UMBC celebrates opening of student venture OCA Mocha, “where coffee meets community”

Two years ago, local business and community groups asked a UMBC entrepreneurship class for ideas on how to better connect the University and its surrounding communities. The idea for OCA Mocha was born. After more than two years of planning, construction, relationship-building, and first-hand experience with the ups and downs of starting a business from scratch, the coffee shop and community gathering space in downtown Arbutus has officially opened its doors. Continue reading UMBC celebrates opening of student venture OCA Mocha, “where coffee meets community”

UMBC’s Aaron Smith examines molecular role of iron in human health with $1.5M in new grants

“Metals open up the toolbox for the protein to be able to accomplish so much more,” Aaron Smith says. His new NSF and NIH funding will allow Smith’s lab to increase understanding of how one metal, iron, is involved in adding molecules to proteins after they are made. This process can significantly change a protein’s function and play a role in disease. By focusing at the molecular level, “We think that we fit in very nicely in this research space,” Smith says. “We’re filling a niche that remains really uncovered at this point.” Continue reading UMBC’s Aaron Smith examines molecular role of iron in human health with $1.5M in new grants

We have liftoff! UMBC-developed mini satellite launched into space to study climate, air quality

“As an engineer, I’m looking to develop technology that can make the science happen,” says Dominik Cieslak. That’s exactly what Cieslak and the rest of the team have accomplished with their cubesat, HARP. When it is released from the International Space Station in about a month, it will collect new kinds of information about clouds and tiny particles in the atmosphere to increase our understanding of climate and air quality. Continue reading We have liftoff! UMBC-developed mini satellite launched into space to study climate, air quality

UMBC expands offerings at The Universities at Shady Grove to grow Maryland’s STEM workforce

The new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at The Universities at Shady Grove is a big piece of the expansion. “This building symbolizes an opportunity to bring the disciplines together to address societal problems,” Annica Wayman says, “and to discover how they can work together to address the biggest challenges.” With state-of-the-art scientific equipment and ample opportunity for interaction among students, faculty, and biotech professionals, the facility will enhance programming at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Continue reading UMBC expands offerings at The Universities at Shady Grove to grow Maryland’s STEM workforce

Campus shot of exterior of ILSB

2020 U.S. News global ranking names UMBC a top university, a leader in geosciences and space science

U.S. News & World Report has again named UMBC one of the best universities worldwide, with UMBC appearing as one of the top 150 U.S. institutions on the 2020 global list. The ranking highlights UMBC’s international leadership in geosciences and space science. Continue reading 2020 U.S. News global ranking names UMBC a top university, a leader in geosciences and space science

UMBC shines at Brilliant Baltimore with artwork, talks, performances, a reception, and more

From November 1 through 10, UMBC will again join in two of Baltimore’s signature events — Light City and the Baltimore Book Festival — which will be held together in 2019 under the theme of Brilliant Baltimore. UMBC’s contributions include a talk by President Freeman Hrabowski, a UMBC-Light Ekphrastic panel discussion, a panel discussion on Baltimore Revisited, and the SPARK gallery. Continue reading UMBC shines at Brilliant Baltimore with artwork, talks, performances, a reception, and more

In Baltimore Revisited, UMBC and community authors reflect on the city’s history of inequality and resistance

King and Drabinski recognized the need for an updated history of Baltimore, written by and for scholars and community members alike, so they took up the task. “We wanted our work to reach beyond the academy because these histories belong to everyone,” shares Drabinski. “We hope readers can find pieces that speak to them.” Continue reading In Baltimore Revisited, UMBC and community authors reflect on the city’s history of inequality and resistance

UMBC supports emerging higher ed leaders through ACE Fellows program

The newest ACE Fellow to arrive on campus is a two-time UMBC alumna who is shadowing UMBC leaders for the year. Kate Tracy M.A. ‘01, Ph.D. ‘03, psychology, was one of 39 people from across the country to be named ACE Fellows for the 2019-2020 academic year. Tracy is a professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Continue reading UMBC supports emerging higher ed leaders through ACE Fellows program

UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

“Already there are research teams working in this building on such complex issues as age-related disease, environmental degradation, and health disparities,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. Solutions to our most complex challenges “are found through a convergence of talent and effort,” bringing together the perspectives of people from different fields and backgrounds. This is what the new building is designed to achieve. Continue reading UMBC spotlights the power of collaboration and community in opening of new science building, GRIT-X talks

MHEC selects UMBC’s Jordan Troutman, who bridges technology and policy, as student commissioner

Jordan Troutman has been selected to be the student commissioner for the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). He’s a computer science and mathematics major passionate about applying his work at the intersection of technology and policy to improve society.  Continue reading MHEC selects UMBC’s Jordan Troutman, who bridges technology and policy, as student commissioner

UMBC’s Ann Sofie Clemmensen explores The Kennedy Center’s REACH through choreography

On October 18 and 19, choreography by Ann Sofie Clemmensen, assistant professor of dance, will be presented at the new REACH expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Featuring 20 dancers, including UMBC students, Clemmensen’s three-part experience — In To and Out Of — transports audiences through different spaces of the REACH using the unique characteristics of each location to explore concepts in pattern and timing, light and dark, and limitation and transformation. Continue reading UMBC’s Ann Sofie Clemmensen explores The Kennedy Center’s REACH through choreography

Retriever Courage one year later: UMBC community listens, learns, and acts

One year ago, the UMBC community spoke out about experiences, urgent concerns, and hopes for change related to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence. This September 18, student, faculty, staff, and administrative leaders of the Retriever Courage initiative hosted an open gathering to update the campus on early progress and next steps toward fostering a campus climate in which all feel a sense of belonging, safety, and support. Continue reading Retriever Courage one year later: UMBC community listens, learns, and acts

three people walking

UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

“The primary mission of UMBC is inclusive excellence, and our program applies that mission to the environmental sciences,” says Tamra Mendelson. “Our main objectives are to bring a diversity of backgrounds to the environmental workforce and to improve the way that scientific research is applied to environmental problems.” Continue reading UMBC receives $2.8M from NSF for master’s program to prepare a diverse environmental science workforce

New UMBC study shows powerful effects of road salt and urban infrastructure on waterways

The relationship between urbanization and water chemistry was “more complex than we thought,” Matthew Baker says. Overall, though, he says, “We need to pay closer attention to the materials we’re using in and on infrastructure,” and “we definitely have to lower the amount of road salt we’ve been applying,” to keep our local ecosystems healthy. Continue reading New UMBC study shows powerful effects of road salt and urban infrastructure on waterways

Meet six Retrievers who went from internship to career success with UMBC Career Center support

Decades after the start of the internship boom, internships continue to be invaluable for both undergraduate and graduate students. As UMBC students demonstrate, gaining real-world experience and networking within an area of interest can have a lasting impact when it comes time to search for a full-time position. Continue reading Meet six Retrievers who went from internship to career success with UMBC Career Center support

Spacecraft and planet

UMBC’s Sander Goossens determines structure of Mercury’s core as part of NASA team

Sander Goossens and his team used their new analysis “to see if there was anything we could say about the planet’s deep interior that people hadn’t been able to say before.” There was: The team discovered the percentage of the planet’s core that was solid versus molten, which provides clues to the evolution process for Mercury and other planets. Continue reading UMBC’s Sander Goossens determines structure of Mercury’s core as part of NASA team

Students walk down stairs in front of a library, surrounded by spring plants, in the sunshine.

Times Higher Ed and Wall Street Journal again name UMBC a leading global and U.S. university

Just days after U.S. News again recognized UMBC as one of the nation’s top universities for teaching and innovation, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings have named UMBC a top global university. UMBC is listed as among the top 800 universities worldwide, and #130 among U.S. universities on the global list. UMBC performs particularly well on an important measure that reflects the visibility of UMBC faculty research on a global stage. Continue reading Times Higher Ed and Wall Street Journal again name UMBC a leading global and U.S. university

UMBC’s Erle Ellis crowdsources global archaeological research to trace the history of human impacts on Earth

“Our hope is that this is only the first achievement of what will become a new, massively collaborative scientific approach to understanding the global environmental changes caused by humans over the long term,” shares Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems. Continue reading UMBC’s Erle Ellis crowdsources global archaeological research to trace the history of human impacts on Earth

Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities hosts literacy-focused institute for Baltimore teachers

UMBC’s Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities recently welcomed to campus early childhood educators from four Baltimore City public schools. They gathered for a Summer Teacher Institute designed to enhance their expertise on improving reading and writing instruction and outcomes for young English language learners. “These strategies support and build on the skills students have and open worlds of unexplored possibilities,” says Olivia Grimes ‘19, individualized study, an early childhood teacher at Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School and a presenter at the event. Continue reading Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities hosts literacy-focused institute for Baltimore teachers

National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

The project will explore the function of an enzyme called Set6, about which little is known. Erin Green hopes to “break open a broader understanding in the field of what its role is, especially in the context of protein quality control,” which could inform pharmaceutical development for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Continue reading National Institute on Aging funds UMBC’s Erin Green to investigate how cells do “quality control” as we age

UMBC partners with Latino Racial Justice Circle and Maryland Humanities in community-engaged research in Baltimore

“Our goal as researchers was to use dialogue and digital stories as two ways to bring different communities together around religion, race, and immigration,” explains Felipe Filomeno, professor of political science and global studies. Continue reading UMBC partners with Latino Racial Justice Circle and Maryland Humanities in community-engaged research in Baltimore

Six Baltimore City Schools in UMBC Math Project partnership see math test score gains

Maryland PARCC test results, released last week, reveal that Baltimore City schools partnering with UMBC have seen dramatic growth in student math performance. The Baltimore Sun has called this trend one of the “bright spots” at a challenging moment, when many schools across the state are struggling to move the needle on student learning in math. Continue reading Six Baltimore City Schools in UMBC Math Project partnership see math test score gains

UMBC’s Minjoung Kyoung to help develop first 4D map of a cell’s metabolic pathways

“I’ve always been interested in how proteins are working in the real system, in real time, in real action,” Minjoung Kyoung says. She’ll get to explore those dynamics with funding from a new five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The pathways she’s studying are relevant to some of the most pervasive diseases in the country. “My dream is to be able to predict disease before symptoms occur,” she shares. “That would be the best.” Continue reading UMBC’s Minjoung Kyoung to help develop first 4D map of a cell’s metabolic pathways

Preminda Jacob focuses on building connections as new associate dean of research and community engagement

Scott Casper, dean of CAHSS, is excited about the level of expertise Jacob brings to the team. “Preminda Jacob brings a wealth of experience as a scholar, teacher, and UMBC citizen, and leader to the Dean’s Office,” says Casper. “I am delighted that she has joined our leadership team and look forward to her continued contributions to the College and the University in this new role.” Continue reading Preminda Jacob focuses on building connections as new associate dean of research and community engagement

UMBC’s Lee Blaney and federal, state partners publish landmark study on contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay

UMBC’s Lee Blaney and research partners have published a landmark study on contaminants of emerging concern in the Chesapeake Bay that quantifies concentrations of antibiotics, estrogenic hormones, and UV-filters in multiple locations of the Bay. The work highlights the importance of understanding how previously unexamined chemicals impact the environment. Continue reading UMBC’s Lee Blaney and federal, state partners publish landmark study on contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay

Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

“When you share a kitchenette with a biologist, a chemist, an engineer and somebody from public policy, it’s inevitable that new things will brew,” says Greg Szeto, who is moving in to the ILSB with the new Translational Center for Age-Related Disease and Disparities. The ILSB “is a total game-changer for me,” adds Chris Hawn. With its state-of-the-art instrumentation, “There are protocols where I can get ‘level unlocked.’ It just opens things up for me and my students.” Continue reading Open spaces nurture open minds in UMBC’s new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building

Wind, solar, and…flutter? UMBC’s Justin Webster is using math to move this emerging tech forward

“There’s no such thing as free energy, but there are lots of situations where there’s ambient energy available,” like a flapping flag, Justin Webster says. “You just have to find an efficient mechanism for turning it into meaningful, useful energy.” That’s what Webster and colleagues from Duke and Carnegie Mellon hope to help make happen with their new grant from the NSF. Continue reading Wind, solar, and…flutter? UMBC’s Justin Webster is using math to move this emerging tech forward

NASA and DoE fund UMBC’s Zhibo Zhang to pursue ambitious atmospheric research

“You can look at the data and you see discrepancies between the climate models and the observations,” says graduate student Kylie Hoffman. “Some of it we can explain, and some of it we can’t. Identifying the discrepancies and being able to modify the climate models to be more accurate down the road is very important.” Multiple projects in Zhibo Zhang’s lab are helping labs all over the world address questions like this. Continue reading NASA and DoE fund UMBC’s Zhibo Zhang to pursue ambitious atmospheric research

UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

Freeland’s research has always centered on how and why living things evolved a system of genetic coding, which has taken him from biology to astrobiology and has inevitably led him to grapple with one of the big questions many people ask themselves: “Where do we come from?” Continue reading UMBC’s Stephen Freeland receives Trotter Prize for pioneering origins-of-life research

UMBC’s Qianqian Song receives FINESST Fellowship from NASA for research on dust clouds and climate

“When I visited UMBC, I felt like everyone knows each other and supports each other in the physics department,” Song remembers. “That’s why I chose here.” Now, she’s rising to become a leader in the field of dust aerosols, which play a role in climate change. Continue reading UMBC’s Qianqian Song receives FINESST Fellowship from NASA for research on dust clouds and climate

2015-2017 Postdoctoral Fellows for Faculty Diversity

UMBC’s Mejdulene B. Shomali receives Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship for research on gender and sexuality in transnational Arab culture

“Most people don’t know there are twenty-two countries in the Arab league. These countries share Arabic as the primary national language. Many are Muslim-majority nations,” shares Shomali. “Many, but not all.” She notes, “There is great linguistic, cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity within the Arab world.” Continue reading UMBC’s Mejdulene B. Shomali receives Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowship for research on gender and sexuality in transnational Arab culture

UMBC partners with five universities in the US, UK, and Japan to launch International Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

UMBC has partnered to create a global university network dedicated to securing critical systems against cyber threats: the International Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (INCS-CoE). Continue reading UMBC partners with five universities in the US, UK, and Japan to launch International Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

UMBC’s Tom Cronin, mantis shrimp vision expert, receives international Rank Prize for Optoelectronics

The mantis shrimp visual system “is just extraordinarily strange,” says Tom Cronin. His study of this remarkable system alongside colleague and co-winner Justin Marshall over the last 30 years has led to applications such as guided breast cancer surgery and detection of otherwise camouflaged objects, among others. Continue reading UMBC’s Tom Cronin, mantis shrimp vision expert, receives international Rank Prize for Optoelectronics