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UMD Senior is First Terp to Win Gates Cambridge Scholarship

February 14, 2013

Heather Dewar 301-405-9267

Krzysztof FranaszekCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's first winner of the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship is Krzysztof Franaszek, a senior who juggles lab research that could lead to new virus-fighting strategies with volunteer work as an emergency medical technician for a local fire department.

This competitive international scholarship, which covers all costs for a year of post-graduate study at the University of Cambridge outside London, was established in 2001 by a $210 million donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This year, scholarships were awarded to 39 U.S. seniors and recent graduates who combine academic excellence with a commitment to improving the lives of others.

Franaszek will graduate in May with degrees in biology and economics that he will have completed in only three years. He conducts research at the department of cell biology and molecular genetics, looking for hidden points of vulnerability in the ways some viruses, like HIV and SARS , encode the proteins that give them structure and potency. On weekends, he is an emergency medical technician for the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department, which serves communities near the campus. Some of his patients are sick with the same viruses he seeks to understand and combat in the lab.

Combining science at the molecular level and hands-on care for patients helps the 20-year-old Olney, Md., resident stay focused on his ultimate goal: "to make a humane contribution."

"Intellectual pursuits are a goal in themselves," he says. But "trying to make something to help other people, I guess that's what drives me."

Franaszek, who was born in Krakow, Poland, is the son of a physicist and a pharmacologist. The family came to the United States soon after the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.

While still a student at Thomas S. Wooton High School in Rockville, Md., Franaszek worked in a laboratory at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and took 17 advanced placement courses. After high school graduation in May 2010, he did summer work at the National Institutes of Health, and arrived at the University with nearly two-thirds the credits needed to graduate. He has worked in the molecular biology laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Dinman since his freshman year.

"He's got wonderful biological insight," says Dinman, Franaszek's academic advisor. Just as a jazz musician intuitively knows where a musical improvisation is headed, Franaszek intuitively understands the behavior of tiny biological molecules, the professor said.

Dinman's laboratory focuses on ribosomes, the molecular machines found within all living cells that link amino acids together to form proteins. Dinman's team works with viruses and yeast because their simplicity makes it easy to spot peculiarities in their ribosomes, which follow the commands of messenger RNA (mRNA) to assemble proteins in a specific sequence so the cells can reproduce and function.

Scientists studying mRNA initially thought each mRNA only encodes one protein, but there are exceptions. Franaszek's undergraduate research focuses on a phenomenon known as programmed ribosomal frameshifting, in which one mRNA can encode more than one protein.

"Imagine reading a sentence. You have spaces in order to know where one word ends and another begins. That tells you what frame you're reading in," explains Franaszek.

Just as a writer can change the meaning of a sentence by altering the spaces between words, some ribosomes can slip along the mRNA template that guides their protein synthesis, changing the kinds of proteins they synthesize. This doesn't happen with all types of mRNAs, but it can occur with mRNAs encoded by the HIV virus, the SARS coronavirus, and some mammalian genes, perhaps including those associated with liver cancer in humans.

Researchers hope their work will lead to drugs that interfere with frameshifting, disrupting the viruses' ability to reproduce. In Dinman's laboratory Franaszek studies the results of frameshifting experiments, looking for patterns that might show where the process is vulnerable to outside interference. At Cambridge, he'll do hands-on work with viruses and human cells in the laboratory of virologist Dr. Ian Brierley.

An avid rower who trains three to four hours a day with fellow members of the University of Maryland Crew Team, Franaszek also plans to try out for one of Cambridge's legendary rowing clubs.

UMD Expert: U.S. Airways-American Merger to Spur Robust Competition, Better Customer Service

February 14, 2013

Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

Michael Ball 301-405-2227

Michael BallCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Improved customer service driven by robust competition lies ahead of the new U.S. Airways-American Airlines merger, says Michael Ball, a University of Maryland expert on transportation systems and airport operations.

The move creates the world's largest carrier in a market dominated by four airlines. "The merger is a natural, almost inevitable evolution of the U.S. airline industry. The newly combined carrier, together with Delta, United and Southwest, will represent a strong group of competitors – each having a robust national footprint," says Ball, associate dean for faculty and research and Dean's Chair in Management Science in UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business and co-director of NEXTOR, the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research.

Fares could increase in a limited number of markets due to reduced competition. But overall, and especially long-term, the merger will be advantageous for passengers, Ball says. "The four strong competitors will generally expand their national footprints, creating greater competition. In addition, as the airlines individually become healthier, they will be able to focus more on improving customer service and providing more innovative services, which should improve the customer experience."

Look for consolidated service and fewer flights in some markets, such as Charlotte-LaGuardia, he adds. "This is consistent with the impact of previous mergers and generally should be viewed as positive, reducing overall congestion and delays."

Ball also projects realignment of the combined U.S. Airways-American network, including some consolidation of the existing Dallas and Phoenix hub operations. "Most likely operations will be reduced at Phoenix with some potential increase in Dallas. No doubt there will be some rethinking of the combined strategy at Philadelphia and (New York) Kennedy, especially service to Europe with associated connections," he says. "The eventual outcome is hard to predict, but certainly changes will take place."

While the combined U.S. Airways-American corporation has the potential to be much stronger than the two as individual carriers, Ball cautions "a successful merger is by no means an easy task."

He says each airline today has different union representation, different sets of policies and procedures, different fleet characteristics and different operational control and planning systems. "A high degree of care and flexibility on the part of management and employees and investment of time and resources will be necessary. While it is unlikely that poor performance in these areas would derail the merger, it is certainly possible to induce a very long lag before a strong and robust combined airline would emerge."

How Do I Love Thee? Say it in Latin!

February 14, 2013

Dave Ottalini 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The ancient Romans knew a little something about celebrating love - but it was March, not February when they had their fun. "Love celebrations did not show up on the ancient Roman calendar until March 1, which was sacred to Juno, goddess of marriage," says University of Maryland Classics Professor Judith Hallett. "On that day husbands would pray for the health of their wives and give them presents, and wives would dress up."

Poems were a favorite way to express that love - for instance, the poet Catullus (ca. 55 BCE) sent this missive to his married lover (translation by Dorothea Wender (1934-2003):

Catullus (ca. 55 BCE) sent this missive to his married lover (translation by Dorothea Wender (1934-2003)

Hallett says there are many, many examples of romantic poems sent by one Roman lover to another.

But for a romantic looking to express his or her love in the 21st Century, Hallett suggests something a bit...different. A more modern love song - translated into Latin, for example, might just be the perfect way to woo a lady's heart. Take the classic "As Time Goes By" (by Herman Hupfeld. Copyright 1931 by Warner Brothers) made famous in the movie Casabanca (scroll down to hear the audio version).

"As Time Goes By" (by Herman Hupfeld. Copyright 1931 by Warner Brothers)

Listen to As Time Goes By in Latin - sung by:

John Starks

Assistant Professor of Classics

State University of New York at Binghamton


Roman Playwright Plautus c. 254 - 184 BCEHallet's recent research has focused on ancient Roman "love talk." In a new essay published in Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Volume 9 (published at Maryland and edited by Professor Robert Gaines of the Communications Department), she focuses on the writing of Plautus' Phoenicium (Pseudolus 41-73). In that comedic work, Plautus - who was a 2nd century BCE (Before Christian Era) playwright - looks at the different ways in which two men of very different social classes assess the erotically-charged words of one specific woman.

"Plautus, in his characteristically funny way, illustrates that social class, that of the critic and that of the writer, plays a major role in how Roman women's writings, and in this case erotic Latin writings, were judged by men," says Hallett.

Professor Hallett's Faculty Home Page

Gender, Class, and Roman Rhetoric: Assessing the writing of Plautus' Phoenicium (Pseudolus 41-73) by Prof. Judith Hallett (PDF)

 Classics Department at the University of Maryland

Journalism Experts Gather to Discuss Challenges in the Digital Age

February 13, 2013

Dave Ottalini 301-405-4076

Note: Some content provided by the Journalism Interactive 2013 website and Gary Green.

Journalism Interactive Conference 2013COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Faculty from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism traveled to Florida this past weekend for the second Journalism Interactive Conference - designed for educators, journalists, scholars and students to explore how journalism schools are meeting the challenge of the digital age. The focus was specifically on Data, Design, Mobile and Participation.

The Merrill College and University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications formed a partnership last year to rotate the conference every other year between the two schools. The first Journalism Interactive event was held in College Park in 2011 and it will return to campus in 2014.

At the time the partnership was announced, Merrill College Journalism Dean Lucy Dalglish said, "We created the conference in 2011 with the aim of improving journalism education by fostering dialogue about new ways of teaching digital media and we are pleased to partner with UF in continuing these discussions in 2013."

Attendees came to this year's event from as far away as Kuwait. The program schedule featured some 46 academic and industry speakers from throughout the U.S. Social media was used extensively as the interactive sessions took place, including Twitter and a live blog.

Ronald Yaros, professor of new media and mobile journalism at the University of MarylandSessions included discussions about the journalist as coder, what journalists can learn from each other, landing cool jobs, student reporting in the real world, Tweeting your assignment and an exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier.

One of the highlights was the "7 Minute Tutorial" in which 10 tutorials offered 10 skills over a 70 minute period.

One of those speakers was Ronald Yaros, professor of new media and mobile journalism at the University of Maryland. He offered the top ten lessons for mobile journalism, including:

1. It's not just production of mobile content, it's the assembly of it for news consumers.
2. A live event for students to cover is not the same as classroom practice.
3. Practice, practice, practice…hold the device steady!
4. Conduct brief interviews. It's not a mobile interview for "60 Minutes."
5. No, viewers won't turn their screen sideways.  Hold your device horizontal, not vertical.
6. Pay attention to lighting and framing.
7. Most mobile video has poor audio. You must stand close to the interviewee
8. Think about adding audio with photos
9. Learn the skills but think out of the box. The audiences are changing.
10. Be prepared for more changes in mobile technology. It will only get better.

UMD's Don Kettl: Rules for Obama's State of the Union

February 12, 2013

Jennifer Talhelm 301-405-4390

Don KettlBy Donald F. Kettl, dean of the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address is probably the most important speech of his second term, barring a major crisis. It might even be his most important speech, period, because now's the time to define and cement his legacy. So, as he preps for the big moment, here are five things he has to do—and five things he must avoid.

  1. Bookend the inaugural. Obama's second inaugural address got mostly strong reviews. He defined his own vision of liberalism for the 21st century. But now he needs soaring rhetoric to inspire - and specific details to give it life. Tough balancing act.
  2. Be Ali. Not the 1974 Mohammed Ali who "rope-a-doped" George Foreman, staying in the corner and daring Foreman to punch himself out. Instead, he needs to be the "float like a butterfly sting like a bee" Ali brought a decade before to beat Sonny Liston. Light on the feet will win the night. 
  3. It's still jobs, jobs, jobs. For better or worse, Obama owns the jobs issue now. He'll talk about investing in America to build jobs for the future.  But Americans want jobs, now, and he needs a believable plan to bring unemployment down. Given the fact the president can't do much to control the global jobs picture, that's a tall order.
  4. Lay out the budget plan. It's time to show us the money. Just how would the administration balance the budget? It's the fourth quarter of the budget game and it's time for the long ball.  Americans are tired of watching games that end in ugly ties and go into overtime.
  5. Paint the Republicans deeper into the corner. The Republicans, of course, have done a pretty good job of taking themselves out of the game. They're reeling, without a spokesperson or an idea to rally around. A powerful speech can win enough capital to keep them reeling.


  1. Don't lay down everything you've got. Four fiscal cliffs are down the road—the March 1 sequester battle, the end-of-March end of the government's authority to spend, the mid-April debt ceiling fight, and the October 1 start of the new budget year.  It's time to keep a save a few surprises for the inevitable cliff hangers.
  2. Go easy on plants in the balcony. We've had a great run of personages sitting near the First Lady who are singled out for applause. It's been a great device for a generation, but it needs a rest.
  3. Don't taunt the Republicans. No one needs another "You lie!" moment, like the ugly interruption of Obama's September 2009 speech.  Americans don't want to see live sniping on national television.
  4. Don't call out the Court. Obama badly stumbled in 2010 when he criticized the Supreme Court for its Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for campaign cash. The 2012 election proved he was right—but it's not nice to skewer the justices when they're sitting right in front of the dais and, by protocol, can't even crack a scowl. Plus, without Chief Justice Roberts' decision to save Obamacare, he wouldn't even be giving this speech.
  5. Stay away from the jokes.  Remember the 2012 pun on oil spills and spilled milk?  Or the 2011 crack about which federal agency regulates salmon?  'Nuf said. He gives a great speech—but can't tell a good joke.

To that, add the big question: can he keep it under 50 minutes? And keep viewers from tuning out?

UMD Time Reversal Findings May Open Doors to the Future

February 12, 2013

Lee Tune 301-405-4679

By Evelyn Rabil

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Imagine a cell phone charger that recharges your phone remotely without even knowing where it is; a device that targets and destroys tumors, wherever they are in the body; or a security field that can disable electronics, even a listening device hiding in a prosthetic toe, without knowing where it is.

While these applications remain only dreams, researchers at the University of Maryland have come up with a sci-fi seeming technology that one day could make them real. Using a time-reversal technique, the team has discovered how to transmit power, sound or images to a nonlinear object without knowing the object's exact location and without affecting objects around it. Their work, "Nonlinear Time Reversal in a Wave Chaotic System," was published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Physical Review Letters journal.

"That's the magic of time reversal," says Steven Anlage, a university physics professor involved in the project. "When you reverse the waveform's direction in space and time, it follows the same path it took coming out and finds its way exactly back to the source."

Secure Communication with Nonlinear Time-Reversal: This figure demonstrates secure communication of two different UMD images using nonlinear time-reversal of electromagnetic waves (signals); each sent through a complicated wave scattering environment (brown box in the middle). The black boxes represent time-reversed signals that are not reconstructed after being scatteredPlay It Backwards
The time-reversal process is less like living the last five minutes over and more like playing a record backwards, explains Matthew Frazier, a postdoctoral research fellow in the university's physics department. When a signal travels through the air, its waveforms scatter before an antenna picks it up. Recording the received signal and transmitting it backwards reverses the scatter and sends it back as a focused beam in space and time.

"If you go toward a secure building, they won't let you take cell phones," Frazier says, "So instead of checking everyone, they could detect the cell phone and send a lot of energy to to jam it."

What differentiates this research from other time-reversal projects, such as underwater communication, is that it focuses on nonlinear objects such as a cellphone, diode or even a rusty piece of metal. When the altered, nonlinear frequency of nonlinear objects is recorded, time-reversed and retransmitted, it creates a private communication channel, because other objects cannot understand the signal.

"Time reversal has been around for 10 to 20 years but it requires some pretty sophisticated technology to make it work," Anlage says. "Technology is now catching up to where we are able to use it in some new and interesting ways."

Not only could this nonlinear characteristic secure a wireless communication line, it could prevent transmitted energy from affecting any object but its target. For example, Frazier says, if scientists find a way to tag tumors with chemicals or nanoparticles that react to microwaves in a nonlinear way, doctors could use the technology to direct destructive heat to the errant cells, much like ultrasound is used to break down kidney stones. But unlike ultrasound, which must be directed to a specific location, doctors would not need to know where the tumors were to remove them. Also, the heat treatment would not affect surrounding cells.

Bouncing Off the Walls
To study time-reversal, the researchers sent a microwave pulse into an enclosed area where waveforms scattered and bounced around inside, as well as off a nonlinear and a linear port. A transceiver then recorded and time-reversed the frequencies the nonlinear port had altered, then broadcast them back into the space. The nonlinear port picked up the time-reversed signal, but the linear port did not.

"Everything we have done has been in very controlled conditions in labs," Frazier says. "It will take more research to figure out how to develop treatments. I'm sure there are other uses we havent thought of."

The team has submitted an invention disclosure to the university's Office of Technology Commercialization.

UMD-Smith Professor Facilitates, Recounts Davos Summit Discussion on Innovation

February 12, 2013

Greg Muraski 301-405-5283

Anil Gupta in a Davos Summit panel discussionCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Industry icons like Bill Gates, Nobel laureates like economist Dale Mortensen, and other well-known thinkers such as Nouriel Rubini gathered recently for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at the Davos mountain resort near Zurich, Switzerland.

Among other global leaders invited to the 2013 event themed "resilient dynamism" was University of Maryland business professor Anil Gupta, who participated in the summit's mission to "catalyze and facilitate global, regional and industry transformation."

Gupta, the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship for UMD's Robert H Smith School of Business, facilitated panel discussions covering "Policy and Practice for the Age of Talent" and "Building National Innovation Capacity."

In the former session, he joined Nobel Laureate Mortensen and the CEOs of Heidrick & Struggles and Egon Zehnder as a discussion leader on the topic of how governments and businesses can build human capital.

Respected economist Nouriel Rubini (right), takes a break with Anil Gupta during summit proceedingsIn the latter session, he served as a chair and moderator to facilitate a discussion on what governments and businesses can do to build national innovation capacity. Other panelists in this session included Malaysia's Minister of Science and Technology, the Governor of Colorado, the Dean of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and the COO of Telefonica, one of the world's largest telecom operators. This session was rooted in the premise that "innovation increases the productivity of labor and capital and is the single-most important driver of long-run economic growth."

While every country hopes to thrive and create wealth through innovation, "it is not at all easy to become or remain an innovation power," says Gupta. "Just look at pharmaceuticals. In 1980, Europe was far ahead of the United States in pharmaceutical R&D. Today, the picture is exactly the opposite."

Gupta noted that the panelists outlined the following as the "main ingredients" for building innovation capacity at the national level:

  • Focus: "Except for large economies like the United States, China or India, no country can afford to aim for technological leadership across all sectors. Nations should focus on areas where they hold unique advantages."
  • Investment in R&D: "Nations must spend more than the global average of about 2 percent of GDP on R&D in order to excel at technological innovation. An example is South Korea, which spends more than 3% of its GDP on R&D.
  • Strong Educational System: "South Korea again stands out as an exemplar with its very strong higher education system."

Gupta, a regular columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek, has presented at the Economist magazine's annual Emerging Markets Summits for the last two years. He'll also speak at the Global Entrepolis in Singapore in fall 2013 and at the forthcoming World Economic Forum summits in India ("India Economic Forum") and China ("Summer Davos"). For the latter, he moderated an agenda-setting session at Davos with the likes of IMF Chief Economist Min Zhu.

In addition to Gates, Zhu, Rubini and political leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, other participating notables among the 2013 summit's 2,500 invitees included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and about 100 academics ranging from scientists to economists and business professors. "It was a delight for me to represent the Smith School and The University of Maryland at College Park," Gupta said.

About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

UMD Selected as Host Site for National Digital Stewardship Residency

February 11, 2013

Eric Bartheld, UMD, 301-314-0964

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has been selected by the Library of Congress to serve as an elite training ground in a new residency program for professionals who work with digital collections.
As one of 10 host sites for the National Digital Stewardship Residency program, the university joins other institutions in the Washington, D.C., area, including the Folger Shakespeare Library, The National Library of Medicine, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
The University Libraries and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) will partner to offer the nine-month residency which begins in September 2013. 
"This honor shows not only the maturity of our partnership, but also our value to the national library community," says Patricia Steele, dean of University of Maryland Libraries. "We're proud to share our expertise in this innovative program that's helping to define the future of libraries."
Joanne Archer, a special collections librarian who will help train residents, is pictured in the offices of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the HumanitiesThe residency program aims to advance the nation's capabilities in managing, preserving and making accessible the digital record of human achievement. At Maryland, the focus will be on "born-digital" materials, or materials that are electronic in form from inception and often cannot easily be recreated in print form.  Email, images from digital cameras, word processing documents and video games are examples of material that would be considered "born-digital."
The survival of such collections depends on their discoverability, accessibility, and usability by diverse constituencies. As more institutions add born-digital materials to their collections, they will need individuals capable of developing and implementing policies and access models where none existed previously.
The University of Maryland will help provide the necessary background to articulate issues surrounding access of born-digital archival collections and the expertise to provide solutions. The resident will contribute important research and be well positioned to provide leadership on issues that librarians and archivists will confront in the coming years.
Matt Kirschenbaum, associate director of MITH and associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland, and Joanne Archer, special collections librarian at the University of Maryland Libraries, along with staff from MITH, the Human-Computer Interaction Lab of the University of Maryland iSchool, and the University of Maryland Libraries will work with the resident to gain experience with reference models, user-centered design, and prototyping.
The National Digital Stewardship Residency is a new program created by the Library of Congress in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is a leading digital humanities center that pursues disciplinary innovation and institutional transformation through applied research, public programming, and educational opportunities. MITH has been a partner and MITH directors have served as PI or co-PI for a range of projects on born-digital cultural heritage, digital forensics, digital curation, and the preservation of computer games, interactive literature, and virtual worlds.
The University of Maryland Libraries conduct a broad range of digital projects including digitization of materials from the UMD Libraries' special collections and archives as well as digital preservation programs and planning. The Libraries take an active part in usability analysis and design activities pertaining to accessibility and findability of our digital collections and our Web content.  For a complete list of past and ongoing projects, please consult

New UMD-VCU Regional News Service to Focus on Maryland, Virginia and DC

February 11, 2013

Rafael Lorente, UMD, 202-841-2375                           
Jeff South, VCU, 804-827-0253

UMD CNS reporter Jeremy Barr interviews Jesse Jackson at President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration.COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Philip Merrill College of Journalism's Capital News Service at the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University's Capital News Service are creating a collaborative, regional news service bringing together several dozen reporters across multiple platforms in bureaus in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

VCU senior Paige Baxter writes a story for VCU's Capital News ServiceThis week, the two student-run, professionally edited news organizations, with bureaus in Washington, Richmond, Annapolis and College Park, will begin sharing and distributing each other's stories and multimedia. The two news organizations also plan to work together on issues of importance to Maryland, Virginia and the District, including the Chesapeake Bay, transportation, economic development, immigration and education.

This unique collaborative effort between student-staffed news organizations will deliver public policy news and analysis to the citizens of Maryland and Virginia in multiple formats via partner news organizations, destination websites, a nightly on-air television newscast and affiliated social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook.

Philip Merrill College of JournalismFounded in 1990, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism's Capital News Service covers public policy news throughout Maryland. Capital News Service reporters have won numerous awards for their Maryland reporting, including the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards, the Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program and student Emmys. They've covered national political conventions, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and other national stories. Capital News Service clients include The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, WTOP Radio and many of the daily, weekly and monthly newspapers in Maryland.

VCU School of Mass CommunicationsThe Capital News Service at Virginia Commonwealth University was founded in 1994. It serves more than 90 newspapers and news websites across Virginia, ranging from metro dailies like the Daily Press of Newport News to online start-ups such as the Patch community sites in Northern Virginia.  VCU's Capital News Service program has won several awards in college journalism competitions, such as the Hearst Foundation's Journalism Awards Program and the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence contest. The program also uses various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr, and it produces a weekly radio program in conjunction with VCU's student radio station, WVCW.

About University of Maryland
The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. Ranked No. 19 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, it has 27 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10 and 71 in the Top 25. The Institute of Higher Education (Jiao Tong University, Shanghai), which ranks the world's top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 38 in the world and No. 13 among U.S. public universities. For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Maryland ranked in the top 10 of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's list of Best Values in Public Colleges for 2012-13. The university has produced six Nobel laureates and seven Pulitzer Prize winners and includes scores of Fulbright scholars and nearly 50 members of the national academies. The university is making entrepreneurship and innovation one of its signature features and is also recognized for its commitment to diversity. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-six of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU's 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation's leading academic medical centers. For more, see

Maryland Named Top 25 Peace Corps Recruiter

February 8, 2013

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

Peace Corps Top Colleges LogoCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has been ranked 24th in the Peace Corps' annual list of the 25 top volunteer-producing colleges in the large school category—with 53 undergraduate alumni currently serving as volunteers overseas.  Since the Peace Corps' inception, 1,144 UMD alumni have served, making it the 27th highest volunteer-producing university of all time.

"I fell in love with serving others at Maryland," said Jackie Iloh '07 who is a youth development volunteer in the Dominican Republic. "I would recommend the Peace Corps to Maryland seniors because it is literally an extension of our President's Promise initiative. With the Peace Corps, you will receive a living-learning experience unlike any other, the international experience of a life time, amazing leadership experiences and opportunities for personal development, and an amazing service learning experience where you will undoubtedly gain so much more than you thought possible."

"Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service," said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. "As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home."

Molly Douglas, the University's campus recruiter and a returned Peace Corps volunteer, hosts various information sessions on campus.  Douglas can be reached directly at 202-692-1051 or For the full list of recruitment events at Maryland, click here.

The full list of colleges and universities on the Peace Corps' Top College list is available here.

About the Peace Corps
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency's mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit for more information.


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Three latest University of Maryland Goldwater scholars make 37 such scholars from UMD in the past 10 years  Read
March 30
University of Maryland places seven graduate programs in the top five and 25 in the top 20. Read