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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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UMD Named a 2017 Best College by MONEY Magazine

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  The University of Maryland ranked No. 11 among public universities according to MONEY Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Colleges. UMD ranked No. 20 overall among U.S. institutions. 

To calculate rankings, MONEY assessed more than 700 colleges in the U.S. based on three equally-weighted categories, including educational quality, affordability and alumni success. MONEY measured 27 factors within these categories covering areas such as instructor quality, measuring the study-to-faculty ratio, affordability for low-income students and value-added earnings, which measures if the school is launching students to better paying jobs. 

Earlier this year, UMD was also ranked a Best Value College by ForbesPrinceton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

UMD Capitol Hill Forum Addresses Health Disparities Research & Action for Equity

September 23, 2016
Contacts: 

Contacts: Elise Carbonaro, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Rep. John P. Sarbanes and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, recently convened more than 100 people for a Research on the Hill forum focused on strategies to achieve health equity at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., professor and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the UMD School of Public Health, the panel discussion engaged experts from academia, federal health agencies and the private business sector in a candid conversation about how to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among vulnerable populations.

“Our exploratory research holds the solutions to many of the most challenging problems of our day,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer Patrick G. O’Shea, Ph.D. “As a university, it is our mission to create and understand knowledge to develop better ways to house and heal and fuel and feed our people in advanced societies that are just, secure, and free. Achieving health equity touches on the ‘heal’ aspect of that mission.”

The topics ranged from the progress that has been made in access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to challenges that still remain in improving quality of care and in making the medical care system incorporate public health and address the social determinants of health that prevent people from acting health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. 

“The state of Maryland has embraced the ACA and there is clear evidence that the new incentives are indeed moving hospital systems away from a fee-for-service business model to one that rewards quality care and positive health outcomes over the volume of procedures,” said Thomas. “While the transition is not perfect, our state is a national leader for what the future of health care will look like.”

Panel members shared examples of effective and innovative community-based health interventions and public-private partnerships that are making a difference through culturally-tailored health promotion and disease prevention services, and highlighted the emergence of social determinants of health such as poverty, discrimination and residential segregation as factors that must be overcome.

 “I’m convinced that if you address racial and ethnic disparities with respect to the delivery of health care and health care coverage in this country, you will build the best health care system we can possibly have because diversity is our country’s hallmark,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a tireless advocate for improving healthcare quality and addressing health disparities.
 
To achieve health equity, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must address broader issues beyond the traditional biomedical model and build trust between those who control health care delivery system and those who have lost hope in the system, said members of the panel. 

The panelists recommended that health equity be incorporated into all public policies, not just those related to health care, to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. 

Panel members included:

  • Margo Edmunds, Ph.D., Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation at Academy Health;
  • J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Julia Huggins, President of Cigna Mid-Atlantic;
  • Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., MPH, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Inaugural Endowed Chair for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota; and
  • Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District and is a distinguished UMD alumnus, also joined the event and emphasized that as an interconnected community, we should all care about health disparities.
 
“It is unacceptable that in the United States, where all are created equal in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that one’s access to healthcare may be higher or lower as a result of race, gender, or income,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Everybody being healthy is of concern to each and every one of us.”
 
He discussed how we must continue to defend the patient protections that Americans are benefiting from thanks to the ACA, such as the no-cost access to preventive services like mammograms and immunizations, as well as remind people of the dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly people of color, who now have health coverage as a result.

The event was held as part of the University of Maryland’s Research on the Hill series, which is aimed at raising awareness of research with great societal significance.

View the conversation at: https://youtu.be/HPedKr0jZLQ

UMD Study Finds Connecting Uninsured Patients to Primary Care Could Reduce ER Use

May 6, 2015
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418
Hillery Tsumba 301-628-3425

Montgomery County, Md. Initiative Could Improve Health, Reduce Costs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An intervention to connect low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to a reliable source of primary health care shows promise for reducing avoidable use of hospital emergency departments in Maryland. A University of Maryland School of Public Health study evaluating the results of the intervention was published this week in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs

For twenty years, use of hospital emergency departments has been on the rise in the United States, particularly among low-income patients who face barriers to accessing health care outside of hospitals, including not having an identifiable primary health care provider. Almost half of emergency room visits are considered “avoidable.” The Emergency Department-Primary Care Connect Initiative of the Primary Care Coalition, which ran from 2009 through 2011, linked low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to safety-net health clinics. 

“Our study found that uninsured patients with chronic health issues – such as those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or anxiety – relied less on the emergency department after they were linked to a local health clinic for ongoing care,” says Dr. Karoline Mortensen, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and senior researcher. “Connecting patients to primary care and expanding the availability of these safety-net clinics could reduce emergency department visits and provide better continuity of care for vulnerable populations.”  

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the initiative engaged all five of the hospitals operating in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time, and four safety-net clinics serving low-income patients. Using “patient navigators,” individuals trained to help patients find the care they need and can afford, these hospitals referred more than 10,000 low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients who visited emergency departments to four local primary care clinics, with the goal of encouraging them to establish an ongoing relationship with the clinic and reduce their reliance on costly emergency department care. 

Two hospitals in Montgomery County who participated in the intervention continued the program after the initial grant period concluded because of the benefits they saw for patients and for reducing emergency department visits and associated costs. These hospitals are currently testing a new version of the intervention specifically deigned to link emergency department patients with behavioral health conditions to appropriate community-based services. 

While hospital administrators and health policy experts throughout the country are recognizing that access to primary care improves continuity of care for patients and reduces avoidable use of emergency departments, the implications of this project are particularly important for hospitals in Maryland, which are now operating under a unique all-payer model for hospital payments. Within this new payment structure, Maryland hospitals will have to meet ambitious spending, quality of care, and population health goals. Reducing avoidable use of emergency departments can help in reaching these goals.

The project provides promise not only for hospitals in Maryland but throughout the nation to improve health care experiences and outcomes for their patients. Shared learning systems were an integral component of the project so participants were learning from each other and sharing best practices throughout the project and that learning has now been documented and can be replicated in other communities.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project to work on,” says Barbara H. Eldridge, Manager of Quality Improvement at the Primary Care Coalition. “We created a learning system that permits us to sustain improved communication between patients and their providers, between hospital discharge planners and community based clinics, and across five hospitals operating in Montgomery County.” The initiative has proven successful in Montgomery County, Maryland and is being replicated in communities in other parts of the country. 

“Linking Uninsured Patients Treated In The Emergency Department To Primary Care Shows Some Promise In Maryland” was written by Theresa Y. Kim, Karoline Mortensen, and Barbara Eldridge and published in the journal Health Affairs

University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618 crystalb@umd.edu

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, umdrightnow.umd.edu, 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 umdrightnow.umd.edu.

Flying Dog Brewery and University of Maryland Partner on Hops Production Initiative

July 21, 2017
Contacts: 

Graham Binder301-405-9235

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland (UMD) and Maryland's largest brewery are committed to developing the highest quality ingredients for Maryland beer.

Photo of Hops Trial at Western Maryland Research CenterFlying Dog Brewery and UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have engaged in a partnership that will allow them to work side-by-side on the future of beer-centric agriculture in the region. To start, the focus is on hops.

“Hop farming in the state of Maryland continues to grow, and what we appreciate most about the program is the practical approach to the business of beer agriculture,” Matt Brophy, chief operating officer for Flying Dog, said. “It’s equal parts commitment to the development of our existing farms and providing local breweries with the highest quality ingredients.”

Hops used in craft beer production need to meet the same quality standards that are achieved in traditional hop growing regions of the world. Understanding this dynamic, UMD has established a replicated variety trial using 24 varieties of hops at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center (WMREC) in Keedysville, Maryland. The trials will collect critical information on how Maryland’s unique climate affects harvest date, levels of acids and oil in the hops, and any special aspects of profile.

“I am thrilled to be part of a partnership with a business leader in the state that has the foresight to help an entire industry grow using research-based information,” Bryan Butler, extension agent for UMD, said.

The current planting consists of 24 varieties of hops with each variety replicated three times. The first 12 varieties – planted in 2016  – were selected from discussions with academic and industry experts on what might perform well in this area and what was being used by brewers. The second 12 varieties were selected based on an informal survey of Maryland growers and brewers to establish what might be most marketable in this region.

As a land grant institution, the University of Maryland aims to provide information to producers on the viability and marketability of these varieties, as producers will need research-based details on not only varieties, but also disease, insect and fertility management specific to the mid-Atlantic, quality analysis of harvested hops and economic viability of hops as a crop.

To compliment the program, Flying Dog will help fund hop processing equipment for UMD and provide resources to analyze and evaluate each test crop the program harvests. Flying Dog will also develop beers using those hops, eliciting feedback from and exposing craft beer fans to the full potential of local hops.

“One of the most critical components of data collection for this trial is the timing of harvest because it directly affects the value of the crop,” Butler said. “Harvesting must be done consistently, and within a narrow window of time, to ensure maximum production, quality, and comparison of varieties. Flying Dog’s partnership will allow us to invest in a harvester, which will ensure that hops are harvested properly, and that data on each yield is realistic and relevant to growers.”

A culmination of these hop trials will be an annual guide that both UMD and Flying Dog will produce on growing hops in the mid-Atlantic, which will summarize best management practices specific to this region, something Brophy thinks is crucial to the continued growth and development of local hop farms.

UMD will also work with Flying Dog on the East Coast Hop Project, a limited-edition variety pack slated for release in the spring of 2018. It will feature three different beers, each one highlighting a different East Coast hop farm and regionally-viable hop varieties. Black Locust Hops, located in northern Baltimore County, and Pleasant Valley Hops, located in Rohrersville, Maryland, have already signed onto the project.

“By promoting and engaging East Coast hop farms, Flying Dog and UMD hope to accelerate both supply and demand for quality local hops,” Brophy said.

 

UMD’s “It Takes Just One” Student Team Wins National Competition to Curb Violent Extremism Online

July 21, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Stark Rivinius, 301-405-6632

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- A student team from the University of Maryland won first place in the Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism competition on July 18 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the competition challenged students from across the nation to develop and execute campaigns and social media strategies to combat violent extremism online.

Photo of It Takes Just One team

The competition team, which included students from UMD’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Tayler Schmidt, Victoria Challenger, Brittni Fine, Marcella Goldring and Elizabeth Streit, competed against 49 other teams, winning $5,000 and the opportunity to work with potential partners from the DHS and EdVenture on their  “It Takes Just One” campaign.

The team’s campaign, aimed at empowering bystanders to intervene and help steer individuals away from radicalization, is derived from the idea that “it takes just one person to care, just one choice to make a difference, and just one action to save a life.” To actualize this idea, the students started a social media campaign, interviewed family members and friends of radicalized individuals and created a “choose your own adventure” style video game.

“We worked hard to give a platform to people who never had a chance to share their stories, and to use those stories to help change the world,” said Fine, a recently graduated psychology major.

“From here we hope to create a network of bystanders of violent extremism, current and past, who are willing to help normalize and destigmatize the conversation surrounding the bystander effect,” Schmidt added.

The idea for the project began in a course offered through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at UMD. Taught by START Center’s Education Director Katherine Izsak and Executive Director William Braniff, the course challenges global terrorism minor students to develop solutions to issues of radicalization through communities.

“Combining the unique expertise of our START Center professionals with the passion of our students is clearly a winning strategy for combating complex issues such as violent extremism,” said Gregory Ball, Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. “These are exactly the kinds of opportunities we want our students to be involved in—developing innovative solutions to problems in the real world.”

The team hopes to improve their educational video game, which will require outside funding and increasing their bystander outreach efforts. Through additional real stories, the “It Takes Just One” team will to continue to encourage those in similar situations to step in and say something to individuals at risk. The idea is that those who did not intervene can offer answers that can be integrated into the video game’s curriculum and future messages.

University of Maryland Welcomes Jacqueline Lewis as Vice President of University Relations

July 18, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Jacqueline (Jackie) Lewis as Vice President of University Relations, effective August 28, 2017. In this role, Lewis will collaborate with the president and key academic and administrative leaders across campus to build upon existing momentum of the university’s fundraising and philanthropic efforts. 

“Ms. Lewis has demonstrated great success in leading major development programs,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “She'll play a key role in the advancement of UMD, building upon the record fundraising of recent years.” 

Lewis will be responsible for leading the development, alumni association, communications and marketing teams, and will play a key role in increasing engagement across the university and country with alumni, prospective and existing donors, trustees and volunteers. 

“I’m pleased to be joining a university with such a strong alumni base and fundraising program, and a top-tier academic and research reputation,” said Lewis. “I look forward to working with the University Relations team to build upon their incredible work and to ensure that the university is positioned for success in its future efforts.”  

Lewis joins the University of Maryland from The University of Iowa Foundation, where she currently serves as Senior Vice President for Development. In this role, she leads a team of 160 fundraising, donor relations, marketing and communications professionals. As Senior VP, Lewis led the design and implementation of a five-year strategic plan and helped oversee the completion of a nearly $2 billion comprehensive campaign. 

Previously, she served as Vice President for Development for the University of Iowa’s health sciences colleges and medical center, where she led a team of 40 development professionals through the successful completion of a $525 million campaign to support research, education, facilities and patient care.

Prior to that, Lewis was at The Ohio State University, where she rose from Assistant Vice President to Interim Associate Vice President for development and alumni affairs at the OSU Medical Center. A member of Ohio State's senior management team, she helped oversee all fundraising units on campus, and set goals and metrics for raising $300 million to $400 million annually in private support.

Lewis has also held senior development positions at Arizona State University and medical centers in Illinois and Iowa. She began her career in the political arena, serving as press secretary, deputy campaign director and finance director in presidential, congressional and gubernatorial campaigns in Iowa.

Lewis received a B.S. in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University. 

 

14 University of Maryland Students and Alumni Receive Fulbright Grants

July 7, 2017

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Fourteen University of Maryland students and recent graduates were awarded Fulbright grants to study, conduct research or teach English abroad during the 2017-2018 academic year. The students and alumni will travel to 10 different countries to serve as English teaching assistants or to work on projects in academic fields such as energy policy, history and public health.

UMD students will join over 1,900 students and young professionals who received the prestigious award for their academic accomplishments and leadership potential. 

"The University of Maryland is very fortunate to be represented by an outstanding group of students who believe in Fulbright’s mission to promote mutual understandings between the U.S. and other countries,” says James Gilbert, UMD’s Fulbright program advisor. “The Fulbright is a fitting award for their hard work, intelligence and spirit of adventure."

This year’s recipients include:  

English Teaching Assistant Awards

Photo of Soophia Ansari

 

Soophia Ansari, who recently graduated with a major in mechanical engineering and minor in international development and conflict resolution, will teach English in Malaysia with a focus on STEM related subjects. 

   

Photo of Sarah Blumberg

 

Sarah Blumberg, a 2016 alumna with majors in Spanish and biological sciences, will teach English in Spain. She plans to volunteer as a yoga instructor and hopes to implement an after-school mindfulness meditation program for students and teachers. 

 

Photo of Ann Lieberman

  

Anna Lieberman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 2016, will teach English in Taiwan and plans to volunteer at a local community center and with an organization that assists children with autism. 

 

Photo of Leanne Rohrback

 

Leanne Rohrbach, a 2016 alumna with majors in psychology and German, will teach English in Germany. She will also volunteer with local community organizations that address mental health. 

 

Photo of Hirbod Sajjadi

 

Hirbod Sajjadi, a 2015 alumnus with a major in government and politics and a minor in philosophy, will teach English in the Czech Republic, participate in Sokal, a form of gymnastics that has played an important role in the creation of Czech identity, and volunteer with a local organization that helps people with disabilities.  

Photo of Gavriel Schreiber

 

Gavriel Schreiber, who recently graduated with a major in philosophy and minor in Chinese, will teach English in Taiwan and work with an after-school baseball program aimed at building camaraderie and trust with local youth.

 

Photo of Nageen Shearani

 

Nageen Sherani, who recently graduated with a major in biochemistry, will teach English in Indonesia, with a focus on STEM subjects. She plans to volunteer at a local health clinic to improve her understanding of cultural sensitivities in patient care. 

 

Photo of Shelly Spence

 

 Shelly Spence, a 2011 alumna and kinesiology major, will teach English in Thailand and volunteer as a coach for extra-curricular activities that help students learn leadership, accountability and gain self-esteem. 

 

Photo of Abigail Trozenski

  

Abigail Trozenski, who recently graduated with a master’s degree in German, will teach English in Germany and volunteer with organizations that serve refugees and asylum seekers. She also plans to coach a local swim team.  

 

Photo of Colleen Toohey

 

Colleen Toohey, a 2016 alumna with a major in journalism and minor in Spanish, has been offered a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Colombia. She has declined the award in favor of another opportunity. 

 

Open Study/Research Awards

Photo of Sana Haider

 

Sana Haider, a 2016 alumna with a major in community health and minor in general business, will conduct research in the Philippines. She will explore the various perspectives of stakeholders involved in the school-based human papillomavirus vaccination program.  

Photo of Theresa Kim

 

Theresa Kim, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Services Administration, will research the role of health care professionals in Senegalese family planning use, specifically evaluating how health care workers influence long acting reversible contraception utilization (LARC). 

Photo of Josh Klein

 

Joshua Klein, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, will explore the concept of Europe and the transformation of radical German conservatism from the 1930s to 1950s. His research will examine a wide range of Nazi propaganda and postwar periodicals located in the federal archives of Berlin. 

Photo of Monammad Zia

 

Mohammad Zia, a 2015 alumnus with a major in global diplomacy and development through the Individual Studies Program, will conduct research in Morocco. He will examine public policy and institutional frameworks that encourage solar energy uptake in Morocco. 

 

Since 2012, 68 UMD students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright grants to conduct research or teach overseas.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. 

 

 

 

 

University of Maryland Appoints Roger L. Worthington to Lead Diversity Initiatives

July 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has named Professor Roger L. Worthington, Ph.D., a national leader in diversity education, as Chief Diversity Officer and Interim Associate Provost. In this role, Worthington will work closely with senior leaders, faculty, staff, students and external constituencies to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and respect as core institutional values. He will be a member of the President's Cabinet, the Provost’s senior staff and the Council of Deans.

Photo of Roger Worthington"We are very pleased that Dr. Worthington will serve as our Chief Diversity Officer," said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. "He is an exceptional scholar-practitioner and leader to guide our University's efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all."

Since 2014, Worthington has served as professor and chair of the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education in UMD’s College of Education. Prior to arriving at UMD, he rose through the ranks at the University of Missouri from assistant to full professor, and served for nearly six years as the chief diversity officer and assistant deputy chancellor.

“I have dedicated my life’s work to advancing difficult dialogues and creating a culture of inclusion in higher education,” said Worthington. “The University of Maryland was once a national leader for diversity in higher education. In the face of tremendous tragedy, we can come together as a community to achieve transformational change and return to being a model of equity and social justice. I am honored to serve in the role of CDO at UMD.”

Worthington is a leading scholar in the fields of diversity, multicultural counseling and education. He is the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. A founding member of the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, he is the principal author of the “Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers.” In addition, the Governor of Missouri appointed Worthington to the state’s Commission on Human Rights.

He is the recipient of three prestigious grants from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative, and was the founding chair of the board of directors for the emerging Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center. 

A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Worthington has authored and co-authored research and scholarship regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious identity, social class and political ideology. He is a nationally recognized higher education consultant on diversity planning, campus climate research and intercultural student services, and has won numerous awards for academic, service and teaching excellence.

He received his B.A from California State University, Fullerton in psychology, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara in counseling psychology.

The university will also begin the work of elevating the Chief Diversity Officer position to a Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, indicating a major institutional commitment of effort and resources in areas such as campus climate; recruitment and retention; scholarship and creative work on diversity; and educational programs.  

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Pages

July 24
Engineers at UMD invent an entirely new kind of battery. It's bio-compatible because it produces the same kind of ion-... Read
July 21
The new partnership focuses on studying the potential for high-quality hops grown in the State. Read
July 21
BSOS students take top prize for work to empower bystanders. Read