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Thursday, October 30, 2014

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UMD Named Top 20 Public University by U.S. News

September 9, 2014
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Best CollegesCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has been ranked No. 20 among national public universities in the 2015 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, released today. This is the 12th year that the university has been ranked in the top 20.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business was ranked 21st nationally, with six specialties ranked in the top 25:

  • Management information systems ranked 6th,
  • Supply chain management/logistics 9th,
  • Entrepreneurship 13th,
  • Management 14th,
  • Marketing 17th, and
  • Finance 25th.

In addition, the A. James Clark School of Engineering was ranked 22nd nationally. Its aerospace engineering specialty ranked 10th and mechanical engineering specialty ranked 21st.

The university was also touted by U.S. News for its first-year freshmen experience and learning communities.

The full U.S. News rankings are available at http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges.

World-Renowned Arts Management Institute Opens at UMD

September 8, 2014
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson 301-405-4622

'American Cities' Program to Expand to Baltimore and Los Angeles in 2015
DeVos Institute and UMD Faculty to Partner on Study of Diversity and Technology in the Arts

Michael M. KaiserCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The world-renowned DeVos Institute of Arts Management, a premier organization for training and supporting arts leadership, officially opened at the University of Maryland. Michael M. Kaiser, a foremost expert in arts management and former president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, together with Institute president Brett Egan, will lead the DeVos Institute at UMD.

UMD and the DeVos Institute today announced two major initiatives:  Expansion of the 'American Cities' program; and the launch of a pair of projects to study two pressing issues facing arts communities around the globe.

The "American Cities" program, launched by the DeVos Institute in such cities as Miami, Detroit and New York City, provides an in-depth two-year arts management training in select American cities.  Beginning in February 2015, the program will launch in Baltimore.  Together with partners including the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Maryland Humanities Council, the program will include seminars, webinars, and consultations for managers and board members of leading arts institutions in Baltimore.  The "American Cities" program will also expand to Los Angeles in late 2015.

Brett EganThe DeVos Institute will also commence work on two major studies in close collaboration with UMD faculty: Diversity in the Arts and Technology in the Arts. 

"Our new home at the University of Maryland permits the DeVos Institute to work with talented faculty and staff on these critical issues that challenge our field," said Kaiser.  "Through dialogues with industry leaders and a series of academic forums, we will focus on the challenges facing African American and Latino arts institutions throughout the United States today.  We will also be exploring the ways new technologies are affecting arts institutions, including the way we make our art and the ways we market our programs.  We are thrilled to join such a vibrant academic community."

"The University of Maryland prides itself on having outstanding arts programs, and the addition of the DeVos Institute will provide an incredible boost for our students, faculty and staff," said President Wallace D. Loh.  "We are all looking forward to developing partnerships and connections between the Institute and our faculty in a wide range of disciplines."

The DeVos Institute will also work closely with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the College of Arts and Humanities and other campus units on an international fellowship program, student internships at the Institute, and a planned series of seminars for the campus community.  The DeVos Institute and UMD will soon begin exploring the possibility of a master's program in arts management.

Founded by Kaiser in 2001 after he became president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the DeVos Institute trains, supports and empowers arts managers and their boards. It has advised thousands of individuals, organizations, governments and foundations throughout the United States and in over 80 countries on six continents.  The DeVos Institute's offices, staff, and leadership team will have offices in the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC. 

Additional information about the DeVos Institute is available at www.DeVosInstitute.umd.edu.

UMD, Catholic Charities to Deliver $1 Million in Free Dental Care

September 5, 2014
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown, UMD, 301-405-4621
Kester Williams, UMD, 301-405-8859
Erik Salmik, Catholic Charities, 202-772-4390
Tony Burke, Catholic Charities, 202-772-4312

State of the Art Dental and Healthcare Services for 1,000 Patients

Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy (MOM) & Health Equity FestivalCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland (UMD) Terrapins' basketball court at the XFINITY Center (formerly the Comcast Center), will transform into a mobile dental clinic with 100 dental chairs, to provide $1 million of free dental care to more than 1,000 underserved, uninsured, and underinsured adults. The dental clinic is part of the two-day Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival, sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equity (M-CHE) (a NIH-NIMHD Center of Excellence on Race, Ethnicity and Disparities Research), Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Maryland State Dental Association, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna and DentaQuest.

Since the death of Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy from Prince George's County who died in 2007 from an untreated dental infection, the state of Maryland has seen improvements in its oral health programs and policies. There remains a great need for dental services, however, especially for adults. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports that for 2012 almost 20 percent of Maryland residents surveyed had not visited a dentist within the past five years and seven percent had not visited a dentist in more than five years.

On September 5 and 6, approximately 800 volunteers, including licensed dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants, will provide state of the art dental services, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals and oral hygiene education.

“The Maryland Center for Health Equity’s goal for this event is not only to serve people in need of emergency dental care but also to connect people in great need to quality healthcare.  Ultimately, the aim is to empower people to take control of their own health,” said Professor Stephen B. Thomas, from the School of Public Health Department of Health Services Administration and Founding Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, a NIH Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  The event also helps to achieve the Federal Healthy People 2020’s oral health objectives to increase awareness of the importance of oral health to overall health and well-being, and reduce disparities in access to effective preventive and dental treatment services.

This is the first time that Catholic Charities is convening a Mission of Mercy (MOM) project on a university campus with an academic research partner, and adding a health promotion component that addresses the broader physical and social determinants of health. “I’m so excited to see so many individuals from our community receive the gift of free dental care. All of this could not take place without the support of so many, especially our local dentists and dental hygienists," said Monsignor John Enzler of Catholic Charities. “This will be a remarkable experience for the givers and receivers. Catholic Charities is thrilled to be a part of the Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival.”

While the Affordable Care Act provides dental coverage for children and for pregnant women in Maryland, most adults still lack dental coverage. In Prince George's County, a vast number of these adults are low-income, immigrants, African-American or Hispanic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, although most oral diseases are preventable, many individuals do not seek dental services for reasons such as: cost, lack of dental insurance, lack of access to dental services, fear of dental procedures or lack of awareness.

“Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA), through its many volunteer endeavors, recognizes a greater need for access to care issues for many of the underserved in our communities. Maryland has been recognized as a leader in providing access to care to the needy. Our volunteer dentists spend huge resources to put on our Mission of Mercy events throughout the state,” said Dr. Tristam Kruger, Editor of the Journal of the Maryland State Dental Association. “Each MOM event is staffed with caring doctors and others who treat the many thousands of people who come seeking care at no costs to the patient. Donated Dental Services is another way MSDA volunteer dentists treat patients for no charge – right in the volunteer dentist’s office. There are no perfect solutions to access to care issues, but Maryland dentists (and surrounding jurisdictions) are addressing the problems and getting care to those who need it most,” he said.

“The Mission of Mercy is an opportunity to promote inter-institutional collaboration and inter-professional education,” said Professor Jane E. Clark, Dean of the School of Public Health. “This event will advance a better state of health by providing access to high-quality dental care and health promotion services for Maryland’s vulnerable populations,” she said. 

The Health Equity Festival represents a collaborative effort of academic, state and county agencies, area hospitals, healthcare facilities, managed care and community-based organizations that will offer the following additional services:

  • Health promotion and disease prevention screenings (hepatitis C, diabetes, HIV, and vision),
  • Evidence-based chronic disease management information for people with chronic diseases,
  • Assistance in understanding and navigating the Maryland Health Connection Insurance Program,
  • Health literacy,
  • Legal assistance for medical debt, and
  • Other social and mental health service resources.

Choirs from UMD's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and Department of Music will also perform live singing and music throughout the day to create a gracious space designed to promote stress reduction and healing.

“In addition to the oral health challenges, many of the individuals that will receive care also face other social, economic, and health issues that may include diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.  We want to make sure that we are addressing some of the other diseases and issues that people may have, by offering health screenings, medical debt counseling, and other types of wraparound services,” said Professor Thomas.  “And none of this would be feasible without the many volunteers and partners that have come together to make this event possible.  It is a remarkable demonstration of what we can do as a community when we advance cooperation over competition in the delivery of lifesaving health services for our most vulnerable neighbors,” he said.

Care will be provided from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

“At Cigna, we are committed to improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. We are proud to work together with community partners to help provide critical oral care to those in need, educate individuals about good preventive care habits and enhance their overall health,” said Julia Huggins, president for Cigna in Maryland.

SiriusXM’s Joe Madison will broadcast his national, daily show live from the XFINITY Center from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EST.  The host will interview local, state, and national leaders, scientists, medical and public health professionals, academicians, dentists, patients, community advocates and others, about various dental care and health disparity issues. SiriusXM Urban View can be heard on channel 126, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. 

Follow the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival on twitter with #missionofmercy. For additional information, visit: http://sph.umd.edu/center/che.

Statement from UMD Regarding 09/03/14 Incident at Main Administration Building

September 4, 2014
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4621

Yesterday, the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) received an anonymous phone call reporting an armed individual holding a hostage at gunpoint inside the Main Administration Building. Our officers responded immediately and followed police protocol to evacuate and safeguard the building against the potential threat. After completing a sweep of the building, it was determined that the threat was unfounded and an all clear was issued. The ongoing investigation of this incident has revealed that the call was placed from an internet based line and linked to a social media account in which numerous "fake" incidents in the area, including the University of Maryland, were mentioned. This incident is still under investigation and when available updates will be posted on-line at http://www.umpdnews.umd.edu.

UMD Collaborative Analysis Reveals Massive Intact Forest Area Degradation Since 2000

September 4, 2014
Contacts: 

Laura Ours, 301-405-5722

College Park, MD — The University of Maryland along with several key partners released today new analysis and maps that reveal the alarming speed at which the world’s largest expanses of forest wilderness are being degraded. More than 104 million hectares—an area three times the size of Germany—of the world’s remaining Intact Forest Landscapes were degraded from 2000 to 2013.

To view the Intact Forest Landscape mapping methods and findings please visit: www.intactforests.org.

The University of Maryland, Greenpeace GIS Laboratory, and Transparent World, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute and WWF-Russia, used satellite technology and advanced techniques to conduct a global analysis to determine the location and extent of the world’s last remaining large undisturbed forests, called Intact Forest Landscapes. These are areas large enough to retain native biodiversity and contain no signs of fragmentation by logging and infrastructure such as roads, mining and oil or gas development. The work was performed at the UMD Geography department by UMD researchers (Svetlana Turubanova, Peter Potapov) and their Greenpeace colleagues (Ilona Zhuravleva, Anna Komarova).

The analysis includes several key findings:

•Since 2000, 8.1% of Intact Forests Landscapes have been degraded.

World Map

•Almost 95% of the world’s remaining Intact Forest Landscapes are in the tropical and boreal regions.

•The largest areas of IFL degradation have been found in the Northern boreal forest belt of Canada, Russia and Alaska (47%) and tropical forest regions such as the Amazon (25%) and Congo (9%) basins.

•Just three countries – Canada, Russia and Brazil – together contain 65% of the world’s remaining Intact Forest Landscapes. These countries also accounted for over half of all IFL degradation with road building, often linked to logging and extractive industries, being a key driver. Other drivers vary significantly in different regions, from man-made human-caused fires in Russia to agricultural conversion in Brazil.

The areas covered in the analysis include some of the most precious landscapes on Earth, ranging from the vast northern boreal forests, home to caribou migrations and enormous quantities of stored carbon; the biodiverse rainforests of Central Borneo, the Congo and the Western and Northern Amazon. These last forest frontiers play a critical role in sustaining rich biodiversity, maintaining climate and weather stability as well as air and water quality, and supporting the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.

However, according to the new data, human activity – such as logging and road building – is fragmenting these pristine landscapes. This not only leads to increased biodiversity loss, but also intensifies climate change through the release of greenhouse gas emissions and loss of valuable forest carbon stores and sinks.

The new data could help companies with sustainability commitments in determining which areas to avoid when sourcing commodities like timber, palm oil, beef and soy.  This is highly significant as market-led efforts gain further support amid continued lax governance and enforcement in many frontier forest regions.

This analysis is made possible through free public access to satellite imagery provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Landsat program in partnership with NASA. The IFL mapping team processed thousands of Landsat images, along with other information on roads and settlements, to catalogue human activity in previously undisturbed areas.

“Our team developed the IFL concept and mapping method in the early 2000late 1990ss as a simple and practical tool for mapping and monitoring global forest degradation. Based on freely available satellite data, the method allowed us to map global intact areas for the first time. The year 2000 IFL map provided a global baseline for subsequent forest degradation monitoring. Today we present the results of 13 years of intact forest monitoring performed using the same data source and method to ensure globally consistent results. Monitoring data allows direct quantitative assessment and comparison of natural forest areas degradation at global and national levels. We believe that the global IFL map will help to spur practical conservation planning and action with regard to large undeveloped forest landscapes,” stressed Dr. Peter Potapov, Research Associate Professor, University of Maryland.

Statement from UMD Regarding Today's Police Activity

September 3, 2014
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4621

At approximately 3:27 p.m. today the University of Maryland received an anonymous phone call reporting a threat of an armed individual holding a hostage at gunpoint in the Main Administration building. The University of Maryland Police Department  responded immediately, evacuating and sweeping the entire Main Administration building, as well as conducting sweeps of nearby Lee and Mitchell buildings. After a complete sweep of the three buildings, it was determined that the threat was unfounded and the area was declared all clear.  UMPD will continue to investigate this matter and will have conduct visibility patrols throughout the rest of the evening.

High-Ranking United Nations Official Returns to Academia as New Dean of UMD's School of Public Policy

August 27, 2014
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4621

Robert Orr, Ph.D.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland today announced the appointment of Robert Orr, Ph.D., as the incoming Dean of the School of Public Policy. Dr. Orr's 10 years with the United Nations and his leadership within academia, U.S. Government, and the think tank and not-for-profit sectors make him the clear choice to set the school's strategic vision for the future.

Dr. Orr joins the University of Maryland after a decade as the Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning at the United Nations. In this role, he designed and built significant international institutions, including the UN Global Counter Terrorism Centre, the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and the UN Human Rights Council. He also launched a number of major multi-stakeholder initiatives on sustainable energy, women's and children's health, and food security backed by the UN that generated massive worldwide financial commitments. His specific expertise in program creation, policy direction, multi-stakeholder partnerships and large-scale resource mobilization are critical components to the position as Dean of the School of Public Policy.

His most recent academic position was Executive Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2003-04. In this role, Dr. Orr led the design of new research programs on the Middle East, counter-terrorism and post-conflict reconstruction. Additional accomplishments include a negotiated agreement between Harvard and the ruler of Dubai spearheading the creation of the Dubai School of Government in the United Arab Emirates.

Situated in the D.C. metropolitan area, UMD's School of Public Policy is renowned for attracting some of the world's most experienced policy leaders and providing students with access to practitioners who play influential roles in the nation's policy-making process.

"Dr. Orr will be a visionary and dynamic leader for the School of Public Policy," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost. "His expertise in the critical issues of climate change and environmental quality and sustainability coupled with his interests in counterterrorism, peace building, and cybersecurity will make him an extraordinary asset to the University of Maryland community. We are looking forward eagerly to his arrival."

Dr. Orr has been published extensively over the course of the past two decades, with a primary focus on the areas of post-conflict resolution, the United Nations, peacekeeping and democracy promotion. Notable works include Winning the Peace: an American Strategy for Post-Conflict Reconstruction – one of the best-selling books in CSIS Press history to date – and Keeping the Peace: Multidimensional UN Operations in Cambodia and El Salvador.

"There has never been a greater need for good public policy making than there is today -- globally, nationally, and locally," says Dr. Orr. "I am honored to join colleagues at a world class institution to develop new generations of scholars and practitioners in the art of making public policy."

Dr. Orr holds a B.A. in English and History from University of California, Los Angeles, an M.P.A. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Princeton University. He is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese and holds prestigious memberships on the Council on Foreign Relations and the White House Fellows Association.

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