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University of Maryland Statement Against Hate and Bias

November 5, 2017
Contacts: 

 Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

 
Statement Against Hate and Bias 
Joel Seligman, AVP for Communications and Marketing - November 5, 2017
 

UMD sincerely regrets the overwhelming misunderstanding resulting in the #UMDNotAHome social media conversation. The statements on social media connected to this hashtag do not reflect the positions of the university or our leaders' mutual commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus and across our nation.

To put it plainly, the UMD administration stands against hate and bias in all of its forms and wants every Terp to feel welcome, safe and at home at the University of Maryland. 

In recent months, there have been instances of intentional provocation by hateful, far-right groups spreading targeted messages that the administration finds despicable. These outside agitators want to divide our campus community into factions that are in conflict with one another from within UMD, rather than see our campus stand together in opposition to the broader forces of hate, white supremacy, anti-immigrant xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and anti-semitism. 

It is understandable that some members of our community are also disturbed by remarks by university officials, even when the comments are quoted entirely out of context and in a manner that misrepresents the meaning. UMD has seen an example of one of our longtime colleagues unfairly criticized for her efforts to provide legal advice to the University Senate Campus Affairs Committee literally at the same time she is working to advance the cause of inclusion.

The administration encourages all members of our community to work together—students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni—to increase respect, inclusiveness, and cohesiveness on our campus. A comprehensive list of efforts underway by UMD administration is available at umd.edu/umdreflects 

 

 

UMD Named a 2017 Best College by MONEY Magazine

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  The University of Maryland ranked No. 11 among public universities according to MONEY Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Colleges. UMD ranked No. 20 overall among U.S. institutions. 

To calculate rankings, MONEY assessed more than 700 colleges in the U.S. based on three equally-weighted categories, including educational quality, affordability and alumni success. MONEY measured 27 factors within these categories covering areas such as instructor quality, measuring the study-to-faculty ratio, affordability for low-income students and value-added earnings, which measures if the school is launching students to better paying jobs. 

Earlier this year, UMD was also ranked a Best Value College by ForbesPrinceton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

UMD Capitol Hill Forum Addresses Health Disparities Research & Action for Equity

September 23, 2016
Contacts: 

Contacts: Elise Carbonaro, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Rep. John P. Sarbanes and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, recently convened more than 100 people for a Research on the Hill forum focused on strategies to achieve health equity at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., professor and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the UMD School of Public Health, the panel discussion engaged experts from academia, federal health agencies and the private business sector in a candid conversation about how to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among vulnerable populations.

“Our exploratory research holds the solutions to many of the most challenging problems of our day,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer Patrick G. O’Shea, Ph.D. “As a university, it is our mission to create and understand knowledge to develop better ways to house and heal and fuel and feed our people in advanced societies that are just, secure, and free. Achieving health equity touches on the ‘heal’ aspect of that mission.”

The topics ranged from the progress that has been made in access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to challenges that still remain in improving quality of care and in making the medical care system incorporate public health and address the social determinants of health that prevent people from acting health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. 

“The state of Maryland has embraced the ACA and there is clear evidence that the new incentives are indeed moving hospital systems away from a fee-for-service business model to one that rewards quality care and positive health outcomes over the volume of procedures,” said Thomas. “While the transition is not perfect, our state is a national leader for what the future of health care will look like.”

Panel members shared examples of effective and innovative community-based health interventions and public-private partnerships that are making a difference through culturally-tailored health promotion and disease prevention services, and highlighted the emergence of social determinants of health such as poverty, discrimination and residential segregation as factors that must be overcome.

 “I’m convinced that if you address racial and ethnic disparities with respect to the delivery of health care and health care coverage in this country, you will build the best health care system we can possibly have because diversity is our country’s hallmark,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a tireless advocate for improving healthcare quality and addressing health disparities.
 
To achieve health equity, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must address broader issues beyond the traditional biomedical model and build trust between those who control health care delivery system and those who have lost hope in the system, said members of the panel. 

The panelists recommended that health equity be incorporated into all public policies, not just those related to health care, to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. 

Panel members included:

  • Margo Edmunds, Ph.D., Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation at Academy Health;
  • J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Julia Huggins, President of Cigna Mid-Atlantic;
  • Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., MPH, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Inaugural Endowed Chair for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota; and
  • Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District and is a distinguished UMD alumnus, also joined the event and emphasized that as an interconnected community, we should all care about health disparities.
 
“It is unacceptable that in the United States, where all are created equal in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that one’s access to healthcare may be higher or lower as a result of race, gender, or income,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Everybody being healthy is of concern to each and every one of us.”
 
He discussed how we must continue to defend the patient protections that Americans are benefiting from thanks to the ACA, such as the no-cost access to preventive services like mammograms and immunizations, as well as remind people of the dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly people of color, who now have health coverage as a result.

The event was held as part of the University of Maryland’s Research on the Hill series, which is aimed at raising awareness of research with great societal significance.

View the conversation at: https://youtu.be/HPedKr0jZLQ

UMD Study Finds Connecting Uninsured Patients to Primary Care Could Reduce ER Use

May 6, 2015
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418
Hillery Tsumba 301-628-3425

Montgomery County, Md. Initiative Could Improve Health, Reduce Costs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An intervention to connect low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to a reliable source of primary health care shows promise for reducing avoidable use of hospital emergency departments in Maryland. A University of Maryland School of Public Health study evaluating the results of the intervention was published this week in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs

For twenty years, use of hospital emergency departments has been on the rise in the United States, particularly among low-income patients who face barriers to accessing health care outside of hospitals, including not having an identifiable primary health care provider. Almost half of emergency room visits are considered “avoidable.” The Emergency Department-Primary Care Connect Initiative of the Primary Care Coalition, which ran from 2009 through 2011, linked low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to safety-net health clinics. 

“Our study found that uninsured patients with chronic health issues – such as those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or anxiety – relied less on the emergency department after they were linked to a local health clinic for ongoing care,” says Dr. Karoline Mortensen, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and senior researcher. “Connecting patients to primary care and expanding the availability of these safety-net clinics could reduce emergency department visits and provide better continuity of care for vulnerable populations.”  

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the initiative engaged all five of the hospitals operating in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time, and four safety-net clinics serving low-income patients. Using “patient navigators,” individuals trained to help patients find the care they need and can afford, these hospitals referred more than 10,000 low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients who visited emergency departments to four local primary care clinics, with the goal of encouraging them to establish an ongoing relationship with the clinic and reduce their reliance on costly emergency department care. 

Two hospitals in Montgomery County who participated in the intervention continued the program after the initial grant period concluded because of the benefits they saw for patients and for reducing emergency department visits and associated costs. These hospitals are currently testing a new version of the intervention specifically deigned to link emergency department patients with behavioral health conditions to appropriate community-based services. 

While hospital administrators and health policy experts throughout the country are recognizing that access to primary care improves continuity of care for patients and reduces avoidable use of emergency departments, the implications of this project are particularly important for hospitals in Maryland, which are now operating under a unique all-payer model for hospital payments. Within this new payment structure, Maryland hospitals will have to meet ambitious spending, quality of care, and population health goals. Reducing avoidable use of emergency departments can help in reaching these goals.

The project provides promise not only for hospitals in Maryland but throughout the nation to improve health care experiences and outcomes for their patients. Shared learning systems were an integral component of the project so participants were learning from each other and sharing best practices throughout the project and that learning has now been documented and can be replicated in other communities.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project to work on,” says Barbara H. Eldridge, Manager of Quality Improvement at the Primary Care Coalition. “We created a learning system that permits us to sustain improved communication between patients and their providers, between hospital discharge planners and community based clinics, and across five hospitals operating in Montgomery County.” The initiative has proven successful in Montgomery County, Maryland and is being replicated in communities in other parts of the country. 

“Linking Uninsured Patients Treated In The Emergency Department To Primary Care Shows Some Promise In Maryland” was written by Theresa Y. Kim, Karoline Mortensen, and Barbara Eldridge and published in the journal Health Affairs

University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618 crystalb@umd.edu

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, umdrightnow.umd.edu, 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 umdrightnow.umd.edu.

University of Maryland Resources on Football Program External Review

July 11, 2018
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4621

On June 13, University of Maryland student-athlete Jordan McNair passed away. Jordan’s life will be honored by the team during the season, and details are forthcoming. 

To answer questions from the media, the university has collected below the information released to our community as we continue our external review. 

 

  • Message From UMD Executive Athletic Director Damon Evans on Jordan McNair: Maryland Family Mourns Passing of Jordan McNair (June 13, 2018)

Dear Terrapin Family,

We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, sophomore football player Jordan McNair. Jordan was a tremendous athlete, student, teammate and friend, and he will be sorely missed. We offer our deepest condolences to his parents, family and friends.

Jordan was hospitalized following an organized team workout on May 29 and passed away today, June 13. For those who had the opportunity to know Jordan, you understand the sadness we are feeling.

Coach DJ Durkin asked me to pass along the following thoughts on his behalf:

Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team. Jordan was a hard worker and he always had a smile on his face. He was an extremely talented football player and a humble and genuine human being. He embodied the essence of what it means to be a teammate. Jordan was a fighter. Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter. Please continue to pray for Jordan’s family during this difficult time.

Counseling services are available for our student-athletes and for our staff.

Our thoughts and support continue to be with his family as they grieve the loss of this outstanding young man.

Sincerely,

Damon Evans

Executive Athletic Director

 

  • Tweets From Maryland Athletics

UMTerps Tweet- Jordan McNair

Link to tweet (June 13, 2018) 

 

  • Maryland Athletics Press Conference for Jordan McNair (June 14, 2018) 

 

  • Tweets from University of Maryland President, Wallace D. Loh 

President Loh Tweet- Jordan McNair

Link to tweet (June 14, 2018) 

President Loh Tweet- Jordan McNair

Link to tweet (June 20, 2018)

 

  • University of Maryland Statement on External Review & Football Practice Schedule (June 19, 2018) 

The university is contracting with Walters Incorporated to conduct an external review, and the review will begin by week's end. The review will evaluate relevant policies and protocols, as the safety and well-being of our student-athletes is the highest priority. 

Football players have been informed that regularly scheduled practices are voluntary until further notice. First and foremost the focus is on the well-being of our student-athletes, and this time is for them to grieve. We will continue to provide the resources our student-athletes need, which includes counseling services and access to spiritual leaders, during this difficult time.

 

  • Quotes from the Maryland Athletics Press Conference for the Athletic Director Announcement (June 26, 2018) 

“We are all still grieving for Jordan McNair who, as you know, tragically passed away at the age of only 19. Known as a gentle giant, we will forever remember him wearing number 79. We are all still grieving." - Wallace D. Loh, University of Maryland President

“We lost a member of our family. A young man who, just with his smile, warmed up a room. A young man who loved Chipotle Thursday, which his roommate is going to continue. At his services we got to see what he was really about by the people who filled the room. The people who showed up were a representation of his life. Let us not forget Jordan McNair because he will forever be apart of who we are.” - Damon Evans, University of Maryland Athletic Director 

 

  • External Review Scope (July 12, 2018)

The University of Maryland proactively hired Walters Inc., to perform a review of the care our student-athletes receive before, during and after competition. The review is led by Dr. Rod Walters, a national leader in athletic standards of care.

Walters Inc., will  perform an independent evaluation of ICA's procedures and protocols related to the recent death of a University football player and review the football program's procedures and protocols involving student-athlete health and safety applicable to:planning and conducting team conditioning and practice sessions; and for responding to health emergencies during or after those sessions. 

 

  • Summary (As of July 12, 2018)

The team gathered for a scheduled, supervised workout at approximately 4:15 pm on May 29th and the temperature was approximately 80 degrees. The workout was held at the Varsity Team House Practice Fields. 

All of our eligible football players participated in the conditioning workout designed by our staff. Our team has done this particular workout the past two seasons. The workout consisted of a warm-up, baseline running drills and position-specific drills.

The workout was supervised by our strength and conditioning staff, and certified athletic trainers were present throughout. Coach Durkin was at the workout. 

Each student-athlete was given a gallon of water at the start of the day and weighed-in prior to the workout. Water, gatorade and snacks are available throughout the day and workout, and lunch was provided to the team. 

All players are required to receive a medical clearance at the start of the practice season. All players participating in the workout received their medical clearance from our team physician.

Following the completion of the workout, our trainers noticed Jordan was having problems recovering. They began supporting an active recovery and providing care. He was talking to our trainers throughout. 

He was then moved via gator to the athletic training room in the football team house for further observation and continued treatment. 

Staff contacted medical personnel and dialed 911. 

Emergency personnel began arriving on the scene at approximately 6pm and Jordan was transported to the hospital. 

All players have resumed workouts and official practices will begin August 3

The university is contracting with Walters Incorporated to conduct an external review. The review is evaluating relevant policies and protocols, as the safety and well-being of our student-athletes is the highest priority. 

  • University of Maryland Statement (July 19, 2018)

      We continue to think of Jordan's grieving family, as our community mourns his loss.

 
       The university immediately sought and secured experts to conduct a thorough and impartial review. We are making every effort to understand as much as we can about this tragedy, as the safety of our  students is the highest priority. 

Semiconductor Quantum Transistor Opens Door for Photon-Based Computing

July 10, 2018
Contacts: 

Emily Edwards, 301-405-2291
Lee Tune, 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The highly anticipated quantum science-based revolution in information technology requires the development of groundbreaking hardware comparable in function to the transistors used in today’s computers. Researchers at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering and Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) have cleared a hurdle in the development of such quantum-compatible hardware with their demonstration of the first single-photon transistor using a semiconductor chip. 

Transistors are tiny switches that are the foundation of modern computing. Billions of them route electrical signals around inside the computers that power our smartphones, tablets and other devices. Quantum computers will need analogous hardware to manipulate quantum information. But the design constraints for this new information technology are stringent, and today’s most advanced processors can’t be repurposed as quantum devices. That’s because quantum information carriers, dubbed qubits, have to follow the radically different rules laid out by quantum physics. 

Scientists can use many kinds of quantum particles as qubits, even the photons that make up light. Photons have added appeal because they can swiftly shuttle information over long distances, and they are compatible with fabricated chips. However, making a quantum transistor triggered by light has been challenging because it requires that the photons interact with each other, something that doesn’t ordinarily happen. 

The Maryland research team headed by Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, JQI Fellow, and Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics Affiliate Edo Waks—has used a quantum memory to make photons interact, creating the first single-photon transistor made from a semiconductor.  

The device has numerous holes in it, making it appear much like a honeycomb. Light entering the chip bounces around and gets trapped by the hole pattern. A small crystal sits inside the area where the light intensity is strongest, and, analogous to conventional computer memory, this crystal stores information about photons as they enter the device. It can then effectively tap into that memory to mediate interactions with other photons that later arrive at the chip.

The team observed that a single photon could, by interacting with the crystal, control the transmission of a second light pulse through the device. The first light pulse acts like a key, opening the door for the second photon to enter the chip. If the first pulse didn’t contain any photons, the crystal blocked subsequent photons from getting through. This behavior is similar to a conventional transistor where a small voltage controls the passage of current through its terminals. Here, the researchers successfully replaced the voltage with a single photon and demonstrated that their quantum transistor could switch a light pulse containing around 30 photons before the device’s memory ran out.

“Using our transistor, we should be able to perform quantum gates between photons,” says Waks. “Software running on a quantum computer would use a series of such operations to attain exponential speedup for certain computational problems.

Their device, described in the July 6 issue of Science, is compact; roughly one million of these new transistors could fit inside a single grain of salt. It is also fast and able to process 10 billion photonic qubits every second.

With realistic engineering improvements their approach could allow many quantum light transistors to be linked together, according to lead author Shuo Sun, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University who was a UMD grad student at the time of the research. The team hopes that such speedy, highly connected devices will eventually lead to compact quantum computers that process large numbers of photonic qubits, .

The University of Maryland (UMD) is home to one of the world’s top quantum science and technology communities, with over 200 quantum researchers on-site. UMD’s quantum science & tech partnerships and startups include:

  • the Joint Quantum Institute, (UMD the National Institute of Standards and Technology), is based on UMD’s campus and dedicated to the broad study of quantum science from theory to experiment;
  • the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) is a UMD-NIST initiative working to understand and enable the full promise of quantum computation, including providing quantum software to go with the quantum hardware;
  • the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Center for Distributed Quantum Information—primary academic partners, the University of Maryland, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, and University of Innsbruck—is developing quantum communication capabilities based on interfaces between quantum memory and photons;
  • IonQ, a quantum computing startup co-founded by UMD/JQI quantum scientist Christopher Monroe, UMD Bice Zorn Professor of Physics and Distinguished University Professor. Monroe also has played a leading role in creating the blueprint for a National Quantum Initiative

This work was supported by the Physics Frontier Center at the Joint Quantum Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Center for Distributed Quantum Information.

Image: Researchers used a single photon, stored in a quantum memory, to toggle the state of other photons. (Image credit: E. Edwards/JQI)

 

University of Maryland Statement on College Basketball Inquiry - July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018

Statement from the University of Maryland: 

On March 15, 2018 and June 29, 2018, the University received grand jury subpoenas for documents related to the ongoing federal investigation of college basketball. The University complied with the subpoenas by providing responsive records. None of the responsive records shows evidence of any violations of applicable laws or NCAA bylaws by University coaches, staff or players. 

The University has cooperated and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing federal investigation.

To Nap or Not? UMD Researcher Studies Impact of Sleep on Memory in Pre-Schoolers

July 2, 2018

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- While many parents hope their children continue to take daily naps for as long as possible, new University of Maryland-led research aims to determine just how important napping is during the formative preschool years. The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation awarded researchers more than $1 million to examine the role of sleep on brain development and memory in children ages 3 to 5, when they typically begin transitioning out of naps. 

Napping child“Although research shows naps clearly benefit learning and memory in young children, it’s still unclear why naps are important and how they are related to development of memory-related brain structures,” explained Tracy Riggins, an Associate Professor of Psychology at UMD who is leading the study. “There is somewhat of a debate regarding whether naps should be encouraged in preschool or eliminated to provide more time for early learning. Currently, there are no formal recommendations from organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, but we hope our research will help provide the basis for more informed decisions regarding naps for parents, educators and doctors in the future.”

Riggins, in collaboration with Rebecca Spencer, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will study whether the hippocampus—a part of the brain critical for formation of new memories—can retain more information as a child matures, reducing the need for periods of memory consolidation during sleep. 

For their study, researchers plan to recruit 100 4-year-olds, some of whom are non-nappers and some of whom are habitual nappers. They will observe the children napping or remaining awake during their normal naptimes in their homes. The research team will record brainwaves and muscle activity during naps to assess sleep quality and will ask the children to participate in memory games such as remembering pictures and stories. Children will also visit the University of Maryland for an MRI brain scan, which will allow researchers to examine memory-related brain structures, like the hippocampus, known to be critical for memory in adults. 

“Our study will be the first to combine measures of memory ability, sleep physiology and brain development in preschool children,” Riggins said. “Ultimately, we hope to better understand how sleep—napping, specifically—may be related to improvements in memory and the maturation of memory-related brain circuitry during these important early childhood years, when a child is learning and growing at an astonishing pace.” 

The researchers plan to follow the participants for one year in order to track changes in each child’s memory, nap status and brain development.  Parents with preschoolers who may be interested in participating should contact Dr. Riggins’ lab at KidBrainStudy@umd.edu for more information. 

 

 

University of Maryland Recognized as Top University for International Students

June 28, 2018
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- In a new listing out this year by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Maryland has been named one of the top schools in the country for international students. 

Beginning with the national universities included in its Best Colleges ranking, where UMD is listed at No. 61 nationally, U.S. News reviewed 16 different criteria together for the first time to determine which schools have had proven success supporting the needs of international students through graduation. Criteria factors include a special international student orientation, international student organizations, need based and merit aid for international students and several others. 

At the University of Maryland, International Student & Scholar Services exists to assist international students with transitioning to the U.S., advising on immigration requirements, and making the most of their academic experience at UMD. Designated advisors, an international spouses organization and international coffee hour gatherings also contribute to the university’s commitment to international students.  

The full Top Universities for International Students list and methodology are here: www.usnewsglobaleducation.com/downloads/TopUniversities2018.pdf 

 

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