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University to Honor Billy Jones and Darryl Hill, Two Athletic and Social Justice Trailblazers

April 27, 2021

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - As part of the University of Maryland Presidential Inauguration where Dr. Darryll Pines was officially installed as the 34th President at Maryland, President Pines recognized two trailblazers who broke the color barrier in basketball and football. The legacy of Billy Jones and Darryl Hill will be commemorated with the naming of Jones-Hill House in their honor. Jones-Hill House will serve as the new home of Maryland Football in the Cole Field House project.

Jones broke the color barrier in basketball at Maryland and the ACC in 1965 and Hill was the first Black student-athlete to play football at Maryland and in the ACC in 1963. 

The entire Cole Field House project -- which will eventually include a research wing and entrepreneurship center -- would not have been possible without the support of donors -- notably a generous leadership gift from Kevin Plank, the founder and Executive Chairman of Under Armour. 

Plank’s support of this project made this honorific naming possible. In fact, it was his idea to forego the opportunity to put his own name on this facility to honor these two trailblazers. That kind of visionary leadership and selflessness demonstrates Plank’s deep commitment not just to his alma mater, but to social justice. 

Jones-Hill House will be the new home for the football performance center, and the new home for football operations - including coaching offices, team meeting spaces, locker room, and dining facility - and indoor and outdoor football practice fields. The state-of-the-art facility also features world-class strength, conditioning, and hydrotherapy facilities, advanced physical assessment, and diagnostic technology and embraces a holistic performance approach, including career and nutrition support.

“It is an honor for me and my family to be able to name the Jones-Hill House at my alma mater,” said Plank. “What began as a financial gift grew to something much more meaningful last summer as my wife and fellow Terp, DJ, and I considered how we could positively influence the conversation around social justice.  Honoring these two trailblazers by naming our facility with Billy Jones and Darryl Hill is fitting for our school and for all of the student athletes and entrepreneurs who will walk the halls of this House for many years to come.”

 

Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans recognized the special day, acknowledging the everlasting impact Jones and Hill made on Maryland. 

 

"Jones-Hill House is a fitting tribute to two men who were heroic trailblazers in Billy Jones and Darryl Hill," said Evans. “We are excited to honor them with a permanent reminder of the impact they made on all of Maryland Athletics and the world of collegiate sports.  We would also like to thank Kevin Plank for not only his generosity, but for challenging us to reconsider how we should honor legacy here at the University and frankly, at every educational institution across the country."

 

 

Jones debuted for the Terps on December 1, 1965, against Penn State, becoming the first Black men’s basketball scholarship player to play in a game with the Terps. He served as a team captain in his senior year of 1967-68. Jones went on to be an assistant coach at American, UC-Santa Barbara and Stanford and head coach at UMBC for 12 seasons. Following his coaching career, he went to work in human resources at Lockheed and Tupperware and as a manager for cast services at Walt Disney World for 15 years before retiring in 2011. 

 

“I am absolutely elated to receive this honor,” said Jones, who is a native of East Towson, Md., and currently resides in Orlando, Florida. “My life changed when I received the phone call informing me of this recognition. It is an honor that I couldn’t even imagine. I am thrilled to be honored along with Darryl, to share it with him is very special. A trophy might break, a photograph might fade, but a building will be there for a lot of people to see. I am elated for everyone from the east side of Towson, my family, my grandchildren and my 96-year old mother who will be able to see this building with our names and what this building represents. I am so flattered and thankful for the generosity of Kevin Plank, the University of Maryland, President Darryll Pines and Damon Evans.”

 

Hill first played for the Terrapins in 1963 as he set Maryland’s then-single-game record for receptions with 10 against Clemson, set an ACC season-record for touchdown catches with seven and threatened the school’s single-season record for receptions with 47 that season. Hill spent time with the New York Jets in the NFL before beginning his post-playing career. Hill has been a successful businessman and entrepreneur for decades in addition to serving as Director of Major Gifts for the Terrapin Club at Maryland from 2003-09. He is also on the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors. 

 

“We fought a hard fight for African-American student-athletes and I am gratified that those doors have been opened and those barriers have been removed,” said Hill, a Washington, D.C., native who now resides in Laurel, Md. “It is a great honor to open those doors for all African-American student-athletes to follow and now they will proudly walk into this beautiful building. They will have a structure with a name that demonstrates what Maryland has accomplished in terms of racial and social equity. Every time they see Hill and Jones on that building, they will know what that represents and they will have something to be proud of. To be the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship from a Division I school south of the Mason-Dixon Line was quite an honor, but the impact didn’t resonate with me then. But, it certainly does now, and I am proud that Maryland took the lead in breaking down that barrier in sports and I am proud to be the person Maryland selected to lead that effort. Thank you to Kevin Plank, the University of Maryland and President Pines and Damon Evans for this special honor.”

 

Jones-Hill House will also feature a new area, Game Changers Row. Maryland will recognize and honor pioneers and ground-breakers, including incredible women and men -- especially student-athletes and staff members -- whose contributions to their sport and our community epitomize the rich and storied history of diversity, equity and inclusion in Maryland Athletics. 

University of Maryland Announces $40 Million Investment in Faculty Diversity Initiatives

April 26, 2021
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, lawsonk@umd.edu

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland announced an investment of $40 million to create the Faculty Advancement at Maryland for Inclusive Learning and Excellence (FAMILE) program. Through FAMILE, the university will recruit and retain more than 100 tenured and tenure-track faculty from underrepresented backgrounds over the next 10 years. This investment represents a near-tripling of support for several existing recruitment and retention programs aimed at improving diversity among faculty. 

 

“A diverse and equitable multicultural community will drive us to our goal of inclusive excellence in everything we do,” said University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines while announcing the initiative during his inaugural address. “We want our student body to be taught by the highest quality faculty who reflect our values and advance our journey of inclusive excellence."

 

Funded by the Office of the Provost with matching funds from colleges and schools, FAMILE will grow the funding for three existing initiatives: the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, with an added emphasis on converting fellows to permanent positions; the Assistant Professor Targeted Hire Program; and the Senior Targeted Hire Program. 

 

“We know that our students of color want to see faculty that look like them in the classroom,” said Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Ann Wylie. “They want to know that those positions are available to them.”

 

A primary focus of the program will be creating a welcoming climate for each recruited faculty member, so they are incorporated into a collegial academic community and exposed to connections that will advance their expertise, career and sense of agency.  

 

Schools and colleges will be required to undergo readiness assessments to establish that they are prepared to successfully onboard diverse faculty; which includes ensuring that search committee members receive implicit bias training; and developing and submitting a faculty retention plan that addresses mentorship, professional development, grants, and scholarship opportunities. 

 

For more information about FAMILE program, view the Official Investiture Ceremony for President Darryll Pines, and read his vision to Move Maryland Forward.  

 

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About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff, and 280 academic programs. As one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars, its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners and 57 members of the national academies. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget and secures $514 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu.

 

University of Maryland Launches Quantum Business Incubator

April 23, 2021
Contacts: 

Lee Tune 301-405-4679 or mediainfo@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has launched a new business development arm to nurture quantum-focused startups. The Quantum Startup Foundry—created through an initial $25 million investment from the university’s newly established Discovery Fund, and with key funding from the state of Maryland—will support new businesses in the quantum technology field. 

President Darryll J. Pines announced the Quantum Startup Foundry at an event honoring UMD’s inventions, startups, mentors and student entrepreneurs. Pines said the 

quantum technology field stands “poised to disrupt everything from cybersecurity and energy, to medical discoveries and the financial field.”

The new Quantum Startup Foundry is also backed by a $10 million capital investment for quantum facilities and supported by UMD’s status as one of the world’s leading centers for quantum science research. The Quantum Startup Foundry will help cement UMD’s and the region’s position as “the Capital of Quantum,” said President Pines. 

The Quantum Startup Foundry also draws from the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance (MQA)—comprised of universities, major corporations, startups, and government labs. The 24-member MQA is a rapidly growing hub of quantum technology research, development, innovation and education organized and facilitated by UMD. For more than a year, Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance workgroups have been creating ways for MQA members to easily collaborate, team-up to pursue opportunities, educate the public about the promise of the second quantum revolution, and share resources, facilities, equipment, expertise and data.

The idea for the Quantum Startup Foundry grew from work of the MQA, according to UMD Chief Innovation Officer Julie Lenzer, who also leads the Quantum Startup Foundry (QSF). The advisory board members of the new QSF are all part of the alliance, said Lenzer.  

Lenzer said that the QSF will work to enable quantum technology breakthroughs. The foundry will seek to launch and grow new startups and connect quantum businesses with mentors, existing companies, and infrastructure—all to create or advance technologies that use principles of quantum physics. 

Lenzer said that through UMD’s international incubator, the QSF also will be able to provide a landing spot for international quantum startups.

"While the promise of quantum may seem far off, it's not," Lenzer said. "The future is quantum, and it starts now."

 

University of Maryland Names Dawn Jourdan Dean of School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

April 20, 2021
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, lawsonk@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has named Dawn Jourdan Esq., Ph.D., AICP, dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, effective August 1, 2021. As dean, Jourdan will lead the school in its mission to advance education while promoting social justice, cultural diversity, resource conservation, and economic opportunity through excellence in architectural design, urban planning, historic preservation, and real estate development.

 

“It is my pleasure to join the innovators at the University of Maryland,” said Jourdan. “The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is a leader in making inclusive places that are respectful of all people. Together, we will work with communities in the region to envision a future that builds capacity and resilience in the face of the changing world.”

 

Jourdan currently serves as professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and executive associate dean for the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. In this role, Jourdan is tasked with initiating development programs for current faculty while broadening the talent pool and increasing the diversity of new faculty. She has also worked to expand the number of interdisciplinary grants available for faculty, and works closely with the development teams on new and existing gifts to the College.

 

“Dr. Jourdan’s academic background, with leadership roles in architecture along with her diverse experiences as an attorney and city planner give me the utmost confidence that she will make an immediate impact at Maryland,” said UMD’s Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Ann Wylie. “I look forward to the accomplishments to come from the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation under her leadership.”

 

Prior to her tenure at Texas A&M, Jourdan held academic positions at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Florida. In Florida, she filled a joint appointment in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Levin College of Law and directed the university’s Center for Building Better Communities, which conducts research and advocates for innovation in collaborative planning and citizen participation in public projects. She also held an associate position at Holland & Knight LLP, an international law firm, in its Chicago office.

 

Before earning a doctorate in urban and regional planning from Florida State University, Jourdan received a master’s degree in urban planning and a juris doctor degree at the University of Kansas in 2000. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and urban affairs from Bradley University in Illinois. Jourdan currently serves as a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

 

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About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students,10,000 faculty and staff, and 280 academic programs. As one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars, its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners and 58 members of the national academies. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget and secures $514 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu.

 

Inauguration Week: University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines

April 16, 2021
Contacts: 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines has outlined - and made significant progress toward - a bold vision for the future of our university. He has charged the campus community with creating an inclusive and multicultural campus environment, and confronting the grand challenges of our time. 

 

The University of Maryland will commemorate the formal installation of President Pines with Inauguration Week, April 19-24, 2021. This campus-wide celebration will offer opportunities to learn more about the President’s vision and goals for the future of Maryland, and feature appearances by UMD community members over multiple days of events. 

 

WHAT: Inauguration Events

 

Monday, April 19

The Art of Humanizing Grand Challenges- 5 p.m.

A panel of arts and humanities experts provides insights on today’s Grand Challenges

 

Tuesday, April 20

The Life and Legacy of David C. Driskell- 7 p.m.

President Pines joins Driskell Center Director Curlee Holton to reflect on the life and legacy of the late artist, scholar, curator and distinguished university professor emeritus.

 

Thursday, April 22 (Inauguration Day)

Official Investiture Ceremony - 11 a.m.

Darryll J. Pines is officially installed as president and shares his vision for UMD.

 

Moving Maryland Forward: A Celebration of the Inauguration of Darryll J. Pines- 7 p.m.

Innovate Maryland 2021

A celebration of the University's innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors, and creatives that includes UMD’s Invention and Startup of the Year award.

 

Friday, April 23

Forward with Hope: Never Shall We Forget - 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
The Forward with Hope program aims to engage the community in meaningful conversation about the impact of the 2017 murder of 1st Lt. Richard W. Collins III. Collins was killed by a University of Maryland student just days before his graduation from Bowie State University. The annual Social Justice Alliance Spring Symposium brings together the Bowie State University and the University of Maryland communities to forge solutions out of tragedy, specifically focused on hate crime legislation and the climate of race relations on college campuses.

 

A Celebration of Terps: Featuring the Maryland Awards- 7 p.m.

This annual awards ceremony from the UMD Alumni Association honors the achievements of six outstanding Terps.

 

Saturday, April 24

Maryland Day

This UMD tradition closes out inauguration festivities. Enjoy a day of learning, fun and discovery online!

 

If you are interested in attending any of the Inauguration Events, please RSVP to mediainfo@umd.edu

 

University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines Recognized as Top 50 Leader in Higher Education

April 14, 2021
Contacts: 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Darryll J. Pines, University of Maryland President, was recently named a Top 50 leader in Higher Education by the National Diversity Council at the 17th Annual National Diversity and Leadership Conference. 

 

“I am incredibly honored to be recognized as a leader in higher education, specifically in terms of diversity and creating an inclusive environment - a pillar of my presidency,” said President Pines. “I intend to keep this priority at the forefront while understanding there is still much work to be done to support the growth and development of our students, faculty and staff."

 

As an educator for many years, with 11 as the Dean of UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, Pines has championed improvements in student support, participation in national and international student competitions and expanding innovation and entrepreneurship activities. In the first year of his presidency, Pines has made major developments in plans to improve the student experience and create an inclusive environment, while advancing the university in research and academics. 

 

Top leaders in education are characterized as innovators, strategists and pioneers in their field. Awardees are chosen based on criteria gauging educators who contribute to the growth of their students, organizations, and communities, and are active in mentoring the next generation of professionals.

 

President Pines is joined on the list by other notable university presidents and chancellors across the country. To view the full list of 2021 awardees, and to find more information about the National Diversity and Leadership Conference, please visit http://nationaldiversityconference.com/2021/ 

 

University of Maryland Announces Plans for Commencement Celebration, Speaker Peter Chapman

April 14, 2021
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622, lawsonk@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland announces today plans to celebrate 2021 spring graduates. Spring 2021 commencement exercises will be conducted in-person at Maryland Stadium, and live-streamed at commencement.umd.edu on Friday, May 21, 2021. In collaboration with Prince George’s County, plans for commencement prioritize safety while celebrating the success of graduates.

 

The ceremony will include remarks from Peter Chapman, President and CEO of IonQ, an industry leader in quantum computing, founded on UMD research among others, and headquartered in the University of Maryland Discovery District. 

 

"All of us at IonQ are very proud to call UMD home, just as I am very proud to share this important moment with the Class of 2021,” said Chapman. “Now more than ever, these young people represent our shared faith in a better future, driven by bold thinking right here in Maryland. I hope only to inspire them, the next generation of builders, as they have already inspired me."

 

Before coming to IonQ in 2019, Chapman spent nearly five years as a director of engineering for Amazon Prime, managing hundreds of engineers to ensure speedy delivery, including Amazon’s two-days-or-less shipping option. Along his tech and entrepreneurial journey, he made software breakthroughs that protect mutual funds, support e-readers, and assist the blind in reading; he founded the video game company Level Systems Inc., and invented the first sheet music-reading synthesizer capable of recreating orchestral instruments. Chapman also helped create the world’s first fully automated algorithmic trading system for the stock and commodity markets. The son of a NASA scientist-astronaut, Chapman began his career at age 16 in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Lab. 

 

"I share Peter’s passion for the future of computing and technological advancements as we aim to solve many of the grand challenges of our time," said Darryll J. Pines, University of Maryland President. "I look forward to his compelling, insightful remarks as he addresses our graduates who have persevered through a challenging year, and I thank him for his continued commitment to excellence in College Park."

 

Graduates plus two guests are invited to attend physically distanced commencement activities in person at Maryland Stadium. Based on the school or college of the graduate, they will be invited to attend one of two main commencement ceremonies on campus. Maryland will also invite Spring 2020 and Winter 2020 graduates back to campus to be celebrated in person on May 21.

 

Individual colleges and schools will host their commencement ceremonies virtually on Thursday, May 20 featuring remarks from Deans and displaying the names of every graduate. 

 

Information about commencement, including tickets, regalia, and safety measures required to attend in person are available at commencement.umd.edu, and additional information will be added as it becomes available. 

 

All campus events are contingent on evolving COVID-19 conditions and guidelines from the Prince George's County health department. Hosting successful in-person commencement ceremonies will depend on everyone doing their part, and remaining diligent in following the university’s 4 Maryland guidelines.

 

University of Maryland Launches National Network to Tackle Small Business Displacement

April 7, 2021
Contacts: 

Maggie Haslam mhaslam@umd.edu / 202-258-8946

 

College Park, Md.The University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) has received a $3 million philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase to create a national “community of practice” to prevent the displacement of small businesses in rapidly gentrifying U.S. metropolitan areas.

The Small Business Anti-Displacement Network (SBAN) will galvanize small business leaders—including policy makers, scholars, government agencies and community-based organizations—to gather, evaluate and share successful place-based interventions, and to create tools and push policies to prevent the displacement or closure of vulnerable businesses. The project focuses on businesses most vulnerable to displacement, including minority- and immigrant-owned businesses, which have been particularly hard-hit by the recent COVID-19 crises.  

“Minority- and immigrant-owned small businesses are a vital source of economic and social wellbeing in communities of color,” says Dr. Willow Lung-Amam, SBAN director and principal investigator. “But, when development, higher-income residents and larger, well-capitalized businesses come to town, they are often the first businesses to go. They have a hard time competing with chain retailers, attracting new customers and adapting to the higher rents that often accompany gentrification. Currently there are not a lot of tools out there to help them stay in place.”

This is the first community of practice in the nation to focus on compiling on-the-ground actions for small businesses facing displacement, filling a critical gap in the evaluation of existing and emerging anti-displacement strategies and policies, such as commercial tax credits, affordable workspace provisions, commercial rent control and legacy business protections.

Leveraging the expertise of over 150 organizational leaders nationwide, peer-learning groups and case study teams will investigate and share viable solutions to protect and promote small businesses. The resulting “toolbox” of resources and networks will arm practitioners and policy makers working to bolster small business viability at the neighborhood, regional and national scale.

“Small businesses make up the vibrant fabric of our cities, but today they face crippling circumstances, from the COVID-19 pandemic to rising rents, that threaten their livelihood,” said Peter Scher, Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to support this innovative anti-displacement network led by the University of Maryland to help vulnerable small businesses, particularly those owned by Black, Latinx and other entrepreneurs, keep their doors open. By working with policymakers, nonprofits and community institutions, this program will help advance a more inclusive economy where more people have the opportunity to benefit.”

While many disadvantaged small businesses were already facing severe pressures from gentrification, the economic fallout from the coronavirus has left many struggling to survive. In the early months of the pandemic, Black businesses closed at a rate twice the national average, seeing a 41% drop in active business owners, while Latinx businesses saw a 32% drop. According to McKinsey, Black or Latinx business owners were more likely to be classified as ‘at risk’ or ‘distressed’ prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Now, more than ever, small businesses are facing existential crises brought on by man-made and natural forces,” said Marla Bilonick, Executive Director & CEO of the Latino Economic Development Center. “External shocks like gentrification, large-scale construction projects, natural disasters and global pandemics are pushing already vulnerable small businesses over the tipping point, and most will never recover or reopen. These times require creative and innovative solutions that will position small businesses to weather these shocks, and also take advantage of the economic opportunity and vitality that will come afterward. It is critical that small businesses—the top job creators in our nation—be the center of focus as we look to rebuild the U.S. economy.”

Initial project phases will focus on metropolitan areas that are experiencing intense gentrification pressures, such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. The project hopes to identify aggressive tools and policy strategies that can provide immediate relief to affected businesses. Subsequent phases hope to devise strategies for metropolitan areas facing less intense pressures by putting protections in place before commercial displacement begins. SBAN hopes to serve as a model of community-engaged, data-driven and effective anti-displacement policy and planning in cities across the U.S. and internationally.

In 2013, the NCSG launched the Purple Line Corridor Coalition, a network of more than 40 organizations collaborating to forge equitable, sustainable strategies and policies to retain residents and vulnerable small businesses along Maryland’s Purple Line light rail corridor.

This $3 million philanthropic investment builds on JPMorgan Chase’s $350 million, five-year global commitment to grow Black, Latinx, women-owned and other underserved small businesses, help address the racial wealth divide and create a more inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The University’s partnership with JPMorgan Chase is designed to propel smart growth, an aspiration we have here in College Park and one that is shared in cities across the nation," said University of Maryland President Darryll J. Pines. "I offer my sincere congratulations in establishing a transformational effort that will widely disseminate research-based strategies that work while maintaining a sharp focus on preserving diversity and small businesses."

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About the National Center for Smart Growth: The National Center for Smart Growth is a non-partisan center for research and education on smart growth, sustainability and related land use issues, nationally and internationally. Located at the University of Maryland, College Park, NCSG conducts research on community and economic development, international planning and urban management, land use, smart cities and transportation.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

Three UMD Students Named 2021 Goldwater Scholars

March 30, 2021
Contacts: 

Abby Robinson 301-405-5845

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Three University of Maryland undergraduates were awarded scholarships this year by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, which encourages students to pursue advanced study and research careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

UMD’s 2021 Goldwater Scholars are:

UMD 2021 Goldwater Scholars

Over the last decade, UMD’s nominations have yielded 37 Goldwater scholarships—the second most in the nation behind Stanford University. Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University also rank in the top 10.

“Our scholars are already contributing significantly to understanding a broad array of important scientific problems through their research. Collectively, there are advancing our understanding of plasma physics and laser-matter interactions, neurological disorders, and bias in artificial intelligence-based algorithms. These young research stars are on trajectories to make major research contributions throughout their careers,” said Robert Infantino, associate dean of undergraduate education in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. Infantino has led UMD’s Goldwater Scholarship nominating process since 2001.

Andhavarapu, Raman and Rockafellow were among the 410 Barry Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,256 students nominated nationally this year. Goldwater Scholars receive one- or two-year scholarships that cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year. These scholarships are a stepping-stone to future support for the students’ research careers. The Goldwater Foundation has honored 73 UMD winners and five honorable mentions since the program’s first award was given in 1989.

Sanketh Andhavarapu

Andhavarapu, a Banneker/Key Scholar from Ellicott City, Maryland, began doing research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) after his freshman year of high school. He has worked in three different research groups there as well as one at the University of Toronto—publishing six journal articles, including two as first author, and submitting four more.

With UMSOM Assistant Professor Tapas Makar, Andhavarapu has made basic research contributions to the mechanisms of potential therapies for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, the cellular dynamics and multiple sclerosis pathology, and an animal model for HIV-associated primary central nervous system lymphoma. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, he also contributed to five meta-analyses on emergency medicine and critical care topics with Assistant Professor UMSOM Quincy Tran, began conducting neuroeconomics research with University of Toronto Associate Professor Gustavo Saposnik to better understand the decision-making of neurologists in the treatment of their patients with multiple sclerosis, and is working on non-opioid alternatives to treat neuropathic pain with UMSOM Associate Professor Volodymyr Gerzanich.

“Sanketh joined my lab because he was interested in expanding his research horizons within the field of neurology. Specifically, he wanted to gain more experience in conducting neurofunctional experiments with preclinical models,” Gerzanich said. “After seeing him work, I can confidently say that Sanketh is the most motivated and intellectually curious undergraduate that I have mentored yet.”

Andhavarapu also found success as a serial entrepreneur. He co-founded and serves as co-CEO of Vitalize App, which was founded in January 2020 to improve the wellness of health care professionals using digitally delivered, tailored mindfulness and resilience practices. The company participated in Terp Startup, a summer accelerator program for student entrepreneurs, and raised $20,000 in grant funding. The team is currently conducting user research with over 100 clinicians, building a second app iteration, and securing partnerships and pilots with nonprofits and hospital departments in preparation for a public launch in September 2021.

He also founded and is CEO of an educational nonprofit called STEPS Inc. STEPS connect volunteer tutors with families seeking long-term tutoring services and donates the profits to support education in low-income areas of their community. The company has generated nearly $18,000 in revenue and recently launched a grant foundation to support other education nonprofits working with underserved communities.

In addition to running those two companies, he serves as vice president of Peer to Peer, a mentorship program that connects 40 UMD students with high school-aged children of refugee families in the local community. The Terps help with homework, run educational activities, and provide college and SAT preparation lessons. He also volunteers as a medical assistant with Mobile Medical Care, a clinic that serves the uninsured patient population, and shares his perspective on applied behavioral science topics via articles published by The Decision Lab, an international think tank and consultancy.

Andhavarapu was named to DC Inno's 25 under 25 list for 2020, and he received the Ed Snider Center Leadership Award from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, a UMD Alumni Association Scholarship, the Innovators of Progress Scholarship, and an Emerging Venture Capitalists Association Fellowship. 

After he graduates, Andhavarapu plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience and stay involved with digital health innovation and behavioral science.

Naveen Raman

Raman, who is a President’s Scholarship recipient from Derwood, Maryland, began working with UMD computer science faculty members in 2018. Since then, he has published four papers and submitted a fifth for publication.

He began by developing algorithms to identify cancer mutation signatures with Distinguished University Professor Aravind Srinivasan and former Assistant Professor Max Leiserson and moved on to working with Assistant Professor John Dickerson to develop policies that balance fairness and profit in ride-pooling systems.

He’s also currently working with Associate Professor Jordan Boyd-Graber to improve question answering systems by leveraging data from trivia competitions. Raman’s focus is on advancing so-called named entity linking algorithms, which connect names found in a question to larger repositories of data about them like Wikipedia. These advances will ultimately help question answering systems perform better on a diverse set of questions.

“Naveen Raman is a clear star researcher—and practitioner—in the making,” Dickerson said. “He is driven, questioning, curious and technically talented, as well as a young adult with a strong sense of civic duty and commitment to using technology for social good.”

In Summer 2019, Raman worked to detect rudeness, toxicity and burnout in open-source communities as a participant in Carnegie Mellon University’s Research Experience for Undergraduates in Software Engineering program. Last summer, he worked at Facebook to develop a user interface for debugging machine learning models and learned about important societal issues that machine learning can help solve, such as hate speech detection.

An active competitor, Raman’s team won the National Academy Quiz Tournaments’ Division 2 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament during his freshman year. In 2020, he and two classmates received an honorable mention award in the 72-hour Mathematical Contest in Modeling for their project that analyzed the effect that rising global temperatures have on herring and mackerel fishing along the Scottish coast. He also received an outstanding award in the 2020 SIMIODE Challenge Using Differential Equations Modeling for his team’s work on modeling interactions in refugee camps.

He has been a teaching assistant for a programming languages class and the lead student instructor for a class on algorithms for coding interviews. He also serves as vice president of UMD’s Puzzle Club.

Off campus, Raman teaches literacy skills to underprivileged elementary school students in the Maryland Mentor Program and volunteers at the College Park Academy charter school helping students improve their math skills.

He has been awarded the Brendan Iribe Endowed Scholarship, Capital One Bank Dean’s Scholarship in Computer Science and Corporate Partners in Computing Scholarship.

Raman plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science, with a focus on the fairness of artificial intelligence algorithms in critical fields such as criminal justice, job markets and health care.

Ela Rockafellow

Rockafellow—a Banneker/Key Scholar who went to elementary school in Zambia and graduated from high school in Washington, D.C.—works on one of only three high-power, ultrafast lasers in the world that operates in the mid-infrared wavelength of 3.9 microns. She has co-authored a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters and presented two posters at national American Physical Society meetings.

Since January 2019, Rockafellow has been working in the laboratory of Physics Professor Howard Milchberg, who also holds appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP).

First, Rockafellow designed and constructed an autocorrelator—an optical device for measuring the duration of short laser pulses—for the team’s 3.9-micron laser. Then, she was instrumental to a team that measured ionization yield by lasers of 14 orders of magnitude. Currently, she is running simulations and conducting experiments measuring terahertz radiation generation.

“Ela’s level of scholarly activity and publication is rare and exceptional, and I can say without qualification that Ela is the one of the best undergraduate students I have seen at the University of Maryland,” said one of Ela’s course instructors, Thomas E. Murphy, Keystone Professor of ECE and director of IREAP. “She exhibits a rare combination of intelligence, creativity and dedication that I seldom find, even in graduate students.”

She also has a passion for teaching others. Rockafellow has been an undergraduate teaching assistant for several physics courses and is currently involved in designing a physics course about diversity, equity and inclusion that will be taught in the fall.

She also serves as outreach coordinator and as a volunteer tutor for the university’s Society of Physics Students chapter and was the mentor coordinator for the 2021 Conference for Undergraduate Underrepresented Minorities in Physics (CU2MIP).

Outside of school, she has been competing in equestrian events since she was 6 years old and she started wrestling in eighth grade, competing as one of the only female wrestlers in the league for the next five years. Rockafellow is also a talented artist and painter.

After graduation, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics and continue her work in experimental intense laser/matter interactions. 

 

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April 22
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