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UMD Doctoral Student Recognized for Outstanding Research in Entrepreneurship

January 10, 2013
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

Shweta GaonkarCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Shweta Gaonkar, a Doctoral student in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, has been honored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Emerging Scholars Program for her significant contributions to research in entrepreneurship.

Gaonkar is one of 15 exceptional students from across the country recognized by the Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program and will receive $20,000 to support her dissertation research. The Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship Program is one of several programs established by the Kaufmann Foundation designed to create a substantial body of research on entrepreneurship and innovation.

"We are proud to honor these bright emerging scholars for their outstanding work in academic entrepreneurship study," said Robert J. Strom, director of research and policy at the Foundation. "Not only is their work significant, but they represent some of the brightest future leaders in the field of entrepreneurship research who will influence our next generation of academics."

Visit the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s website to view the full list of Emerging Scholars Program winners.

UMD’s Director of Public Safety Named Finalist for Campus Safety’s Director of the Year Award

January 10, 2013
Contacts: 

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

David MitchellCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Campus Safety Magazine has named UMD’s Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, David Mitchell, a finalist for the 2012 Campus Safety Director of the Year award. Mitchell, along with the other finalists, was chosen for his outstanding leadership skills, ingenuity, selflessness and overall achievement.
 
Mitchell’s accomplishments at UMD have been numerous, including creating a state-of-the-art K9 unit that can detect bombs and person-borne explosive devices; and properly and fully staffing the Emergency Operations Center. His tremendous efforts have led to decreased crime at the university and improved relationships between the police department and the University of Maryland community.
 
To vote for Mitchell as the 2012 Campus Safety Director of the Year, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RJ6T5LH.

UMD Language Research Center Names Amy Weinberg Executive Director

January 9, 2013
Contacts: 

Pamela R. Morse 301-226-8899

Amy Weinberg, Ph.D.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) has named Amy Weinberg, Ph.D., as its new executive director, replacing Founding Director Richard Brecht, Ph.D., who will retire in January 2013. As CASL’s deputy executive director, Weinberg has been instrumental in molding the center’s strategic partnerships and research agenda.

“The University of Maryland has provided world-class research to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for many years and we look forward to continuing this service to our nation,” said Patrick O’Shea, Ph.D., vice president and chief research officer for the University of Maryland. “With Amy Weinberg at the helm at CASL, I am confident in the continued excellence of our programs in the language sciences, as well as our graduates who go on to serve the country.”

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy, Weinberg worked as an associate professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Linguistics and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) until 2004, when she joined CASL as area director for technology use.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to shape CASL’s future and meet the needs of the next decade of language challenges that this changing world poses,” said Weinberg.

In 2007, Weinberg joined the university’s Division of Research, where she supported the University of Maryland National Security Advisory Board and other outreach efforts. In 2008, she earned the rank of professor of linguistics and was cross-appointed to the Department of Computer Science. A member of UMIACS, Weinberg served as a director of the university’s Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Laboratory until her return to CASL as deputy executive director in 2010.

“The federal government is playing a leading role in coping with the language needs of the nation, and CASL has the responsibility of transferring fresh policy and innovative human and technological solutions to the education system and to the country’s industry base,” said the outgoing Brecht. “Weinberg’s leadership will provide those fresh approaches that the government is looking for.”

The DoD recently exercised the next five-year option on its contract with the multi-million dollar University-Affiliated Research Center, which is the first and only national resource dedicated to addressing the language needs of the U.S. intelligence community. CASL currently employs approximately 150 scientists and support staff members at the University of Maryland Research Park, M Square, located just off campus.

Founded in 2003, CASL’s research has focused on increasing the efficiency of government professionals whose responsibilities include defense, intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, humanitarian assistance, and other important abilities.  All these global roles require skills in language, culture, and analysis that require critical research and expertise in languages and linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, human language technologies, and the behavioral and social sciences. In its first ten years, the center has dramatically improved selection, diagnosis, on-boarding, learning, and sustainment regimens for government professionals whose work depends on linguistic and cultural expertise by working closely with the military and intelligence communities to further their strategic initiatives.

ABOUT CASL
CASL conducts unprecedented, academically rigorous research in language and cognition that supports national security. CASL research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, bringing together people from the government, academia, and the private sector. CASL research is both strategic and tactical, so that it not only advances areas of knowledge, but also directly serves the critical needs of the nation. The University of Maryland is unique in its comprehensive approach to language and cybersecurity research, stressing ‘more-than-tech’ interdisciplinary solutions. For more information, visit www.casl.umd.edu.

UMD Flu Study Tracks Infection as Influenza Peaks in Maryland

January 8, 2013
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake (301) 405-9418

Donald Milton, M.D., Dr.P.H.COLLEGE PARK, Md. - This year’s flu season started sooner, is hitting harder and is more widespread than usual. Health officials say that Maryland is one of several states on track to have one of the worst influenza seasons in recent years, although flu is notoriously hard to predict.

Donald Milton, M.D., Dr.P.H., is leading a study to track flu infection and modes of transmission at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. His research team is finding that many study participants coming in with flu recently are infected with more than one virus strain.

“This may be an important factor driving the high attack rate right now,” he explains. Dr. Milton is an expert in airborne infection transmission who directs the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health. “Co-infection with more than one virus may make both of the viruses more contagious than either would be alone.”

Also, the illness’ intensity may be due to the type of influenza. The most prevalent strain this year, influenza A (H3N2), is causing more severe symptoms than influenza B alone, but many people have simultaneous influenza A and B infections or a combination of influenza B and another virus called respiratory syncytial virus.

Gesundheit IIMilton’s “Got Flu?” team has been tracking and reporting the incidence of influenza-like illness on its website and to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since October. This is the first time that influenza surveillance has been done on the College Park campus, though participants also are being recruited from the surrounding areas.

“People might be surprised to learn that we don’t know for sure how flu spreads,” says Milton. “In addition, to encourage vaccination, preventing the spread of flu requires that we better understand how the virus travels and infects people.”

Researchers take nose and throat swabs from flu sufferers and gather samples of their exhaled breath using a special machine called the Gesundheit II (see photo). It captures the virus aerosols from breath, coughs and sneezes and can determine whether there’s more virus shed in large droplet sprays or in the tiny airborne particles.

You Can Help Stop Flu: Participate in the "Got Flu?" Study
If you are 10 years or older, have a fever and sore throat or cough (whether or not you had the flu vaccine), you can come in to the University of Maryland School of Public Health Clinical Research Facility to give a nasal swab sample and be paid $20 for your time, and potentially be eligible to give breath samples in the Gesundheit II for an additional $80 compensation. You may even be retested over three days and compensated up to $300 for coming to campus and giving samples while you have the flu. Call 424-2GOTFLU (424-246-8358), email gotflu@umd.edu, or contact Milton's team through www.gotflu.org.

 

Watch the WUSA-TV report on Dr. Milton's study:

 

The Cross-Continental Express (American Theatre Magazine)

Long-distance relationships aren’t easy. Lovers must keep romance alive through a variety of media (e-mail, phone, Skype), and in some instances there are time differences to contend with. One person’s late-night phone tryst is another’s early-morning wake-up call. Accordingly, forming a theatrical relationship across 12 time zones would seem next to impossible. But a recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by students of the University of Maryland (UMD) and their counterparts at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing (NACTA) proved otherwise.

Google Awards Food Recovery Network Major Advertising Grant

A promising new student-run nonprofit called the Food Recovery Network (at the University of Maryland) is stepping onto the national stage with the help of a $120,000 per year advertising grant from Google. The student leaders behind FRN expect the grant to catapult the momentum of their simple mission to donate surplus prepared food from college dining halls to hungry Americans.

Maryland Ranked 5th Best Value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

December 27, 2012
Contacts: 

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625 bcavana@umd.edu

College Park, Md. – The University of Maryland has been ranked 5th in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s annual ranking of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2012-13 – making it UMD’s second year in the top 5 and the fifth consecutive year in the top 10. Each year, Kiplinger’s collects data from 600 public four-year institutions and determines the top 100 by analyzing several measurable standards, such as academic quality – including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates – financial aid and cost, with academic quality carrying the most weight.

 “At a time when broad access to the highest quality education is challenged, this recognition is truly significant,” said UMD President Wallace Loh. “With strong support from our state elected leaders, Kiplinger's ranking is validation that we are succeeding at our core mission of academic excellence, access and service.”

  “We applaud this year’s top 100 schools for their efforts to maintain academic standards while meeting the financial needs of their students,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.  

Click here to read more about UMD's impressive rise in the rankings.

Beyond the Fiscal Cliff: Public Policy Experts Talk Issues for 2013

December 21, 2012
Contacts: 

Jennifer Talhelm 301-405-4390

School of Public Policy LogoCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Will Congress and the president avoid the fiscal cliff?  What new or lingering problems will policy makers tackle in 2013?  Experts from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy say plenty of prickly issues are facing the nation’s policy leaders in the new year.  Concerns ranging from tax reform and government downsizing to U.S.-Iran relations and the drawdown from Afghanistan will take center-stage, they say.  Read on for a selection of their predictions.
 
The UMD School of Public Policy has access to an in-house facility for live or taped interviews via fiber-optic line for television or multimedia content. Contact Jennifer Talhelm at (202) 870-4465 or jtalhelm@umd.edu for more information.
 
Domestic Issues
 
MSPP Dean Don KettlDon Kettl: Government Downsizing
“The fiscal cliff negotiations are leading toward tough decisions on taxes and entitlements.  But underneath the surface is a thicket of tough questions on government’s size.  How many departments should we keep?  How many regulations can we cut?  Do we have too many government employees – or, more important, do we have a good plan for matching the skills if government with the job we want it to do?  No matter what happens with the cliff, these will be mega-problems for 2013.”
 
Kettl, dean of the UMD School of Public Policy, specializes in the management of public organizations.  His dozen books and monographs include: The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them; On Risk and Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina; The Global Public Management Revolution; and Leadership at the Fed.

Contact: 301-405-6356, kettl@umd.edu
Bio: http://publicpolicy.umd.edu/donald-kettl

Kettl: Plan C: 'All Roads Lead Back to Boehner'
 
Professor Jacques GanslerJacques Gansler: National Security Funding

“A top issue for 2013 will be successfully addressing the broad spectrum of national security challenges (pirates, terrorism, cyber-attacks, nuclear proliferation, regional instabilities, etc.) with what we know will be fewer available dollars.  This will require a paradigm shift from the current belief that you always ‘have to pay more to get more’ to a new culture, stressing the use of innovation to continuously improve performance while reducing cost.”
 
Professor Gansler, who served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 1997-2001, is the first holder of the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise.  He directs the School of Public Policy’s Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, and heads the school’s new acquisition specialization, dedicated to preparing the 21st century government acquisition leaders.

Contact: 301-405-4794, jgansler@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/jacques-gansler
 
Professor Philip JoycePhilip Joyce: Tax Reform
“If there is a fiscal cliff agreement by the end of the year, it will be necessary to translate the path included in that plan into specific detailed legislation.  The need to do this will provide an opportunity to reform our complicated and inefficient tax code.  Virtually every tax economist agrees that a more simplified, straightforward tax system would be dividends in the form of greater economic growth and productivity.  The fact that there is general agreement on tax reform, however, should not lead anyone to conclude that it will be an easy thing to do.  Many thorny dilemmas await, including which tax preferences to eliminate, whether to make the rate structure more or less progressive, and more generally how the burden of financing government should be apportioned.  Any changes will create winners and losers, who will use their voices – and their wallets – to try and influence the debate.”
 
Professor Joyce is the author of The Congressional Budget Office: Honest Numbers, Power, and Policy Making.  Prior to his academic work, Joyce worked for 12 years in the public sector, including five years with the United States Congressional Budget Office.  

Contact: 301-405-4766, pgjoyce@umd.edu
Bio: http://publicpolicy.umd.edu/philip-joyce
 
Professor Robert GrimmRobert Grimm: Government Reform and Reductions in Spending on Nonprofits
“While there has been a good deal of concern in the nonprofit community about changes to the charitable deduction, the real 2013 story for the nonprofit and philanthropic sector will be how it deals with reductions in government spending that are coming in one way or another.  The recent focus on proposed reforms to the charitable deduction are important given the broader value philanthropy provides society as a driver of innovation and diversity, but government is by far the largest funder of the nonprofit sector and reductions in government spending will be something that nonprofit and philanthropic leaders will be confronting in the new year.”
 
Grimm is professor of the practice and director of the School of Public Policy’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, making him the first director and professor of a center focused on creating a new culture of philanthropy through developing more effective and innovative citizens and leaders committed to improving our world.  Grimm previously served as the Director of Research and Policy Development and Senior Counselor to the CEO at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Contact: 301-405-2186, rgrimm@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/robert-grimm
 
Professor Chris ForemanChris Foreman: Immigration Reform
“Having been pivotal in the Obama re-election, Latinos will surely expect to see action, especially after having sat patiently through the first term and loyally delivered millions of votes.  Our challenge of millions of unauthorized residents continues, and I would predict considerable griping directed the president’s way unless we see concrete movement.”
 
Foreman is professor and director of the School of Public Policy’s social policy program where he teaches courses on political institutions and the politics of inequality.  His book, Signals from the Hill: Congressional Oversight and the Challenge of Social Regulation, won the 1989 D.B. Hardeman Prize for the best book on Congress.

Contact: 301-405-0442, cforeman@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/christopher-foreman
 
Professor Nate HultmanNathan Hultman: Climate Change and U.S. Security
“Hurricane Sandy underscored the fundamental link between our own national well-being and climate-related hazards.  In 2008, both presidential candidates agreed on the science of climate change and the need for some risk management actions.  While the salience of climate change receded in the polarized politics of the past few years, bipartisan interest is now re-emerging to address the real risks that we as a country are facing today from weather events and climate change.  Senator Boxer, for example, has called for a “climate change caucus” and notable Republicans have issued statements calling for a renewed evaluation of our own domestic climate risks and their relation to national security.  U.S. action on climate change is more likely in 2013 than any time in the past four years.”
 
Hultman is associate professor, director of the School of Public Policy’s environmental policy program, and associate director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration of UMD and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  His research focuses on international climate policy, decisions about climate risks in policy and investment, and the emerging markets for carbon and greenhouse gases.

Contact: 301-405-3429, hultman@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/hultman
 
International Issues
 
Professor Phillip SwagelPhillip Swagel: U.S.-China relations
“For China, 2013 will be a year of small steps toward a needed large economic reform.  The agenda for China includes allowing more currency flexibility, increasing the openness of trade and financial flows, rescuing banks from problems with bad loans, strengthening pension and health care systems, tackling pollution, and dealing with endemic corruption.  Progress on these dimensions is vital for China and beneficial for the United States, since it would boost business and consumer spending in China and thereby support U.S. exports and economic recovery.”
 
Swagel is professor of international economic policy and co-author of the recent book, Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century.  He served as an assistant Treasury secretary in the George W. Bush administration. Before that, he served as chief of staff and senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and as an economist at the IMF and the Federal Reserve Board.

Contact: 301-405-1914, pswagel@umd.edu
Bio: http://publicpolicy.umd.edu/phillip-swagel
 
Professor I.M. "Mac" DestlerMac Destler: Iran
“I’m afraid the top international issue of 2013 will be Iran’s nuclear program and U.S. efforts to negotiate an understanding that will avoid either (1) Iran’s obtaining nuclear weapons or (2) a military attack, plausibly by Israel, to prevent (1) from taking place.  President Obama is likely to launch serious bilateral conversations, perhaps negotiations, with Iran.  He faces a daunting international challenge – winning binding Iranian commitments and managing the coalition of nations (U.N. Security Council members plus Germany) whose cooperation is essential.  He also faces serious challenge at home – any deal will involve easing of U.S. sanctions, but this will require action by a skeptical Congress.”
 
Professor Destler specializes in the politics and processes of U.S. foreign policymaking.  He is co-author of In the Shadow of the Oval Office, which analyzes the role of the President’s national security adviser from the Kennedy through the George W. Bush administration.  His American Trade Politics won the Gladys M. Kammerer Award of the American Political Science Association for the best book on U.S. national policy.

Contact: 301-405-6357, mdestler@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/destlerm
 
rofessor John SteinbrunerJohn Steinbruner: Iran
“A range of international security issues will be important in 2013, including global climate change, managing the transition of security in Afghanistan, and resolving international tensions about Iran’s nuclear program.  It is hard to separate these issues from one another, but if I were to give immediate priority to one, it would be Iran.  Tensions about the Iranian nuclear program are bound to rise in the first part of the year and calls for military action will grow louder if the potential for a diplomatic solution doesn’t gain standing.  Regular negotiations between the United States, Europe, and Iran – without preconditions – would be the critical sign of the parties’ seriousness of purpose, but this has not yet occurred.  The broad outlines of a diplomatic solution are widely acknowledged, but the necessary specifications cannot be worked out under an imposed deadline.  Adequate time and sustained effort are necessary to work out the details and overcome belligerent political opposition on all sides.”
 
Professor Steinbruner directs the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland.  His work has focused on issues of international security and related problems of international policy, and he has authored and edited a number of professional books and monographs, including, The Cybernetic Theory of Decision: New Dimensions of Political Analysis; Principles of Global Security; and A New Concept of Cooperative Security.  In 2010, he chaired the Committee on Deterring Cyberattacks of the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council.

Contact: 301-405-4578, jsteinbr@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/john-steinbruner
 
Assistant Professor Madiha AfzalMadiha Afzal: The U.S. and South Asia after Afghanistan
“The drawdown of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and its implications for the South Asian region – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India – will be a top issue in 2013.  The U.S. will need to decide what kind of presence it wants to retain in Afghanistan, as both Pakistan and India vie for a role in the country.  The stability of both Pakistan and Afghanistan lie in the balance, given that the Pakistan and Afghan Taliban both remain significant threats.  All this will take place in the context of a fraught but necessary relationship with Pakistan, and a steadily growing strategic partnership with India.”
 
Afzal is an assistant professor.  She has been a consultant to the World Bank and conducted fieldwork and participated in survey design and analysis for a qualitative gender study in Pakistan.  Her research interests range from studying elections to the functioning of the bureaucracy, to examining ethnic violence, community participation, decentralization and corruption in South Asia.

Contact: 301-405-8676, mafzal@umd.edu
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/madiha-afzal
 
About the UMD School of Public Policy
The School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland is an internationally renowned program dedicated to improving public policy and international affairs.  It is the only such school in the capital area embedded within a major public research institution.  The school prepares knowledgeable and innovative leaders to make an impact on the profound challenges of the 21st century.  Faculty include the 2005 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics; former officials who have held key positions in Democratic and Republican administrations, including U.S. trade representative, undersecretary of defense, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, and director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect; and leading researchers in a host of public policy disciplines.
 

Pages

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March 23
Contamination of soil with wild pig and cattle feces has direct correlation to E. coli prevalence in leafy greens.  Read
March 16
62 UMD graduate programs and specializations ranked among the top in the nation.
March 15
NASA awarded a cooperative agreement to UMD to continue collaborative research in the field of Earth system science. Read