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New Module Helps Journalists Report on Child Death

May 9, 2013
Contacts: 

Dave Ottalini 301-405-1321

Online training shows that child tragedies can be covered with sensitivity, balance, compassion and caring

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Journalists have a new tool from the University of Maryland to help them do the best possible job when reporting a tragic event - the death of a child. Whether it's by abuse or neglect, preventable accidents, gun violence and drugs or alcohol, insensitive coverage can start a drumbeat that leads to sensationalism or reactionary media coverage that never seems to end.

Dekia Mattox Memorial (Kristyna Wentz-Graff, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)"Covering child deaths is perhaps the most emotionally challenging story a journalist will tell in their careers," says Julie Drizin, director for the Journalism Center on Children & Families (JCCF) at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

It's clear, she says, that there's a need to help reporters do a better job of reporting the tragedy of a child's death that is "ethical, balanced, compassionate and caring." That need has led to a new tool for journalists – a free in-depth interactive training module – called "When a Child Dies" that was created with funding provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The new module is available now on the JCCF website.

Telling Stories with Sensitivity, Timing and Correctness
The new module uses interviews, examples from top reporters, lessons, tips, sources and more to help reporters deal with such issues as:

  • What is the best way to interview a child witness?
  • What is the best way to interview a grieving family?
  • What is the best way to craft an obituary?
  • How do you judge which images are exploitative?
  • How close can/should journalists get to the families they cover?
  • How does a reporter deal with legal issues reporting juvenile death cases?

The module also provides examples of inadequate and troubling coverage that reporters can learn from. It is designed to be a "living document" that can grow and change with time to become a better resource for reporters.

Future Impact
Drizin says, "High profile stories often lead policy makers to weigh in with new laws and regulations. Sometimes these efforts do protect children, but sometimes they undermine the institutions that work in the best interests of children by promoting stereotypes of corrupt, failed, wasteful, uncaring individuals, leaders and systems." Unfortunately, Drizin says, "Sometimes nothing happens at all."

Raising HIV Awareness Through the Arts

May 8, 2013
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland School of Public Health's Prevention Research Center (PRC) and UMD's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center are partnering with the Prince George's County, Md., city of Seat Pleasant to launch the CREATE for Change program.

This arts-based, inter-generational project focuses on raising awareness about HIV and STD prevention through creative expression in Prince George's County, Md. The project will be launched at the fourth annual Seat Pleasant Health Summit at UMD on May, 10, 2013.

A high school student from Seat Pleasant talks about HIV/AIDS awareness among teens in Prince George's County at the third annual Seat Pleasant Health Summit in May 2012.The Health Summit will bring together high school youth and senior citizens from Seat Pleasant for a fun, educational experience, led by Dr. Brad Boekeloo, director of the Prevention Research Center and professor of behavioral and community health, along with other public health faculty members and students, several performing artists, and Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant.

Sessions are designed to help residents develop tools to improve health in their communities. Several community participants will be cultivated and trained as community leaders for the CREATE for Change program over a six month period following the summit. CREATE Leaders will be required to problem solve, community organize, take a leadership role, and educate others about HIV. They will receive commendations for community work from elected officials, provide an important service in which youth may receive community service credits, and have the UMD affiliated title of CREATE Leader. CREATE stands for Community Redirection of Expectations through Arts Transformation Experiences.

Launched in 2010, the annual Seat Pleasant Health Summits are the result of an ongoing partnership between Seat Pleasant, Md., and the University of Maryland School of Public Health to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in this community. Located in Prince George's County, Md., along the eastern border with Washington, D.C., Seat Pleasant is a predominantly African-American community with disproportionately high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and HIV/AIDS.

This is the first year that the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center joins the Prevention Research Center and Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene W. Grant in planning the Seat Pleasant Health Summit and the first time that its focus is on engaging community members in becoming leaders who will utilize the arts to influence better health outcomes. 

Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. Honeybees Lost in Winter 2012-13

May 7, 2013
Contacts: 

Heather Dewar 301-405-9267

U.S. beekeepers lost nearly one in every three honey bee colonies over the winter of 2012-2013, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America. COLLEGE PARK, Md. – U.S. beekeepers lost nearly one in every three honey bee colonies over the winter of 2012-2013, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America.

This winter's losses of 31.1 percent represent a steep increase from the 22 percent losses of 2011-2012, when a mild winter gave bees and beekeepers a respite. The new survey, conducted from October 2012 through April 2013, shows the respite is over, with losses running slightly higher than the 30.5 percent average over the past six years.

University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp, who directs the Bee Informed Partnership, led a team of eleven researchers in the survey.

The 2012-2013 loss rate is more than double the 15 percent loss that beekeepers say is "acceptable" for their businesses to remain viable. Seventy percent of beekeepers surveyed sustained losses higher than 15 percent.

The high losses are changing commercial bee keeping, vanEngelsdorp says. Beekeepers used to have two ways to turn a profit, he explains. They could sell honey from their hives, or rent out their colonies to growers whose crops are pollinated by bees. But with losses so high, "All the money you're going to make in honey goes to replacing dead colonies and keeping your colonies alive," van Engelsdorp says. "Any money you make will be from pollination."

Many fruit and nut crops, such as California almonds, depend on managed hives of honey bees trucked in from all over the country. Beekeepers who take their hives to California in February, when almond trees bloom, tend to have the most, and the most intensively managed bee colonies, van Engelsdorp says. Among that subset of beekeepers, losses were especially high. Nearly one in five beekeepers who pollinated almond trees this spring did so in spite of losing 50 percent or more of their colonies over the winter.

There appear to be multiple causes for increased bee colony losses in recent years, says vanEngelsdorp, an expert on honey bee health. A report issued last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency also suggested honey bees are affected by a complex mix of problems.

VanEngelsdorp thinks one reason for the high losses in 2012-2013 may be last fall's Midwestern drought. Bees probably gathered most of their nectar from flowering crops, which were irrigated, instead of from wildflowers. The crops' nectar may have had unusually high concentrations of pesticides because of the drought, or there may not have been enough nectar and pollen to go around, leading to malnourishment, he says

Honey bees also lost habitat as high corn prices caused farmers to replace prairie and shrubs with cornfields, vanEngelsdorp says. And for part of the year, beekeepers lacked an effective treatment for Varroa mites, which can kill bees, because the mites had become resistant to old miticides and a replacement product was not yet available.

The survey did not show evidence of colony collapse disorder (CCD), the still-unexplained phenomenon that causes the sudden death of all the bees in a colony. Although CCD appears to be on the wane, the overall rate of honey bee colony loss is still about the same as it was when CCD was at its peak in 2006-2007.

In 2012-2013 most colonies "dwindled away rather than suffering from the sudden onset of CCD," says Jeff Pettis, a U.S. Department of Agriculture bee expert who worked on the survey. The survey stopped tracking the colonies at the end of April, so "the 31 percent figure likely under-represents the losses, as we saw many weak colonies that were not actually dead," Pettis says.

The survey was funded by the USDA. The 6,287 U.S. beekeepers who responded to the survey managed nearly 600,000 bee colonies at the start of the survey period, or about 23 percent of the country's estimated 2.6 million colonies.

The abstract for the survey can be found at
http://beeinformed.org/2013/05/winter-loss-survey-2012-2013. A complete analysis of the survey data will be published later this year.

UMD Ranks No. 1 in Boren Scholarships Nationally

May 6, 2013
Contacts: 

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

For the second consecutive year, the University of Maryland leads the nation in Boren Scholarships, with 10 undergraduate students receiving awards for long-term intensive international language study. COLLEGE PARK, Md. – For the second consecutive year, the University of Maryland leads the nation in Boren Scholarships, with 10 undergraduate students receiving awards for long-term intensive international language study. This year's recipients will be studying in Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey and Russia. In 2012, UMD also ranked first with eight recipients and was the third highest recipient institution in 2011 and 2010.

The Boren Scholarship, a Department of Defense award funded by the National Security Education Program, provides up to $20,000 for undergraduate students pursuing language study in regions important to U.S. national interests. Nationally, more than 1,000 students applied for a total 160 Boren scholarships this year.

"We are committed to graduating students who are internationally aware and globally skilled, and these outstanding scholars are among the most successful," said University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "We are proud of their achievements, and look forward to their contributions to Maryland and our nation."

This year, five of UMD's Boren Scholars are members of Maryland's Flagship language programs in Arabic and Persian. The program helps students develop professional-level language skills along with deep knowledge about the many cultures of the modern Middle East, and of the Persian-speaking nations of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

UMD's 2013 Undergraduate Boren Scholars:

Chineme Ezekwenna -- Igbo in Nigeria
Ezekwenna is a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, majoring in government, with a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. She is also a member of the Global Communities living-learning program and the Language House French Cluster. 

Erin Hylton – Portuguese in Brazil
Hylton is a senior in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, majoring in Civil Engineering. She is also a member of the Honors College University Honors program.

Alanna Jordan – Persian in Turkey
A senior in the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Jordan majors in international business and Persian studies and is a member of the Honors College University Honors and Persian Flagship programs.
 
Shawn Letourneau – Arabic in Egypt
Letourneau is a senior in the College of Arts and Humanities, majoring in Arabic studies and central European, Russian, and Eurasian studies. He is a member of the Arabic Flagship program and a U.S. Army veteran.

Katherine Martin – Russian in Russia
A junior in the College of Arts and Humanities, Martin is a Russian major and global terrorism minor.

Rachel Mayer – Arabic in Egypt
Mayer is a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, majoring in Arabic studies and government, with a minor in Middle Eastern studies. She is also a member of the Arabic Flagship program.

Ryan Murphy – Arabic in Egypt
Murphy is a senior in the Robert H. Smith School of Business, majoring in operations management and Arabic studies. He is also a member of the CIVICUS living-learning program, as well as the Arabic Flagship program.

Yael Nagar – Swahili in Tanzania
A sophomore in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Nagar majors in government and economics, with a minor in international development and conflict management. She is also a member of the Honors College Honors Humanities.

Jacob Stanfill – Arabic in Egypt
Stanfill is a senior in the College of Arts and Humanities, majoring in Arabic studies. He is a member of the Arabic Flagship program and the Language House Arabic Cluster.

Elizabeth Teoman – Turkish in Turkey
Teoman is a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, majoring in anthropology with minors in global terrorism, and international development & conflict management. She is also a member of the Global Communities living-learning program.

Dalai Lama Will Lecture and Dialogue at UMD, May 7

May 6, 2013
Contacts: 

Media contact: 301-257-0073
Media registration: dalailamamedia@umd.edu

Media Registration and Credentials Required

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai LamaCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland will host His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama on Tuesday May 7, 2013 for two separate events – delivery of the prestigious Sadat Lecture and a dialogue with scholars of Sufism, a mystical Islamic tradition.

Media space is limited; credentialed media only; advance media registration required.

WHAT:

Sadat Lecture: "Peace Through Compassion: Connecting a Multi-Faith World"
In the morning, the Dalai Lama will join a long list of world leaders to deliver the Sadat Lecture. Before an audience of 15,000, he will speak in English for about 45 minutes, answering questions submitted by the audience. Tickets for the event were snapped up by the public in a matter of minutes. The UMD Sadat Chair for Peace and Development arranged for the visit.

Roshan Dialogue: "A Meeting of Two Oceans: Dialogue on Sufism and Buddhism"
In the afternoon, His Holiness will meet in a smaller venue for dialogue on two religious traditions: Islam's Sufi tradition and Tibetan Buddhism. UMD's Roshan Institute of Persian Studies organized the event. Note: We have reached capacity and are no longer accepting media requests to cover the dialogue event.

WHO:

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama calls himself "a simple Buddhist monk." He is a Nobel Peace Prize-winner and an international figure with a devoted following of millions. His web site describes him as "the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people." He actively seeks out both interfaith and scientific dialogues, writing in one of his many books, "If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."

WHEN:

Tuesday May 7, 2013

Sadat Lecture: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

  • State Department security requires that all media with video cameras, still cameras, laptops and iPads must arrive for check-in at 6:30 a.m. and be in place for a 7 a.m. security sweep. There will be no late entry.
  • All additional media must be in place 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Roshan Dialogue: 1:45 p.m. – 3 p.m.
**Only for media who have been pre-confirmed to attend this event

  • Check in for the Roshan Dialogue is between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. All media with video cameras, still cameras, laptops and iPads must be in place for a 12:30 p.m. security sweep. There will be no late entry.
  • All additional media (without video equipment or large electronics) must be in place 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.

WHERE:

Both events will take place on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park 20742

Sadat Lecture: Comcast Center arena, campus of the University of Maryland, College Park 20742

Roshan Dialogue: Ina and Jack Kay Theater, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, campus of the University of Maryland, College Park 20742
**Only for media who have been pre-confirmed to attend this event

MEDIA REGISTRATION: Media space is limited and restricted to credentialed media who have pre-registered. Media badges will be distributed on site. To register, media representatives should send email requests to: dalailamamedia@umd.edu. Please indicate: name(s) and position(s), media affiliation, credentials possessed [these will be required at check-in] and full contact information so we can confirm your request. We will email you a confirmation of your registration, along with and parking and check-in details.

MEDIA CHECK-IN AND CREDENTIALING:
Sadat Lecture: Media badges will be distributed on site during check in at Gate C. Please bring identification and credentials to the check-in table.
Roshan Dialogue: Media must check in through the main entrance of the Clarice Smith Center to receive their tickets. Please bring identification and credentials to the check-in table. (**Only for media who have been pre-confirmed to attend this event)

PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS:
Sadat Lecture & Roshan Dialogue: Absolutely no flashbulbs or additional lighting may be used by media (at the Dalai Lama’s request). The stage will be pre-lit for video.
Sadat Lecture Only: Photographers should expect a throw of 100 feet. There will be limited opportunities for escorted close-ups. 

AUDIO: Mult-box audio feeds will be available at both events.

STREAMING: Both the lecture and the dialogue will be streamed via the Internet. Details will be available at http://www.umd.edu on the day of the event.

For media registration email dalailamamedia@umd.edu

Terps Dig Deep to Win National Championship

May 2, 2013
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

The University of Maryland beat out 21 other colleges and universities from around the country to take home the top prize in the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Platteville April 21 through April 26. COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland beat out 21 other colleges and universities from around the country to take home the top prize in the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Platteville April 21 through April 26. It marks the first time in 29 years the Terps have won this prestigious national competition. UMD's previous victories came in 1984 and 1972.

Soil judging develops and tests a student's ability to apply knowledge and skills to real-world natural systems. To "judge" a soil, students spend one hour in a 5-foot-deep pit describing the characteristics of the various layers that have developed in the soil, the ability of the soil to transmit and retain water and support roots, the geological history of the site, the long-term processes of soil development, the classification of the soil, and the potential challenges of using the soil for land uses such as building a home. In this contest, students studied the fascinating and complex soils of the driftless (unaffected by glaciers) region of southwestern Wisconsin.

"Describing soil judging to someone is always interesting because soils are something most people don't think about, but almost everyone has interacted with," says senior Isabel Enerson. "Soil judging is a competition, but it's also one of the best and most applicable learning experiences I have ever had."

Maryland's soil judging team braved freezing temperatures, high winds, rain, sleet, hail, and stores telling them that hand-warmers were "out of season" in order to bring home this year's trophy.Maryland's soil judging team braved freezing temperatures, high winds, rain, sleet, hail, and stores telling them that hand-warmers were "out of season" in order to bring home this year's trophy.

"We are a group of students with a genuine interest in soils and a deep respect for the earth," says senior Ryan Adams. "To be able to bond with others over this shared passion and represent the University of Maryland while doing so has been invigorating and unforgettable."

Members of the victorious team included Adams, Enerson, Davinia Forgy, Laurence Gindi, Heather Hall, Steph Jamis, Peter Lynagh, Jessica Rupprecht, Mujen (Jack) Wang, and Tyler Witkowski. Of the competing students, five are Environmental Science & Technology (ENST) majors, four are Environmental Science & Policy majors and one is majoring in Agricultural Science and Technology. ENST Associate Professor Brian Needelman served as the team's coach and graduate assistant Chris Palardy served as the assistant coach.

"My favorite part of soil judging is the depth of the interactions I get to have with the students," says Coach Brian Needelman. "The team made memories that will last a lifetime and bringing home a championship is very sweet icing on the cake. The students deserved it for all their hard work and dedication."

In addition to winning the overall competition, the UMD team won the group judging portion of the contest for the second year in a row. Also, Tyler Witkowski came in 3rd place and Davinia Forgy came in 8th place in the individual portion of the competition. The first place victory builds upon Maryland Soil Judging's impressive resume, with 10 "Final Four" finishes at the national competition and 22 regional championships.

UMD Robot Bird Takes Maneuverability to New Height

April 30, 2013
Contacts: 

Rebecca Copeland 301–405–6602

First independently controllable wings make more realistic flight possible

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — In this age of advanced technology, how hard could it be to develop a robotic bird that flies by flapping its wings? Despite the apparent simplicity of the idea, it's very hard—if you want the bird to actually fly. And how hard could it be to make a robot bird whose wings can flap independently of each other? So hard that it's been a breakthrough that's been out of reach for engineers—until now.

University of Maryland professors S. K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck and their students have developed and demonstrated a new robotic bird, "Robo Raven," whose wings flap completely independently of each other, and also can be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the bird to perform aerobatic maneuvers. This is the first time a robotic bird with these capabilities has been built and successfully flown.

What makes building robotic birds so difficult? Not only is there a long trial and error process, but every error leads to a crash, often one that is fatal to the robot. This makes design iterations painfully slow.

(L-R) Students Luke Roberts, John Gerdes, and Ariel Perez-Rosado with Robo Raven.Gupta, a professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, has been working on flapping-wing robotic birds for the better part of a decade. He and his graduate students, along with Mechanical Engineering Professor Hugh Bruck, first successfully demonstrated a flapping-wing bird in 2007. This bird used one motor to flap both wings together in simple motions. By 2010 the design had evolved over four successive models. The final bird in the series was able to carry a tiny video camera, could be launched from a ground robot, and could fly in winds up to 10 mph—important breakthroughs for robotic micro air vehicles that one day could be used for reconnaissance and surveillance. It even fooled a local hawk, which attacked the robot in mid-flight on more than one occasion.

Robo Raven's wings flap completely independent of each other.But the limitation of simultaneous wing flapping restricted how well the robotic bird could fly. So Gupta decided to tackle the much thornier problem of creating a more versatile bird with wings that operated independently, just like real birds. An unsuccessful attempt in 2008 led to the project being shelved for a while. Then, in 2012, Gupta partnered with Bruck and their graduate students to try again.

"Our new robot, Robo Raven, is based on a fundamentally new design concept," Gupta says. "It uses two programmable motors that can be synchronized electronically to coordinate motion between the wings."

The challenge was that the two actuators required a bigger battery and an on-board micro controller, which initially made Robo Raven too heavy to fly.

"How did we get Robo Raven to 'diet' and lose weight?" Gupta asks. "We used advanced manufacturing processes such as 3D printing and laser cutting to create lightweight polymer parts."

But smarter manufacturing and lighter parts were only part of the solution.

Robo Raven in flight. So the team did three more things to get Robo Raven airborne. They programmed motion profiles that ensured wings maintained optimal velocity while flapping to achieve the right balance between lift and thrust. They developed a way to measure aerodynamic forces generated during the flapping cycle, enabling them to evaluate a range of wing designs and quickly select the best one. Finally, the team performed system-level optimization to make sure all components worked well together and provided peak performance as an integrated system.

"We can now program any desired motion patterns for the wings," Gupta says. "This allows us to try new in-flight aerobatics—like diving and rolling—that would have not been possible before, and brings us a big step closer to faithfully reproducing the way real birds fly."

Life-Saving Technology Advances with $500k Fed Grant

April 29, 2013
Contacts: 

Eric Schurr 301-405-3889

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Remedium Technologies, a medical device company founded by University of Maryland engineers has been awarded a $500,000 federal small business innovation research grant to test the company's high-pressure, sprayable foam for rapidly halting bleeding caused by traumatic injuries.

Remedium Technologies, a medical device company founded by University of Maryland engineers has been awarded a $500,000 federal small business innovation research grant to test the company's high-pressure, sprayable foam for rapidly halting bleeding caused by traumatic injuries. In collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Maryland, Remedium will complete pre-clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its Hemogrip™ foam in controlling non-compressible hemorrhaging, bleeding that cannot be slowed or stopped using direct pressure. Hemogrip foam can be sprayed into an injured body cavity, where it expands and adheres to tissue to stop hemorrhaging within minutes. There are currently no hemostatic products available for treatment of non-compressible bleeds, which account for 85 percent of hemorrhage-related deaths.

The grant will also support additional UMD product research by the Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Group in the Clark School of Engineering, directed by Remedium co-founder Professor Srinivasa Raghavan (Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering).

"Remedium is honored to be recognized for its product development progress with this important Phase II funding from the National Science Foundation," said Matthew Dowling (Ph.D. '10, bioengineering), CEO and co-founder of Remedium. "We are enthusiastic in approaching pre-clinical trials with a product we see as critical in addressing non-compressible hemorrhage, which is one of the biggest unmet needs in trauma medicine today," said Dowling.

Hemogrip's life-saving technology is based on chitosan—a natural biopolymer found in the exoskeleton of shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans. Chitosan is unique as a natural material because it is biocompatible, anti-microbial, and highly durable under a wide range of environmental conditions. When applied to wounds, Hemogrip creates a nano-scale, three-dimensional mesh, rapidly coagulating blood and staunching blood loss.

The Hemogrip Foam is dispensed from a handheld, lightweight canister that is easy to use by surgeons, soldiers and consumers alike. It can be removed quickly and easily without damaging tissue, and since it is based on chitosan—the second most abundant biopolymer on earth—it is also inexpensive.

Both the current $500,000 grant and an earlier $150,000 SBIR Phase I grant were awarded to Remedium by the National Science Foundation.  The company's research has also been supported by two Maryland Industrial Partnerships grants totaling $206,000, a $140,000 Maryland Proof of Concept Alliance grant, a $75,000 Maryland Technology Development Corporation Maryland Technology Transfer Fund grant, and a $200,000 Maryland Biotechnology Center Translational Research Award. In 2009, it received the UMD's Outstanding Invention of the Year Award in the Life Sciences from the Office of Technology and Commercialization.

The young company has been highly successful in business plan competitions, including winning first prize in the Community Resilience and Homeland Security division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's 2010 Global Venture Challenge; the "Most Promising Security Idea" award in the 2009 4th Annual Global Security Challenge; and 2nd place in the Faculty and Graduate Student Division of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's 2007 $50K Business Plan Competition. Most recently, Remedium was a finalist in the Invest Maryland Challenge, a national early-stage business competition offering grants and services to high-tech and life sciences startups located or interested in moving to the State of Maryland.

The company has six patents pending related to the Hemogrip platform. Its products, which also include surgical sprays and bandages, are designed to be used by surgeons, soldiers, EMTs, or even unskilled helpers, in locations ranging from the operating room to the battlefield to emergency situations.

Americans Feel Less Rushed, Less Happy: UMD Research

April 29, 2013
Contacts: 

Andrew Roberts 301-405-2171
Laura Ours 301-405-5722

Fewer Americans describe their lives as "always rushed," according to a new study by a University of Maryland researcher.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Fewer Americans describe their lives as "always rushed," according to a new study by a University of Maryland researcher – this during a period when smart phones and electronic tablets made work and social life more time-intensive and ever- present.  Between 2004 and 2010, significantly fewer (about 8 percent of survey respondents) considered themselves so intensely rushed.

At the same time, that less hectic lifestyle did not translate to increased happiness. While feelings of being rushed have been associated with lower levels of feeling "very happy," during this period, Americans' reports of happiness also declined significantly.

"The result was almost the opposite of what I expected" says University of Maryland sociologist and time-use researcher John P. Robinson, who conducted the study.  "Until this 2010 survey, feelings of being rushed had continually increased or stayed at the same level." Robinson has been tracking responses to time survey questions since 1965, when he directed the first national time survey at the University of Michigan.

Robinson reported the findings in a February 2013 report in Scientific American, and more fully in the January 2013 issue of Social Indicators Research.

 While feelings of being rushed have been associated with lower levels of feeling "very happy," during this period, Americans' reports of happiness also declined significantly.Digging deeper, Robinson also found a decline in how often Americans felt they "had time on their hands they didn't know what to do with." Nearly half of people who reported "almost never" being rushed and "almost never" having excess time on their hands said they were "very happy" in their lives -- compared to only about 25 percent of the rest of the population. 

"This small slice of the population – perhaps less than 10 percent of the public – seems to have found a way to organize their lives in a way to resist the rat race and hurry sickness than afflicts the rest of us," Robinson concludes.

The drop in feeling rushed does not appear connected to increases in joblessness during this period, as more declines were found among those who were employed. Nor were there any age groups that felt less rushed.
 
The data come from the 2010 General Social Survey of the University of Chicago, and various other national surveys by the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan and the University of North Florida.

Cyber Symposium Tackles Policy, Tech, Privacy & More

April 26, 2013
Contacts: 

Eric Chapman 301-405-7136

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – What if cybersecurity were addressed as a public health concern, with strict protocols required comparable to childhood vaccinations? Is it ethically and technically feasible for local governments and corporations to launch preemptive cyberattacks against hackers? Just how safe are those "trusted certificates" we rely upon almost daily for online banking and other important web-based transactions?

Michael Hicks, director of MC2These topics, and more, are up for discussion at a major cybersecurity symposium to be held next month at the University of Maryland. The two-day event, May 14 and 15 at the College Park campus, features keynote speakers from academia, the private sector and the federal government. These experts will offer forward-looking—and possibly provocative—views on the policies, technology and human behaviors needed to combat the ever-evolving threats posed by hackers and cyberthieves.

"These are thought-provoking topics that we fully expect to stimulate interesting dialogue among our symposium participants," says Michael Hicks (pictured right), director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2), which is coordinating the annual event.

Research faculty from MC2, part of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, will also be on hand for a series of tutorials and workshops. They will discuss the latest developments and technology related to privacy in social media, security forensics, protocols for secure cloud computation and communication, supply chain security, reverse engineering and program analysis, and more.

"Anyone wanting to understand the latest trends and solutions in cybersecurity—students, business leaders, policymakers and scientists—will benefit from these sessions," says Eric Chapman, associate director of MC2.

Several corporate partners of MC2, including Tenable Network Security, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, SAIC and Google, are sponsoring the event.

Keynote speakers are:

  • Fred Schneider, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, who will discuss how past policies for enhancing cybersecurity—prevention, risk management and deterrence through accountability—have all proven ineffective, and that a new doctrine inspired by those used for public health should be considered.
  • Kathleen Fisher, a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who will discuss the need to develop better "high-assurance" systems in critical areas like hospitals and military applications, where hackers' intrusions can have devastating consequences.
  • Randy Sabett, J.D., of counsel at ZwillGen PLLC, who will discuss the current controversy over an "active" cyberdefense—preemptive strikes against hackers—that is an increasingly considered option outside of classified government agencies.
  • Steven Bellovin, chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission, who will discuss what he considers to be serious security flaws in a critical infrastructure used to protect web users—trusted certificate authorities—and how their being compromised can have a cascading effect on other online security.

For more information or to register, go to www.cyber.umd.edu/events/symposium.

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