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Cal Ripken Inspires Grads to Keep Positive Attitude

May 20, 2013

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Cal Ripken, Jr., one of the greatest baseball players of all time and a Maryland legend, delivered the University of Maryland commencement address on May 19, 2013. Ripken, who played professional baseball for 21 years and founded Ripken Baseball, Inc. and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, addressed a record-setting audience of graduates and family and friends at the spring ceremony.

UMD Set to Fill Incoming Class

May 17, 2013

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

University of Maryland, College ParkCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - As the University of Maryland prepares to hand out more than 7,700 degrees on Sunday, May 19, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has been busy enrolling new students for the 2013-14 academic year.

According to Barbara Gill, Assistant Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment Planning, "We're excited that we're on track to meet our enrollment goals and are looking forward to welcoming the most talented freshman class in the history of the University." Admissions applications have steadily risen during the last decade – up to more than 33,000 freshman and transfer applications last year.  

Ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 20 public universities, the University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Maryland has been consistently recognized by Kiplinger’s for providing an outstanding education, at an affordable price.

The university has produced six Nobel laureates, six Pulitzer Prize winners, more than 49 members of the national academies, and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population.

UMD's 2014 Big Ten Football Schedule Announced

May 16, 2013

Zack Bolno 301-314-1482

Stefon DiggsCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's football schedule for the 2014 season—its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference—has been announced. UMD's home conference schedule will feature matchups with Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers. UMD will travel to Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan.

"It is great to know that we have our schedule for our inaugural season in the Big Ten," head football coach Randy Edsall said. "This is a very attractive and challenging schedule and is one our coaching staff, student-athletes and fans will look forward to playing in 2014."

UMD's first Big Ten matchup will come on Saturday, Sept. 27 when they travel to Bloomington, Ind., to play the Indiana Hoosiers. This will mark the first time these two teams have played since 1935. UMD will face Ohio State in its first Big Ten home conference game on Saturday, Oct. 4—the first meeting between the two schools.

Here is a look at the rest of the 2014 football schedule:
10/18 - vs. Iowa: first-ever meeting between the two universities
10/25 - at Wisconsin: first-ever game against the 2012 Big Ten Champion Badgers
11/1 - at Penn State: first meeting since 1993 and first trip to State College since 1992
11/15 - vs. Michigan State: first time the two teams have met since 1950
11/22 - at Michigan: Michigan was victorious in the last meeting and is 3-0 all-time against UMD
11/29 - vs. Rutgers: also making their Big Ten debut in 2014, last traveled to College Park in 2009

For information on season tickets, visit or call the ticket office at 800-462-TERP or 301-314-7070.

Public Policy Prof. Tapped for Sci-Tech Roundtable

May 16, 2013

Jennifer Talhelm 301-405-4390

University of Maryland School of Public Policy professor Jacques Gansler has been nominated to serve as the next university co-chair of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), a National Academies organization that explores issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda.  COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland School of Public Policy professor Jacques Gansler (pictured right) has been nominated to serve as the next university co-chair of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), a National Academies organization that explores issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda. 

Gansler, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, will succeed former UMD president C. Dan Mote, Jr. as GUIRR co-chair, beginning June 1.  Mote held the position for the past two three-year terms and has accepted the position of president of the National Academy of Engineering. 

In addition to GUIRR, Gansler is also chairing two committees for the National Academies, "Integrating Humans, Machines and Networks: A Global Review of Data-to-Decision Technologies" and "Small Business Innovative Research."

Gansler served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 1997-2001 and now holds the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the UMD School of Public Policy.  He also directs the UMD School of Public Policy's Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, a research center focused on the relationship between government and the private sector. 

As GUIRR co-chair, Gansler will help set the agenda for the organization, which regularly convenes senior representatives from government, universities, and industry to define and explore critical issues related to the national and global science and technology agenda.

"Government, industry and academia must collaborate in order to solve current and future complex global problems, making the work of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable absolutely critical," Gansler said.  "This opportunity enables me to build on the work I've been devoted to throughout my career, especially the research at the School of Public Policy's Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise.  I'm very pleased to assume the chairmanship of this prestigious organization."

UMD School of Public Policy Dean Donald Kettl said, "Jack brings unparalleled leadership and expertise in government-university-industry collaboration and a commitment to improving the effectiveness of the nation in science and technology.  This prestigious appointment is another example of the depth of leadership and the impact of our faculty and research centers, particularly when it comes to bringing together the public, private and nonprofit sectors to create national and international policy solutions."

In addition to his position at the UMD School of Public Policy, Gansler is the Glenn L. Martin Institute Fellow of Engineering at the UMD A. James Clark School of Engineering, and an Affiliate Faculty member at UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business.  He has also held leadership positions in industry.

Two Entrepreneur Teams Win Business Model Challenge

May 14, 2013

Eric Schurr 301-405-3889

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) has named two UMD teams as winners of the inaugural University of Maryland Business Model Challenge.

The two entrepreneur teams were selected from among 44 initial entries and 11 finalist teams, six of whom were selected to present the results they achieved through the Challenge's multi-week lean startup workshop to an expert panel of judges at UMD.

Chase Kaczmarek, undergraduate student, management and entrepreneurshipAll 11 finalists received $3,000 for completing the Challenge workshop, through which teams defined their business model, assessed the product/market fit for their technology, got feedback from at least 25 potential customers, then refined their product and business model based upon that feedback.

The two teams showing the best results, progress and potential, winning an additional $5,000 each (plus $3K for completing the Challenge), included:

  • Wheel Shields: developing a skateboarding accessory that solves "wheel bite" (a dangerous safety problem), keeps riders dry and allows riders to stand over their wheels. Team: Chase Kaczmarek, undergraduate student, management and entrepreneurship (pictured above).
  • UMDTutor2Go: developing an online system to provide students with private, online tutoring via Skype, live instant messaging chats and audio broadcasts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Team: Chandra Smith, undergraduate student, psychology, human development, and technology entrepreneurship; Changudra Smith, undergraduate student, finance, marketing, and technology entrepreneurship (pictured below with Carolyn Karlson, director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program.)

Chandra Smith, undergraduate student, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, psychology, human development, and technology entrepreneurship; Changudra Smith, undergraduate student, Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, finance, marketing, and technology entrepreneurship; and Carolyn Karlson, director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs ProgramLed and managed by Mtech, a unit of UMD's A. James Clark School of Engineering, the UMD Business Model Challenge encourages students, faculty, researchers, staff and recent alumni at UMD and University of Maryland, Baltimore to leverage their talent and ideas to create tomorrow's leading companies. The competition process, its mentors, partners and cash prizes have helped many students, faculty and researchers build their own companies.

The competition historically has spurred the commercialization of university technologies and served as a launch pad for multi-million-dollar companies, including AnthroTronix, RioRey, Alertus Technologies, Squarespace and Lurn.

UMD CATT Lab Director Named "Champion of Change"

May 13, 2013

Ted Knight 301-405-3596

Michael L. Pack, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) has been recognized by the White House as a Transportation "Champion of Change."COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Michael L. Pack, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) has been recognized by the White House as a Transportation "Champion of Change."

The Transportation "Champion of Change" program recognizes honorees for their "exemplary leadership in developing or implementing transportation technology solutions to enhance performance, reduce congestion, improve safety, and facilitate communications across the transportation industry at the local, state, or national level."

Driving transportation innovation at the CATT Lab, Pack focuses on improving transportation operations, management, and communications. His work is enabling more efficient use of government resources — allowing researchers and transportation professionals to dedicate more energy towards solving important transportation problems through data and user-friendly analytics tools. For example, the CATT Lab's expertise has been used during presidential inaugurations to monitor area roads to help local and state agencies react quickly to traffic problems.

"I'm particularly excited to receive national attention for the work that we've been doing over the years," says Pack. "Our research isn't just advancing transportation alone, but moving towards enabling thousands of other researchers around the world to do great things.  It's especially rewarding to have our peers in the industry recognize our achievements."

In addition to leading the CATT Lab, Pack serves as the creative director of the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS), an automated transportation sharing, dissemination, and archiving system that improves communications efforts between traffic management and transit agencies. He also chairs the Visualization Committee of the National Academies of Science Transportation Research Board, and as a career public servant, strives to change the way agencies think about sharing information and the importance of visual communications. 

Transportation champions are not new to the University of Maryland's Civil and Environment Engineering program. Alumna Veronica O. Davis '01, P.E., was recognized as a Transportation "Champion of Change" in 2012 for founding Black Women Bike and her contributions to various Washington D.C. transportation boards.

The Results Are In: Help Name the New Foals at UMD

May 9, 2013

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

The results are in! More than 1,600 votes were cast to help choose racing names for two thoroughbred foals born on the University of Maryland Campus Farm this spring. And the winning names are:

  • Diamondback Fire for a colt (by Friesan Fire out of Daylight Lassie) born March 8.
  • Maryland Miss for a filly (by Cherokee’s Boy out of Amazin) born April 15.

A young thoroughbred colt born on the Campus Farm March 8 anxiously awaits the arrival of a playdate due any day.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland community is abuzz about the arrival of two new thoroughbred foals born right on the university's Campus Farm this spring. It's the first time live foaling has happened on campus in nearly 30 years.

A healthy, chestnut brown colt (pictured right) arrived early in the morning of March 8 and little filly (pictured below) was born on April 15. But the future racing stars need good, strong names if they're going to follow in the footsteps of Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Man O' War and other greats.

The new foal stands for the first time shortly after her birth at the Campus Farm.The Campus Farm is asking the university community to help by submitting racing name suggestions for the foals by April 23. Finalists will be announced at Maryland Day, April 27, where attendees will have a chance to vote for the winning names and see the foals in action.

Name suggestions can be submitted here:

New Module Helps Journalists Report on Child Death

May 9, 2013

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

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

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 A complete analysis of the survey data will be published later this year.


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University of Maryland places seven graduate programs in the top five and 25 in the top 20. Read