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Friday, November 28, 2014

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University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618

College Park, Md. – Today, the University of Maryland launched a brand-new multimedia news and information portal, UMD Right Now, which provides members of the media and the public with real-time information on the university and its extended community.

UMD Right Now replaces Newsdesk, which previously served as the university’s news hub and central resource for members of the media. The new site is aimed at reaching broader audiences and allows visitors to keep up with the latest Maryland news and events, view photos and videos and connect with the university across all of its social media platforms.

“We designed UMD Right Now to be a comprehensive, vibrant site where visitors can find new and exciting things happening at Maryland,” said Linda Martin, executive director, Web and New Media Strategies. “Through social media, video, photos and news information, we hope to engage visitors and compel the community to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”

The new website,, contains up-to-date news releases and announcements, facts and figures about the university, a searchable database of faculty and staff experts, information highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD, additional resources for news media and other campus and athletics news.

“UMD RightNow is the place to go to find out all the things happening on and around campus on any given day,” said Crystal Brown, chief communications officer. “This website brings real-time news, events and information right to your fingertips.”

For more information and contact information for the Office of University Communications, please visit

UMD, HCC to Train Marylanders for Mobile Health App Building, Strategy

November 25, 2014

Kenyon Crowley 919-649-2279
Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland students and healthcare and information technology professionals have a new opportunity to help their state succeed in the health technology sector. The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) is partnering with Howard Community College (HCC) to engage Marylanders in the Baltimore-Washington corridor to develop and sharpen their mobile health (mHealth) technology skills and strategies.

mobile healthThe initiative includes a mix of programs geared towards healthcare workers, information technology specialists, transitioning veterans, healthcare provider and payer executives, and high school students. Instruction will cover design and development of mobile health apps for use in healthcare, clinical management, operations, and population health-related programs. 

The Maryland HealthTech Coalition is helping lead this “Strategic Industry Partnership (SIP)," dubbed the mHealth-focused Health Tech SIP.  Tech Council of Maryland and Columbia-based Vasoptic Medical Inc., also support the initiative funded by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation under the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland initiative to develop new jobs and capabilities across industry sectors.

"In this case, EARN is targeting healthcare to boost Maryland's industrial competitiveness," says CHIDS Deputy Director Kenyon Crowley. "The use of mobile and other wireless technologies, such as smartphones, patient monitoring devices, and telehealth solutions, provide opportunities to improve patient engagement and population health management, and can extend patient care outside the traditional bounds of the clinic to the home and anywhere you take your mobile device."

UMD and HCC professors, as well as industry experts, will deliver the training through the following programs:

  • "Mobile health design and development" and "Health Information Management and Operations" both target students and professionals with some information technology expertise, including transitioning military personnel.
  • "Digital Health Strategy, Implementation and Operations" will train 10 invited healthcare and insurance executives for developing and implementing innovative new programs that leverage mobile technologies and telemedicine.
  • "Maryland Health Innovation Student Challenge: Empowering Patients and Providers with Creative + Usable Solutions" opens in January to high school students, administered with the MdBIO Foundation. Challenge semifinalists will present their work as part of the Maryland Health IT Conference & Expo Day, on June 4, 2015, representing a culmination of the overall initiative. The Challenge involves teams generating ideas and new applications and tools for improved healthcare, then pitching their prototypes and solutions to judges and peers.

"The training will work to reverse the tendency for healthcare consumers to disengage from taking care of their own health and relying on their doctors to tell them what to do," says CHIDS founding director Ritu Agarwal, Robert H. Smith Dean's Chair of Information Systems and department chair of Decision, Operations and Information Technologies. 

"Mobile technologies can flip that equation," she adds. "A healthcare system that supports engaged consumers who track and maintain information on themselves can lead to a more cost-efficient system where patients are watching out for themselves on a daily basis, and meeting with doctors only when there is a clinical need that requires expert intervention."

Maryland Labor Secretary Leonard Howie says Maryland is poised to capitalize on such a system. "This EARN Maryland-funded, mHealth-focused partnership represents an opportunity to support the growth of an emerging industry in Maryland."

"Technology is quickly transforming the healthcare industry as we know it, and we're at the forefront of bold initiatives that will give Marylanders -- and their healthcare providers -- greater access to healthcare information and services," Howie adds. "The health tech industry has emerged at the intersection of two industry sectors that have long been strengths for Maryland – information technology and health care. This new industry represents a tremendous opportunity for Maryland, and DLLR is extremely excited to be able to support this cutting edge industry through the EARN Maryland Program."

An additional resource for the mHealth initiative is the HealthTech Innovation Sandbox. The recently-launched venture with CHIDS, kloudtrak and Cisco Systems provides for healthcare, medical and life science organizations to test, research, teach and learn various innovative technologies and methodologies. 

"CHIDS is pursuing a range of research, education and innovation activities aimed at achieving the goal of a more effective and usable health system", said Crowley. "Mobile health technology is one important means to achieve this."

Sessions begin February 23rd of 2015 at UMD and HCC. Visit for details.

NBC4’s Eun Yang to Deliver December Commencement Address

November 24, 2014

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland today announced that Eun Yang – anchor of NBC4’s News4 and distinguished UMD alum – will deliver the December Commencement address on December 20. Yang is a household name and familiar face to many, providing early morning risers with an educated and informed start to their day as lead for the No. 1 news program in Washington.

Yang has led the D.C. metro community through several historic events, including the 2009 blizzards where she anchored nearly six hours of coverage, the 2002 Washington-area sniper shootings, inaugurations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass at Nationals Park.

Eun Yang

Yang is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and currently serves as a Board of Visitors member. She is an inspiration and role model to the surrounding Asian community, with such accolades as the Service Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans and the Student Role Model Award from the Korean American Scholarship Foundation. Additional awards include an induction into the Montgomery County Women’s History Archives, and Washingtonian magazine recognition as one of DC’s 100 People to Watch and D.C’s Stars of Local TV News.

“We are excited and honored to welcome Eun Yang, an admired local alumna, to the podium on December 20,” said Linda Clement, Vice President for Student Affairs. “Eun embodies a passion and spirit for the University and for the D.C. area, and through her work has gained a unique perspective on the shifting global landscape, making her a terrific candidate to prepare and inspire our students.”

Yang was born in Seoul, Korea, but relocated to the Washington area where she attended Paint Branch High School. She currently lives Washington D.C. with her husband and three children.

"Green Revolution" Changes Breathing of the Biosphere

November 21, 2014

Abby Robinson 301-405-5845

Computer model links stronger seasonal oscillations in carbon dioxide to intensive agriculture

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The intense farming practices of the "Green Revolution" are powerful enough to alter Earth's atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, boosting the seasonal amplitude in atmospheric carbon dioxide to about 15 percent over the past five decades.

The trend line of atmospheric carbon dioxide readings in Barrow, Alaska from 2003 to 2012 is superimposed on an artist’s rendering of intensive farming in the Corn Belt of the Midwestern United States. Credit: Fang Zhao and Ning Zeng/ShutterstockThat's the surprising finding of a new atmospheric model developed by University of Maryland researchers, which estimates that on average, the amplitude of the seasonal oscillation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at a rate of 0.3 percent every year. A study based on the results of the model, called VEGAS, was published Nov. 20, 2014 in the journal Nature.

"What we are seeing is the effect of the Green Revolution on Earth's metabolism," said UMD Atmospheric and Ocean Science Professor Ning Zeng, the lead developer of VEGAS, a terrestrial carbon cycle model that, for the first time, factors in changes in 20th and 21st century farming practices. "Changes in the way we manage the land can literally alter the breathing of the biosphere."

According to Zeng, this seasonal impact of modern agriculture is carbon neutral in terms of climate change. However, the huge amount of carbon that is alternately sequestered and then released by crop production, points to the potential of agricultural practices that would capture and store carbon long-term to reduce the rise in atmospheric carbon.

One current example, he says, is no-till farming -- which has been steadily increasing in the U.S., but has barely caught on in Europe, Africa or Asia. This practice results in a small part of the carbon stored in the crop biomass being incorporated permanently into the soil over time. If applied world-wide to crop land already in production, no-till farming could potentially pull a significant amount of carbon out of the atmosphere, Zeng says. Another approach to biocarbon sequestration that Zeng has been studying in recent years is the growing, harvesting and long-term storage of trees.

Scientists have known since the 1950s that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit an annual low during late summer and early fall in the Northern Hemisphere, which has a greater continental landmass than the Southern Hemisphere, and therefore has more plant life. The atmosphere's carbon dioxide level falls in spring and summer as all the hemisphere's plants reach their maximum growth, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. In the autumn, when the hemisphere's plants are decomposing and releasing stored carbon, the atmosphere's carbon dioxide levels rapidly increase.

In a set of historic observations taken continuously since 1958 at Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory, and later in other places including Barrow, Alaska, researchers have tracked these seasonal peaks and valleys, which clearly show an increase in the atmosphere's overall level of carbon dioxide, Earth's main greenhouse gas. Between 1961 and 2010, the seasonal variation has also become more extreme. Carbon dioxide levels are currently about 6 parts per million higher in the Northern Hemisphere's winter than in summer.

While the forces driving the overall increase in carbon dioxide are well understood, the reasons behind the steepening of the seasonal carbon dioxide cycle are harder to pin down. Because plants breathe in carbon dioxide, higher atmospheric levels of the gas can stimulate plant growth, and this so-called "carbon dioxide fertilization effect" probably plays a role. Climate scientists also point to the warming in the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes that makes plants grow better in cold regions as an important factor. But even taken together, those factors cannot fully account for the trend and spatial patterns toward increasing seasonal change, said Zeng.

Zeng points out that between 1961 and 2010, the amount of land planted with major crops grew by 20 percent, but crop production tripled. The combination of factors known as the Green Revolution—improved irrigation, increased use of manufactured fertilizer, and higher-yield strains of corn, wheat, rice and other crops—must have led not only to increased crop productivity, but also to increases in plants' seasonal growth and decay and the amount of carbon dioxide they release to the atmosphere, he reasoned.

UMD graduate student Fang Zhao and other collaborators worked with Zeng, who developed the first of several versions of the VEGAS model in 2000, to add information on worldwide crop production. The researchers combined country-by-country statistics collected yearly by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) with climate data and observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from several sites. To ensure that their results did not overstate the Green Revolution's effect, the researchers ran their model using an estimate of worldwide crop production slightly lower than the FAO statistics.

Once the Green Revolution was factored in, VEGAS' results generally tracked the actual carbon dioxide peaks and valleys recorded at Mauna Loa. Between 1975 and 1985, carbon dioxide levels rose faster at Mauna Loa than they did in the model, but this could be due to regional weather patterns, Zeng said.

Other atmospheric models factor in changes in land use, from natural vegetation to cropland, Zeng said, but the VEGAS results described in Nature are the first to track the effect of changes in the intensity of farming methods. There are still many unknowns. For example, the Green Revolution has not affected all parts of the world equally, and there isn't enough detailed information about changing farming practices over the past 50 years to build those detailed variations into the model.

"We dealt with the unknowns by keeping it simple," said Zeng. "My education was mostly in physics, and physicists are brave about making the simplifying assumptions you have to make to reach a general understanding of some important force. Our goal was simply to represent the intensification of agriculture in a model of the carbon cycle, and we have accomplished that."

In addition to Zeng and Zhao, also supporting this research were UMD researchers Eugenia Kalnay, Distinguished University Professor in atmospheric and oceanic science and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology; and Ross Salawitch, a professor with appointments in atmospheric and oceanic science, chemistry and biochemistry, and the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.

Cole Field House: Where Tradition Meets Innovation

November 21, 2014

The University of Maryland unveiled the vision for a dynamic academic, research and athletic facility in Cole Field House. The $155 million project will renovate and expand Cole Field House to include the Terrapin Performance Center, the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance and the future home of the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

University of Maryland Unveils New Vision for Cole Field House

November 21, 2014

Brian Ullmann 301-314-6650
Zack Bolno 301-314-1482

Under Armour founder and alum Kevin Plank to contribute $25 million to launch nation’s preeminent academic, research and athletic facility

Cole Field HouseCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland today officially unveiled the vision for a dynamic academic, research and athletic facility in Cole Field House.  The $155 million project will renovate and expand Cole Field House to include the Terrapin Performance Center, the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance and the future home of the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The University of Maryland also announced a gift of $25 million from Under Armour founder and CEO and UMD alum Kevin Plank in support of the new Cole Field House.

“The new Cole Field House is not just an important project for Maryland Athletics, it is a signature project for our entire institution,” said President Wallace D. Loh.  “For our students, faculty, staff and alumni, this project will be a point of pride, and a reminder of the world-class athletics, groundbreaking research and innovative academics here at the University of Maryland.”

“This project brings together two of my favorite passions, Maryland athletics and entrepreneurship,” said Kevin Plank.  “The lessons I learned on the football field in College Park continue to fuel my entrepreneurial spirit and shape my professional approach.  By fostering a generation of entrepreneurial-minded young adults, we are preparing our students not just for the next four years, but for many years to come.”

The Terrapin Performance Center will include a dynamic indoor football practice facility, strength and conditioning facilities, team locker room, meeting rooms and offices.  Two outdoor turf fields will be also be constructed on the west end of the facility.  The fields will also be made available to all UMD students for intramural sports.

“The Terrapin Performance Center will enhance our overall student-athlete experience both on and off the field,” said Kevin Anderson, director of athletics.  “By providing them with a world- class practice, training and strength and conditioning facility, as well as expansive meeting space, our student-athletes will boast a competitive advantage as new members of the Big Ten Conference. The presence of the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, coupled with the best sports medicine program in the country, will provide our student-athletes with unparalleled opportunities for success.”

The Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance is a collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  The Center will advance the discovery of innovative diagnostics and treatments and will have dedicated research laboratory space focused on concussion and traumatic brain injuries, muscle-brain physiology and biochemistry, exoskeleton-robotic treatments and medical biomechanics.

The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, co-located in the new Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, will serve as the central home for university-wide entrepreneurial curricula, activities, competitions and programs.  It will include an Innovation Shell, a hybrid incubator-classroom space designed for students to build their projects, and a rapid prototyping lab.  It will also include a shared marketplace where student incubator companies can market and test their products and services.

The $155 million project will be funded by $105 million in private philanthropy and rental income, with $25 million in support from the State of Maryland.  The University of Maryland will also direct $25 million from Big Ten revenues towards the project.

Pending full Board of Regents approval in December, the University plans to begin design in May 2015, begin construction in December 2015, complete construction of Phase I (Terrapin Performance Center) in April 2017, and complete construction of Phase II in June 2018. 

For video, images and additional details about the Cole Field House project, please visit

University of Maryland Breaks Ground for A. James Clark Hall

November 21, 2014

Elise Carbonaro 301-405-6501

New building to serve as hub for human health innovation in the state of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering today will host the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new A. James Clark Hall at the University of Maryland, College Park. The new building will cultivate transformative new engineering and biomedical technologies to accelerate advancements in human health.

Clark Hall renderingTaking place at 10:00 a.m. on November 21 at the site of the new building in the Paint Branch Parking Lot, adjacent to the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, the event will bring together honored guests, dignitaries, and representatives of the University of Maryland and University System of Maryland to celebrate the impact Clark Hall will have on the advancement of biomedical research.

"Our researchers are hard at work on biomedical projects that are staggering in their potential impact—a cure for multiple sclerosis, a cancer vaccine, a magnetic pain reduction system and many others," said University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "When complete, this new building will give them the space and facilities to finish the job."

The 184,000-square-foot building will accommodate the Clark School's rapidly growing programs and foster collaboration among the many disciplines involved with human health innovation, from bioengineering and mechanical engineering to biology and information technology. 

"I'm proud that Maryland continues to be a leader in the biotech industry, and the A. James Clark Hall will help us continue to build the skilled workforce we need to remain competitive, support groundbreaking advances in the biomedical and engineering fields, and attract additional economic opportunities," stated Congressman Steny Hoyer. "This world-class facility will not only attract faculty and students, but it will also ensure that the University of Maryland remains at the forefront of engineering and biomedical technologies to advance human health innovation. I look forward to the new opportunities for federal research partnerships and will continue to support significant research advancements at the University of Maryland and throughout our great state."

Clark Hall renderingClark Hall will facilitate world-class research and educational programs, offering state-of-the-art laboratories, student project space, and a new home for the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices. Located within an hour's drive from many of the nation's top bioscience research forces, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Clark Hall will serve as a central hub for new partnerships for organizations throughout the Maryland and Washington, D.C. region.

"This new start-of-the-art facility for bioengineering research and education will attract exceptional faculty and students to Maryland, support leading edge research and education, and benefit the state of Maryland's innovation ecosystem through the creation of new companies and new jobs," said University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan.

While the vision, design, and development of Clark Hall brought together the minds of University of Maryland and Clark School administrators, faculty, and staff, as well as a team of talented architects and builders, the plans could not be executed without the generosity of two benefactors – A. James Clark (B.S. '50) and Dr. Robert E. Fischell (M.S. '53, Honorary Sc.D. '95).

Clark's steadfast commitment to undergraduate education moved him to endow a fund for undergraduate scholarships in 1994, and in 2005, a new A. James Clark Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to undergraduate engineering students based on merit, need, and diversity. In recognition of Clark's philanthropic leadership, the University of Maryland School of Engineering was named the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Inspired by his strong interest in the promise of biosciences and biotechnology, Clark made a generous gift to support the design and construction of A. James Clark Hall, which will be the 27th structure built by Clark Construction on the University of Maryland campus.

"Mr. Clark's contribution to this new building and the University of Maryland is not only a symbol of commitment to his alma mater, but a symbol of his vision for the future of human health," said Darryll Pines, Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor.

Fischell is the inventor behind major medical breakthroughs, including highly flexible, drug-eluding coronary stents, the first implantable insulin pump, and a magnetic pulse device for treating human pain ranging from migraine headaches to backaches. His latest inventions include the first rechargeable pacemaker for cardiac patients, an implantable device that warns a patient and medical personnel of a heart attack at the very first sign of its start, and a neurostimulator implanted in the skull that can detect abnormal electrical activity in the brain and correct it before a seizure occurs.

In 2005, Fischell and his family helped to establish the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the future Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices at the University of Maryland, and, most recently, Fischell committed a generous gift toward the establishment of A. James Clark Hall.

"Dr. Fischell's commitment to the commercialization of health innovations has made an enormous impact on society, and the Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices will help our students and faculty to take part in the improvement of human health worldwide," said William Bentley, the Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Chair of the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.

Slated to open in 2017, Clark Hall was designed by a team of architects at Ballinger and will be developed by Clark Construction Group.

UMD Student Leaders Named National University Innovation Fellows

November 19, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Fellows' Accomplishments and Vision for Future Featured on White House Blog

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month and Global Entrepreneurship Week, the University of Maryland (UMD) is proud to announce that three students have been named University Innovation Fellows (UIFs) by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). Mackenzie Burnett, Jordan Greenwald, and Ashmi Sheth are three of only 65 university students from 45 higher education institutions across the United States to be chosen as fellows this semester, the third semester in a row a UMD student has earned the distinction. They join fellow UMD Innovation Fellows Valerie Sherry, Atin Mittra, and Meenu Singh in the University Innovation Fellows Leadership Circle, a pilot program at select universities with teams of UIFs endorsed directly by their university presidents. 

Mackenzie BurnettThe University Innovation Fellows are a network of student leaders working to create lasting institutional change that will increase student engagement with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation. The program is part of a national movement to help all students gain the attitudes, skills and knowledge required for them to compete in the economy of the future.

The UMD UIF Leadership Circle has already made great strides in expanding UMD’s innovation and entrepreneurship landscape.

The UMD Leadership Circle also hosted the first ever UIF Mid-Atlantic Regional Meetup bringing together 40 UIFs from other campuses around the country to UMD and D.C. to discuss creative collisions, which according to UIF Meenu Singh, means infusing “traditional innovation and entrepreneurship tools and methods into a variety of facets of student life.” The energy and creativity of the regional meetup was contagious and each UIF from around the country left UMD with a spark of innovation to implement on their campus.  The recent meetup was even featured in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog for National Entrepreneurship Month.

Ashmi ShethThe UIF program inspires current fellow Jordan Greenwald "because you not only get to interact with innovative students from around the country, but you have the opportunity to learn design thinking and the lean start up model. It’s a great way to see what other universities are doing in the way of entrepreneurship and innovation and connect with students from around the country.” Jordan recently founded a student club, the Entrepreneurship Connector, and is currently focused on building his clothing company. Jordan is implementing the skills learned from this UIF training to his business through customer discovery, experimentation and rapid iteration.

As part of the UIF training, the fellows do an analysis of their campus innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Both Ashmi Sheth and Mackenzie Burnett saw a need to unify those resources and are currently working on how to bring student innovation and entrepreneurship groups together on campus in better and more creative ways.

Jordan GreenwaldUMD prides itself as a pioneer in educating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, ranked as one of the nation's top public schools in the U.S. for entrepreneurship and innovation. The Princeton Review ranked UMD No. 9 among public universities and No. 21 overall for its undergraduate entrepreneurship program. The university was also recognized as No. 1 among public universities and No. 2 overall for tech entrepreneurship by the 2013 StartEngine College Index.

Epicenter is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

Learn more about the University Innovation Fellows program at

Michael R. Poterala Tapped to Lead UMD's Legal Affairs

November 19, 2014

Crystal Brown,

Michael R. PoteralaCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Michael R. Poterala as the new Vice President and General Counsel for the university. Poterala joins UMD from North Carolina State University and will officially start at Maryland in January 2015.

“Michael is a rare find,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “He helps clients solve problems without being over-protective, has strong innovative and entrepreneurial instincts, while remaining mindful of the law and risk management. He is a welcome addition to campus.”

"Major public research institutions today operate in a dynamic environment characterized by funding challenges, disruptive technologies, changing metrics and intense competition for federal and industrial support," says Poterala. "I am pleased to be joining the University of Maryland to provide President Loh and everyone at the university with the counsel and support they need to maintain UMD's status as a leader among its peers."

Poterala has served as NC State's Deputy General Counsel since 2011. During his tenure at NC State, Poterala was the lead attorney for the largest sponsored research agreement in the university's history, created a campus-wide organizational compliance program, and facilitated the formation of the Leaders in Nonwovens Commercialization, LLC, an affiliated entity that generated $3.8 million in revenue in its first year of operation. Poterala was also the chair of a panel that advised student-athletes and their families to facilitate a successful transition to a professional sports career.

Previously, he worked for 13 years at Michigan State University in various roles, including associate general counsel, visiting professor of law, assistant vice president for research and graduate studies, and executive director of MSU Technologies. At MSU, Poterala was tasked with revamping the university's tech commercialization operations. He oversaw growing the office, licensing technologies that produced over $16 million in total revenue, and reducing legal expenses. Poterala also represented MSU in the creation of the Big Ten Network.

Prior to academe, Poterala worked in two prominent Detroit law firms for 10 years, representing clients in state and federal courts in a wide variety of civil litigation. Poterala served most notably as the Michigan general counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America, which honored him in 1998 for outstanding achievement in investigating and prosecuting film, video and television piracy.

Poterala also served for several years as an elected board member and president of the Northville Public Schools Board of Education in Michigan.

He received his undergraduate degree in finance and law degree from Georgetown University.


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