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University of Maryland to Celebrate Homecoming 2017 Week of October 22

October 18, 2017
Contacts: 

Natifia Mullings, 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland will welcome thousands of students, alumni, families and friends to campus to celebrate Homecoming 2017. Held from October 22-29, Homecoming week offers a wide variety of events and activities to bring together the UMD community and features several longstanding university traditions. 

Highlights for this year’s Homecoming include: 

  • Homecoming Football Game
    Saturday, October 28, 3:30 p.m. at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium
    The University of Maryland football team celerbates its 125th season with a homecoming matchup against Indiana University.

  • Terp Carnival 
    Friday, October 27 from 4 to 8 p.m. at McKeldin Mall
    UMD’s iconic McKeldin Mall is transformed into a carnival with food, inflatables, games and prizes and a fireworks show. 

  • Homecoming Comedy Show 
    Thursday, October 26, 8 and 10:30 p.m. at Ritchie Coliseum
    Two (already sold-out) comedy shows will feature Hasan Minhaj, “Daily Show” senior correspondent and host of the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. 

  • Homecoming Service Project 
    Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Ritchie Stadium
    UMD student organization Terps Against Hunger, in partnership with the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life and other student groups, will host its fourth annual UMD Homecoming Community Service Event, where volunteers will help package 300,000 meals for local families in need. To register, click here

For a full list of Homecoming 2017 events and activities, click here

 

 

 

 

 

UMD Solar Decathlon Team Takes 1st Place in the U.S., 2nd Place in the World

October 18, 2017
Contacts: 

Melissa Andreychek301-405-0292
Chris Cestello Hinojosa,  301-405-6286 

DENVER, Co.-- The University of Maryland’s entry into a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design and build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses took second place overall and was the top design from the United States. UMD’s entry, resilient Adaptive Climate Technology (reACT), seeks to improve sustainability in four ways and includes a hydroponic garden, “living walls” within its courtyard, modular living elements, predictive automation, and design elements that simplify future upgrades to the house. Designed by an interdisciplinary team of students, the prototype house beat 10 collegiate teams from around the globe. UMD has placed in the top two each time it has competed in this international competition in the last 10 years (2007, 2011, 2017), with a first place win for its WaterShed house in 2011. 

 

Photo of reACT team

The two-year process—which spans from concept drawings to the construction of a physical house—culminates in a 10-contest competition lasting nine days, this year in Denver. Competitions included evaluations of each home’s performance, design, sustainability, and market appeal. This is the first year that teams are eligible for cash prizes; UMD will bring home $225,000. 

 

“This prestigious competition engages students from across the country and internationally to develop the skills and knowledge to become the next generation of energy experts,” said Linda Silverman, director of the Solar Decathlon. 

 

reACT intertwines Indigenous knowledge systems with western scientific thinking to create a structure that represents both thought processes. Team Maryland worked closely with the Nanticoke Indian Tribe, who, for millennia, have harvested the resources of the Delmarva Peninsula while minimizing waste and impact. With the goal of creating a space for First Americans to be self-sustaining and revive their traditional ways, reACT incorporates modern advances to provide the best atmosphere for growth. 

 

“From the crops grown to the herbs and spices used as medicines in the hydroponics system, this will allow natives to live away from their traditional lands and still be able to utilize the knowledge passed down from generation to generation. To be able to utilize every drop of water collected and not waste this sacred resource is a huge plus for our people,” says Kyle Harmon, Nanticoke Councilman and reACT mentor. “Awareness to our footprints we leave on this Earth helps us ensure that we leave this place better off for our children and the next generation of people to inhabit Turtle Island.” 

 

reACT went beyond the solar-powered requirements of the Decathlon, capitalizing on the talents of UMD students to devise innovative features:

  • Modular construction: kit-of-parts allows endless design configuration in size, climate & budget.
  • A mechanical core: high-performance, interactive, environmentally sensitive automated system.
  • A GreenCourt, a marriage of a greenhouse and a courtyard, is the social heart of the house.
  • Gardens and food production: plants support each other creating food webs.
  • A solar attic uses the sun to heat water, dry clothes, and even cook food. 

UMD’s winning team includes students from the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Education, and programs in several other disciplines campus-wide.

The only Solar Decathlon entry in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region, reACT is the university’s fifth entry in the history of the Solar Decathlon competition. reACT will return to UMD where it will continue to be used as a research and education center, showcasing projects with regional industry and professional stakeholders.

 

 

 

Photo of reACT Photo of reACT  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

University of Maryland Statement on Hate Indictment in Stabbing Death of Second Lt Richard Collins III - October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

The Collins family remains in our thoughts, following their tragic loss last May. This is especially true today as the prosecution of this senseless crime moves through the criminal justice system.

UMD Researchers Contribute to First-ever Direct Observation of Neutron Star Merger

October 17, 2017
Contacts: 

Matthew E. Wright, 301-405-9267

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- On August 17, 2017, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars—the dense, collapsed cores that remain after large stars die in a supernova explosion. The merger is the first cosmological event observed in both gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime—and the entire spectrum of light, from gamma rays to radio waves. 

University of Maryland researchers from the Department of Physics and the Department of AstronomyPhoto of neutron star merger played key roles in detecting both the gravitational and light signals of the historic event, and co-authored several research papers published on October 16, 2017.

Gravitational waves from the merger arrived first at the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, and the newly operational Virgo detector, located near Pisa, Italy. Less than two seconds later, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a short burst of gamma rays.

A rapid analysis of these signals enabled the LIGO and Virgo teams to locate the signal in a region covering less than 0.1 percent of the total sky area as viewed from Earth. Astronomers around the globe then directed more than 70 space- and ground-based telescopes toward the event for follow-up observations.

For a full account of the observations, click here.  

 

UMD Athletic Director Kevin Anderson Announces Sabbatical, Damon Evans to Assume AD Duties

October 16, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- Today, University of Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announced that he is taking a six-month professional development sabbatical. Damon Evans, the Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Athletics, will fulfill Anderson’s duties during the sabbatical.

Damon Evans joined the university in 2014. Since that time, he has overseen the day-to-day operations of the department, its finances and compliance functions along with other key areas. Evans will assume all of the leadership functions of UMD Athletics and report directly to President Wallace D. Loh.

The text of Anderson’s announcement is included below:

 

DATE: 10/16/17

FROM:          Kevin Anderson
TO:               Athletics senior staff and head coaches
SUBJECT:    Professional development sabbatical

Dear Colleagues,

During the past several weeks, I have received a tremendous response from across the nation to the Washington Post article that highlighted my work with our student-athletes through “Kicking it with Kevin.” This experience has led me to consider where I want to focus my energies at this point in my career.

To this end, the University of Maryland has granted me the opportunity to remain in my position of Athletic Director while I take a six-month professional development sabbatical to engage in various projects focusing on leadership development, including work with a broad coalition of groups focused on issues of equity, student athlete activism and inclusion in college athletics and working with the NACDA / John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation.

I will also continue my personal participation on certain NACDA and NCAA Committees. While on sabbatical, the regular duties of running the department will be performed by an administrator to be selected by President Loh.

Please share this news with staff members in your areas.   


Sincerely,

Kevin Anderson
Athletic Director

UMD Receives $8 Million to Combat Hearing Loss in Older Americans

October 16, 2017
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin, 301-405-1733

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—The National Institute on Aging awarded more than $8 million to the University of Maryland to develop an innovative approach for addressing hearing loss and communication challenges that affect millions of older Americans. The five-year, multidisciplinary research project will combine expertise from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and the Center for Advanced Study of Language

Photo of elderly man with cochlear implant“Cross-disciplinary collaboration, by its nature, allows researchers to develop creative solutions to the multifaceted grand challenges facing society today,” said UMD Vice President for Research Laurie E. Locascio. “The results of this research have the potential to positively affect the lives of so many people, and exemplifies the University of Maryland’s mission to perform rigorous scientific research with transformative impact.”

The overarching goal of the research will be to examine processes at the neural level that cause auditory and speech perception difficulties with aging, and to determine whether the brain can be effectively “rewired” through auditory and cognitive training to overcome these hearing and speech obstacles. To achieve this aim, the UMD research team will focus on three distinct projects:

  • Project 1 will examine whether neurons in the auditory cortex of the brain can be reorganized through specific training exercises.
  • Project 2 will assess the effectiveness of focused strategies in helping people process acoustic signals, including rapid speech—a common obstacle for senior citizens.
  • Project 3 will combine cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques—such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and pupilometry—to measure the brain’s ability to form new neural connections following auditory and behavioral training.

“There are many training programs designed to help people deal with hearing loss as they get older,” said Professor Sandra Gordon-Salant from the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, who will serve as the overall project’s lead investigator. “What we don’t know is how well these training programs work and if they result in a true rewiring of the brain. We’re thrilled to have compiled this dynamite team that will help provide answers to these important questions.”

According to a recent publication by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, nearly half of all Americans 65-years-old and above struggle with age-related hearing loss. That percentage climbs to 63 percent for people older than 70. Combined with data from the U.S. Census Bureau, that means roughly 25 million older Americans are currently dealing with hearing loss—a number likely to increase to 35 million by the year 2030. The biggest communication complaint of those with age-related hearing loss is difficulty understanding speech in challenging situations, which often leads to isolation and depression.

“We think that as the population ages, they’re going to be more demanding about solutions to their problems,” Gordon-Salant said. “Hearing aids are beneficial but they can’t do it all. There is a tremendous need for effective training programs and this research has the potential to transform the nature of rehabilitative services for millions of older people with communication problems.”

Gordon-Salant will be joined on the UMD research team by:

  • Shihab Shamma, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research
  • Patrick Kanold, Department of Biology and Institute for Systems Research
  • Jonathan Fritz, Institute for Systems Research
  • Matthew Goupell, Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences
  • Samira Anderson, Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences
  • Jonathan Simon, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of Biology, and Institute for Systems Research
  • Stefanie Kuchinsky, Center for Advanced Study of Language
  • Didier Depireux, Institute for Systems Research
  • Edward Smith, Department of Psychology

University of Maryland Statement on Athletic Director -- October 14, 2017

October 14, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

The University of Maryland released the following statement today:

Kevin Anderson is the University of Maryland Athletic Director. Media reports to the contrary are false. 

University of Maryland Recognized as a Top Public Institution in 2017 College Scorecard

October 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland was recognized as a top university for producing graduates and high incomes after attending in the new College Scorecard from the U.S. Department of Education. UMD students graduate at a rate of 86 percent, and earn over 80 percent more than the national average in salary.

The updated College Scorecard allows students, families, and their advisers to compare colleges and universities using accessible, and reliable national data on cost, graduation rate, debt, and post-college earnings.

Among institutions with more than 15,000 students, UMD received high marks for its overall value, with emphasis on a below average annual cost. The University of Maryland's College Scorecard profile also notes that:

  • UMD's graduation rate is 40 percent higher and retention rate is nearly 30 percent higher than the national average
  • 79% of UMD students earned, on average, more than those with only a high school diploma, and;
  • The percent of students who have repaid at least $1 of the principal balance on their federal loans within 3 years of leaving school is 34 percent higher than the national average

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the College Scorecard is designed to increase transparency, and allow students and families to compare how well individual postsecondary institutions are preparing their students to be successful.

 

University of Maryland Statement on a Hate-Bias Incident Regarding a Swastika on Campus

October 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

On October 5, UMPD served a criminal summons to an individual for one count of malicious destruction of property and one count related to disturbing the operations of a school. This person has been served with a denial of access to campus and is no longer an employee of the university.  

Diversity and inclusion are core values of our institution, and these values will and must be upheld. We are currently leading forward a campus-wide action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus for all. 

In addition to long-standing programs to increase dialogue and promote diversity, recent initiatives include a task force to review all policies and practices with the goal of shaping a culture that is more inclusive and respectful; developing a trained, rapid-response team for hate-bias incidents; and compiling and publishing an annual report on hate-bias incidents on campus. To support this work, we have increased funding for campus-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.

Statement on UMPD Reward Announcement

October 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

UMPD recently announced a reward for information leading to the identification of individuals spreading hate on campus. Offering this reward is one of many ways our university community is demonstrating our deep commitment to combating hate and creating a safer campus. We encourage anyone with information about these reprehensible incidents to contact UMPD. 

We are currently leading forward a campus-wide action plan to reaffirm our core values of diversity, inclusion, respect and civil discourse, and we are proud that Congressman John Lewis is joining us on campus tonight as part of these efforts. In addition to long-standing programs to increase dialogue and promote diversity, recent initiatives include a task force to review all policies and practices with the goal of shaping a culture that is more inclusive and respectful; developing a trained, rapid-response team for hate-bias incidents; and compiling and publishing an annual report on hate-bias incidents on campus. To support this work, we have increased funding for campus-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.

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