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Students Design Sustainable Solutions for Md. Town

June 17, 2013
Contacts: 

Maggie Haslam 202-258-8946

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Like many of the small beach towns dotting the Chesapeake Bay, North Beach, Md., is engaged in a delicate balancing act: how to create vibrant economic development, attract tourism and support its diverse, tight-knit community in the face of global warming, and a potentially changing coastline. This past semester, 42 students from the University of Maryland's undergraduate architecture program collaborated with community stakeholders to tackle this challenge in a newly piloted studio design course focusing on sea level change. The students' research findings, along with a variety of sustainable design renderings, were unveiled Thursday evening at a special presentation for the North Beach community.

Uncovering North Beach's Challenges and Opportunities
Students and community members work together during a workshopThe North Beach/UMD partnership initially formed around a design project for a new performing arts center. However, by the end of the first community meeting, it was clear to students and faculty that the project scope was much bigger. Stakeholders and community members discussed frequent flooding issues in North Beach's business district, noting that the town goes underwater several times a year. Once considered the original Ocean City before the construction of the Bay Bridge, the town is also looking for ways to revitalize tourism and attract more visitors. The studio course soon morphed from designing a sustainable, bayside performing arts center to an in-depth analysis of the town's master plan and how environmental factors may impact future development of the town.

"After hearing from the community, we had a better understanding of the project's complexity," explained student Abraham Murrell. "If we just gave them the performing arts center, we wouldn't be fulfilling our duty as students and emerging architects. What we ended up preparing was a thorough investigation of the issues facing the town."

UMD students in North BeachUnder the guidance of Luis Quiros, assistant professor of architecture and lead faculty member for the design course, and professors Paul Mortensen and James Tilghman, students began researching North Beach's built environment, and economic and social environment. The students engaged in an intense and thoughtful investigation of North Beach, poring over town records, maps and data, doing site visits, attending town meetings and engaging in many conversations with the people who live in the town year-round. Blending their research with community input and professional feedback from architects Michael Hartman and Phil McCormick, the students developed six possible master plan scenarios that would build tourism and enliven the community, while protecting North Beach against rising sea levels.

"When you look at a town that is in need of change, you need to look at the bigger picture," explains Quiros. "Not only the design of a building or a master plan, but the economics, the social impact, etc. It is important to engage the community and stakeholders in the process."

A Fresh Look at North Beach
When the students presented the initial findings in the spring, which included economic analyses and environmental scenarios reaching far beyond the performing arts center, many of the North Beach representatives were surprised.

Rendering by student Daniel Fachler"This project started because we wanted some help looking at the performing arts center, but the students really took the project to a new level that we weren't expecting," said architect Michael Hartman, who is also chair of the North Beach Planning Commission and a member of the Performing Arts Center Committee. "While initially I think we were all surprised, that has only turned to appreciation. The students embraced the town, really engaged its citizens and provided us with more than just fresh ideas, but also a great amount of data that will benefit the town for years to come."

"What we are teaching our students is the importance of engaging the community in the right way so there is a two-way learning process," explains Quiros. "The way in which you react to community engagement has changed for designers. Before, you asked the community what they wanted and gave it to them. Now, it's a social responsibility to analyze what the community wants and engage with them in a problem-solving process to find the best solution."

Insung Hwang, Mayor Mark Frazer, Magays Inoa, Luke Petrusic, Taylor StoutThursday evening's meeting provided the North Beach community a first look at the studio course findings and student proposals. The presentation, developed by faculty and students and delivered by Quiros, gave the town a snapshot of their challenges and assets, offering a comprehensive look at North Beach's economic, social and environmental make up. Proposals also included ideas for green space that would actually benefit from occasional flooding, incorporating native Chesapeake plantscapes often found in marshlands. Utilizing environmentally sound energy sources, materials and construction processes, the students' designs foster community growth while preserving its assets. The community will have access to the designs and the opportunity to leave thoughts and comments as North Beach plans for its future.

"Many of the people that approached me at the end of the presentation said, 'Your work and suggestions opened our eyes'," said Quiros. "To be able to impact the future development of the town is a very rewarding end to this project for our students, and what will hopefully be a great start for North Beach."

UMD Launches Online MBA Program

June 17, 2013
Contacts: 

Carrie Handwerker 301-405-5833

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland will offer an online MBA program beginning in January 2014. Designed to accommodate working professionals, the flexible online program allows students to earn an MBA degree largely on their own time with minimal on-campus requirements. The program courses are taught by the same top faculty and adhere to the academic rigor of the Smith School's other top MBA programs.

"This is a major step forward for the university and for business professionals who need flexible access to academic excellence," said UMD President Wallace Loh. "The Smith School is combining a state-of-the-art online platform with the academic rigor that makes it a leader. University-wide we are exploring how best to use technology-based learning, and this is an excellent model."

The Smith Online MBA is modeled after the school's top-ranked and highly successful executive MBA program, but it is delivered primarily online. Students begin and end the program with structured, in-person residencies at the University of Maryland's campus in College Park. The remainder of the program is completed online. Students can earn their MBA degree in 21 months.

The online MBA program offers a broad base of knowledge on a wide range of business concepts, such as entrepreneurship, managerial economics, information systems and global economic development to prepare students with a strong business background. Students select one of four specializations — accounting, information systems and analytics, finance or marketing – to focus on their own particular area of interest or they may choose the general track, which allows course selection in each of the areas.

Courses will include two "live," approximately hour-long sessions per week, where students will log on at a specific time to interact with faculty and fellow students. Other coursework can be completed at times that work best for each student.

The program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB International, the premier accrediting agency for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting. GMAT or GRE entrance exams will be required for admission.

"Different educational formats work best for different kinds of learners – this program is best for working professionals who can learn within a rigorous, structured program, but more-so on their own time," said G. "Anand" Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "The elements that make our MBA degree programs so successful will still be in place with this program, but the key difference will be the level of flexibility."

The Smith School's MBA curriculum is focused on experiential learning opportunities for students and the online MBA program will also offer these experiences. Students will work together in groups on action learning projects, using knowledge gained in courses to tackle a real challenge or opportunity faced in a team member's organization. Students will self-select teams, conduct remote project meetings and deliver presentations virtually.

These team projects and online group discussions give students many opportunities to create relationships with business professionals in the program across the nation and the world. The two residencies also provide the chance to establish strong professional connections with peers and professors.

For more information about the curriculum or the program requirements or to apply, go to www.rhsmith.umd.edu/onlinemba.

No Good Substitute for Race in College Admissions

June 13, 2013
Contacts: 

Halima Cherif 301-405-0476
Neil Tickner 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – As the U.S. Supreme Court decides in a case involving racial preferences in higher education admissions (Fisher v. Texas), new University of Maryland-led research finds that socioeconomic diversity is no replacement for a direct consideration of race, as some have suggested. Still the research finds that a mix of students from differing socio-economic backgrounds offers some benefits.

UMD assistant professor Julie J. ParkThe peer-reviewed study appears in the June issue of the "American Educational Research Journal." It evaluates the use of "socio-economic status" as a racially blind way to build an effective diverse atmosphere on campus. Lead author Julie J. Park, an assistant professor of education at the University of Maryland (UMD), says socio-economic status is often suggested as a back-door way to achieve diversity, but one that likely won't succeed on its own.

"You need both racial and socioeconomic diversity to achieve the rich engagement that educators are looking for," says UMD's Park. "A broader mix of students helps encourage more fluid interactions."

The research finds that socio-economic (class) diversity helps students cross racial barriers to interact and learn from each other. "In university settings, it helps put students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds on a more level playing field," Park explains. "But on its own, socioeconomic diversity does not produce a high level of interactions between students of different races; you still need racial diversity to reach a university's full potential."

The study is the latest in Park's research, which focuses on diversity in higher education. She has a new book coming out later this month, "When Diversity Drops: Race, Religion, and Affirmative Action in Higher Education." It examines the impact in California of Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action statewide.
 
"Social class and race not only affect who goes to college, but what actually happens to students once they begin the journey of learning together," Park says. "Class matters, not only because we need to broaden access to universities, but because of how it makes universities better equipped to support racial diversity."

The study's full text is available here.

New Alumni Director to Lead UMD into Big Ten Era

June 11, 2013
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

The University of Maryland has recruited Ralph Amos as the new executive director of its Alumni AssociationCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has recruited Ralph Amos as the new executive director of its Alumni Association – a vital position for developing engagement and connectedness among the university’s base of 300,000 Terps.

Amos, who has spent nearly a quarter century in higher education leadership, comes to Maryland from a similar post at UCLA. He will officially start at Maryland on July 22, 2013.

“This is a real coup for us,” says UMD Vice President for University Relations Peter Weiler. “Ralph is undoubtedly one of the best alumni relations professionals in this country. We are very fortunate to have someone with his experience and leadership ability joining our team.”

As Maryland prepares to join the Big Ten Conference next year, the university will have many new opportunities and challenges, Weiler adds. “This is a big moment to reconnect and engage our base.”

At UCLA, Amos served as assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations and CEO of the Alumni Association. Since 2007, he has overseen all facets of alumni relations operations, including communications, services and policy development. He managed a staff of 55 professionals, led UCLA’s 92,000 member alumni association and was an integral member of the executive leadership team for the Division of External Affairs.

“Ralph brought great energy and a strategic mindset to his work at UCLA, and he played a vital role in enhancing affinity for the university all across the country,” says UCLA Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Rhea Turteltaub.

Prior to UCLA, Amos had a long career in similar roles at Ohio University in Athens and Ohio State University in Columbus.

“We need to generate alumni enthusiasm and participation, and Ralph will bring extraordinary energy and innovation to this task,” says the President of the Maryland Alumni Association Board of Governors Timmy Ruppersberger. “He is among the best in his field, and with our talented staff will move the association and the university forward.”

Amos received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from The Ohio State University in 1986 and a Master of Public Administration from Ohio University in 2004.

Ralph served as president of the Council of Alumni Association Executives from 2011-12, and is a board trustee and commissioner on alumni relations for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, a member of the State Universities of Ohio Alumni Associations Council and lead facilitator with LeaderShape, Inc. 

UMD Scientists Show Environmental Impacts of Trade

June 10, 2013
Contacts: 

Laura Ours 301-405-5722

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- In the wake of concerns over climate change and other emergent environmental issues, both individuals and governments are examining the impact of consumer and producer behavior and policies. In two new studies, three researchers from the University of Maryland’s Department of Geographical Sciences publish groundbreaking findings on the environmental impact of globalization, production and trade on both regional and international scales.

Professor Klaus Hubacek and researchers Yang Yu and Kuishuang Feng’s “Tele-connecting local consumption to global land use” appeared in Global Environmental Change and is available now online.  Hubacek and Feng, with co-authors from leading institutions worldwide, published “Outsourcing CO2 within China” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Tele-connecting local consumption to global land use”
Deforestation in Atlantic Forest Rio de Janeiro - BrazilAs local consumption is increasingly met by global supply chains, often involving great geographical distances, the impact of consumer behavior on the environment is becoming increasingly apparent. Hubacek, Yu and Feng’s research concretely connects local consumption to global land use through tracking global commodity and value chains via international trade flows. Specifically, they have zeroed in on land use attributed to “unusual” sectors, including services, machinery and equipment, and construction.

Their findings show how developed countries, such as the United States, consume a large amount of goods and services from both domestic and international markets, and thus impose pressure on their domestic land resources and displace land in other countries, creating an impact on how land is used, and consuming land that could potentially be used in more environmentally friendly ways. For example, 33 percent of total U.S. land use for consumption purposes is displaced from other countries, which is actually at the lower end of the global spectrum: the ratio becomes much larger for the EU (more than 50 percent) and Japan (92 percent).

The researchers have also illustrated the vast gap between consumption habits of rich and relatively poor countries. Their research shows that rich countries tend to displace land by consuming non-agricultural products, such as services, clothing and household appliances, which account for more than 50 percent of their total land displacement. For developing economies, such as African countries, the share of land use for non-agricultural products is much lower, with an average of seven percent.

“In addition, the emerging economies and population giants, China and India, are likely to further increase their appetite for land from other countries, such as Africa, Russia and Latin America, to satisfy their own land needs driven by their fast economic growth and the needs and lifestyles of their growing populations,” Hubacek said. “Obviously, there are significant global consequences when these types of demands exceed the supply of land. We are all competing for the same resources. Land can be used to produce factories for fashion items or food for people or important ecosystems for non-human species.”

Hubacek said the very countries that are putting the most strain on the global stage and on developing countries must emerge as leaders to address this problem. He believes that the U.S., as well as the EU, Japan, China and India, should play a key role in reducing these environmental impacts through an international framework.

Yu, Feng and Hubacek hope their findings and recommended next steps can be applied to other timely environmental problems, and allow them to link local environmental degradation to specific groups of consumers within a country.

“Outsourcing CO2 within China”
Going beyond recent studies demonstrating that the high standard of living enjoyed by people in the richest countries often comes at the expense of CO2 emissions produced with technologies of low efficiency in less affluent, developing countries, Hubacek, Feng and their coauthors have now shown that this dynamic can exist within a single country’s borders. Focusing on China, the world’s largest CO2 emitter, the authors illustrate that rich regions consuming and exporting high-value goods and services depend upon production of low-cost and emission-intensive goods and services from poorer regions, creating an environmental burden on those poorer regions.

CO2 emissionsTracking CO2 emissions embodied in products traded among Chinese provinces and internationally, the researchers found that 57 percent of China’s emissions are related to goods that are consumed outside of the province where they are produced. For instance, up to 80 percent of the emissions related to goods consumed in the highly developed coastal provinces are imported from less developed provinces in central and western China where many low value added but high carbon-intensive goods are produced.

“The carbon intensity of imports to the affluent coastal provinces is much greater than that of their exports – in some cases by a factor of four, because many of these imports originate in western provinces where the technologies are highly inefficient, the economic structure is energy intensive and heavily dependent on coal,” Hubacek said. “The more ambitious CO2 mitigation targets set for the coastal provinces may lead to additional outsourcing and carbon leakage if such provinces respond by importing even more products from less developed provinces where climate policy is less demanding.”

The researchers warn that without policy attention to this sort of interprovincial carbon leakage, the less developed provinces will struggle to meet their emissions intensity targets while the more developed provinces might achieve their own targets by further outsourcing. Consumption-based accounting of emissions can thus inform effective and equitable climate policy within China.

 “The same effect occurs on a global scale, as richer countries outsource polluting industries and manufacturing to developing countries—including China—where costs are lower and regulations may be more lax,” says Feng, “we must reduce CO2 emissions, not just outsource them."

“Developed regions and countries need to take some responsibility, providing technology support or investment to promote cleaner, greener technology in less-developed regions. Current attempts to tackle climate change may simply encourage richer countries to outsource their emissions to poorer regions of the world, placing an unfair and unmanageable burden on those regions,” he says.

Hubacek hopes the research can be used to inform consumers, as well as policy makers, about the carbon consequences of their choices.

Theoretical Physicist Jim Gates Awarded Mendel Medal

June 7, 2013
Contacts: 

Lee Tune 301-405-4679

Renowned University of Maryland theoretical physicist Sylvester James "Jim" Gates, Jr., Ph.D., has been awarded the recipient of the 2013 Mendel Medal by Villanova UniversityCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Renowned University of Maryland theoretical physicist Sylvester James "Jim" Gates, Jr., Ph.D., has been awarded the 2013 Mendel Medal by Villanova University in recognition of his influential work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, as well as his advocacy for science and science education in the United States and abroad. The Mendel Medal, established in 1928 by the Board of Trustees of Villanova University, honors pioneering scientists who have demonstrated, by their lives and their standing before the world as scientists, that there is no intrinsic conflict between science and religion.

Gates received The National Medal of Science, the nation's highest award in science, earlier this year. He is the current John S. Toll Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for String & Particle Theory at The University of Maryland. Additionally, Gates is a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and on the Maryland State Board of Education. In 2013, Gates also was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American physicist so recognized in its 150-year history.

Villanova University's Mendel Medal honors 19th century Augustinian friar and scientist Gregor Johann Mendel, Abbot of the Augustinian Monastery, Brünn, Austria, (now Brno, the Czech Republic), best known as "the father of modern genetics" for his discovery of the celebrated laws of heredity that bear his name. Villanova is one of only two Augustinian Catholic institutions of higher education in the country. Past recipients of the Mendel Medal have included Nobel Laureates, outstanding medical researchers, pioneers in physics, astrophysics and chemistry, and noted scientist-theologians.

"Villanova University is delighted to honor Professor Gates for his work as an internationally known advocate for science and science education," said the Rev. Kail Ellis, OSA, Ph.D., Villanova University's Vice President for Academic Affairs. "In addition to his outstanding scientific achievements, Professor Gates believes that faith enables science – as it allows us to contemplate our relationship with each other and with the Creator – while acknowledging that science is essential for the survival of our species in a world beset with climate change."

Added Fr. Ellis, "Professor Gates has said that science is ultimately also 'an act of faith—faith that we will be capable of understanding the way the universe is put together.' This is the foundation on which the Mendel Medal was established."

Professor Gates will deliver the 2013 Mendel Medal Lecture, "On the Uncertainty of Disbelief," at 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15, in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Gates has avidly and widely promoted science and science education through many different forums and media, including as a frequent guest on The Public Broadcast System's NOVA productions, in popular videos about the science of NFL football and NHL hockey, and as a featured presenter at the World Science Festivals. His 2012 interview on the NPR show "On Being with Krista Tippet" was heard by a member of nominating committee and led to his nomination for the Mendel Medal. 

Gates has delivered the annual Karplus Lecture to the National Science Teachers Association and has received the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Gates also is a leader in improving education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields to attract more students, to these critical fields. He serves on the technical advisory committee for the American Association of Universities (AAU) STEM undergraduate education initiative.

 

Gates' 2012 interview on the NPR show "On Being with Krista Tippett" led to his nomination for the Mendel Medal.  A re-edited version of the show became available online today and will be aired over member stations this week. Listen now:

Peer Pressure Starts in Childhood, Not with Teens

June 5, 2013
Contacts: 

Melanie Killen, 301-405-3176; Neil Tickner, 301-405-7476

University of Maryland developmental psychologist Melanie Killen interviews elementary school children for a study on peer group influence. COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Peer group influences affect children much earlier than researchers have suspected, finds a new University of Maryland-led study. The researchers say it provides a wake-up call to parents and educators to look out for undue group influences, cliquishness and biases that might set in early, the researchers say.

The study appears in the May/June 2013 issue of Child Development, and is available online. The researchers say their work represents a new line of research – what they call "group dynamics of childhood." No prior research has investigated what children think about challenging groups that act in ways that are unfair or nontraditional, they note.

The findings refute an older view that conflicts between group loyalty and fairness are not yet part of elementary-school aged children's everyday interactions.

"This is not just an adolescent issue," says University of Maryland developmental psychologist Melanie Killen, the study's lead researcher. "Peer group pressure begins in elementary schools, as early as age nine. It's what kids actually encounter there on any given day."

Even at this earlier age, children show moral independence and will stand up to the group, Killen adds. But it is also a setting where the seeds of group prejudices can develop, if not checked.

"Parents and teachers often miss children's nascent understanding of group dynamics, as well as kids' willingness to buck to the pressure," Killen explains. Children begin to figure out the costs and consequences of resisting peer group pressure early. By adolescence, they find it only gets more complicated."

The emergence of peer groups in elementary school aids children's development by providing positive friendships, relationships, and social support, Killen adds.  The downsides include the undue influence of a group when it imposes unfair standards, especially on outsiders, or members of "outgroups," which is what is often created when peers form an "ingroup."

"Children may need help from adults when they face conflicts between loyalty to the group and fairness to outsiders," Killen says. "They may be struggling to 'do the right thing' and still stay on good terms with friends in the group, but not know how. If a child shows discomfort and anxiety about spending time with friends, this may signal conflicts in their peer group relationships."

The researchers conducted extended interviews and surveys with representative groups of fourth- and eighth-graders from a Mid-Atlantic suburban area. All were from middle income families and reflected U.S. ethnic backgrounds. They probed attitudes on a moral issue – dividing up resources equally for those in and out of the group, and on a question of tradition (group t-shirts).

"We know that children have a sense of fairness very early on in life but soon enough they belong to groups that sometimes want to do something unfair. What do they advocate for, the fairness principle or group loyalty?" the study asks.

Among the findings:

  • When children are members of groups that want to be selfish, they think it is wrong, going so far as to explain why it's wrong. They even think that one should stand up to groups when they want to be unfair – though the cost of social exclusion is still a concern.
  • Children support members of their own groups that will tell the group to divide up resources equally, not unequally, and they strongly advocate for equal allocation of resources. 
  • Children are more positive about a peer who advocated for equality than a peer who advocated for doing something that reflected group identity such as the conventional act of wearing the club shirt.
  • Children understand that their view of what the ingroup member "should do" would be different from what the group would want. While individually favorable towards someone who challenges the group, they expected that the group would not like it.

"Overall, these findings show that with age, children can apply their understanding of fairness to social groups, and recognize what makes group dynamics complex," the study says.  "They know that groups might not like it, but there may be times when standing up to the group is the right thing to do."  

In earlier studies, Killen and her team demonstrated the development of moral reasoning in young children, finding that they care about fairness, will help others solve conflicts even when they don't benefit directly, and spontaneously cooperate without rewards.

The full study is available online here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12011/full

UMD to Provide Education, Training to Md. Officials

June 4, 2013
Contacts: 

Jennifer Talhelm 301-405-4390

(From left) UMD School of Public Policy Dean Don Kettl; UMD President Wallace Loh; Maryland Municipal League Executive Director Scott Hancock; Maryland Association of Counties Executive Director Michael Sanderson at the Maryland State Capitol.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Public Policy is pleased to announce the launch of an expanded partnership with the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Association of Counties, in which the School will assume administration of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance and expand education and training opportunities for local government leaders statewide.

The Academy, formerly part of the UMD Institute for Governmental Service and Research, provides voluntary instruction in ethics, open-meetings laws, budgeting, and other programs to help city and county elected officials govern effectively.  Participants earn a certificate of completion. 

Under the new agreement, the School of Public Policy will work with MML and MACo – professional associations that represent local elected officials across the state – to expand the offerings of the Academy, broaden the subjects offered, and open the program to more participants.

"This is a very powerful collaboration in service to the citizens of Maryland that can strengthen government officials' readiness for office," said UMD president Wallace Loh. "Combining university and professional expertise this way offers a model that could be applied nationwide to assist our elected and appointed public officials.  I am proud of UMD's role in this important program."

School of Public Policy dean Don Kettl said, "This partnership represents the essence of our core mission – providing the knowledge and leadership skills that inspire people to become great public servants.  Moving the Academy to the School of Public Policy gives participants access to some of the nation's top experts in fields such as budgeting and management, providing critical training in issues that are central to local governance."
 
MML executive director Scott Hancock added, "Maryland's municipal officials recognize the potential for a national model academy by partnering with the School of Public Policy, and we look forward, with great anticipation, to both a wider array and higher quality of educational opportunities for Maryland's local government leaders."   

Said MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson, "Maryland's county elected officials are eager for more educational opportunities.  The School of Public Policy is well situated to help the Academy provide our county elected officials with an educational experience they can rely on when faced with everyday governing challenges.  We are thrilled with this partnership."

The agreement establishes that the School of Public Policy will be the Academy's program administrator, responsible for program design and instruction as recommended by a newly created Academy Council.  The Council will provide insight and feedback to the School related to strategic direction, core competencies and topics of study.  In addition, a working group made up of the School, MML and MACo staff will assist with course scheduling and other needs.

The Academy will offer a series of courses for its fellows including consensus- and team-building, the basics of risk management, municipal budgeting, county financial management, and Maryland's Open Meetings and Public Information acts.  It also will offer a new set "graduate courses" in areas such as advanced local and state finance, and effective and transparent governance, with additional courses to be designed.  The School of Public Policy expects the Academy will make new use of the campus's state-of-the-art distance-learning capabilities while continuing to offer live classroom sessions.

"We anticipate that our shared interest in promoting high ethical standards in public service and providing the foundation needed for informed policy making will invariably take this program to new heights of success and recognition," reads the letter of agreement between the School, MML and MACo.  "We firmly believe that the educational resources and expertise provided by the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy will greatly enhance the credibility of this program as well as the quality of the training provided through the Academy."

 

Photo (from left): UMD School of Public Policy Dean Don Kettl; UMD President Wallace Loh; Maryland Municipal League Executive Director Scott Hancock; Maryland Association of Counties Executive Director Michael Sanderson at the Maryland State Capitol.

UMD, Booz Allen Partner on Science, Education

June 4, 2013
Contacts: 

Eric Chapman, UMD, 301-405-7136
Carrie Lake, Booz Allen Hamilton, 703-377-7785

The University of Maryland today announced that Booz Allen Hamilton is the newest member of the university's Corporate Partners in Computing Program.COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland today announced that Booz Allen Hamilton—a leading provider of management consulting, technology and engineering services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence and civil markets—is the newest member of the university's Corporate Partners in Computing Program.

The program, hosted by the Department of Computer Science and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), fosters research, innovation and networking between private sector companies that will benefit from key focal points in computing at UMD.

Companies in the program—including Appian, Carr Astronautics, CyberData Technologies, Dante Consulting, Google, OPIS, Palantir Technologies, Susquehanna International Group, TATA Consultancy Services and Yahoo—gain access to a highly qualified pool of students for potential internships and full-time employment.

They are also able to explore collaborative research ventures with UMD faculty.

“We are thrilled to have Booz Allen Hamilton join as a partner in computing,” says Samir Khuller, chair of computer science at Maryland. “They are a major player in cybersecurity, IT, data science and consulting and will strengthen our connections to science and technology companies in the Washington, D.C. region.”

Khuller notes that the partnership also allows faculty in computer science and UMIACS to gain insight into industry trends and get corporate feedback on Maryland's nationally ranked computer science curriculum.

In addition to becoming a corporate partner, Booz Allen Hamilton has established a $5,000 scholarship to be awarded to a meritorious UMD computer science student. The company will also be involved in an upcoming undergraduate course on large distributed systems that will support students in the emerging and critical field of data science.

“Booz Allen is deeply committed to cultivating the next generation of STEM leaders, such as computer and data scientists, and is thrilled to partner with the University of Maryland to this end,” says Josh Sullivan, vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton.

With cloud technology and advanced analytics, Sullivan says, scientists today are able to better understand and solve complex problems. But, he adds, it's only with the right data science team that 'big analytics' become possible in today's data-driven world.

“It takes the right blend of computer scientists, mathematicians and statisticians and domain experts can exploit big data to find the game-changing insights buried within data,” he says. “And this new partnership with Maryland will deliver these experts.”

START Provides Key Data for Annual Terrorism Report

May 31, 2013
Contacts: 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) played a key role in this year's “Country Reports on Terrorism,” issued by the U.S. Department of State.  Released this week, the congressionally mandated report included an Annex of Statistical Information prepared by START.

UMD's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism played a key role in this year's “Country Reports on Terrorism,” issued by the U.S. Department of State.The Annex of Statistical Information is a guide to worldwide terrorist activity as reported by unclassified sources, such as the news media. In the statistical annex, START also describes the 2012 patterns of worldwide terrorist activity with respect to changes during the year, geographic concentration, casualties, perpetrator organizations, tactics, weapons, and targets.

The 2012 report marks the first year the statistical annex was prepared by START. In preparation for compiling the statistical annex, START’s Global Terrorism Database (GTD) team developed new tools to improve the efficiency and thoroughness of its data collection process and evolve its data collection methodology to improve the reliability, efficiency and thoroughness of the process.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • The statistical annex documents a total of 6,771 terrorist attacks that occurred worldwide and resulted in more than 11,000 deaths and more than 21,600 injuries.
  • More than 1,280 people were kidnapped or taken hostage.
  • On average, there were 1.64 fatalities and 3.20 injuries per attack, including perpetrator casualties.
  • More than half of all attacks (55%), fatalities (62%), and injuries (65%) occurred in just three countries: Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
  • The highest number of fatalities occurred in Afghanistan (2,632); however the country with the most injuries due to terrorist attacks was Iraq (6,641).

The Country Reports on Terrorism and statistical annex are available through the State Department at http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/210017.htm.

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