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

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

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

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

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 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

Phage Hunters: Popular UMBC research program opens doors to biotech careers

“All the techniques we learned in Phage Hunters directly translate to the work we do in the lab on a daily basis,” says Anna Kawa ’18. “Being on the cutting edge of biotech is really exciting,” adds Viet Dang ’18. “Just being right there, potentially changing history, is really exciting.” Continue reading Phage Hunters: Popular UMBC research program opens doors to biotech careers

CNMS celebrates a year of growth in partnerships to support student success

“The college has laid the foundation, and now is really in a strong position for growth,” says Dean Bill LaCourse. “It’s all about paying attention to the people and their needs,” he explains, so faculty, staff, and students can do their best work and create a thriving community together. Continue reading CNMS celebrates a year of growth in partnerships to support student success

UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

With this new NIH grant, Jeff Leips says, “Ideally, I want to understand the mechanisms—what goes wrong with age and immunity? Once we know that, the next question is whether we can find ways to try to ameliorate the effects of aging on those traits.” Continue reading UMBC’s Jeff Leips receives NIH grant to explore how genes affect immune system function as we age

UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

Sequencing spider glue genes is like, “picking a needle from a haystack,” says UMBC postdoc Sarah Stellwagen. She is the lead author of a new G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics article on sequencing two spider glue genes for the first time. They’re massive — the largest has a coding sequence over 42,000 bases long. Continue reading UMBC’s Sarah Stellwagen first in world to sequence genes for spider glue

UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

When students come to UMBC, they bring with them life experiences that shape the program they choose, the mentors they find, the research questions they ask, and the communities they build on campus. Here, five UMBC students earning their degrees this month share experiences that shaped their paths. Continue reading UMBC’s newest grads share what inspired their unique paths

“Researching” to “researcher”: UMBC students share why mentoring is the key

Mechanical engineering major Karla Negrete was drawn to Deepa Madan’s lab after she took a course about the chemical and physical aspects of materials. “Dr. Madan has been a mentor to me in many ways,” Negrete reflects, “but the most important has been her ability to believe in me and stand behind me.” Continue reading “Researching” to “researcher”: UMBC students share why mentoring is the key

UMBC labs share four essentials for undergraduate research success

#1: Developing scientist identity. For example, in Ruben Delgado’s lab, “Every undergraduate has a project that they can define when they first start and then fine tune it as they move along,” says Meredith Sperling ’19. “Graduate students and Ruben are great at providing guidance, pointing out possible pitfalls, etc., but at the end of the day it’s really our research and where we want to take it.” Continue reading UMBC labs share four essentials for undergraduate research success

Women wearing protective clothing works in a lab with faculty mentors blurred in the foreground.

UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars model heads to UC Berkeley and UCSD through a $6.9M investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

“It is truly thrilling to think about the national and global impact the Meyerhoff Scholars Program will have through partnerships like this,” says UMBC’s Michael Summers. “By working together we can help shape the future of our national Ph.D. pipeline, with inclusive excellence as a core shared value of our work.” Continue reading UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars model heads to UC Berkeley and UCSD through a $6.9M investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

Whether wading in a cold stream or in the lab, mentors who foster independent thinking balanced with guidance—for research and for life—make the difference for UMBC graduate students on the national and international stage. A close-knit graduate student community adds a level of support that helps students succeed. Continue reading Biology graduate students from UMBC earn national honors for unique aquatic research

UMBC delegation joins students from three continents at International Model African Union

“The world seems small when we stay in one place, but when we travel we come to understand issues beyond our own culture,” says Marion Sillah ’22, political science, from Sierra Leone. “Broadening my point of view made me think about where I stand as a woman, a black woman, a Muslim woman, and an immigrant on a global scale.” Continue reading UMBC delegation joins students from three continents at International Model African Union

UMBC mentors support a record number of Fulbright student award semifinalists

This year UMBC has produced thirty applicants and twenty-two semifinalists—a record number for the university. “I am always happy to share and promote the Fulbright experience wherever I go,” says Brian Souders, UMBC’s Fulbright U.S. Student Award advisor. “I have seen first-hand how it catapults students’ success in a way they never thought possible.” Continue reading UMBC mentors support a record number of Fulbright student award semifinalists

Letitia Dzirasa to serve as Baltimore City health commissioner

“As I’ve grown in my career, I’ve begun to understand just how blessed I was to be afforded the opportunity to attend college and pursue my dreams,” Letitia Dzirasa ’03 says. “As I was fortunate, it is my responsibility to reach back and help others, especially those most under-resourced.” Continue reading Letitia Dzirasa to serve as Baltimore City health commissioner

UMBC’s Ivan Erill finds resistance to modern drug in ancient bacteria

“The drug you design ten years from now may already be obsolete,” Ivan Erill says. In a new study in Frontiers in Microbiology, Erill and colleagues describe how bacteria that existed hundreds of millions of years ago were already resistant to an antibacterial drug not invented until the 1930s. Continue reading UMBC’s Ivan Erill finds resistance to modern drug in ancient bacteria

UMBC places 10th at Pan-Am Team Chess Championship

UMBC Chess competed in the 2018 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, held in San Francisco, California, December 27 – 30. “The Pan-Am tournament was great for all of the players on the team,” says team member Ewa Harazinska ‘20, chemistry. “We take a great pride in representing UMBC in a national competition, and we were delighted to place in the top 10 chess teams.” Continue reading UMBC places 10th at Pan-Am Team Chess Championship

Grit and community support help UMBC grads envision—and claim—their futures

Each UMBC student has a unique journey, including challenges to tackle with tenacity, courage, and grit. For many of UMBC’s newest grads, a culture of community support has made all the difference, enabling them to both claim their future and help others along the way. Continue reading Grit and community support help UMBC grads envision—and claim—their futures

From lab to museum, new UMBC grads show the powerful impact of original research

Student passion guided by faculty support is part of the fabric of UMBC. Four students’ stories, from Asian studies to biological sciences, shed light on how this winning combination makes possible big breakthroughs. Continue reading From lab to museum, new UMBC grads show the powerful impact of original research

Student trainer in UMBC t-shirt (at right) chats with a small group of other UMBC students (at left).

UMBC’s newest grads leave a legacy of community-building and support

Meet a few of the many UMBC students graduating this December who exemplify the Retriever spirit of building connections and community by offering a compassionate ear, a helping hand, and a voice of support when it is most needed. Together, these students have created a more inclusive, accessible, and supportive UMBC for everyone, and they continue to reach together to help UMBC grow. Continue reading UMBC’s newest grads leave a legacy of community-building and support

Student entrepreneurs share fresh perspectives at UMBC’s 9th annual Idea Competition

UMBC’s Idea Competition offers students from all fields an opportunity to present business ideas to a panel of expert judges and receive immediate feedback on moving from vision to reality. The university’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship hosts this competition … Continue reading Student entrepreneurs share fresh perspectives at UMBC’s 9th annual Idea Competition

Student scientists take center stage at UMBC’s largest-ever Undergraduate Research Symposium

“It is so inspiring to see hundreds of undergraduate researchers from over 40 colleges and universities and nearly a dozen states coming together to present research to fellow students, mentors, and faculty judges,” shares CNMS Dean Bill LaCourse. Continue reading Student scientists take center stage at UMBC’s largest-ever Undergraduate Research Symposium

Bahama Oriole Project team awarded NSF grant to offer more UMBC undergrads international research experiences

“Being on the Bahama Oriole Project was my first hands-on glimpse at international research,” Matthew Kane ’19 says. “It was the first time I had seen scientists from two different countries collaborating on a conservation project on this scale.” Continue reading Bahama Oriole Project team awarded NSF grant to offer more UMBC undergrads international research experiences

NSF grants UMBC and community college partners $1.4M to innovate science education

At its core, this partnership and others “are about building relationships, better communication, and building a community that benefits the students, the faculty, and the institutions,” Dean Bill LaCourse says. “The idea is to make a bigger tent, and not work as two institutions, but as one.” Continue reading NSF grants UMBC and community college partners $1.4M to innovate science education

UMBC researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

“We’re really hoping this new method is going to address some issues with what kinds of data get published,” says Evangeline Rose, first author on a new paper. This paper “is part of an amazing drumbeat that’s building up in the scientific community,” Kevin Omland says. “There’s a broader problem with the scientific method that’s being increasingly acknowledged, and the test we’ve developed can at least play a small role, and I hope a big role, in addressing it.” Continue reading UMBC researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

South Africa to Colorado: Summer research helps UMBC STEM BUILD students chart their course

Traveling far from home for an immersive research experience can be transformational for an undergraduate. Living and working in a completely new environment, with new colleagues, can be intimidating, but it also offers powerful opportunities for growth. Five STEM BUILD students from UMBC took that plunge this summer, and all made lasting memories that will inform their paths forward. Continue reading South Africa to Colorado: Summer research helps UMBC STEM BUILD students chart their course

UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest 2018 spotlights talents of emerging scientists

More than 30 faculty mentors, 120+ undergrad and high school students, and dozens more attendees celebrated the students’ achievements at the conclusion of their summer research experiences. “The experience helped us to think like scientists,” says Olufolake Majekodunmi ’21. Continue reading UMBC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fest 2018 spotlights talents of emerging scientists

UMBC’s BUILD a Bridge to STEM internship offers students a transformative research experience

“I think the greatest thing about this experience was how we were treated as equals,” shared Zulekha Karachiwalla, a sophomore at Howard Community College. “It’s been challenging in a way that’s made us better scientists,” added Rahaf Alhabashi, also a sophomore at HCC. Continue reading UMBC’s BUILD a Bridge to STEM internship offers students a transformative research experience

New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship

UMBC’s Office of the Provost has launched a university-wide initiative to celebrate faculty who go above and beyond as educators, scholars, and leaders on campus and in their fields. This initiative strives to highlight tenure-track junior faculty, lecturers, and adjunct, research, and clinical faculty whose work is essential to UMBC’s success. Continue reading New UMBC initiative celebrates exceptional faculty dedication to teaching and scholarship