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Two UMD Faculty Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 18, 2018
Contacts: 

Alana Coyle, 301-405-0235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Two University of Maryland faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. David C. Driskell, distinguished university professor emeritus of art, and Elaine S. Oran, Ph.D., Glenn L. Martin Institute professor of engineering, are among 213 new members of the academy being recognized for their accomplishments as scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic & philanthropic leaders. 

David C. Driskell

Driskell is known for his poignant work as an artist and scholar. He has had an active career as a practicing artist, teacher, curator, collector, art administrator and art consultant. He is known for curating the exhibition, "Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—the first comprehensive survey of African American art. He has lectured globally and his works are included in major collections of art museums across the world. In 2001, UMD established the David C. Driskell Center to honor Driskell and preserve the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. As a leading authority on African American art, he has received numerous fellowships, awards, and accolades including the Harmon Foundation Fellowship, three Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, and thirteen honorary doctoral degrees in art.

Elaine Oran

Oran is widely recognized for her contributions to the advancement of science and engineering. She pioneered computational technology for the solution of complex reactive flow problems, unifying concepts from science, mathematics, engineering and computer science in a new methodology. Oran has received many awards and honors, including the Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society, the Zeldovich Gold Medal of the Combustion Institute and the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award. In addition, Oran is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering, which is among the highest professional distinctions in the industry. She has also published extensively in journals, and her research has garnered significant media coverage. 

Driskell and Oran joins other distinguished notables in the 2018 Class, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor, 44th President of the United States Barack H. Obama, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, and philanthropist and entrepreneur Laurene Powell Jobs. Driskell and Oran’s election into the Academy this year brings the total number of UMD faculty who are members of academies to 56.

“Membership in the Academy is not only an honor, but also an opportunity and a responsibility,” said Jonathan Fanton, president of the American Academy. “Members can be inspired and engaged by connecting with one another and through Academy projects dedicated to the common good. The intellect, creatively and commitment of the 2018 Class will enrich the work of the Academy and the world in which we live.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in October 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

The full list of the newly elected members is available at www.amacad.org/members.

 

Reverend Jesse Jackson and Peter Neufeld to Headline Social Justice Celebration at University of Maryland

April 16, 2018
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

WHAT:

The University of Maryland will host its 2nd annual Social Justice Day, a campus-wide event for faculty, staff, students and our community. As part of a day-long series of events and discussions on key social justice issues, Innocence Project Co-Founder Peter Neufeld will deliver the morning keynote, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson will deliver the closing keynote. 

For the full agenda, please visit: www.umd.edu/social-justice-day

Members of the university community and general public can register at www.umd.edu/social-justice-day. Tickets are required for the closing keynote by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.  

WHEN:

April 23, 2018, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

WHERE:

Opening Keynote, Expert Panel and Social Justice Fair

Adele H. Stamp Student Union
Grand Ballroom
3972 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20742
Location: go.umd.edu/3hY

Closing Keynote by Rev. Jesse Jackson 

Memorial Chapel
7744 Regents Drive, College Park, MD 20742
Location:  go.umd.edu/3hM 

Note: All broadcast cameras must be in place at the closing keynote by 2:30 p.m

MEDIA RSVP:

Space at each event is limited. Media should RSVP by Friday, April 20. Media will be required to show their credentials at media check-in. 

PARKING:

Media are encouraged to utilize on campus parking facilities that are open to the public. Campus Parking Map: go.umd.edu/3nX

AUDIO:

A mult-box audio feed will be available at the Memorial Chapel for the closing keynote.

 

Kevin Anderson, Athletic Director since 2010, leaves University of Maryland

April 13, 2018
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

The Athletic Director of the University of Maryland, Kevin Anderson, announced today that he will leave the University.

Mr. Anderson has led Maryland Athletics since 2010. He facilitated the institution’s move to the Big Ten Conference and led the Terps to six national championships and 12 appearances in the finals of national championships.

He led significant initiatives that enhanced the student-athletes’ academic success, personal development, and career development.

“I’m grateful for all that Kevin has done to support our student-athletes to be successful in the classroom, on the field or court, and in life,” said UMD’s President Wallace Loh. “I wish him every success in his future endeavors. I know he’ll inspire many more student-athletes for years to come.”

Last fall, Mr. Anderson announced that he would take a professional leave of absence to work on student-athlete leadership development. He will continue to pursue his passion for advancing the well-being of young men and women. Mr. Anderson wrote the following letter to Intercollegiate Athletic staff: go.umd.edu/3nT.

A national search for Maryland’s next Athletic Director will begin in the coming weeks. Executive Athletic Director Damon Evans has led Maryland’s Athletic Department during the past six months. He has agreed to continue in this role until the appointment of the new Athletic Director.

University of Maryland Launches Smart and Connected Communities Initiative for Baltimore Avenue

April 13, 2018
Contacts: 

Natifia Mullings, 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- University leaders, local government officials, community partners and academic researchers recently launched a new collaborative initiative aimed at using smart and connected technologies to improve the safety, engagement, accessibility and quality of life along the College Park areas of the Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) Corridor. Sponsored by the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) and the College of Information Studies (iSchool), with support from the Office of the Provost, the Baltimore Avenue Connected Communities Initiative will pool the University’s collective “smart cities” research, and, working with local jurisdictions, apply them within communities across the corridor. 

“There is so much cutting-edge research happening all over campus, but there haven’t been many opportunities to understand what other people are doing or explore ways to collaborate,” said Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Director of the NCSG. “This initiative is designed to bring researchers and communities together and see where we can align community needs with research and technology in development at UMD.”  

Nearly 100 stakeholders and academics gathered on April 5 to participate in a workshop’s collective ideas exchange and lay the foundation to engage research with community investment. Representatives from College Park, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, Berwyn Heights and Prince George’s County spoke about their cities’ challenges, but also the barriers to entry when it comes to implementing smart technology. 

“When it comes to smart technologies, we don’t know what we don’t know,” added Steve Beavers, Community Development Coordinator for College Park. “An event like this, where we can see the whole range of opportunity and understand smart city challenges as issues we face together, that’s when we start moving the ball forward.” 

“This workshop is about creating connections and sharing ideas,” added Keith Marzullo, Dean of the iSchool. “To create a living research corridor on Baltimore Avenue, we need to begin by working with communities to understand needs and opportunities.” 

Having a greater understanding of the work being done by 17 different UMD researchers from seven different schools and colleges, in areas including transportation, data analytics, health equity, urban agriculture, environmental science, disaster resilience, the built environment and the arts, has already offered NCSG and the iSchool great insight into how other initiatives are impacting communities. This includes the work of NCSG’s West Baltimore Smart Community Engagement project, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and the Baltimore City initiative, which includes faculty from Morgan State University and the University of Baltimore, is working closely with community stakeholders and residents to target the challenges specific and unique to their neighborhoods. 

“You can’t just cut and paste what other cities do,” explained Sokwoo Rhee, Associate Director of the Cyber-Physical Systems Program at National Institute of Standards and Technology. “Each city, each neighborhood has different needs. But, a lot can be replicated. This is exactly the kind of collaboration I like to see; at the end of the day, you want to create something scalable that can be replicated in other places.”

The NCSG and iSchool is now working to develop a plan for implementing smart city technologies on the Baltimore Avenue corridor. They also hope this will result in opportunities to engage other Maryland communities with smart city-related research and innovation. The process will continue to be a collaboration with the community and a valuable opportunity to meet community needs while studying the impact of these technologies. 

For updates, visit the NCSG website at http://www.umdsmartgrowth.org/.

 

 

UMD Researcher Uncovers Lyme Disease Protein Used to Outsmart the Human Immune System

April 10, 2018
Contacts: 

Samantha Watters, 301-405-2434

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A University of Maryland (UMD) researcher has uncovered information on how the bacteria that causes Lyme disease persists in the body and fights early, innate immune responses. 

Professor of Veterinary Medicine Utpal Pal, Ph.D., who has been studying Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, for 12 years, and his team have isolated a protein produced by the bacteria that disables one of the body’s first immune responses, giving insight into mechanisms that are largely not understood. Pal has previously produced a protein marker used to identify this bacterial infection in the body. has major implications for the treatment of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, which is an increasingly chronic and consistently prevalent public health issue. 

“Most people don’t realize that they are walking around with more bacterial cells in their bodies than their own cells, so we are really bags of bacteria,” explains Pal. “Most [bacteria] are good, but the second your body detects something that is a pathogen that can cause disease, your immune system starts to work.” 

Once disease causing bacteria are detected, the body’s immune system sends a nonspecific wave of attack to kill the invaders. This can happen within a few hours or take days. If this doesn’t work, it takes the immune system seven to 10 days to discover the ‘enemy’ and to send a second wave of reinforcements, specifically targeting the bacteria to kill. 

“Lyme disease is actually caused by your immune system,” explains Pal. “[Borrelia burgdorferi]  bacteria win the first battle, and your body overreacts so much that it causes intense inflammation in all the joints and areas that the bacteria spreads to…. Borrelia is then killed, but the inflammation remains and causes many of [the] symptoms for Lyme disease. That is why killing Borrelia in the first wave of immunity is so important.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease annually in the United States and the numbers have been on the rise locally and across the country.

“The majority of all vector-borne diseases in the US are actually tick-borne, and 6 of the 15 distinct tick diseases are transmitted by the Ixodes tick we study in our lab,” says Pal. “The symptoms of these diseases present similarly to many other illnesses and are hard to pin down, so they are vastly underreported and an even bigger public health concern locally and globally than people realize.” Now, chronic Lyme disease is a growing concern. Six to twelve months after traditional antibiotic therapy, many people have non-objective symptoms that return with varying intensity and no current treatment strategy, known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.

Professor Pal’s research has shed some light on this issue and paved the way for future research and treatment options by discovering that even without the protein used to beat the first wave of immune defense, infection can reoccur in the body weeks later. “This means there is a second line of defense for Borrelia just like for our body’s immune system. This had never been observed before and gives us insight into what could be causing these chronic Lyme disease cases,” explains Pal.

Pal is frequently consulted for his expertise and has written books on this highly versatile bacteria. He currently holds two concurrent multi-million dollar RO1 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his work on tick-borne diseases. “I am fascinated by Borrelia, and this discovery will open the door for much more work to treat and control important diseases like Lyme disease,” says Pal.

Pal’s paper, Plasticity in early immune evasion strategies of a bacterial pathogen, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

University of Maryland Expands Office of Diversity & Inclusion Staff

April 10, 2018
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland announces the hiring of two new staff members in its Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI). Carlton Green, Ph.D., has been appointed as Director of Diversity Training and Education, and Neijma Celestine-Donnor as the Program Manager for Hate/Bias Response. They begin their new positions on April 9 and April 20, respectively. 

“As we anticipate the forthcoming findings and recommendations from the Joint Task Force, the Campus Climate Study, and the campus-wide external review of diversity and inclusion, these two highly qualified professionals will add critical skills and expertise to our institutional response,” said Dr. Roger L. Worthington, Chief Diversity Officer and interim associate provost. 

As Director of Diversity Training and Education, Green will lead ODI's Diversity Training and Education programming that promotes, supports and develops inclusive excellence at UMD. In this role, Green will develop a cohesive strategy for diversity training and education; implement and lead campus-wide discourse programs and events focused on diversity and inclusion; and collaborate with units across campus to assist faculty to support inclusive curricula and approaches to teaching.

Green has more than 20 years of experience working in higher education across departments, including student activities, multicultural services, residence life, academic affairs, athletics and counseling services. He joins ODI from UMD’s Counseling Center. Green has received UMD’s Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Service Award, as well as the Champion of Our Community Award by the LGBT Staff and Faculty Association. Green earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College, and B.A. in ethnic studies and history from Southern Methodist University. 

As Program Manager for Hate/Bias Response, Celestine-Donnor will lead and facilitate an interdisciplinary team of professionals providing support to individuals, groups and communities affected by hate and bias. In this role, Celestine-Donnor will develop and deliver targeted training, workshops and awareness events, as well as collaborate on educational and outreach efforts to prevent and mitigate incidents of hate and bias on campus.

Celestine-Donnor is an expert in trauma services, and has routinely served as a counselor, trainer, technical consultant, and speaker for multiple public agencies charged with the safety, health and welfare of Maryland communities. She has years of experience working with victims of crime, abuse and exploitation and is certified as a Victim Assistance Professional through the Roper Victim Assistance Academy of Maryland. Celestine-Donnor holds a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social work supervisor. She also holds certificates in diversity management, project management and executive management from the Management and Strategy Institute. 

These two positions have been added to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion amidst the university’s ongoing work to create a safe and inclusive campus for its entire community. In addition to longstanding programs on diversity, over the past year, the university has invested millions into new trainings and initiatives, including implementing a streamlined protocol for hate-bias incident response, rolling out a campus-wide climate survey, and launching the Center on Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education. In addition, the university is comprehensively reviewing policies through a task force with the goal of shaping a more equitable, diverse and inclusive campus.  

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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. Its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. 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 Named a Tree Campus USA for 10th Consecutive Year

April 9, 2018
Contacts: 

Karen Petroff, 301-405-8925

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland was honored with the 2017 Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to promoting healthy trees and environmental stewardship . This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Tree Campus designation, with UMD making the list each year. 

UMD Ceremonial Tree Planing 2018

We are honored to yet again be recognized as a Tree Campus USA, said Charles Reuning, UMD’s chief facilities officer. As a campus that is an arboretum and botanical garden in itself, Maryland understands the stewardship needs of its urban forest, including consistent maintenance of our many campus trees and opportunities to involve the campus community.” 

In observance of Arbor Day at UMD, on Wednesday, April 4, the campus hosted a  tree planting ceremony near Glenn L. Martin Hall. This ceremonial willow oak planting served as an early installment of the campus wide Earth Month celebration. 

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. University of Maryland achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Currently there are 344 campuses across the United States with this recognition and the University of Maryland is one 25 charter and continuing campuses to hold this honor.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $48 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCampusUSA.

 

 

Four UMD Students Named 2018 Goldwater Scholars

April 6, 2018
Contacts: 

Abby Robinson, 301-405-5845 

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- Four University of Maryland undergraduates have been awarded scholarships by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to pursue advanced degrees and research careers in the sciences, engineering and mathematics fields. In the past five years, UMD’s 20 nominations yielded 18 scholarships and two honorable mentions.

Head shot of Paul NevesPaul Neves, Lillian Sun, Tanay Wakhare and Eric Wang are among the 211 Barry Goldwater Scholars selected from 1,280 students nominated nationally this year. Scholars will receive one- or two-year scholarships that cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year. 

Paul Neves—a junior physics major who is also a member of the University Honors program in the Honors College and a Banneker/Key Scholar—is interested in magnetic materials, and will use his award to pursue a Ph.D. Neves has conducted research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Center for Neutron Research and the UMD Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials

“Paul has the instinct and raw talent to develop into a great scientist and already exhibits the motivation and maturity that are the foundation for success,” said his mentor Nicholas Butch, an adjunct assistant professor of physics at UMD and a physicist at the NIST Center for Neutron Research.

Headshot of Lillian SunLillian Sun—a junior pursuing double degrees in biological sciences and economics who is also a member of the Integrated Life Sciences program in the Honors College and a Banneker/Key Scholar—is interested in developing novel cancer vaccines, and has plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. Sun has previously interned at the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

“Lily possesses a remarkable ability to grasp complex biologic processes and critically think through experimental designs to answer hypothesis-based questions that guide a scientific story,” said her mentor Clint Allen, head of the NIDCD’s Translational Tumor Immunology Program and an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Headshot of Tanay WakhareTanay Wakhare—a sophomore pursuing double degrees in mathematics and computer science who is also a member of the University Honors program in the Honors College and a Banneker/Key Scholar—is interested in combinatorics, a branch of mathematics that focuses on counting,and number theory, and will use his scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. Wakhare has interned at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis

“Tanay is an exceptionally talented young mathematician—by far the best student I have ever met in my career,” said Christophe Vignat, a professor of physics at the Universite Paris-Saclay and an invited professor of mathematics at Tulane University. “He has a very promising future in mathematics.”

Headshot of Eric WangEric Wang—a junior bioengineering major who is a member of the University Honors program in the Honors College and a recipient of a 2017 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship, a President’s Scholarship and an A. James Clark Scholarship—is interested in molecular dynamics, a computer simulation method for studying the physical movements of biomolecules, and will also pursue a Ph.D.

Wang has worked closely with several UMD professors and collaborated with researchers in the Membrane Biophysics Section of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.  

“I have been impressed with Eric’s computational ability to quickly learn our techniques and to know when to ask versus figuring it out on his own,” said Klauda. “He is currently at the level I might expect from a top mid-level graduate student, not an undergraduate that has only worked in my lab for a year.”

The Goldwater Scholarship program was created in 1986 to identify students of outstanding ability and promise in science, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage their pursuit of advanced study and research careers. The Goldwater Foundation has honored 62 University of Maryland winners and five honorable mentions since the program’s first award was given in 1989.

To learn more about the UMD’s Goldwater scholars, please visit https://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/features/4119

 

UPDATE: University of Maryland Cancels Good Neighbor Day

April 5, 2018
Contacts: 

Golshan Jalali, 301-405-0043

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland has cancelled its 7th Annual Good Neighbor Day, which was scheduled for Saturday, April 7, 2018. For more information, please visit https://oce.umd.edu/good-neighbor-day

State, University Officials Celebrate Launch of Newly Formed, Cross-Discipline Transportation Institute

April 3, 2018
Contacts: 

Anjanette Riley, 301-405-2057 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – State and University of Maryland leaders gathered in Annapolis, Maryland today for the launch of a research and education institute that unites engineering, planning, social sciences, computer sciences, business, public policy, and public health experts. The Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) will coordinate more than $20 million in annual research expenditures to spur innovation in the transportation sector.

Provost Rankin Addresses attendees

“Through its important research, this institute will help us remain one of the most innovative transportation departments in the country,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn, who spoke at the event.

Led by the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor Lei Zhang, MTI was approved by UMD’s Office of the Provost last fall. The institute will focus on transportation big data, connected and automated transportation, congestion mitigation, freight and logistics, infrastructure planning and policy, transportation safety and security, smart cities and communities, and future mobility systems. 

“MTI harnesses the expertise of transportation researchers across the university to generate timely, practical solutions to some of the most complex challenges of the 21st century,” said Senior Vice President and Provost MaryAnn Rankin. “The University of Maryland has a long and rich history of advancing knowledge in areas of critical importance to the state, the nation, and the world.”

The institute leverages the largest transportation data and data analytics center in the nation and a U.S. Department of Transportation-designated National University Transportation Center. MTI also encompasses leading centers in smart growth, cybersecurity, GIS, logistics, sustainability, computer sciences, behavioral sciences, and public health. 

Maryland Transportation Institute Celebration Group Photo

“Transportation issues pervade every area of our lives and the lives of our communities,” said Zhang. “MTI will work with our government, nonprofit, and industry partners toward zero traffic fatalities, infrastructure construction and maintenance cost reduction, immediately deployable congestion mitigation technologies, and advanced transportation technologies to improve quality of life and economic development in our state and beyond.” 

The April 3 event featured a number of transportation technology solutions, including a mobile app that helps combat congestion by providing personalized travel incentives. The Center for Advanced Transportation Technology introduced attendees to a suite of decision-making tools backed by big data analytics, while undergraduate students from UMD Loop presented their design for the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition. Collaborators from Morgan State University’s Urban Mobility & Equity Center and the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore also shared a cutting-edge driving simulator that helps reduce traffic accidents and a workforce development program for the aviation industry, respectively.

MTI was formed through support from 10 UMD colleges and schools: School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; School of Arts and Humanities; College of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Robert H. Smith School of Business; College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences; A. James Clark School of Engineering; Philip Merrill College of Journalism; College of Information Studies; School of Public Health; and School of Public Policy.

 

 

 

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