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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.

Maryland Ranked 5th Best Value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

December 27, 2012
Contacts: 

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625 bcavana@umd.edu

College Park, Md. – The University of Maryland has been ranked 5th in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s annual ranking of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2012-13 – making it UMD’s second year in the top 5 and the fifth consecutive year in the top 10. Each year, Kiplinger’s collects data from 600 public four-year institutions and determines the top 100 by analyzing several measurable standards, such as academic quality – including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates – financial aid and cost, with academic quality carrying the most weight.

 “At a time when broad access to the highest quality education is challenged, this recognition is truly significant,” said UMD President Wallace Loh. “With strong support from our state elected leaders, Kiplinger's ranking is validation that we are succeeding at our core mission of academic excellence, access and service.”

  “We applaud this year’s top 100 schools for their efforts to maintain academic standards while meeting the financial needs of their students,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.  

Click here to read more about UMD's impressive rise in the rankings.

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