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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 Thanks Provost Mary Ann Rankin for Eight Years of Service

January 11, 2021
Contacts: 
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines announced today that Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin has decided to resign from her position as Provost as of January 29, 2021. 

 

“As a community, we owe a significant debt of gratitude to Provost Rankin for her vision, leadership and commitment to academic excellence during a period of steady ascent for our institution,” said Pines. “I thank and applaud Dr. Rankin for her numerous accomplishments.”

 

"I am deeply proud of the work we have accomplished in partnership over the last eight years at the University of Maryland. We have charted new paths to academic success, multiplied opportunities in undergraduate and graduate research, and fostered interdisciplinary collaboration for the betterment of the campus,” said Rankin. “Together, we have brought to scale teaching transformation and reimagined our academic enterprise from new modes of instruction to innovative programs. I thank the Deans, Associate Provosts, Chairs and faculty who have contributed to Maryland's unending pursuit of innovation on behalf of our students." 

 

Shortly after her arrival in 2012, Dr. Rankin led an update to the University's Strategic Plan, which led to a budget redesign and launch of the Administrative Modernization Program (AMP) aimed at improving campus operations. This included the TerpEngage program to improve student advising, and the recently launched ERP initiative to upgrade software infrastructure in human resources, finance and student services.

 

Dr. Rankin spearheaded significant advancements in academic opportunities for students as well, establishing the First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) that offers over 500 new students annually hands-on research experience. Her vision for student success opportunities also led to the reinvention of the university's Honors College.

 

She has been a driving force in the development of numerous new undergraduate programs in business, information sciences, public health sciences, public policy, neuroscience, immersive media design in computer science and art, and two new majors in data science.

 

Dr. Rankin established the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship that has led to nearly 15,000 undergraduates annually enrolling in an innovation course to pursue fearless ideas. She also established the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC), which provides faculty with support and training in the best pedagogical practices and oversees several student success initiatives. This was particularly important in assisting faculty and students in the recent, rapid move to online instruction. With colleagues in the College of Education and College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, Dr. Rankin founded Terrapin Teachers, a Maryland replication of the UTeach program she developed at UT Austin to address the need for more discipline-based STEM teachers trained by both experienced public school teachers and university experts. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016, in part for her role in developing UTeach nationally.

 

Dr. Rankin also played a key role in establishing a partnership with the Phillips Collection to expand scholarship, visibility and innovation in the arts. She leads the university's partnership with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, and serves on the Joint Steering Council for the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

 

Dr. Rankin was a leader in the creation of the Maryland Promise Program, an effort to build a $100 million endowment to support need-based awards for undergraduates. She also leveraged a $3 million gift to support an endowed chair and new partnership in machine learning; solicited support for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and related programs; and facilitated significant private gifts to support the design and construction of the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering.

 

A major focus for the last eight years has been upgrading existing academic facilities and working to expand and enhance capital projects, including adding the new vivarium to A. James Clark Hall and the chemistry teaching addition to the Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center. Most recently, she was a key driver in obtaining support for construction of the new Wing 1 of the Chemistry Building, and making the new Cole research wing Phase 1A of the Brain and Behavior Research Building and the administrative home of the Brain and Behavior Institute. She has also supported construction of the School of Public Policy building that will provide a new home for the Do Good Institute and a new program in civic innovation.

 

Dr. Rankin and her senior leadership team expanded the role and effectiveness of the Office of Faculty Affairs, and initiated new programs through that office that expanded the hiring of underrepresented minority faculty, improved job titles and opportunities for professional track faculty, and made the APT process more equitable, consistent, inclusive, and teaching focused.

 

In 2020, Dr. Rankin led UMD’s academic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with deans, chairs, and senior campus leadership, she and her team transformed the campus' physical teaching spaces to provide safe, functional in-person instruction; and with the Division of IT and the TLTC developed a highly successful grant program to assist faculty in improving UMD's online and blended instruction.

 

Dr. Ann G. Wylie, Professor Emerita of Geology, will serve as interim Provost, and President Pines has announced his intent to launch an internal search to name a permanent Provost. 

 

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University of Maryland Honors Campus Trailblazers with Naming of New Residence Halls

December 21, 2020
Contacts: 

Natifia Mullings, 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md.--The University of Maryland announced today that two of its new residence halls will be named after four trailblazers who played an important role in diversifying its campus: Hiram Whittle, Elaine Johnson Coates, Pyon Su, and Chunjen Constant Chen. This is the first time since 1914 that residence halls will be named for individuals. 

“All four of these pioneers contributed to the rich diversity and culture that defines our campus today,” said University of Maryland President Pines. “Each exemplifies Terrapin grit, desire and determination to succeed against all odds. Their stories serve as valuable examples for the University of Maryland students of today and in the future, as we continue to celebrate and advance diversity in our university community.”

The Whittle-Johnson Hall will honor Whittle, the first African American male to be admitted to the university in 1951, and Johnson Coates, the first African American female to graduate with an undergraduate degree in 1959. Whittle was an engineering major and enrolled as an undergraduate student at a time when the university was still segregated. Johnson Coates attended the university on a full scholarship and graduated with a B.A. in education. Both Whittle and Johnson Coates received an honorary degree from the university at the spring 2020 commencement.

“This is a University of Maryland honor that signifies perseverance, hope, and change,” said Whittle. “I thank the University for honoring my journey. My hope is that my story will continue to inspire the campus community to move forward and follow their dreams.”  

“I am always humbled and so grateful to be honored by my alma mater,” said Johnson Coates. “I had no idea when I walked on to the campus of University of Maryland in 1955, that 65 years later, you would still be speaking of me. I’m thankful to the university for honoring me, for letting me know that my journey mattered, and now letting my journey become my legacy.”

The Pyon-Chen Hall will honor Pyon, the first Korean student to receive a degree from any American college or university, and Chen, the first Chinese student to enroll at the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland). Pyon spent several years as a diplomat in Korea and was the first Korean diplomat envoy to visit the United States in1883, before emigrating to the United States for political reasons. He eventually enrolled in the Maryland Agricultural College in 1887, where he earned a B.S. degree in 1891. Chen entered the university in 1915 and completed three years of study before transferring to Cornell, where he earned a B.A. He returned to College Park, earning an M.S. in Agriculture in 1920. He later taught Chinese on campus from 1956 to 1967. Both Pyon and Chen have since passed away, and President Pines has been in communication with their families to inform them of the recognition and share the significance of this milestone.  

Residence halls at the University of Maryland are named after Maryland county seats, with the exception of Calvert Hall which is named for UMD Founder Charles Benedict Calvert. The decision to name the residence halls after Whittle, Johnson Coates, Chen and Pyon is one of several initiatives and recommendations Pines outlined on his first day as president aimed at helping to build a more diverse and welcoming campus community. This effort included submitting a request to name the two residence halls after Whittle, Johnson Coates, Chen and Pyon to the University System of Maryland. In November 2020, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved the name request.  

The Whittle-Johnson and Pyon-Chen residence halls are being constructed as part of the University’s On-Campus Housing Strategic Plan. The two new residence halls will house about 900 first- and second-year students in single and double rooms and the dining facility will seat about 1,000 once complete. The new facilities are being constructed on the field adjacent to Ellicott Hall and across Farm Drive. Construction on the new Whittle-Johnson and Pyon-Chen residence halls began in 2019 and are slated to open during the 2021-2022 academic year.

 

 

 

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Funds Inclusive Postsecondary Education Program at the University of Maryland

December 21, 2020
Contacts: 

Audrey Hill, Associate Director of Communications, UMD College of Education, 301-405-3468

Christy Russell, Director of Operations, Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, 410-767-3671

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council awarded $100,000 to the University of Maryland Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) to create “Terps-EXCEED”, an inclusive higher education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program will launch in the fall of 2021 with a small pilot of students.

“As an organization dedicated to the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all facets of community life, we know there is a tremendous need for high quality, inclusive college opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities seek opportunities to work, learn, play and lead full, meaningful lives. An inclusive college experience is a pathway to those continued learning opportunities as well as important social interactions, life experiences, and employment,” said Rachel London, Executive Director for the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council.

“We are pleased to be able to support post-secondary opportunities at UMD for students with disabilities,” said Jennifer King Rice, dean of the UMD College of Education. “With this funding from the Council, we can expand inclusive higher education programming and become a model for the state in serving students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which helps to ensure college and career access for all.”

Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the lowest rates of both competitive employment and college enrollment compared to all other disability groups. Yet, students with intellectual disabilities who complete an inclusive postsecondary program achieve better employment outcomes, expand peer and social networks and increase independence. 

istock image 535297293 credit: monkeybusinessimagesTerps-EXCEED will provide a person-centered approach to inclusive postsecondary education and a diverse array of academic and nonacademic courses, career development and activities. Ultimately, the program is designed for Terps-EXCEED students to leave the program with an expanded social network of friends, colleagues and mentors, a meaningful credential, and better options for lifelong careers.   

The University of Maryland is the perfect place to launch a new inclusive college program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Amy Dwyre D'Agati, senior faculty specialist at the UMD Center for Transition and Career Innovation. “We have so many opportunities - courses, internships, social activities - that a Big Ten school can offer, and so many departments are excited to bring this initiative to campus.”

"Having a program like this at the University of Maryland is such an obvious opportunity to harness the potential and talent of this population of students. Really it's a win-win for the Maryland community," said Kellie Racette, a parent of a child with a developmental disability in Howard County, Maryland.

The Council is committed to expanding opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life by eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, empowering people, and promoting innovation. The UMD College of Education is committed to furthering inclusive education for students with disabilities in both K-12 and higher education.

For more information about the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, visit www.md-council.org. For more information on the Center for Transition and Career Innovation, visit www.ctci-umd.org.

 

 

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National Academy of Inventors Names University of Maryland Vice President for Research and a University Professor as 2020 Fellows

December 10, 2020
Contacts: 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland’s Laurie Locascio, Vice President for Research at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and Ramalingam “Rama” Chellappa, College Park Professor at UMD have been elected 2020 Fellows by the National Academy of Inventors, joining the ranks of some of the nation’s most prestigious and creative academic inventors. 

According to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. 

The 2020 Fellow class represents 115 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide. They collectively hold over 4,700 issued U.S. patents. Among the 2020 Fellows are 24 recipients of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, six recipients of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAA&S), and two Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research covers a range of scientific disciplines including biomedical engineering, computer engineering, materials science, and physics. The 2020 class of Fellows will be inducted at the 2021 Fellows Induction Ceremony at the Tenth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Inventors this June in Tampa, Florida.

Vice President for Research Laurie Locascio

"I am honored and grateful to be recognized by the National Academy of Inventors for the work that I have accomplished in my 30 plus years as a biomedical researcher and inventor," said Vice President for Research Laurie Locascio. "Being named a Fellow of NAI aligns with my continued work here at the university to advance research innovations that make a positive societal impact for individuals in our state and across our country."

Vice President for Research Locascio oversees the University of Maryland’s vibrant research and innovation enterprise at the College Park and Baltimore campuses, which garner a combined $1.1 billion in external research funding each year. Within Locascio’s purview are the development of large interdisciplinary research programs, technology commercialization, innovation and economic development efforts, and strategic partnerships with industry, federal, academic, and nonprofit collaborators. She is a professor in Maryland’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering, and a professor (secondary) in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Locascio previously worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), most recently as Acting Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director responsible for leading the internal scientific research and laboratory programs across two campuses in Gaithersburg, MD and Boulder, Colo. As a biomedical researcher at NIST, she published more than 100 scientific papers and holds 12 patents.

College Park Professor Rama Chellappa

“I was inspired to choose engineering as my career soon after I listened to the 1969 landing of Apollo 11 on my home radio in India. I am honored, 50 years later, to be recognized as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” said Ramalingam “Rama” Chellappa, College Park Professor at UMD and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University.

“This is a recognition of nearly three decades of work I did at the University of Maryland in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. I am also pleased that NAI elected Clark School alumnus and colleague S. Kevin Zhou (Ph.D. ’04, electrical engineering)—who did pioneering work on unconstrained face recognition in my laboratory as a doctoral student—as a Fellow.”

At UMD, Chellappa has held appointments in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science. His work includes projects involving signal and image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, multi-dimension stochastic processes, statistical interference, image analysis, robust and secure biometrics, and artificial intelligence in computer vision. He holds four patents. The many honors and awards in his career include: being named a University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor, the highest appointment bestowed on UMD tenured faculty, a Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, a UMD Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow, and a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at UMD; receiving a UMD Outstanding Invention Award, a Faculty Outstanding Research Award, the Poole and Kent Teaching Award from the Clark School of Engineering, an Outstanding GEMSTONE Mentor Award, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and four IBM Faculty Development Awards. 

Read more about Clark School alumnus and new NAI member S. Kevin Zhou here.

Previous UMD NAI Fellows

VPR Locascio and Professor Chellappa join six other highly acclaimed University of Maryland, College Park faculty as NAI Fellows. Other UMD NAI Fellows are:  2019 Fellows Ray Liu and Min Wu, professors in the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; 2017 NAI Fellow C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., president emeritus of the National Academy of Engineering and a Regents’ Professor and former president of the University of Maryland; Distinguished University Professor Rita Colwell, a 2016 Fellow; and  Distinguished University Professors John S. Baras and Benjamin A. Shneiderman, both 2015 NAI Fellows

The NAI was founded in 2010 to: recognize and encourage inventors holding patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation; encourage the disclosure of intellectual property; educate and mentor innovative students; and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

$6.8M Gift to University of Maryland to Extend Opportunities to Local Students

December 9, 2020
Contacts: 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland will receive a nearly $7 million gift from a Boston couple that will significantly increase the size and long-term impact of a University of Maryland program that supports promising students from selected areas of the state.

 

The gift will allow the Incentive Awards Program (IAP)—which until now comprised students in Prince George’s County and Baltimore— to expand its reach. Starting in Fall 2021, five freshmen from Montgomery County will be awarded four-year scholarships, receive mentoring and join a tight-knit peer community. These scholarships will be made possible through the funding from Phillip and Elizabeth Gross and a matching grant from UMD and the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program (MPP).

 

This is the largest-ever donation to IAP, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, and to the Maryland Promise Program, created by a 2017 investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to provide scholarships to underserved populations from the state of Maryland and D.C.

 

“We’re leveraging matching grant money, and we’re supporting outstanding students in a program where they have a very high chance to succeed and high expectations to perform and impact the community,” Phill Gross said. “Put that together and it was easy for us to get involved.”

 

That’s despite the fact that he graduated from another Big Ten school, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), and the Grosses previously had no direct connection to the University of Maryland or the program. What drew them in was their relationship to a similar program at UW founded, coincidentally, by the mother-in-law of IAP’s founding director, Mercile J. Lee.

 

Phill Gross, co-founder and managing director of Adage Capital Management, a money management firm in Boston, was interested in supporting his alma mater 20 years ago when he met Lee, who had established UW’s Chancellor’s Scholars Program and Powers-Knapp Scholars Program to welcome talented students from underrepresented groups. The paired programs emphasized service, leadership development, peer support and mentorship, and provided financial aid and Lee’s inimitable influence.

 

The Grosses made several major gifts to the UW program, with the last one scheduled for November 2018. Unfortunately, Lee passed away in October 2018 and did not get to see the impact of the gift. Following Lee’s death, the couple met Lee’s son, Robb, and daughter-in-law, Jacqueline Wheeler Lee who leads the IAP and began inquiring about supporting the IAP.

 

The new Mercile J. Lee Maryland Promise Incentive Awards Program Endowed Scholarship will fund 20 students from Montgomery County; IAP currently counts 64 scholars, including some of the 23 MPP scholars.

 

“This gift will catapult IAP toward its long-term goal of welcoming students from every county in Maryland. It isn’t just expanding the number of opportunities we’re extending to students, but it’s also expanding our reach,” Jackie Lee said. “It's so meaningful for me personally as well. I'm touched knowing that the impact of Mercile's life is even more widely felt. Her enduring legacy will now live on through the scholars this gift will support."

 

The gift, the biggest to the university since Dr. Darryll J. Pines assumed his presidency in July, supports both of his top priorities: to promote excellence and to create an inclusive, multicultural campus community.

 

“I’m energized by the generosity of Phill and Liz Gross, whose approach to philanthropy is uniquely unbound by geography or personal affiliation,” Pines said. “By giving to IAP and the Maryland Promise Program, they are expanding access to a world-class University of Maryland education, and we are deeply grateful.” 

 

For more information about the program visit: https://promise.umd.edu/.

 

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Pages

January 27
Partnership to raise awareness of student-athlete health issues  Read
January 11
President Pines applauds Rankin for exemplary accomplishments as the university’s chief academic officer  Read
December 21
Part of its larger diversity and inclusion efforts, UMD marks first time in a century that residence halls will be... Read
December 21
UMD Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) gets $100,000 award from Maryland Developmental... Read