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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Notice Regarding Fireworks Display on Oct. 11 at 10 p.m.

October 8, 2014

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - As part of the University of Maryland’s homecoming celebrations, there will be a fireworks display on Saturday, October 11 beginning at 10 p.m. on campus. Please be advised that there will be loud noises and crowds in and around College Park due to the fireworks display.

For additional information regarding UMD’s homecoming celebrations, please visit

Two Days, $1.5 Million in Free Dental Care at UMD

October 8, 2014

UMD’s XFINITY Center was transformed into a mobile dental clinic to provide $1.5 million of free dental care and preventive health services to more than 1,000 underserved, uninsured, and underinsured adults at the Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival.

Washington Post and UMD to take the Pulse of Maryland Voters

October 7, 2014

Laura Ours 301-405-5722

Public event at UMD on October 29 will explore issues highlighted in the poll

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland announced today that it is partnering with The Washington Post to poll voters on key social and election-related issues in the state of Maryland. The partnership combines the world-class reporting, polling and public engagement resources of The Post with rigorous academic analysis from UMD’s nationally-renowned Department of Government and Politics.

“The University of Maryland is uniquely positioned to conduct sophisticated data analysis and information visualization,” said Vice President of Research and Chief Research Officer Patrick O’Shea. “With top programs in business, journalism, social, computer, and information sciences, and a location just miles from our nation’s capital, a Washington Post-University of Maryland polling partnership is a natural fit.”

The Washington Post-University of Maryland Poll is designed to provide academics, students and members of the public with insight into both key races and the issues that matter to Maryland voters.

In early October the first iteration of the poll gauged participant views on key topics including: immigration, taxes, education, gay marriage, abortion, job creation and healthcare. Participants were also asked about how race affects their voting decisions, and their perceptions of Gov. O’Malley. The poll also indicated that Brown holds a nine-point lead over Hogan in the Maryland governor's race.

The poll was conducted Oct. 2-5 among a random sampling of 1,005 adult residents of the state of Maryland via live interviews by both conventional and cellular phones. The poll has a plus- or minus- 3.5 percentage point margin of error. Sampling, data collection and tabulation was conducted by Abt-SRBI of New York, New York. The University of Maryland plays a key role in making this information publicly accessible and utilizing it as an educational tool.

Poll Art

"The Washington Post-University of Maryland Poll promises to be very beneficial for the citizens of the state of Maryland. The poll will deliver timely political and policy information. It will also provide an opportunity for us to more thoroughly asses the issues that matter to the state and offer potential explanations and solutions to the most pressing problems,” said Associate Professor of Government and Politics Stella Rouse. “This collaboration will hopefully help bridge the communication gap that sometimes exists between research-based information and relevant public news.”

In addition to its impact as a public education tool, the poll also represents a unique research opportunity for UMD students.

"The poll will advance our research, enrich students’ classroom experiences by allowing them to engage in the design of the questions and analysis of the data, and enhance our ability to provide the public with information on Maryland politics and policy," Associate Professor of Government and Politics Michael Hanmer said.

Professors Rouse and Hanmer also are assistant director and research director, respectively, for The Center for American Politics and Citizenship (CAPC), a nonpartisan, nonprofit research institution at the University of Maryland which addresses major issues of governance. They have worked with students affiliated with CAPC on the design of the poll questions and the analysis of its responses.

The poll is directed by Peyton M. Craighill, The Post’s polling manager, and Scott Clement, a polling survey research analyst for The Post.

“By partnering with the University of Maryland, we’re able to produce more high-quality polls that serve the interest of our readers by providing a better understanding of public opinion in Maryland,” said Craighill. “The partnership also offers offer a unique opportunity for students to gain practical experience in the art and science of polling.”

Post staffers and UMD faculty members will participate in a special event at the University of Maryland to further discuss the poll and related results. The event will be moderated by Al From, founder and former CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council, author of The New Democrats and the Return to Power and member of the CAPC Advisory Board.

Click here for more details about the event.

UMD Professor Receives $1.9M to Study Cell "Glue" Important in Disease

October 6, 2014

Contact: Sara Gavin, (301) 405-9235

COLLEGE PARK – Lisa Taneyhill, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, has been awarded a $1.9 million research grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Using chick embryos, Taneyhill and her colleagues will try to uncover how two different cell types migrate and adhere to each other to form the cranial ganglia – a cluster of nerve cells responsible for receiving sensory information like taste, touch and smell. These cellular interactions are critical throughout embryonic and adult development to form new tissues and organs, with abnormalities resulting in animal and human diseases or defects such as certain cancers, cleft palate and heart conditions

Lisa Taneyhill, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, has been awarded a $1.9 million research grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).“Essentially, we’re looking at the proteins – or the ‘glue’ – that keeps these two cell types together,” explains Taneyhill. “If we are able to figure out why and how these cells interact, it will give us insight into how other tissues are formed and could even lead to advances in therapies based on organ repair and regeneration.”

Employing deep sequencing technology, Taneyhill and her research team will use incubated chicken eggs to identify new genes that control cell movement and interactions in embryos at different stages of development.

“Chick embryo development is very similar to human embryo development,” says Taneyhill. “This will give us a snapshot over different time periods into what is happening in the forming cranial ganglia. No one has really done this before at such an early time in embryo development.”

Taneyhill, who was trained as a cancer biologist, says this project could serve as “an excellent model for cancer research, particularly how cancer cells become invasive” because cancer cells can act similarly to those she will be studying inside the chick embryos. The grant from the NIH will fund five years of research on this subject.

UMD Clark School to Host Mpact Week: Disaster Resilience

October 3, 2014

Elise Carbonaro 301-405-6501

MpactCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering will host its second annual Mpact Week, a five-day event showcasing research, education, and innovations, October 16-22, 2014, on its College Park campus. This year’s theme is Disaster Resilience and the role engineers play in developing innovative solutions to help prevent, mitigate, and respond to disasters.

In the last decade, an increasing number of natural and human-caused disasters have led to major financial losses and human casualties across the globe. In 1953, there were 13 federal disaster declarations issued. A half century later, that annual number has quadrupled. Last year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued more than one major disaster declaration per week. Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, Superstorm Sandy, and Typhoon Haiyan have cost billions in damage and killed thousands, and a lack of preparedness for these disasters has made the losses worse.

Clark School of Engineering researchers are actively engaged in initiatives to help our national and international communities prepare for disaster scenarios, addressing areas as far-reaching as coastal infrastructure, fire resilience, energy, pandemic outbreaks, cybersecurity, unmanned aircraft systems, and other technologies aimed at providing solutions to disaster resilience applications.

Mpact Week will feature insightful presentations and remarks from distinguished scholars, experts, and thought leaders from the White House, FEMA, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of Illinois, the Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, as well as the University of Maryland, regarding the power of research and innovation to help address these international challenges. Mpact Week events are co-sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Big Ten Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and the University of Maryland Division of Research.

View a schedule of events

UMD Releases Digital Forensic Software for Libraries

October 2, 2014

Nicky Everette 301-405-6714

BitCurator COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland (UMD) in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) announced the release of BitCurator 1.0, a free, open-source digital forensic software environment that supports libraries, archives and museums in their efforts to acquire, preserve and archive materials that originate in a digital form.

BitCurator 1.0 is the culmination of a three-year partnership between UMD's Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and UNC's School of Information and Library Science (SILS). The project was made possible through funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"This is an exciting milestone," says Christopher Lee, principal investigator for the BitCurator project and associate professor at SILS. "Although there are already numerous collecting institutions across the globe using BitCurator, the release of version 1.0 is a further sign of the software's maturity."

Matthew Kirschenbaum, co-principle investigator for the project and associate director at MITH, agreed.

"There is now widespread recognition that digital forensics methods and tools have a significant role in the cultural heritage sector," he said. "With the release of BitCurator 1.0, collecting professionals now have convenient access to a range of open source, digital forensics tools to assist in the processing of born-digital and hybrid collections."

Among its many functionalities, the BitCurator environment allows individuals to create forensic-quality copies of data stored on digital media, scan computer disks for private or sensitive information, generate technical metadata reports (file names, types and access times) and recover deleted files. 

Future support for the BitCurator project will live in the associated user community known as the BitCurator Consortium (BCC) —an independent, community-led membership association that will serve as the host and center of administrative, user and community support.

The University of Maryland Libraries joined the BCC as charter members.

"The challenges involved in preserving digital media and the content stored on them are numerous," says Jennie Knies, Manager of Digital Programs and Initiatives for the UMD Libraries.  "BitCurator is a fully contained system that employs easy-to-use interfaces to allow for some standard activities necessary for copying, reading and curating digital media."

More information is available at BitCurator software, documentation and instructional materials can be downloaded from  Join the conversation on the BitCurator users list or @bitcurator on Twitter.

University of Maryland Expands "Innovation Fridays"

October 1, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Day-Long Activities Inspire Students to Flex Innovation Muscles

Innovation Fridays

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland is transforming its popular "Innovation Fridays," which began as weekly pitch sessions, into a full day of innovation activities to help students discover and explore, pitch and refine, and prototype and build their fearless ideas.

New to Innovation Fridays this year, the university is launching WhatIF, weekly gatherings that bring the UMD community together to discover and reimagine topics that students care about. The topics vary each week based on feedback directly from UMD students and span different subjects like sustainability, campus traditions, fashion, and campus safety. Each week, students all over campus will be asked to brainstorm unexpected solutions to questions such as, "How might we make fashion a part of the curriculum at UMD?" or "How might be increase sustainability efforts on campus?" Whether physically present or not, the entire UMD community can participate in the WhatIF series by following #whatifumd on social media to see what others are saying and engage in the conversation. 

WhatIF Fashion"For students who may not have ideas for a business but still want to try flexing their innovation muscles, they can spontaneously jump into these weekly ‘design scrums’ with other students of all majors from all over campus," says Dean Chang, UMD's associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship. "Innovation Fridays now allows every UMD student to dip a toe into innovation and entrepreneurship by discovering and exploring their fearless ideas and asking ‘What If’?"

The university will also continue its pitch sessions, now called PitchUMD, which give students the opportunity to meet with successful entrepreneurs, and get feedback and advice on strategy, testing, funding and landing their idea in the world. PitchUMD includes:

  • Pitch Dingman: Meet with entrepreneurs-in-residence from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship to talk about business ideas.
  • Pitch Impact: Meet with social entrepreneurs-in-residence and advisors from the Center for Social Value Creation and the Center for Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership to discuss a social impact idea.
  • Pitch Mtech: Meet with experienced entrepreneurs from Mtech Ventures along with fellow students from the Startup Shell to talk about technology ideas and discover what students entrepreneurs are working on.

John and Stella Graves MakerSpaceAlso this year, students will have access to the new "John and Stella Graves MakerSpace" in McKeldin Library where students can use technology and tools to create prototypes, experiment and learn using 3D printers, vinyl cutters, soldering kits and more.

Innovation Fridays aligns with UMD's ongoing commitment to creating a university-wide culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, providing a collection of signature resources now available across the entire campus for all students.

UMD prides itself as a pioneer in educating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, ranked as one of the nation's top schools for entrepreneurship and innovation. In the Princeton Review's 2015 “Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs" list, UMD ranks No. 9 among public schools and No. 21 overall for its undergraduate program. The university was also recognized as No. 1 among public universities No. 2 overall for tech entrepreneurship by the 2013 StartEngine College Index.

The University of Maryland offers 141 innovation and entrepreneurship courses taught by 103 faculty representing 34 different campus departments; and UMD students have access to more than 21 innovation and entrepreneurship mentoring programs involving more than 113 external mentors. There are 16 different business, innovation and seed fund competitions for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators with cash prizes in excess of $850,000. The university also celebrates I&E during its annual '30 Days of EnTERPreneurship' and offers the #1 Entrepreneurship MOOC on Coursera with over 400,000 cumulative worldwide enrollments.

Innovation Fridays is a collaboration between the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Mtech, the Center for Social Value Creation, the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership, the Libraries, and the Startup Shell.

For more information on the university's resources for innovators across campus, visit  

UMD Coalition Forges Community Strategy for Purple Line Corridor

September 30, 2014

Maggie Haslam 202-258-8946

Purple Line Community Compact will create a plan for vibrant economic development and community preservation

COLLEGE PARK, Md. —The Purple Line Corridor Coalition, a partnership of regional stakeholders formed by the University of Maryland's National Center for Smart Growth, has initiated a plan with officials from the State of Maryland, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties to develop a blueprint for prosperous development and preservation along the MTA's proposed Purple Line Transit Line. The Purple Line Community Compact will articulate a livability strategy designed to foster vibrant economic and community development for those who live and work along the 16-mile corridor.

PLCC Symposium"The Purple Line Community Compact represents the next step in a coordinated effort to promote the economic development, small business growth, cultural preservation, and long-term sustainability of transit corridor communities," said Gerrit Knaap, Director of UMD's National Center for Smart Growth. "This is an enormous investment by the MTA and an incredible opportunity for the communities that line the corridor."

The Purple Line Community Compact will present a common vision for the future of the corridor—revitalizing and stabilizing mixed income neighborhoods, preserving community assets, supporting small businesses, connecting workers to jobs and creating healthy and vibrant communities—and a strategy for achieving that vision.  In addition, the compact represents an opportunity to leverage the funding, construction and operation of the Purple Line to achieve benefits throughout the communities along its route. The compact serves as a continuation of efforts forged at March's Purple Line Corridor Coalition Symposium, "Beyond the Tracks" which brought over 250 regional leaders and stakeholders to UMD's campus to discuss strategies for community development and preservation along the corridor.

"This agreement is a critical step in moving the Purple Line project forward -- a project that ensures more transportation options for Prince George's and Montgomery counties and creates sustainable, family-supporting jobs for more Maryland families and connected communities," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Working together with our dynamic coalition of stakeholders, non-profits, business interests, and many others, we'll establish a 21st century transportation network worthy of a modern economy and secure a better transportation future for our State."

"This compact will be an important part of building a comprehensive and sustainable strategy for the communities along the Purple Line, which is going to bring 60,000 riders a day back and forth between Montgomery and Prince George's Counties while creating over 10,000 jobs for Maryland's workers," said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. "By partnering with County leaders, local businesses, residents, and community organizations, we'll ensure that we're strengthening all of our neighborhoods while helping to grow our economy."

PLCC SymposiumModeled after other compacts written in Seattle and Baltimore as part of major transit projects, the compact will be developed through an inclusive public process in the form of community workshops, led by committed partners invested in the corridor. The workshops will encourage attendees to participate in activities designed to provide input for the contents of the Purple Line Compact. Leaders are encouraged to attend both workshops to contribute at every stage of the compact development. 

Learn about workshop dates and details here.

"The Purple Line ranks as one of the most significant public infrastructure projects of our day," said Rushern Baker, Prince George's County Executive. "This multi-billion dollar effort will reflect the collective vision of an east-west public transit connector that will revitalize and grow our communities for future generations of Prince Georgians."

"Montgomery County is committed to moving the Purple Line forward in a way consistent with job creation and maintaining and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods," said Ike Leggett, Montgomery County Executive.

Governor O'Malley and representatives from Montgomery County, Prince Georges' County and the PLCC are expected to sign the compact by year's end.  Cities, towns, community organizations and stakeholder groups across the corridor also will be encouraged to sign the compact.

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition was formed in June 2013 by the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland and represents stakeholders from communities, nonprofits and businesses along the Purple Line corridor. The PLCC's mission is to ensure that investments in the Purple Line will achieve the maximum economic, social, and environmental benefits to the residents and businesses of the corridor.


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