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START Hosts State Dept.'s Tara Sonenshine

March 25, 2013

Under Secretary to Discuss "Public Diplomacy and Countering Violent Extremism"

U.S. Department of State Under Secretary Tara SonenshineCOLLEGE PARK, Md. -  The University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) will host U.S. Department of State Under Secretary Tara Sonenshine as she discusses "Public Diplomacy and Countering Violent Extremism" at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27.

Sonenshine will speak about international terrorism, public diplomacy, why we use online media and social networking and the power of video games to counter extremism.

The event will be held in the Stamp Student Union's Atrium (Rm. 1107) and is free and open to the public.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to

Sonenshine was formerly Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace. Prior to joining the United States Institute of Peace, she was a strategic communications adviser to many international organizations including USIP, the International Crisis Group, Internews, CARE, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the International Women's Media Foundation. Sonenshine served in various capacities at the White House during the Clinton Administration, including Transition Director and Director of Foreign Policy Planning for the National Security Council and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications for the NSC.

UMD Celebrates Good Neighbor Day

March 25, 2013

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Good Neighbor Day

Mulching the Paint Branch Elementary playground during last year's Good Neighbor DayCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland will celebrate Good Neighbor Day, an annual cross-campus service project, on Saturday, April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Good Neighbor Day is a partnership between UMD, the City of College Park and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and represents a renewed commitment by the UMD community to being a good neighbor in College Park.

During the event, the university community will focus on clean-up efforts that contribute to a great quality of life for all College Park residents and celebrate being a good neighbor, every day of the year.

This year's projects include:

  • Cleaning up the Old Town playground;
  • Cleaning up Old Parish House;
  • Participating in the 5K Lakeland Discovery Trail hike;
  • Serving as a Lakeland history expert and curator at Lake Artemesia, along the Lakeland Discovery Trail Hike;
  • Donating and sorting non-perishable goods to the College Park Food Bank;
  • Participating in an interactive workshop about the history of College Park's Lakeland Neighborhood at the College Park Community Center;
  • Repairing the Paint Branch Elementary School basketball court; and
  • Assisting with neighborhood clean ups.

Leading up to April 6, the Good Neighbor Day partners are sponsoring a food drive. Drop-off boxes are currently placed throughout campus and at local businesses in College Park. The non-perishable goods will be distributed to a local food pantry.

For more information or to participate in Good Neighbor Day, visit

UMD Earns Highest Honor for Community Service

March 22, 2013

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

President's Higher Education Community Service Honor RollCOLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland has been named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. 

The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.

"We are extremely honored to be named to the 2013 Honor Roll, solidifying our efforts to create positive social change through transformative learning and community engagement," says Deborah Slosberg, coordinator for local community service-learning on campus. "We are proud that the incredible service work UMD students have done in our community has been recognized and we are grateful to everyone in the university community who helped earn this honor."

"Congratulations to the University of Maryland, its faculty and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom," says Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which manages the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the American Council on Education and Campus Compact. "Through its work, institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges."

UMD students from all across campus engaged in more than 300,000 hours of community service during the 2011-2012 academic year. A few of the university's key service projects include the Northwestern High School Partnership, Partners in Print and Beyond the Classroom.

UMD students participating in community serviceThe Northwestern High School (NHS) Partnership provides NHS students with experiences and opportunities that ensure they recognize a college education is accessible and attainable. Partners in Print is a year-long bilingual family literacy program, which promotes parental involvement by providing parents with tools to engage children in reading at home in an interactive and effective way. And Beyond the Classroom is an interdisciplinary living-learning program that prepares students to be active, responsible citizens and leaders in a complex, multicultural, and global society.

These programs are a few of the many service learning opportunities available to UMD students. To learn more about the university's service learning initiatives, visit

To learn more about the Honor Roll and to view the full list of honorees, visit

Rock Star Status for New Colt on Campus

March 21, 2013

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's Campus Farm has welcomed the newest member of the Terrapin family frolicking outside the horse barn: a thoroughbred colt. This marks the first time in three decades a foal has been born on the university’s Campus Farm.

Foal born at UMD's Campus Farm“It was the most exhausting but rewarding experience,” says junior animal science major Steven Moirano. “It was just incredible.”

Students like Moirano, enrolled in an equine reproduction course, were on “foal watch” for several days and nights prior to the colt’s arrival, sleeping inside the barn or the farm’s small office building. “All of a sudden it was happening and within 15 minutes the foal was out on the ground,” says senior animal science major Kristen Brady, who witnessed the foal stand and take his first steps within 30 minutes of his birth. “People don’t realize how much more productive a foal is than a baby being born. You can literally watch him learn everything within the first couple of hours.”

Having foals born on campus was somewhat common before roughly the mid-80s, when the Campus Farm had more acreage. However, Dr. Amy Burk, coordinator of the equine studies program in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences (ANSC), has been working for the past several years to bring foals back to campus.

“Not only is this going to make our equine studies program better but it’s going to make people more aware of the horse-breeding industry – in particular Thoroughbreds – which to me is the most rewarding part of working with horses,” says Burk.

Animal science students have been involved with the entire process of preparing the horses to foal and bringing them to campus. In order to overcome space constraints on the Campus Farm, two pregnant mares were kept on a demonstration farm in Clarksville, Md., where research is being conducted on the effects of rotational grazing on pasture management. The mares were transported to campus about a month before the first – named Cassie – was due to give birth.

Foal born at UMD's Campus FarmThe yet-to-be-named Thoroughbred colt will remain on campus throughout the fall semester so that students can continue to work with him. Faculty, staff and students within ANSC are compiling a list of suggested names for him and will eventually invite the campus community to vote for their favorite. He’ll soon have a friend to frolic with too as another mare, named Amazin’, is due to give birth April 7 on campus, setting up round two of “foal watch.”

“The horse barn is just filled with so many people with joy and excitement so it’s really lightened everybody’s spirits and put a smile on people’s faces,” says Burk.

Watch the colt in action:

Journalism Senior Scores Second Place and $2k Prize

March 21, 2013

Dave Ottalini 301-405-1321

Josh FendrickCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Josh Fendrick, a senior in the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, has been named a top five semi-finalist in the Broadcast Television News Competition of the William Randolph Hearst Student Journalism Awards Program.

Fendrick took second place and a $2,000 award in the annual contest.  His entries included a report filed for the Merrill College’s Capital News Service from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in August called, “March on Wall Street South,” as well as a report which took an in-depth look at Maryland ballot question 3 dealing with the removal of elected officials from office.

Fendrick will now submit additional entries for a semi-final round of judging, which will include the top five winners from the earlier Television Feature Reporting Competition.

Following the semi-finals, five students will be selected to participate in the championship competition in San Francisco in June, along with the radio, writing, photojournalism and multimedia finalists.

Watch Fendrick’s report about Question 3:

Winners Saw 'No Limits' in Pitch Competition

March 14, 2013

Carrie Handwerker 301-405-5833
Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

No Limits Social Impact Pitch CompetitionCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Competition was so close among University of Maryland student social entrepreneurs in the recent No Limits Social Impact Pitch Competition that the judges awarded two top winners.

The competition was part of the Social Enterprise Symposium, a daylong affair on March 1 that explored the role of business in social and environmental change, hosted by the Center for Social Value Creation at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

School fitness program KidFit and international mobile money transfer service Payvius shared the first-place status, but not the prize money. In a surprising turn of events, the judges decided to pitch in additional money and award $3,000 top prizes to each company. KidFit also took home the audience-selected People’s Choice Award for $500. In addition to the cash prizes, the winners will also benefit from in-kind mentoring services from the Center for Social Value Creation’s entrepreneurship network including Ashoka, ThinkImpact and PunchRock.

Maggie CroushoreThe winners were among five UMD student finalists from schools and colleges across campus, from public policy to business to theater. The students pitched their ideas to improve their communities and the world before a panel of judges and a live audience. Each had six minutes to pitch their idea and four minutes to answer questions from judges. The competition capped off the content portion of the Center for Social Value Creation’s fifth annual symposium event, which attracted more than 1,000 students from across campus.

The “No Limits” finalists also represented UMD’s diverse student population passionate about social value creation and using business principles to create a better world – the main vision of the center.

Mondiu LadejobiMaggie Croushore, a master’s of public policy student, runs KidFit. She is currently working with schools to improve their active education (traditionally physical education and recess) delivery.

Mondiu Ladejobi, an executive MBA student, launched Payvius. The low-cost mobile money transfer service that enables secure international money transfers from a sender in the United Sates to any mobile phone in sub-Saharan Africa, and provides recipients with the opportunity to build credit in developing economies.

Competition judges were Jigar Shah, consultant, entrepreneur and author of "The Impact Economy;" Devin Schain, founder & CEO of Campus Direct Inc.; and Lisa Hall, president and CEO of Calvert Foundation, who also delivered the symposium’s afternoon keynote speech.

Other finalists in the competition were:

  • Microjusticia, a nonprofit offering pro bono legal services to NGOs in Argentina – run by Juan Bellocq (master’s of public policy, 2013)
  •, a website that connects local and family-owned tourism businesses with independent travelers – run by Cristina Huidobro (master’s of community planning, 2013)
  • ProCity, a network for donating unwanted items that benefits charities – run by Christopher Lane (undergraduate, majoring in psychology and theater, 2015)

The competition is led by the Center for Social Value Creation in partnership with the School of Public Policy’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, with support from the Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

No Limits Social Impact Pitch Competition Finalists

Diversity in the Sports Media: What Happened?

March 14, 2013

Dave Ottalini 301-405-1321

The Shirley Povich Center for Sports JournalismCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Just how diverse is sports media? The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland will hear from a wide variety of voices on this issue during a panel discussion Wednesday, March 27.

The 7 p.m. event at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism on campus features a panel of media professionals from national outlets and an academic from the University of Maryland.

The topics will range from the lack of minority sports editors, the dearth of women and minorities in the sports blogosphere and what can be done to make the sports page and media as a whole more diverse.

Panelists include David Aldridge, Mary Byrne, Keith Clinkscales, David L. Andrews and Kevin Lockland, and will be moderated by Kevin Blackistone.

David Aldridge cut his teeth at The Washington Post covering Georgetown, the Washington Bullets and the Washington Redskins before later working for the Philadelphia Inquirer and ESPN. He is now a reporter covering the NBA and MLB for Turner Television Networks.

Mary Byrne is the managing editor for sports at USA Today where she's been since April. Before USA Today, she was the deputy sports editor at the Associated Press.

Keith Clinkscales launched The Shadow League earlier this year. The site describes itself as "a site dedicated to presenting journalistically sound sports coverage with a cultural perspective that insightfully informs sports fans worldwide." Before The Shadow League, Clinkscales was the vice president for content at ESPN.

David L. Andrews is a professor in the Kinesiology Department at the University of Maryland whose research focuses on the relationship between sports practices and the broader social formations in which they are located.

Rounding out the panel is Kevin Lockland who is the Vice President of Editorial Operations at SB Nation and previously oversaw the day-to-day operations of AOL's sports initiatives.

The event in Knight Hall's Richard Eaton Auditorium is free and open to the public. For more information, please email or call 301-405-4605.

A Look into the Future of Quantum Computing

March 13, 2013

Lee Tune 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Discoveries by physicists and materials scientists at the University of Maryland and other leading institutions have the world on the verge of a new technological revolution in which the strange and unique properties of quantum physics become relevant and exploitable in the context of information science and technology.

Photograph of a surface trap that was fabricated by Sandia National Labs and used to trap ions at the University of Maryland-based Joint Quantum Institute JQI and at Duke.Recently, Science Magazine invited UMD Physics Professor Chris Monroe and Duke Professor Jungsang Kim to speculate on a pivotal research area in advancing this new age: the use of ion trap technology as a scalable option for quantum computing. Their article is highlighted on the cover of the March 8, 2013 issue with an image (right) that portrays a photograph of a surface trap that was fabricated by Sandia National Labs and used to trap ions at the University of Maryland-based Joint Quantum Institute JQI and at Duke.

Quantum computing promises to revolutionize the way that we do certain tasks, such as encrypting secret information and searching databases. The ion trap approach to this technology has historically led the field, with Monroe as a major player. His research group has five laboratories and focuses on using atomic qubits (information carriers) to do basic physics research and to develop scalable quantum computers.  In 2009, Monroe led a research team that for the first time successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart - a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.

JQI is a research partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland Physics Department, with support from the Laboratory for Physical Sciences. Research at JQI covers all aspects of quantum computing research, from developing and testing hardware that may make up future devices to world-class theoreticians who hope to harness exotic particles for quantum computing. The strength that this institute offers is an interdisciplinary approach, which allows for cutting edge research to meet real-world applications.

The co-authors, Monroe and Kim are part of a larger collaboration called MUSIQC, which stands for Modular Universal Scalable Ion-trap Quantum Computer, and is supported by the Intelligence Advance Research Projects Activity (IARPA). This program focuses on building the components necessary for a practical quantum computer. The effort involves national labs, universities, and even private small businesses.

About the image
Trapped atomic ions are a promising architecture that satisfies many of the critical requirements for constructing a quantum computer. Ion traps themselves were invented more than a half-century ago, but researchers have implemented new technologies in order to execute quantum operations. Professionally micro-fabricated devices, like the one shown on the cover, resemble traditional computer components. Although quantum logic operations in such chip traps remain elusive, the obstacles are not prohibitive. In the US, researchers at institutions such as NIST (Boulder), Sandia National Labs, Georgia Tech Research Institute, JQI, Duke, MIT, and others are now, often collaboratively, fabricating and testing these technologies. (Permissions/Credit: JQI)

"Scaling the Ion Trap Quantum Processor," C. Monroe and J. Kim, Science, March 8, 2013

This news item was written by E. Edwards at JQI and edited for UMD Right Now. For more detailed information visit

UMD Creates Model Energy Course for U.S. Colleges

March 12, 2013

Neil Tickner 301-405-4622

Collaborative Initiative Seeks to Educate Students on Key Energy Issues

University of MarylandCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – To develop a new generation of energy-savvy leaders, University of Maryland experts have developed a new curriculum that federal officials and education leaders hope will be used at colleges around the country. A unique, interdisciplinary curriculum called 'Energy 101,' comprised of group projects and educational modules, is the result of the collaborative efforts of UMD, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environment and Energy Study Institute (EESI).  The new curriculum is designed to challenge college students across the country to systematically explore the science and social science issues behind sound energy decision-making and to teach them to apply those skills to workplace and personal decisions. 

A UMD course designed by faculty from the College of Education and the A. James Clark School of Engineering will be showcased as a model for a new national curriculum initiative designed to help address the array of energy challenges facing the country. The UMD pilot course, Designing a Sustainable World, was co-developed by Leigh Abts and Idalis Villanueva. When DOE unveils the national curriculum next month, the course will be highlighted as a case study on how other universities may align their Energy 101 version to a curricular framework based on standards.

"Designing a Sustainable World is intended to provide a general education experience where the students create a meaningful design to address a critical issue in energy and/or sustainability," explains Abts, a UMD research associate professor jointly appointed in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership. "The course encourages students to 'take a Leonardo Da Vinci approach,' to 'think out of the box' and apply basic design tools to map out and explore solutions. The students submit their design projects to an e-portfolio that will enable them to continue to build upon their designs well beyond the course, encouraging them to be life-long innovators."

Designing a Sustainable World is already being offered this semester at UMD, attracting 28 students from various disciplines, ranging from computer science to food science.

"Research has shown that innovative project-based courses exploring challenging, real-world problems, such as Designing a Sustainable World, help students to develop valuable research and critical thinking skills that are indispensable in today's knowledge-based economy," says Donna Wiseman, dean of the College of Education.  "This course also has the added benefit of exposing a diverse group of students to STEM fields through an interdisciplinary approach."

The 'Energy 101' model curriculum has been designed to be used at every college and university across the country.  It is an adaptable program that can meet the specific needs of diverse higher education institutions and their student populations.  Similar courses are already being developed, under the mentorship of Drs. Abts and Villanueva, at Cecil Community College and Harford Community College in Maryland.   

"The University of Maryland has always prided itself on unique course offerings and experiences for its undergraduate and graduate students," says Dr. Darryll Pines, dean of the Clark School of Engineering.  "The Colleges of Education, Engineering and Undergraduate Studies have been quite supportive of this activity.  We hope that the course will not only help give students foundational understanding of complex energy issues, but also serve as a guide to other colleges and universities as they implement the Energy 101 curriculum."

The 'Energy 101' model curriculum was born out of DOE's desire to introduce the next generation of college graduates to energy literacy, sustainability, and energy careers as freshmen.  Also, it has involved leaders in the movement to increase STEM interest with project-based learning, through the National Training and Educational Resource and other means, to make interdisciplinary immersive content available for all to use. 

"By exposing students both to how energy works and why people make the decisions they do, we hope the next generation will be much better energy stewards than we have been," says APLU's Senior Counsel for Innovation and Technology and Director of Energy Programs, Jim Turner.

The ‘Energy 101’ project’s collaborators will offer a webinar on April 10, 2013 for teachers, administrators, and other interested parties.  The webinar will describe the model framework and its use in the development of a pilot course now being taught at UMD that uses group projects, DOE’s Energy Literacy Principles, and educational modules to help students build a mental model for making informed energy choices.  There will also be an opportunity for webinar participants to ask questions at the end of the presentation. You can sign up for the webinar at

For more information on the 'Energy 101' model curriculum, please visit

Bias Blocks Women in Science

March 12, 2013

Waverly Ding, co-author and principal researcher
Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

Waverly DingCOLLEGE PARK, Md - Female professors are almost 50 percent less likely than their male counterparts to be invited to join corporate scientific advisory boards (SABs) and start new companies mainly because of gender stereotyping, says University of Maryland researcher Waverly Ding, an assistant professor of management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Beliefs that women lack leadership and business savvy, and are not capable of helping new ventures attract investment, block their advancement in these areas, she says.

Ding, with co-authors Fiona Murray of MIT and Toby E. Stuart of University of California Berkley, draw this conclusion from survey data and related statistics from the biotech industry and 6,000 U.S. scientists whose careers span 30-plus years. The study, "From Bench to Board: Gender Differences in University Scientists' Participation in Corporate Scientific Advisory Boards," appears in a recent issue of Academy of Management Journal.

The study controlled for the scientists' professional accomplishments, social networks, employer characteristics and proxies for subject interest in commercial science.

"Women are available," says UMD's Ding. "The numbers are there. They just are not being selected." In the data sample's final year (2002), women comprised about 30 percent of about 6,000 PhDs from U.S. universities or research institutions, but just 7 percent (49 of 720) of those scientists served on SABs of 511 U.S. biotech firms. She says this percentage never exceeded 10.2 during the study's 1972-2002 window.

Though her data appears to be the latest available that's specific to the SAB gender breakdown in the biotech industry, Ding says she suspects the percentage of female SAB members serving biotech firms falls below the overall, 12.6-percentage of women on U.S. corporate boards in 2012, according to an independent study.

But, she says, academia can effectively counteract the inequity.

"University scientists have helped create at least half of the publicly traded biotech firms operating today, and our data shows a female professor is most likely to draw a science advisory board invitation by tapping into her school's technology transfer office," says Ding. "Biotechnology founders strongly gauge an SAB candidate's reputation and quality of his or her network in determining that individual's business savvy."

But not all institutions formally support such offices – even though they "provide an ideal means for academic administrators to raise the profile of their high-performing female scientists," she says. "Networking by way of technology-transfer offices can be useful in promoting the research of women faculty and brokering connections between them and influential members of the entrepreneurship and investment communities."

She concludes the influence factor is a major issue, since gender bias appears most active in high-profile companies backed by high-status venture capitalists.  "When female scientists do receive invitations to join boards, they generally come from small start-ups with limited financial backing."

Further measuring the effects of specific areas of research interest and individual career aspiration on the SAB gender gap can deepen the understanding this issue and help erode gender inequity more broadly at the corporate leadership level, says Ding. "Our nation's continued preeminence in science and technology will depend on engaging the best and the brightest, regardless of gender."

An electronic version of the research study is available to media on request. Contact Greg Muraski:


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