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University of Maryland Goes Smoke-Free

July 1, 2013

Crystal Brown 301-405-4621 

The University of Maryland has become a smoke-free institution as of July 1, 2013.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has become a smoke-free institution as of July 1, 2013. The policy applies to everyone on campus, including visitors and contractors. It covers all buildings and all campus property, except for four designated smoking areas.

UMD's shift to a smoke-free campus is an extension of the University System of Maryland'sgoal to promote healthy, smoke-free environments for all faculty, staff, students and visitors on USM campuses. Smoke-free policies are now being implemented at all 12 USM institutions.

"We have an obligation to our students, employees and visitors to provide a healthy and clean campus environment," says UMD President Wallace Loh. "I am pleased that the university is taking this significant stride to promote our community's health and wellbeing, providing support to those who need it, and ensuring that all members of the campus community have the healthiest air possible to breathe."

The new policy will help reduce the health risks associated with smoking and enhance the culture of health and wellness at the university.

UMD offers a variety of resources for those who are looking to quit smoking. The University Health Center (UHC) provides a free Tobacco Cessation Program for members of the campus community. The program includes counseling, replacement therapy, acupuncture, meditation and stress management. Additional cessation resources are available on the UHC website.

Additional information about UMD's smoke-free policy is available at

UMD Journalism Center Honors Meritorious Reporting

June 28, 2013

Dave Ottalini 301-405-1321

The Journalism Center on Children and Families, part of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, has announced the 2013 Casey Medal award winners for meritorious journalism.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Journalism Center on Children and Families, part of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, has announced the 2013 Casey Medal award winners for meritorious journalism. The awards celebrate the past year’s best reporting on children, youth and families in the U.S.

Journalistic efforts that took first place honors in the 19th annual contest include stunning images of families coping with urban poverty and gun violence, shocking accounts of abuse at facilities for developmentally disabled youth and adults, a moving and honest story of the struggles between a single father and his adopted son, and more.

The Journalism Center on Children and Families received entries representing the work of hundreds of reporters, editors, photographers and producers at more than 100 news organizations. Among the winners: The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer,  PBS Frontline, New York Magazine, Tampa Bay Times, WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Center for Public Integrity, The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Des Moines Register, The Times of Northwest Indiana and WNYC’s Radio Rookies.

Judges sought journalism that packed a punch, stirred the conscience and made an impact; meticulously reported, powerfully delivered stories that shined a spotlight on issues, institutions and communities that rarely receive media attention.

The Journalism Center on Children and Families and the Medals program are funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Twelve winners will receive $1,000 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on September 26. Two honorees will receive additional prizes of $5,000 from the America’s Promise Alliance, a coalition of more than 350 national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.

The full list of winners can be viewed here:

UMD Taps Brian Darmody to Lead Corporate Relations Initiatives

June 28, 2013

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

The University of Maryland has named Brian Darmody associate vice president for corporate and foundation relations.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Brian Darmody associate vice president for corporate and foundation relations. In this newly-created role, Darmody is charged with leading essential university-wide efforts to develop strategic partnerships between the University of Maryland and the corporate and foundation community.

"Throughout Brian's 30-year career with the university, he has proven to be the perfect candidate to lead this new charge," says UMD Vice President for University Relations Peter Weiler. "His unparalleled ability to develop and nurture mutually beneficial relationships for the university has been integral over the years, and we look forward to the leadership he will bring to this new role."

Darmody will steer the efforts to better align UMD's internal resources for corporate partnerships, expand outreach to corporations and foundations across the country, and magnify UMD's external visibility to provide an integrated ‘One Stop Shop’ for corporate and foundation connections.

Darmody recently served as associate vice president for research and economic development, where he was instrumental in launching the university’s technology commercialization efforts and research park and working on international partnerships. He has established a strong reputation for providing support to the business community and developing federal and industry partnerships. Darmody’s long career at the university also includes serving as legal counsel to the university, directing federal and state relations in the President’s office and heading the University of Maryland Center for Applied Policy Studies.

Darmody serves on boards for the Maryland Venture Authority, Maryland Technology Council, Maryland Space Business Roundtable, Maryland Economic Development Association, and is co-chair of the City-University Partnership in College Park, Maryland.  He is past president of the Association of University Research Parks, a board member of Fruanhofer USA, and member of the Network of Corporate Relations Officers.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and his Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore.  Darmody will officially assume his duties on July 1, 2013.

Celebrate the 4th of July at UMD

June 28, 2013

City of College Park, 240-487-3570

The University of Maryland and the City of College Park are once again breaking out the red, white and blue for a fabulous Independence Day celebration.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland and the City of College Park are once again breaking out the red, white and blue for a fabulous Independence Day celebration.

A free concert and fireworks spectacular are on tap for Thursday, July 4, 2013 at the University of Maryland in Lot 1 adjacent to Campus Drive off Adelphi Road. Residents are invited to enjoy rock and roll favorites with The Rock & Roll Relics, with their performance starting at 7:00 p.m.

Fireworks Extravaganza will then entertain us at dusk - about 9:00 p.m. You can expect a 30 to 40 minute program. In case of rain cancellation, there will be only fireworks on Friday, July 5.

Concessions open at 5:00 p.m. offering hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes, ice cream, snow cones, soda and bottled water. Grass seating is limited, so bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Personal coolers are also allowed. Great family fun!

For more information: Call: 240-487-3570.

To help navigate traffic congestion, University Police offer the following recommendations:

  • Use either the Campus Drive entrance from U.S. Route 1, or the Stadium Drive entrance from Route 193. Follow police directions to parking.
  • Arrive early. Heavy traffic is expected to begin around 7:30 p.m. Late cars will be directed to park in outlying lots, which will offer free parking, but shuttle services will not be available.
  • Disabled visitors are encouraged to arrive early as disabled parking is limited in Lot AA.
  • The best routes to exit campus will be the main Campus Drive gate onto Route 1, or Stadium Drive to Route 193.
  • Alcohol and personal fireworks are prohibited on campus. University Police advise residents to bring some food and water, to supplement available concessions.


UMD Statement on Fisher v. University of Texas

June 27, 2013

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

University of Maryland, College ParkCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled on Fisher v. University of Texas, referring the case to a lower court for further review.  This case involves the race-based admissions policy of the University of Texas at Austin, brought to court by Abigail Fisher in 2008. Fisher, a white female who was not accepted to the university, argued that she had been a victim of racial discrimination because she was denied admission in favor of minority applicants with lesser credentials.
In its decision, the Court reinforced that race-based admissions policies must be strictly reviewed, but it did not outlaw those programs. The ruling requires universities to prove that the consideration of race in admissions is necessary and is the only way to achieve diversity on their campus.  This ruling does not have any immediate impact on our admissions practices.  Our admissions policy is based on a holistic review process and our review factors include many dimensions of diversity, including race.
The University of Maryland remains committed to the broadest diversity of our students, faculty and staff.  Diversity is a core institutional value and one of our greatest strengths.  It is not merely a duty, but an advantage that will help our students succeed in an increasingly diverse workplace and global community.   We will carefully digest the implications of the Fisher case and continue to pursue the most effective and lawful paths to maintain our commitment to diversity.

--The University of Maryland, College Park

Supporting a Campus Farm for the Future

June 25, 2013

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

Charlie and Judy Iager at their dairy farm in Fulton, Md.; Image Credit: Edwin RemsbergCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Two University of Maryland alumni, Charlie '65 and Judy '66 Iager (pictured right), spent countless hours together on the university's Campus Farm during their time as students. Now, nearly a half a century later, the Iagers are helping to ensure the farm's revitalization, making a six-figure gift to kick off a $3 million fundraising effort for its first major renovation in 50 years.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources' $6 million project calls for replacing an asphalt parking area in the center of the farm with a covered livestock pen that allows seated students and visitors to observe instructors working with animals. A new enclosed 18,000-square-foot teaching pavilion will also provide classroom and viewing areas.

Nestled among dormitories, sports arenas and classroom buildings, the property is unique among urban universities along the East Coast and serves as a nod to UMD's roots as an agricultural college.  

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources' $6 million project calls for replacing an asphalt parking area in the center of the farm with a covered livestock pen that allows seated students and visitors to observe instructors working with animals. A new enclosed 18,000-square-foot teaching pavilion will also provide classroom and viewing areas.Today, the campus farm is about 4.3 acres in size, a far cry from the 90-plus acres that included a working dairy operation when the facility was launched in 1937. But it endures as a vital, hands-on teaching lab for students in the burgeoning animal science program. Enrollment has climbed from about 180 in 2002 to 288 today, with students studying everything from applied animal physiology to equine behavior to commercial poultry management.

"(The farm) really makes a lot of students feel at home, at least the ones who love animals," says Judy. "It's important to have a nice, updated facility where they can feel comfortable and relate."

The Iagers hope that by helping the Campus Farm get a facelift, they'll be encouraging the next crop of Terps to create their own memories there.

"You go to college so you can learn for the rest of your life," says Charlie.  "The University of Maryland is where it all started for us."

To learn more about the campus farm revitalization, visit


This story originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Terp Magazine.

Research: Can Climate Change Heat Up Conflict?

June 21, 2013

Jonas Siegel, UMD School of Public Policy/CISSM, 301-405-4020
Neil Tickner, UMD Communications, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A University of Maryland-led team of policy experts and scientists is seeking to understand how the impacts of climate change could affect civil conflicts. The team will develop new models of the relationship between conflict, socio-economic conditions and climate. They will use these to project future conflict and develop interventions.

The U.S. Department of Defense is funding the research through a new three-year, $1.9 million grant – part of its highly selective Minerva program of social science research.

Lead researcher Elisabeth Gilmore, an assistant professor in the University of Maryland's (UMD) School of Public Policy"It's likely that physical and economic disruptions resulting from climate change could heighten tensions in sensitive areas of the world," says lead researcher Elisabeth Gilmore, an assistant professor in UMD's School of Public Policy. "We hope to develop an integrated model to help researchers and policy makers better anticipate civil conflict under a range of climate change scenarios."

For example, Gilmore says that in a region with ongoing conflicts such as sub-Saharan Africa, additional changes in food and water availability, public health crises, and disruptive migration could further destabilize civil order.

The team will use statistical models and case studies to identify the best predictors of climate-related conflict. It will then use this data and a novel simulation method to generate forecasts of conflict over a range of socio-economic and climate change scenarios. Finally, the project will identify a range of military and policy interventions that could reduce the occurrence of civil conflict under climate change.

In addition to Gilmore, the research team includes John Steinbruner, director of UMD's Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM); Halvard Buhaug, research director at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO); Havard Hegre, research professor at PRIO; Katherine Calvin, research scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI), a UMD collaboration with the Department of Energy; and Stephanie Waldhoff, scientist at JGCRI.

The research grant was awarded by the Defense Department's Minerva Initiative, which aims to improve the department's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the United States. The UMD project is one of only 14 funded by Minerva from a total pool of 280.

UMD also won a Minerva grant in the previous round in 2012, supporting research into radicalization and de-radicalization.

Full Agenda for New VP of Administration & Finance

June 20, 2013

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

The University of Maryland's new vice president for administration and finance Carlo Colella is already attacking the broad responsibilities of his post. COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's new vice president for administration and finance Carlo Colella is already attacking the broad responsibilities of his post. Colella, who has risen through the ranks of the division over nearly 25 years, comes with a thorough knowledge of one of the biggest administrative portfolios on campus.

Among his responsibilities, Colella directs campus budgeting, fiscal planning, public safety, real estate development, community engagement, human resources, facilities management and other university operations.

"I believe in the power of this university to make a difference in the community and the world. The services in our division are needed for the university to reach its goals, and the operation of the university rests on our shoulders," says Colella. "Our chief job is to move the university forward, whether it is preparing to join the Big Ten, the deliberations surrounding a potential partnership with the Corcoran or the revitalization of Route 1"

During his career at the university, Colella has established a record of accomplishment in successive positions of increasing responsibility. Previously, as the associate vice president for Facilities Management, he led 800 employees in six departments by fostering an ethos of excellence and community.

His responsibilities included delivery of a $1.5 billion capital program across seven University System of Maryland institutions. He has developed excellent working relationships with colleagues on campus and in USM as well as with state, county, and local officials.

"Carlo has a profound expertise and knowledge of all the operations that keep this campus growing and thriving," says UMD President Wallace Loh. "The trust he has earned, along with his engineering background and experience in managing our capital budget, put him in a superb position to advance our campus growth and development."

Colella, a registered professional engineer, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively. He will serve as vice president for a defined term – until next year when a national search for the position will open.

A Battery Made of Wood?

June 19, 2013

Martha Heil 301-405-0876

Wood fibers help nano-scale batteries keep their structure

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A sliver of wood coated with tin could make a tiny, long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery.

But don’t try it at home yet – the components in the battery tested by scientists at the University of Maryland are a thousand times thinner than a piece of paper. Using sodium instead of lithium, as many rechargeable batteries do, makes the battery environmentally benign. Sodium doesn’t store energy as efficiently as lithium, so you won’t see this battery in your cell phone - instead, its low cost and common materials would make it ideal to store huge amounts of energy at once, such as solar energy at a power plant.

Existing batteries are often created on stiff bases, which are too brittle to withstand the swelling and shrinking that happens as electrons are stored in and used up from the battery. Liangbing Hu, Teng Li and their team found that wood fibers are supple enough to let their sodium-ion battery last more than 400 charging cycles, which puts it among the longest lasting nanobatteries.

"The inspiration behind the idea comes from the trees," said Hu, an assistant professor of materials science. "Wood fibers that make up a tree once held mineral-rich water, and so are ideal for storing liquid electrolytes, making them not only the base but an active part of the battery."

Lead author Hongli Zhu and other team members noticed that after charging and discharging the battery hundreds of times, the wood ended up wrinkled but intact. Computer models showed that that the wrinkles effectively relax the stress in the battery during charging and recharging, so that the battery can survive many cycles.

"Pushing sodium ions through tin anodes often weaken the tin’s connection to its base material,” said Li, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. "But the wood fibers are soft enough to serve as a mechanical buffer, and thus can accommodate tin’s changes.  This is the key to our long-lasting sodium-ion batteries."

The team’s research was supported by the University of Maryland and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The full paper is available here.

UMD Joins Leading Research University Global Network

June 19, 2013

Jennifer Precht 301-405-5747

The University of Maryland has expanded its global footprint, joining the leading international network of research universities, Universitas 21 (U21).COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has expanded its global footprint, joining the leading international network of research universities, Universitas 21 (U21). UMD is one of only four U.S. universities in the network.

With 27 institutions in 17 countries, U21 members collaborate to develop research partnerships and exchanges for students, faculty and staff.  So far, more than 20,000 students within the U21 network have taken advantage of study abroad exchanges.  The network has an annual research income in excess of $6.5 billion.

"We want to graduate global citizens – young adults with an international sensibility who can operate on the world stage – and U21 will help us realize this goal," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "High-impact partnerships and networking are essential for major research institutions like ours. I am delighted to be part of this very prestigious alliance."

U21 will significantly increase Maryland students' access to study abroad exchanges, enabling them to spend a semester at some of the world's greatest universities for the price of in-state tuition.  The network's undergraduate research conferences will enable the brightest students to present their results on a global stage.  Also, students can attend summer schools built around a specific theme each year, as well as participate in study abroad programs centered on social entrepreneurship. 

Graduate students will find research opportunities, as well as a venue to present their work to international peers, making them that much more competitive in the increasingly global marketplace.  Through U21, faculty can engage in joint research and joint teaching, using online technology to bring students from around the world into virtual "global classrooms."

"International education is undergoing fundamental change, and U21 will help keep us at the forefront," says UMD's Associate Vice President for International Affairs Ross Lewin.  "In our increasingly interconnected world, bilateral relationships are no longer adequate.  Multilateral programs with institutions from many countries gives everyone in the network a much greater reach. Membership in U21 will allow UMD to connect with many of the best universities in the world at once. It will advance our mission of bringing the world to the campus and projecting the University on to the world stage."

In July, the first delegation of UMD students and faculty will participate in the U21 Undergraduate Research Conference on Urban Challenges at the University of Amsterdam.   Honors students majoring in international development, mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering will share the results of their undergraduate research projects with peers from around the world. These will include work on water management, aquaponics and the harnessing of artificial wind energy.

A second group of UMD students and a faculty member will spend two weeks with leading human rights scholars from around the world at the U21 International Summer School on Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.  Participants will get hands-on experience with local human rights agencies.


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