institute, 1991; M.S., 1993; Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, 2000

Kang, Hye Won, Assistant Professor
B.S., Yonsei University, 2001; M.S. and Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008

Mechanical Engineering

Steiner, Karl, Professor and Vice President for Research
Diplom Ingenieur, Electrical Engineering, University of Applied Sciences Braunschweig, 1983; Master of Electrical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1989; Ph.D., Doktor Ingenieur, Mechanical Engineering, University of Kaiserslautern, Institute for Composite Materials, 1995

Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication

Hanrahan, Daniel, Visiting Lecturer
B.A., Bowdoin College, 1990; M.A., Roosevelt University, 2011

Hogan, Erin, Assistant Professor
B.A., Dartmouth College, 2003; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2007; Ph.D., 2011

Hoogenboom, Tomoko, Lecturer
B.A., Tsurumi University, 1986; M.A., University of Minnesota, 1995; Ph.D. 2007


Kaufman, Brian, Assistant Professor
B.M., University of Michigan, 2005; M.M., University of Maryland, College Park, 2008; M.M., New England Conservatory of Music, 2010


Elizondo, E. Sonny, Assistant Professor
A.B., Harvard University, 2000; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2007; Ph.D., 2010

Schwab, Whitney, Assistant Professor/Lecturer
B.A., Cornell University, 2005; B.Phil, Oxford University, 2007; Ph.D., Princeton University, pending


Pelton, Matthew, Assistant Professor
B. A.Sc. University of Toronto; 1996; Ph.D., Stanford University, 2002

Political Science

Hinkle, Rachael, Assistant Professor
B.A., Huntington University, 2000; M.A., University of Toledo, 2007; Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2013


Murphy, Julie, Lecturer
B.A. (English), University of Maryland, College Park, 1991; B.A. (Psychology), 1995; M.A., University of Cincinnati, 1999; Ph.D., 2004

Visual Arts

Marmor, Katherine, Associate Professor (beginning Spring 2014)
B.F.A., Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1981; M.F.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1998

Rozanc, Gary, Assistant Professor
B.A., Cleveland State University, 2004; M.F.A., University of Arizona, 2008