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Smith School Names 2013 China Business Plan Competition Winner

January 11, 2013
Contacts: 

Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business awarded $10,000 in cash prizes on Tuesday to the winners and finalists of the 2013 China Business Plan Competition, organized by the Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management in Beijing. For the competition, students from the Smith School traveled to Beijing to compete with teams from five Chinese universities and the Technion Israeli Institute of Technology.L-R, John Lapides, Dingman Center entrepreneur-in-residence; Elana Fine, Dingman Center managing director; Yuan He, grand prize winner; Holly DeArmond, Dingman Center assistant director

Smith School student Yuan He won the competition’s top prize of $3,000 with his pitch for Honeymoon Honey, a plan to rent honey bees to farmers and harvest the honey to make cosmetics. The competition, now in its eighth year, was the culmination of a business plan course and study trip to China for Smith School MBA students, led by the Dingman Center.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship is an important topic drawing significant attention from governments and business schools around the world. The capabilities of innovation and entrepreneurship are particularly important for China, which is undergoing a key period of overall economic transition,” said Hongbin Cai, dean of Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management. “Leading the edge of innovation and entrepreneurship education in business schools, the China Business Plan Competition hosted by Guanghua School of Management in collaboration with the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business manages to enhance the communication of innovative ideas and cultivate entrepreneurial practices.”

“We are committed to providing MBA students with hands-on global learning opportunities and this competition has been a hallmark of that pledge, as students take advantage of the wealth of entrepreneurial opportunities in China’s flourishing economy,” said G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Guanghua School of Management to offer this rich learning experience to our students and students in China and Israel. Regardless of their home country, MBA students benefit from exploring entrepreneurial ventures in new markets.”

Each finalist team was tasked with pitching a plan for a venture that would do business in China or leverage Chinese resources in some way. Second place and $2,000 went to Love-Link, a plan for a company that addresses vegetable food safety from a Tianjin University team. A team from Zhejiang University won third place ($1,000) with its pitch for SmartWheel, a high-tech wheel chair. Additional finalist teams were recognized and earned smaller cash prizes. Judges included Smith School and Dingman Center leaders, and entrepreneurial experts from China.

The competition was the highlight of the Smith School students’ week of exploring venture creation and global operations in China’s rapidly evolving economy. The trip was the conclusion of a three-credit course on global learning experiences led by J. Robert Baum, associate professor of entrepreneurship. The trip also included meetings with successful local entrepreneurs and visits to multinational corporations’ manufacturing facilities to better understand the Chinese market.

In addition to leading study trips to China, the Smith School also offers an executive MBA degree program in Beijing with partner the University of International Business and Economics. In both its China and U.S. programs, entrepreneurship is a key area of focus for the Smith School. The school is internationally known for its entrepreneurship research and programs, ranking among the best in the world for its offerings, according to U.S. News & World Report and the Financial Times.

UMD Doctoral Student Recognized for Outstanding Research in Entrepreneurship

January 10, 2013
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Shweta GaonkarCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Shweta Gaonkar, a Doctoral student in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, has been honored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Emerging Scholars Program for her significant contributions to research in entrepreneurship.

Gaonkar is one of 15 exceptional students from across the country recognized by the Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program and will receive $20,000 to support her dissertation research. The Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program is one of several programs established by the Kaufmann Foundation designed to create a substantial body of research on entrepreneurship and innovation.

"We are proud to honor these bright emerging scholars for their outstanding work in academic entrepreneurship study," said Robert J. Strom, director of research and policy at the Foundation. "Not only is their work significant, but they represent some of the brightest future leaders in the field of entrepreneurship research who will influence our next generation of academics."

Visit the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s website to view the full list of Emerging Scholars Program winners.

UMD’s Director of Public Safety Named Finalist for Campus Safety’s Director of the Year Award

January 10, 2013
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

David MitchellCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Campus Safety Magazine has named UMD’s Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, David Mitchell, a finalist for the 2012 Campus Safety Director of the Year award. Mitchell, along with the other finalists, was chosen for his outstanding leadership skills, ingenuity, selflessness and overall achievement.
 
Mitchell’s accomplishments at UMD have been numerous, including creating a state-of-the-art K9 unit that can detect bombs and person-borne explosive devices; and properly and fully staffing the Emergency Operations Center. His tremendous efforts have led to decreased crime at the university and improved relationships between the police department and the University of Maryland community.
 
To vote for Mitchell as the 2012 Campus Safety Director of the Year, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RJ6T5LH.

UMD Language Research Center Names Amy Weinberg Executive Director

January 9, 2013
Contacts: 

Pamela R. Morse 301-226-8899

Amy Weinberg, Ph.D.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) has named Amy Weinberg, Ph.D., as its new executive director, replacing Founding Director Richard Brecht, Ph.D., who will retire in January 2013. As CASL’s deputy executive director, Weinberg has been instrumental in molding the center’s strategic partnerships and research agenda.

“The University of Maryland has provided world-class research to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for many years and we look forward to continuing this service to our nation,” said Patrick O’Shea, Ph.D., vice president and chief research officer for the University of Maryland. “With Amy Weinberg at the helm at CASL, I am confident in the continued excellence of our programs in the language sciences, as well as our graduates who go on to serve the country.”

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy, Weinberg worked as an associate professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Linguistics and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) until 2004, when she joined CASL as area director for technology use.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to shape CASL’s future and meet the needs of the next decade of language challenges that this changing world poses,” said Weinberg.

In 2007, Weinberg joined the university’s Division of Research, where she supported the University of Maryland National Security Advisory Board and other outreach efforts. In 2008, she earned the rank of professor of linguistics and was cross-appointed to the Department of Computer Science. A member of UMIACS, Weinberg served as a director of the university’s Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Laboratory until her return to CASL as deputy executive director in 2010.

“The federal government is playing a leading role in coping with the language needs of the nation, and CASL has the responsibility of transferring fresh policy and innovative human and technological solutions to the education system and to the country’s industry base,” said the outgoing Brecht. “Weinberg’s leadership will provide those fresh approaches that the government is looking for.”

The DoD recently exercised the next five-year option on its contract with the multi-million dollar University-Affiliated Research Center, which is the first and only national resource dedicated to addressing the language needs of the U.S. intelligence community. CASL currently employs approximately 150 scientists and support staff members at the University of Maryland Research Park, M Square, located just off campus.

Founded in 2003, CASL’s research has focused on increasing the efficiency of government professionals whose responsibilities include defense, intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, humanitarian assistance, and other important abilities.  All these global roles require skills in language, culture, and analysis that require critical research and expertise in languages and linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, human language technologies, and the behavioral and social sciences. In its first ten years, the center has dramatically improved selection, diagnosis, on-boarding, learning, and sustainment regimens for government professionals whose work depends on linguistic and cultural expertise by working closely with the military and intelligence communities to further their strategic initiatives.

ABOUT CASL
CASL conducts unprecedented, academically rigorous research in language and cognition that supports national security. CASL research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, bringing together people from the government, academia, and the private sector. CASL research is both strategic and tactical, so that it not only advances areas of knowledge, but also directly serves the critical needs of the nation. The University of Maryland is unique in its comprehensive approach to language and cybersecurity research, stressing ‘more-than-tech’ interdisciplinary solutions. For more information, visit www.casl.umd.edu.

UMD Flu Study Tracks Infection as Influenza Peaks in Maryland

January 8, 2013
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake (301) 405-9418

Donald Milton, M.D., Dr.P.H.COLLEGE PARK, Md. - This year’s flu season started sooner, is hitting harder and is more widespread than usual. Health officials say that Maryland is one of several states on track to have one of the worst influenza seasons in recent years, although flu is notoriously hard to predict.

Donald Milton, M.D., Dr.P.H., is leading a study to track flu infection and modes of transmission at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. His research team is finding that many study participants coming in with flu recently are infected with more than one virus strain.

“This may be an important factor driving the high attack rate right now,” he explains. Dr. Milton is an expert in airborne infection transmission who directs the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health. “Co-infection with more than one virus may make both of the viruses more contagious than either would be alone.”

Also, the illness’ intensity may be due to the type of influenza. The most prevalent strain this year, influenza A (H3N2), is causing more severe symptoms than influenza B alone, but many people have simultaneous influenza A and B infections or a combination of influenza B and another virus called respiratory syncytial virus.

Gesundheit IIMilton’s “Got Flu?” team has been tracking and reporting the incidence of influenza-like illness on its website and to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since October. This is the first time that influenza surveillance has been done on the College Park campus, though participants also are being recruited from the surrounding areas.

“People might be surprised to learn that we don’t know for sure how flu spreads,” says Milton. “In addition, to encourage vaccination, preventing the spread of flu requires that we better understand how the virus travels and infects people.”

Researchers take nose and throat swabs from flu sufferers and gather samples of their exhaled breath using a special machine called the Gesundheit II (see photo). It captures the virus aerosols from breath, coughs and sneezes and can determine whether there’s more virus shed in large droplet sprays or in the tiny airborne particles.

You Can Help Stop Flu: Participate in the "Got Flu?" Study
If you are 10 years or older, have a fever and sore throat or cough (whether or not you had the flu vaccine), you can come in to the University of Maryland School of Public Health Clinical Research Facility to give a nasal swab sample and be paid $20 for your time, and potentially be eligible to give breath samples in the Gesundheit II for an additional $80 compensation. You may even be retested over three days and compensated up to $300 for coming to campus and giving samples while you have the flu. Call 424-2GOTFLU (424-246-8358), email gotflu@umd.edu, or contact Milton's team through www.gotflu.org.

 

Watch the WUSA-TV report on Dr. Milton's study:

 

The Cross-Continental Express (American Theatre Magazine)

Long-distance relationships aren’t easy. Lovers must keep romance alive through a variety of media (e-mail, phone, Skype), and in some instances there are time differences to contend with. One person’s late-night phone tryst is another’s early-morning wake-up call. Accordingly, forming a theatrical relationship across 12 time zones would seem next to impossible. But a recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by students of the University of Maryland (UMD) and their counterparts at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing (NACTA) proved otherwise.

Google Awards Food Recovery Network Major Advertising Grant

A promising new student-run nonprofit called the Food Recovery Network (at the University of Maryland) is stepping onto the national stage with the help of a $120,000 per year advertising grant from Google. The student leaders behind FRN expect the grant to catapult the momentum of their simple mission to donate surplus prepared food from college dining halls to hungry Americans.

Pages

April 24
Explore UMD’s world of Fearless Ideas with more than 400 free, educational, family-friendly and interactive events. Read
April 21
Six student-run teams to pitch efforts to Do Good on campus, locally and nationwide. Read
April 20
15 projects will help improve sustainability on UMD campus and in the local community.  Read