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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618

College Park, Md. – Today, the University of Maryland launched a brand-new multimedia news and information portal, UMD Right Now, which provides members of the media and the public with real-time information on the university and its extended community.

UMD Right Now replaces Newsdesk, which previously served as the university’s news hub and central resource for members of the media. The new site is aimed at reaching broader audiences and allows visitors to keep up with the latest Maryland news and events, view photos and videos and connect with the university across all of its social media platforms.

“We designed UMD Right Now to be a comprehensive, vibrant site where visitors can find new and exciting things happening at Maryland,” said Linda Martin, executive director, Web and New Media Strategies. “Through social media, video, photos and news information, we hope to engage visitors and compel the community to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”

The new website,, contains up-to-date news releases and announcements, facts and figures about the university, a searchable database of faculty and staff experts, information highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD, additional resources for news media and other campus and athletics news.

“UMD RightNow is the place to go to find out all the things happening on and around campus on any given day,” said Crystal Brown, chief communications officer. “This website brings real-time news, events and information right to your fingertips.”

For more information and contact information for the Office of University Communications, please visit

Centennial Honor Roll Roots Greek History with Garden Dedication

April 24, 2014

Matt Supple 301-314-7781

University Greeks celebrate 100 years of fraternity and sorority life with alumni celebration

Members of Alpha Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Kappa Tau hustle for the tug-of-war win during Greek Week 1994.  COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Like rubbing Testudo's nose or chanting the fight song after a big athletics win, fraternity and sorority life is a cherished part of the history and tradition of the University of Maryland. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, Maryland Greeks will congregate on Fraternity Row for the Greek Centennial Honor Roll and Garden Dedication to celebrate alumni who have made a salient impact on their chapters over the last century.

The Honor Roll and Dedication on April 27 will commemorate 100 years of brotherhood, sisterhood, leadership, service and scholarship, which has shaped Maryland's Greek community into the family it is today. 

Each chapter will honor one member for every ten years their chapter has been active on campus. More than 55 fraternities and sororities will lay bricks engraved with the names of their honorees in the new Centennial Honor Roll Garden at the top of the horseshoe on Fraternity Row. One of the honorees will speak at the event, in addition to UMD President Wallace Loh and Linda Clement, vice president for Student Affairs.

"The bricks symbolize the strength of the Greek community and the coming together of brothers and sisters to lay a path of excellence for others to follow," said Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life Matt Supple, who will be the master of ceremonies for the dedication.

Greek life has evolved in its 100 years at Maryland, but what hasn't changed is its role in forging lifelong friendships, developing leadership skills and creating a second family wherever alums go, according to university officials.

For more information about the Centennial Honor Roll and Garden Dedication or to see a list of alumni who will attend, visit or contact Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life Matt Supple at or Co-Chair of the Greek Centennial Alumni Advisory Group Dru Bagwell at

Media Information: Maryland Democratic Gubernatorial Debate at UMD

April 23, 2014
Contacts:, 301-257-0073

University of Maryland, NBC4 and Bowie State University to Host Maryland Democratic Gubernatorial Debate May 7 in College Park

University of MarylandCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, NBC4 Washington and Bowie State University will host a political debate between the three candidates running in the 2014 Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary election.

Media space is limited. This event is available to credentialed media only and advance media registration is required.


The debate between the three Democratic candidates, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Delegate Heather Mizeur, will focus on the state’s economy, expanding businesses, job creation, education and critical transportation and transit challenges facing Maryland. The debate will be moderated by David Gregory of NBC News' "Meet the Press." The three panelists include Chris Gordon and Chris Lawrence from News4, and Jenna Johnson from the Washington Post.

  • Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Democratic Candidate
  • Attorney General Doug Gansler, Democratic Candidate
  • Delegate Heather Mizeur, Democratic Candidate
  • David Gregory of NBC News' "Meet the Press," Moderator
  • Chris Gordon from News4, Panelist
  • Chris Lawrence from News4, Panelist
  • Jenna Johnson from the Washington Post, Panelist

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
7 – 8 p.m.

All media must arrive for check-in by 6:00 p.m.  Media must be in place for the start of the debate by 6:30 p.m. Only media who have been pre-confirmed will be allowed to attend.


Ina and Jack Kay Theater, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
University of Maryland, College Park 20742


Media space in the Ina and Jack Kay Theater at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is limited and restricted to credentialed media who have pre-registered. Media badges will be distributed on site. To request credentials, please email name(s) and position(s), media affiliation, credentials possessed [these will be required at check-in], and full contact information to All requests will be responded to within 48 hours of the event. Logistics regarding live broadcasts, still and broadcast media pools, and a satellite feed test will be sent out to pre-registered media prior to the event. 


Complimentary parking is available in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage, located across the street from the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Signs will be posted from the campus entrances to the garage.


Media must enter and check in through the main entrance of the Clarice Smith Center to receive their media badges. Please bring identification and credentials to the check-in table.


A press room will be available to pre-registered media from 2p.m. – 10:30 p.m. inside the Clarice Smith Center.


The press room will have internet access. However, we encourage media to bring a “hot spot” as the strength of the internet access in the press room may fluctuate.


Media live trucks can begin to line up starting at 2 p.m. on the curbside adjacent to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. If you will have a media truck at the event, please specify in your registration request email whether you will be using microwave or satellite and the dimensions of your vehicle (length and height).


Live broadcasts must be in front of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in the designated area.


A courtesy live broadcast satellite feed will be provided by NBC4. The feed will be provided onsite via the NBC4/WRC-TV satellite truck via a DA in the media room. Please bring your own deck or connectors. A courtesy analog SD feed will also be available for radio, and a courtesy HD Feed Satellite feed will be available from 1830-2005. News agencies may use up to 90-seconds of video and must credit NBC4/WRC-TV for the entire length of time the video clip is shown on air, online and all other platforms. Please provide a verbal courtesy on radio. Please contact the feed coordinator with questions: Ede Jermin, 202-359-8062,


Satellite coordinates will be made available to registered agencies.  There will be a satellite feed test prior to the event day. Registered media will be contacted ahead of time with the specific date and time for testing.


Photos will be permitted in the atrium by the Kay Theatre and in the press room. There is no photo or video allowed inside the venue.


A photography pool will be provided onsite by the Washington Post. Distribution access information will be made available to registered media.


There will be an individual Q&A session with each candidate immediately following the debate in Cafritz Theatre.

All media inquiries, including registration requests, should be directed to

UMD Hosts 16th Annual Maryland Day

April 23, 2014

Katie Lawson 301-405-4622

Festival-like Celebration Opens Campus Doors to Families, Prospective Students & Community

Maryland Day 2014COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland will host its 16th annual Maryland Day from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on April 26, 2014. UMD's campus-wide celebration of innovation, creativity and academic excellence will offer more than 450 family-friendly events and exhibits that teach and inspire future innovators.


Throughout UMD's 1,250-acre campus, visitors can "Explore Our World of Fearless Ideas." The university will be divided into six areas for exploration: Ag Day Avenue, Arts Alley, Biz and Society Hill, Science and Tech Way, Sports and Rec Row, and Terp Town Center.

The 2014 program features several popular events:

  • See the new foal that was born at UMD's campus farm.
  • Help set a Guinness World Record for the largest drum circle ever assembled—The Health Equity Drum Circle: Drum Beats for Health and Wellness
  • Check out "Life in the Anchor Chair" and see what it's like to deliver the nightly news.
  • Visit Hornbake Plaza to meet up with alumni and discover TERPRIDE, a high-tech, retro-fitted bus.
  • Sample the Smith Island Cake ice cream created specifically for Maryland Day and available for just one day.
  • Get autographs from your favorite football and men's and women's basketball players.

UMD's campus-wide celebration of innovation, creativity and academic excellence will offer more than 450 family-friendly events and exhibits that teach and inspire future innovators.


Saturday, April 26, 2014
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Rain or shine)


University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Admission and parking are free.


To view the full Maryland Day schedule, visit Follow the celebration on social media with #MarylandDay.

Those who can't make it to campus can still take part in the celebration through Maryland Day—Our World. Terps around the globe are invited to shoot video or photos of the ordinary and extraordinary moments of what they're doing April 25–26. UMD will compile the footage to produce a mini-documentary about the impact of Terps on the world. Visit for details.

UMD Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 23, 2014

Halima Cherif 301-405-0476

Nathan FoxCOLLEGE PARK, Md. — Nathan Fox, distinguished university professor and acting chair of the department of human development and quantitative methodology in the University of Maryland's College of Education, was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

For close to 30 years, Fox has pioneered research on children's social and emotional development. He conducts long-term studies of young children that provide insights into their cognitive, social and emotional growth by employing brain imaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). Fox and the researchers in the Child Development Lab study developmental process through linking behavioral observation and to the physiological response in the brain.

Some of Fox's larger studies examine how infants learn about the physical world around them, how early temperament influences child and adolescent development, and the role of cognitive processing in the presence of anxiety and psychopathology as adolescents transition to young adulthood. One of his longest running projects, the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, examines the effects of institutionalized care on the cognitive and emotional development of Romanian orphan infants and young children.

With his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fox joins some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts and education.

Exercise Keeps Hippocampus Healthy in People at Risk for Alzheimer's

April 23, 2014

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418

Dr. Carson SmithCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – A study of older adults at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease shows that moderate physical activity may protect brain health and stave off shrinkage of the hippocampus – the brain region responsible for memory and spatial orientation that is attacked first in Alzheimer's disease. Dr. J. Carson Smith, a kinesiology researcher in the University of Maryland School of Public Health who conducted the study, says that while all of us will lose some brain volume as we age, those with an increased genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease typically show greater hippocampal atrophy over time. The findings are published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

"The good news is that being physically active may offer protection from the neurodegeneration associated with genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Smith suggests. "We found that physical activity has the potential to preserve the volume of the hippocampus in those with increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, which means we can possibly delay cognitive decline and the onset of dementia symptoms in these individuals. Physical activity interventions may be especially potent and important for this group."

Dr. Smith and colleagues, including Dr. Stephen Rao from the Cleveland Clinic, tracked four groups of healthy older adults ages 65-89, who had normal cognitive abilities, over an 18-month period and measured the volume of their hippocampus (using structural magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI) at the beginning and end of that time period. The groups were classified both for low or high Alzheimer's risk (based on the absence or presence of the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele) and for low or high physical activity levels.

Of all four groups studied, only those at high genetic risk for Alzheimer's who did not exercise experienced a decrease in hippocampal volume (3 percent) over the 18-month period. All other groups, including those at high risk for Alzheimer's but who were physically active, maintained the volume of their hippocampus.

"This is the first study to look at how physical activity may impact the loss of hippocampal volume in people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Kirk Erickson, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. "There are no other treatments shown to preserve hippocampal volume in those that may develop Alzheimer's disease. This study has tremendous implications for how we may intervene, prior to the development of any dementia symptoms, in older adults who are at increased genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease."

Individuals were classified as high risk for Alzheimer's if a DNA test identified the presence of a genetic marker – having one or both of the apolipoprotein E-epsilon 4 allele (APOE-e4 allele) on chromosome 19 – which increases the risk of developing the disease. Physical activity levels were measured using a standardized survey, with low activity being two or fewer days/week of low intensity activity, and high activity being three or more days/week of moderate to vigorous activity. 

"We know that the majority of people who carry the E4 allele will show substantial cognitive decline with age and may develop Alzheimer's disease, but many will not. So, there is reason to believe that there are other genetic and lifestyle factors at work," Dr. Smith says. "Our study provides additional evidence that exercise plays a protective role against cognitive decline and suggests the need for future research to investigate how physical activity may interact with genetics and decrease Alzheimer's risk."

Dr. Smith has previously shown that a walking exercise intervention for patients with mild cognitive decline improved cognitive function by improving the efficiency of brain activity associated with memory. He is planning to conduct a prescribed exercise intervention in a population of healthy older adults with genetic and other risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and to measure the impact on hippocampal volume and brain function.

UMD Announces President's Energy Initiatives

April 22, 2014

Andrew Muir 301-405-7068

Campus wide policies aim to reduce electricity use 20 percent by 2020 and set a new standard in energy conservation

Earth Day 2014COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland President Wallace Loh celebrated Earth Day by announcing three historic energy initiatives to be adopted by campus.

"We can all take pride in the University of Maryland's longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as the tremendous growth in our sustainability programs," stated Dr. Loh in a campus wide email.  "We exemplify what is possible, but we can do even more.  Today, I announce three new University-wide initiatives on energy that will help us achieve the goal of reducing our carbon footprint in half by 2020."

The energy initiatives include:

  1. Energy conservation.  We will reduce electricity use on campus by 20 percent by 2020 via energy efficiency upgrades that reduce operating expenses and preserve occupant comfort.
  2. Carbon-neutral new construction.  We will off-set new greenhouse gas emissions from our new construction by designing new buildings to strict energy-efficiency standards and using energy from renewable sources.
  3. Purchased power.  We will eliminate carbon emissions from purchased electricity by 2020 by purchasing only from renewable sources.

The University of Maryland cannot prevent the effects of climate change on its own, but it can be part of the solution.  However, these actions, though significant, will not be enough to meet that goal. It will take a campus-wide effort.

"Ultimately, group success relies on individual participation.  If we are to meet our promises, each of us must do what we can to reduce our environmental footprints.  This is the enduring lesson of Earth Day," said Dr. Loh.

University Debuts Crowdfunding Platform: Launch UMD

April 21, 2014

Alana Carchedi 3031-405-0235

Campus Groups Tap Social Networks to Fund Unique Projects

Launch UMDCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland recently introduced a first-of-its-kind crowdfunding initiative called LAUNCH UMD.  The platform provides an opportunity for faculty and students to tap into social networks to raise money for small yet impactful projects.

LAUNCH UMD debuted with five projects that gave students the opportunity to innovate outside-the classroom, inspire social change and foster Terp pride. The pilot projects include:

Crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing areas of philanthropy.  According to Forbes magazine, crowdfunding raised over $5 billion in 2013.  Crowdfunding relies on peer-to-peer connections to raise relatively small amounts of money from a large number of supporters.

"For the University of Maryland, LAUNCH UMD is a terrific way for alumni and friends to connect intimately with causes that are important to them," said Brian Logue, director of alumni participation.  "These projects are excellent examples of how small gifts can make a huge difference."

The Division of University Relations provides support, training and the fundraising platform at no charge to campus groups.  Participating groups are required to report out on how they used social media and other promotional tools to work toward their fundraising goals.  Additional student and faculty causes are expected to launch in full in Fall 2014.

For more information, please visit


April 23
The University of Maryland, NBC4 Washington and Bowie State University will host a political debate between the three... Read
April 24
On Sunday, April 27, Maryland Greeks will congregate for the Greek Centennial Honor Roll and Garden Dedication to... Read
April 23
Details regarding media registration and logistics for the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial debate May 7 in College... Read
April 23
The University of Maryland will host its 16th annual Maryland Day from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on April 26, 2014. Read