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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 Blood Test Offers Potential Aid in Schizophrenia Diagnosis

February 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Alyssa Wolice 301-405-3936

COLLEGE PARK, MD. — Researchers from the University of Maryland College Park (UMD) and Baltimore (UMB) campuses have developed a blood test that could help doctors more quickly diagnose schizophrenia and other disorders. Their study, “Redox Probing for Chemical Information of Oxidative Stress,” was recently published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

“We hope our new technique will allow a more rapid detection and intervention for schizophrenia, and ultimately lead to better outcomes,” said Gregory Payne, one of the authors and a joint professor with UMD’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) and the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR).  IBBR is a partnership of the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects approximately one percent of the U.S. adult population and influences how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The onset of symptoms usually begins between ages 16 and 30. Symptoms can range from visual and auditory hallucinations and movement disorders to difficulty beginning and sustaining activities.

Currently, diagnosing schizophrenia and similar disorders requires a thorough psychological evaluation and a comprehensive medical exam to rule out other conditions. A patient may be evaluated for six months or more before receiving a diagnosis and beginning treatment, particularly if he or she shows only early signs of the disorder.

Recent studies have indicated that patient outcomes could be improved if the time elapsed between the onset of symptoms and the initiation of treatment is much shorter. For this reason, researchers believe a chemical test that could detect oxidative stress in the blood—a state commonly linked with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders—could be invaluable in helping to diagnose schizophrenia more quickly.

The UMD and UMB team, led by IBBR research associate Eunkyoung Kim, used a discovery-driven approach based on the assumptions that chemical biomarkers relating to oxidative stress could be found in blood, and that they could be measured by common electrochemical instruments.

Building on an understanding of how foods are tested for antioxidants, an iridium salt was used to probe blood serum samples for detectable optical and electrochemical signals that indicate oxidative stress in the body. The promising initial tests have shown various biological reductants can be detected, including glutathione, the most prominent antioxidant in the body.

The group worked with professor of psychiatry Deanna Kelly and her team at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, to perform an initial clinical evaluation using serum samples from 10 clinical research study participants who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and a healthy control group. Using the new testing method, the research group was able to correctly differentiate the samples of those who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia from those who had no history of the disorder.

“Much emerging data suggests that schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders may be due, in part, to inflammation and oxidative stress abnormalities,” Kelly said. “Current methods for measuring these potential biomarkers are not standardized and have many flaws. Our team is excited to work with our collaborators at the University of Maryland, College Park to help develop a technique that can more globally measure these outcomes. Being able to have a subjective marker for clinical response or aid in more prompt diagnosis could be revolutionary.”

Researchers from the university’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE), Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), Institute for Systems Research (ISR), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and MEMS Sensors and Actuators Laboratory (MSAL), as well as the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Psychiatric Research Center contributed to the paper. The full list of authors is: Eunkyoung Kim (BIOE/IBBR), Thomas E. Winkler (BIOE/MSAL), Christopher Kitchen (Maryland Psychiatric Research Center), Mijeong Kang (BIOE/IBBR), George Banis (BIOE/MSAL), William Bentley (BIOE/IBBR), Deanna Kelly (Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine), Reza Ghodssi (ISR/ECE/MSAL/BIOE), and Gregory Payne (BIOE/IBBR).

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the National Institutes of Health.

DeVos Institute at UMD Launches Online Course – The Cycle: Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Organizations

February 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Jarred Small 301-314-2531

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, a global leader in providing training, consultation, and implementation support for arts managers and their boards, announces a free online course for arts managers, students, and arts enthusiasts around the globe as one of the University’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). 


Taught by DeVos Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and President Brett Egan, the six-week course introduces participants to a management philosophy called The Cycle, the Institute’s theory of organizational activity that prioritizes investment in great art. The course is designed for those who are interested in learning how to support thriving arts and cultural organizations regardless of art form, geography, or size.
 

Learning from their work with managers from over 80 countries around the world, the DeVos Institute developed The Cycle as a simple, but powerful tool to assist managers in their effort to respond to an increasingly complex environment and propel their institutions to excellence. The Cycle is explained further by Kaiser and Egan in their formative book The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations. 

“The Cycle reflects what I have learned in my 32-year arts management career,” said Kaiser. “Arts organizations that thrive are the ones that create exciting and surprising art, market that art well and build a family of supporters year in and year out. This MOOC is intended to help arts leaders and board members to create this cycle in their organizations."

Students of the course have responded positively to the opportunity to learn first-hand what it takes to run a successful cultural operation. “It's a great course for small and large organizations to undertake when starting out, or as a refresher,” said one participant. “All arts-related organizations probably do some version of The Cycle on a daily basis, but it's the way the course is laid out in a simple format that wills all of us to become more efficient in our time.” 

The course includes lectures, case studies from managers around the United States and the world, and activities to assist participants in applying the principles of The Cycle in an organizational setting. 

By taking the course, participants will learn: 

  • the importance of bold, exciting, and mission-driven programming in an organization;
  • how long-term artistic planning can help an organization produce this work;
  • how an organization can aggressively market that programming and the institution behind it to develop a family of supporters - including ticket buyers, board members, donors, trustees and volunteers;
  • how an organization can cultivate and steward this family to build a healthy base of earned and contributed income; and
  • how an organization can reinvest that income into increasingly ambitious programming year after year. 

“As a leading public research university, the University of Maryland is thrilled to work with our DeVos Institute of Arts Management to use MOOCs as a way to increase the reach of the DeVos Institute, helping nonprofits worldwide with effective tools to strengthen their organizations,” said Ben Bederson, Associate Provost of Learning Initiatives at the University of Maryland. 


“It is a unique offering aimed at overcoming the challenges these valued institutions face, providing richer support, and going beyond the book, while being so much more accessible than a trip around the world to attend a course,” added UMD’s MOOC program manager, Bill Aarhus.

The next weekly session will begin March 6. New sessions will begin each month. Participants may enroll at www.DeVosInstitute.net/TheCycleOnlineCourse. All course material is available on demand upon enrollment for self-paced learners.

The online course is made possible with the support of the University of Maryland. 

 

It's More than Just Climate Change

February 9, 2017
Contacts: 

Lee Tune 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A new scientific paper by a University of Maryland-led international team of distinguished scientists, including five members of the National Academies, argues that there are critical two-way feedbacks missing from current climate models that are used to inform environmental, climate, and economic policies. The most important inadequately-modeled variables are inequality, consumption, and population.

In this research, the authors present extensive evidence of the need for a new paradigm of modeling that incorporates the feedbacks that the Earth System has on humans, and propose a framework for future modeling that would serve as a more realistic guide for policymaking and sustainable development.

 

Twelve of the interdisciplinary team of 20 coauthors are from the University of Maryland, with multiple other universities (Northeastern University, Columbia University, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, and Brown University) and other institutions (Joint Global Change Research Institute, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the Institute for Global Environment and Society, Japan’s RIKEN research institute, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) also represented.

 

The study explains that the Earth System (e.g., atmosphere, ocean, land, and biosphere) provides the Human System (e.g., humans and their production, distribution, and consumption) not only the sources of its inputs (e.g., water, energy, biomass, and materials) but also the sinks (e.g., atmosphere, oceans, rivers, lakes, and lands) that absorb and process its outputs (e.g., emissions, pollution, and other wastes).

 

Titled "Modeling Sustainability: Population, Inequality, Consumption, and Bidirectional Coupling of the Earth and Human Systems", the paper describes how the rapid growth in resource use, land-use change, emissions, and pollution has made humanity the dominant driver of change in most of the Earth’s natural systems, and how these changes, in turn, have critical feedback effects on humans with costly and serious consequences, including on human health and well-being, economic growth and development, and even human migration and societal conflict. However, the paper argues that these two-way interactions ("bidirectional coupling") are not included in the current models.

 

The Oxford University Press's multidisciplinary journal National Science Review, which published the paper, has highlighted the work in its current issue, pointing out that "the rate of change of atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O [the primary greenhouse gases] increased by over 700, 1000, and 300 times (respectively) in the period after the Green Revolution when compared to pre-industrial rates." See Figure 1 from the Highlights article, reproduced below.


"Many datasets, for example, the data for the total concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases, show that human population has been a strong driver of the total impact of humans on our planet Earth. This is seen particularly after the two major accelerating regime shifts: Industrial Revolution (~1750) and Green Revolution (~1950)" said Safa Motesharrei, UMD systems scientist and lead author of the paper. "For the most recent time, we show that the total impact has grown on average ~4 percent between 1950 and 2010, with almost equal contributions from population growth (~1.7 percent) and GDP per capita growth (~2.2 percent). This corresponds to a doubling of the total impact every ~17 years. This doubling of the impact is shockingly rapid."

"However, these human impacts can only truly be understood within the context of economic inequality,” pointed out political scientist and co-author Jorge Rivas of the Institute for Global Environment and Society. "The average per capita resource use in wealthy countries is 5 to 10 times higher than in developing countries, and the developed countries are responsible for over three quarters of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from 1850 to 2000."

University of Maryland geographer and co-author Klaus Hubacek added: "The disparity is even greater when inequality within countries is included. For example, about 50 percent of the world’s people live on less than $3 per day, 75 percent on less than $8.50, and 90 percent on less than $23. One effect of this inequality is that the top 10 percent produce almost as much total carbon emissions as the bottom 90 percent combined."

The study explains that increases in economic inequality, consumption per capita, and total population are all driving this rapid growth in human impact, but that the major scientific models of Earth-Human System interaction do not bidirectionally (interactively) couple Earth System Models with the primary Human System drivers of change such as demographics, inequality, economic growth, and migration.

The researchers argue that current models instead generally use independent, external projections of those drivers. "This lack of two-way coupling makes current models likely to miss critical feedbacks in the combined Earth-Human system," said National Academy of Engineering member and co-author Eugenia Kalnay, a Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland.

"It would be like trying to predict El Niño with a sophisticated atmospheric model, but with the Sea Surface Temperatures taken from external, independent projections by, for example, the United Nations," said Kalnay. "Without including the real feedbacks, predictions for coupled systems cannot work; the model will get away from reality very quickly."

"Ignoring this bidirectional coupling of the Earth and Human Systems can lead to missing something important, even decisive, for the fate of our planet and our species," said co-author Mark Cane, G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who recently won the Vetlesen Prize for creating the first coupled ocean–atmosphere model with feedbacks that successfully predicted El Niño.

"The result of not dynamically modeling these critical Human-Earth System feedbacks would be that the environmental challenges humanity faces may be significantly underestimated. Moreover, there’s no explicit role given to policies and investments to actively shape the course in which the dynamics unfold. Rather, as the models are designed now, any intervention — almost by definition — comes from the outside and is perceived as a cost," said co-author Matthias Ruth, Director and Professor at the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University. "Such modeling, and the mindset that goes with it, leaves no room for creativity in solving some of the most pressing challenges."

"The paper correctly highlights that other human stressors, not only the climate ones, are very important for long-term sustainability, including the need to reduce inequality'', said Carlos Nobre (not a co-author), one of the world’s leading Earth System scientists, who recently won the prestigious Volvo Environment Prize in Sustainability for his role in understanding and protecting the Amazon. "Social and economic equality empowers societies to engage in sustainable pathways, which includes, by the way, not only the sustainable use of natural resources but also slowing down population growth, to actively diminish the human footprint on the environment."

Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, who was not a co-author of the paper, commented: "We cannot separate the issues of population growth, resource consumption, the burning of fossil fuels, and climate risk. They are part of a coupled dynamical system, and, as the authors show, this has dire potential consequences for societal collapse. The implications couldn’t be more profound."

"Modeling Sustainability: Population, Inequality, Consumption, and Bidirectional Coupling of the Earth and Human Systems" is available at: https://academic.oup.com/nsr/article/doi/10.1093/nsr/nww081/2669331/Modeling-Sustainability-Population-Inequality and https://doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nww081.

 

UMD Biological Sciences Senior Elfadil Osman Named 2017 Gates Cambridge Scholar

February 9, 2017
Contacts: 

Abby Robinson 301-405-5845

COLLEGE PARK, Md.– University of Maryland senior Elfadil Osman has been named a 2017 Gates Cambridge Scholar. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which allows students outside of the United Kingdom to pursue graduate study at the University of Cambridge, is considered one of the most prestigious academic awards available to college graduates. Osman is the university’s second Gates Cambridge Scholar, following in the footsteps of Krzysztof Franaszek (B.S. ’13, biological sciences; B.A. ’13, economics). 

“Elfadil is a remarkable young man,” said Norma Allewell, professor emerita in the UMD Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. “He is equally passionate about biomedical research and contributing to society, and he has a compelling personal vision of how he can meld the two.” 

Osman—who is majoring in biological sciences with a specialization in physiology and neurobiology, and minoring in creative writing—plans to use the scholarship toward a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. His long-term plans include pursuing an academic career studying infectious diseases. 

“My passion for science developed late because I wanted to make a difference in the Islamic world in which I grew up and I thought that studying law was a far better bet,” said Osman, who is Sudanese and emigrated with his family from Saudi Arabia to the United States at five years old. “My future path changed in 12th grade while working on an independent research project. My mentor, Dr. A. Kwame Nyame, a professor at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, showed me that science could be used as a tool to fight injustice—a tool that could mitigate or perhaps even eradicate an infectious disease whose burdens fall heaviest on those with the least resources.” 

The infectious disease Osman wishes to eradicate is malaria. Growing up, he witnessed the destructive impact malaria had on his own family and others in nearby villages in northern Sudan. Today, he pursues research projects that allow him to gain a better understanding of malaria and Plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria. 

Osman spent the past two summers studying Plasmodium gene expression in the laboratory of Joseph DeRisi, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. This research, which was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP), led to a poster presentation by Osman at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students last November. 

With his Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Osman plans to expand his understanding of Plasmodium gene expression and help identify novel antimalarial targets by working with Christopher Howe, professor of plant biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. 

In addition to conducting malaria research, Osman also spent time in UMD laboratories during his undergraduate career helping to develop a universal influenza vaccine and studying the pathogen that causes Chagas’ disease and African sleeping sickness. 

Among his many community service activities, Osman helps lead Students Helping Honduras, an international organization dedicated to providing Honduran youth with educational opportunities to mitigate the effects of gang violence and poverty. In addition to fundraising for school supplies and equipment, Osman travels to Honduras each winter to help local community members build new schools. 

He also serves as co-chair of the College Success Scholars program, which aims to combat the low retention rate of minority males at UMD. He leads the program’s efforts to design and implement a support system that facilitates student success inside and outside of the classroom. 

As a student in the university’s Gemstone Honors Program, Osman’s team is investigating political polarization and how an individual’s definition and rank-order of values influence his or her political and moral decision-making. The team hopes its findings will identify a role personality could play as an indicator of voting patterns. 

“Elfadil is an exceptional young man who epitomizes the value of an honors education at a public research university,” said Susan Dwyer, Osman’s Gemstone team mentor and executive director of the Honors College at UMD. “He is an exciting scientist and a reflective human being fully attuned to the ethical dimensions of his work. I have enjoyed being regularly on the receiving end of Elfadil’s probing questions for the past three years.” 

Osman is a Banneker/Key Scholar and a member of the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society and the Primannum Honor Society. He also enjoys reading and writing short stories, with a special interest in the literary forms associated with magical realism. 

“The first thing you notice about Elfadil is his imagination,” said Richard Bell, a UMD associate professor of history who serves as UMD’s faculty advisor for United Kingdom fellowships. “He is not only a first-rate scientist with an instinct for attacking difficult problems from unusual directions, he’s also a very talented creative writer. He thinks big, dreams big and will accomplish great things.” 

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program was established in 2000 by a $210 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge. Over 1,600 scholarships have been awarded to students from 104 countries to date, with 36 awarded to U.S. students in 2017. 

The scholarships, which are for three years but may be extended for a fourth year, provide university fees, cost of living expenses, and fares to and from the United States. Additional funding is available for other expenses, such as attending conference and courses.

University of Maryland, Phillips Collection Announce Book Prize Winner

February 2, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson 301-405-4622, Sarah Corley 202-387-2151 x235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. and WASHINGTON, D.C. – The University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at The Phillips Collection has awarded its 2016 University of Maryland-Phillips Collection Book Prize to the manuscript The Noisemakers: Estridentismo, Vanguardism, and Social Action in Postrevolutionary Mexico (1921-1927) by Lynda Klich, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Hunter College, City University of New York. This is the eighth book prize awarded by The Phillips Collection since 2008, and the inaugural prize jointly awarded with the University of Maryland. 

Photograph by Roberto Portillo

The University of Maryland-Phillips Collection Book Prize supports publication of a first book by an emerging scholar presenting new research in modern or contemporary art from 1780 to the present. The book prize is awarded by The University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at The Phillips Collection, an expansion of the Center for the Study of Modern Art—the museum’s nexus for academic work, scholarly exchange, and innovative interdisciplinary collaborations. The Center is part of a larger partnership between the two institutions with a vision of dramatically transforming scholarship and innovation in the arts. 

The winning books are published by the University of California Press, in collaboration with the University of Maryland and The Phillips Collection.  The winning author also receives a $5,000 cash prize.

“I am extremely honored that the University of Maryland-Phillips Collection committee has recognized my work and placed it alongside that of scholars who have expanded the understanding of global modernisms,” said Klich. “I am particularly pleased that, through my book, Mexico will enter this 

dialogue as part of the UMD-Phillips series at the University of California Press.”

The Noisemakers examines one of Mexico’s earliest modernist movements, Estridentismo, which spurred lively and fruitful collaborations among poets, journalists, artists, and musicians during the key decade following the country’s devastating civil war. The study sheds light on Estridentismo’s cultivation of experimental visual practices and crucial contributions to the development of Mexican modernism, and examines interactions between Estridentista art and literature. 

“I am pleased that the University of Maryland-Phillips Collection Book Prize recognizes such an important area of Latin-American scholarship," said Dr. Klaus Ottmann, Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs, The Phillips Collection. “Lynda Klich’s book The Noisemakers will insert one of Mexico’s earliest modernist movements into the burgeoning dialogue of international modernisms.”

“We are pleased to recognize Dr. Klich’s insightful and informative work with this award,” said Mary Ann Rankin, UMD’s senior vice president and provost. “The University of Maryland-Phillips Collection Book Prize is one of the many joint projects that make up our transformational partnership with The Phillips Collection. Dr. Klich’s powerful work on post-revolutionary art in Mexico is a wonderful example of the kind of innovative scholarship we seek to promote through this partnership.” 

Klich’s scholarship on Estridentismo has also appeared in the exhibition catalogue Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950 (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2016) and the anthologies Sighting Technology in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art (ed. María Fernández, forthcoming) and Technology and Culture in Twentieth-Century Mexico (ed. Araceli Tinajero and J. Brian Freeman, 2013). She guest-edited, and contributed an essay on Estridentismo to the Mexico-themed issue of the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts (2010). Klich is also Curator of the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Collection and has published several texts on that medium.

 

Photograph by Roberto Portillo

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Photo of stellarator coil design
February 15
New approach could help advance progress toward distant goal of fusion energy. Read
February 13
Researchers' technique to measure oxidative stress in blood samples could help doctors more quickly diagnose... Read
February 13
Free massive open online course (MOOC) explores The Cycle, a theory of organizational activity that prioritizes... Read
February 9
A new UMD-led study on environmental modeling shows climate change is only one of many inter-related threats to Earth's... Read