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Statement on Mold Remediation - September 22, 2018

September 22, 2018

Statement from the University of Maryland’s Department of Resident Life and Department of Residential Facilities:

The safety, health, and well-being of each and every resident is a matter of utmost concern for the Departments of Resident Life and Residential Facilities at the University of Maryland. Mold has been reported throughout Elkton Hall, as well as isolated reports in other residence halls, and the issue has been exacerbated in recent days due to significant rain and high humidity in our area. We recognize and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and concern this has caused our residents and their families. We want to assure students we are working as quickly as possible to eradicate the problem.

University staff has been working around the clock to thoroughly remediate the mold. We have taken a number of steps to address the issue, including hiring contractors who specialize in mold remediation; installing commercial-grade dehumidifiers in floor hallways; conducting inspections of rooms that have reported service requests; cleaning all surfaces, and cleaning or replacing furniture. Out of an abundance of caution, we also plan to relocate Elkton Hall students, floor by floor over a number of days, to local hotels to thoroughly clean and remediate when necessary every room in the building.

We appreciate our community’s patience as we continue to respond to residents’ facilities and maintenance requests 24-hours a day. We encourage all of our residents to report facilities questions or services requests to our 24-hour service center at (301) 314-9675.

We will continue to provide updates directly to affected residents on our work related to our remediation efforts.  

 


 

All communications, answers to FAQs and information available to-date can be found at reslife.umd.edu/moldconcerns/

Read the notification sent to UMD faculty and staff regarding mold remediation on campus here.

UMD Researcher Gets $1.1 Million NSF Grant to Perfect Gene Editing & Regulation Tools in Plants

September 21, 2018
Contacts: 
 

Samantha Watters 301-405-2434

CRSPR_artistic rendering by Ernesto Del Aguila III NIH

COLLEGE PARK, MD – UMD Assistant Professor Yiping Qi in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture has received a $1.1 million Plant Genome Research Program Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue his work developing tools for researchers to perfect the  CRISPR gene editing technologies and apply these to gene regulation in a variety of worldwide crop systems.

Qi’s work, specifically using the rice genome as a test platform, is providing practical tools to enhance gene editing technologies like CRISPR and improve the specificity of genetic “cuts” that are made, ensuring the integrity of the entire genome. Tools from Qi’s lab are currently used by researchers in more than 36 countries around the world and counting, with the ultimate goal of advancing plant and crop yields and helping to feed a rapidly growing global population. These tools provide researchers with the ability to turn genes “up and down” as opposed to just “on and off.”  Turning genes up and down is very practical for creating genetic changes in crops to increase productivity and sustainability. Continued development of these tools will not only aid basic research, but allow scientists to seek novel solutions to global challenges such as devastating plant diseases, economical bioenergy production, sustainable agriculture, and climate change.

“CRISPR technologies are revolutionizing biology, agriculture, and medicine, says Qi. “CRISPR can be thought of as molecular scissors that cut DNA so that the piece related to a certain trait can be be removed, replaced, or edited. We don’t just test different kinds of these scissors in our lab, but we have to think about how the DNA goes back together, what else is altered, and whether we are turning a gene on, off, up, or down. All of those specifics aren’t inherent in the scissors themselves and need specific tools and testing to accomplish. That is what we do.”

The concept of gene editing plants is not a new one. It has been accomplished by selectively cross-breeding different plant strains since humans first cultivated plants for agricultural purposes. However, increasing population has made food security a growing concern, and new emerging challenges are arising in crop and food production. There is a need to feed a projected population of 9.6 billion people by 2050 with little to no new agricultural land, meaning that yields for major crops need to be improved in other ways. CRISPR, as a new precision breeding technology enables scientists and breeders alike to achieve genetic changes in crops designed to address issues like disease resistance, pests, heat, drought, and other major concerns of a changing climate and growing population. And this can be done far more quickly than would be possible with traditional cross-breeding programs.

“Rice is a very important global crop, and we have the entire genome sequenced, so it is a great crop to study and develop tools that can be applied to other major crops,” explains Qi. “Currently, efficient tools that target up-regulating or down-regulating a certain gene or simultaneously regulating many genes aren’t available to the plant biology community. But simultaneous up-regulation of genes in human somatic cells, for example, resulted a genome reprogramming technology that was recognized with a Nobel Prize in 2012. Developing tools to reprogram plant genomes should help open the door to a lot of discoveries and translational research in agriculture. That’s why NSF is so excited about this work.”

Even though Qi is working directly with rice to improve crop traits and yields, his work is focused primarily on developing and disseminating the tools and technologies necessary for researchers around the world to directly apply to all kinds of crops. Tools are made available to researchers through a public repository called Addgene. UMD Assistant Professor Yiping Qi

“I always think that tools and research should be made readily available to everyone in the scientific community who can benefit,” says Qi. “If we want our science to help people and solve these issues, we need to make tools accessible to everyone and collaborate as much as possible.” 

Qi has been an advocate in the scientific community of gene regulation tools, publishing multiple scientific papers over the last few years in this field (e.g., Plant Physiology, Nature Plants, Molecular Plant), and frequently attending talks and meetings to further promote his research. He recently returned from the NSF awardee meeting for this new grant where he gave a talk on the existing tools he and colleagues have developed for the research community; and he was in Budapest the same week giving multiple talks to public and academic audiences on plant genome editing. 

“Nowadays, I travel for invited talks on a monthly basis to promote plant genome editing and transcriptional regulation technologies,” says Qi. “It is important that people know what technologies like CRISPR can and can’t do, and that audiences of all types are educated on the importance of this work. I think people [at NSF] are excited to see that my lab, thanks to the new funding, will further develop gene regulation tools by repurposing CRISPR systems from genome editing to gene regulation. This is an exciting new development for the field that has a lot of applications for serious global issues.”   

 

University of Maryland Expands Hate-Bias Response Program

September 19, 2018
Contacts: 

Natifia Mullings, 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) has launched an online hate-bias report log to help keep the campus community abreast of incidents that occur on campus. The log, a key recommendation of the Joint President/Senate Inclusion and Respect Task Force, is accessible to all UMD students, faculty and staff. 

“Our overall goals with the newly formed hate-bias report log are to increase transparency around hate-bias incidents that occur on campus and to raise awareness about the actions we’ve taken to support those who’ve been impacted,” said Neijma Celestine-Donnor, hate-bias program manager. 

The hate-bias report log is part of the broader mission of ODI’s Hate-Bias Response Program. Created in late-Spring 2018, the program is aimed at coordinating support services offered to individuals impacted by hate-bias incidents, developing hate-bias training and programming, and collecting and distributing hate-bias related data to the UMD community. 

Since its implementation, several initiatives have been established and additional programs have been expanded. This includes: 

  • the creation of a Hate-bias Response Team to respond to hate-bias incidents and work collaboratively to provide educational outreach to the campus. The team includes members from key offices and units across campus-- the Counseling Center, Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Residence Life, Office of Strategic Communications, University of Maryland Police Department and the University Health Center;
  • updating the hate-bias response protocol. Beginning Fall 2018, hate-bias incidents should be reported to ODI and/or UMPD;
  • a new streamlined online reporting form;
  • newly developed hate-bias training sessions, as recommended by the Joint President/Senate Inclusion and Respect Task Force. Training topics include: Overview of Hate-Bias Reporting & Response, In Response to Trauma: Understanding the Impact of Hate and Bias & Providing Support, and The Attraction of Hate: Understanding Offenders and Offender Motivations; and
  • a new, easy to navigate website that features up-to-date information about the Hate-Bias Response Program and a list of resources available to faculty, students, and staff. 

For more information about the Hate-Bias Response Program, please visit https://diversity.umd.edu/hbrp/.

 

 

UMD Astronomer Co-authors National Report Calling for Space Telescope to ID and Study Earth-like Planets

September 18, 2018
Contacts: 

Matthew Wright, 301-405-9267

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –  A new Congressionally-mandated study co-authored by University of Maryland Astronomy Assistant Professor Eliza Kempton, says that NASA should lead a large “direct imaging” missionan advanced space telescopecapable of studying distant Earth-like planets and whether they might harbor life.

The report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, says developing a direct imaging capability will require large financial investments and a long time scale to see results, but the effort will foster the scientific community and technological capacity needed to find and understand myriad distant worlds.

 

“My expertise is primarily in the theory of exoplanet atmospheres, with a focus on small planets,” said Kempton. “A big goal of the report was to make a roadmap for the next decade plus, and we decided we didn’t want to step away from being very ambitious. A primary goal is to characterize planets that can and do bear life—a push toward finding the next Earth.”

 Planets with similarities to Earth.  Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Within the past decade, astronomers have opened a new frontier in space exploration with the discovery of thousands of  exoplanets planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. However, Kempton and the other committee members say in the report that our current knowledge of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) is  substantially incomplete.

To search for evidence of past and present life elsewhere in the universe, the research community will need a comprehensive approach to studying habitability in exoplanets using both theory and observations, according to the report.

To be able to detect a solar system analogous to our own Earth-sun system,  they recommend using instruments that can directly image exoplanets by using techniques to block the light emitted by parent stars.  At present, most exoplanet observations rely on indirect methods, such as measuring changes in the light from a planet’s host star during the planet’s orbital cycle.

“Planning is already underway for the large next-generation telescopes that will follow the Webb Telescope,” Kempton explained, referring to possible successors to NASA’s highly anticipated James Webb Space Telescope mission, scheduled for launch in 2021. “Of these proposed missions, three have exoplanet science and habitable exoplanets among their key goals. Two of those are large direct imaging missions that would be able to take pictures of Earth-like planets orbiting near their host stars”

In her research, Kempton uses theory to predict what astronomers should expect to observe from exoplanets with specific atmospheric compositions—especially those that are slightly larger than Earth, often referred to as super-Earths.  In 2010, she co-authored a paper in the journal Nature that described the first observation of a super-Earth atmosphere.

In the National Academies report, she and her colleagues note that ground-based astronomy—enabled by two U.S.-led telescopes—will also play a pivotal role. The Giant Magellan Telescope being built in Chile and the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope would enable profound advances in the imaging and spectroscopy of entire planetary systems. These may also be able to detect molecular oxygen in the atmosphere of Earth-like planets orbiting nearby small stars, the report said.

The committee said that NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), the large space-based mission that received the highest priority in the Academies' 2010 decadal survey, will play two extremely valuable roles: first, it will permit a survey of planets farther from their stars than those surveyed by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft and other missions. Second, it will enable a large direct imaging mission. In addition to such forward-looking plans, Kempton noted that the Webb Telescope will play a significant role in the effort as soon as it is launched.

“The scientific returns from these missions will be significant. We’ll be getting data from the Webb Telescope’s Early Release Science program basically right away,” Kempton explained. “I’ve been waiting my whole career to measure the composition of small planets’ atmospheres. We’ll have those data very soon, so it’s a very exciting time.”

Echo Chambers Persist in Climate Politics, UMD Research Shows

September 18, 2018
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin, 301-405-1733 
Researcher: Dana R. Fisher, 301-405-6469

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—New research from the University of Maryland (UMD) finds that contentious climate politics continue to be influenced by the diffusion of scientific information inside “echo chambers”—social network structures in which individuals with the same viewpoint share information with each other.

A paper based on the research published online Friday, September 14 in the journal PLOS ONE, builds upon previous work by the research team that determined how echo chambers work and how to measure them. 

“Finding evidence of echo chambers in American climate politics proves that policy actors are essentially cherry picking the information they receive related to climate science,” said lead researcher Dana R. Fisher, Professor of Sociology at UMD and Director of the Program for Society and the Environment. “Echo chambers can block progress toward a policy resolution related to climate change because individuals who have the same perspective and get information from the same sources are often under the impression that theirs is the dominant perspective.”

In their initial study, researchers surveyed active members of the U.S. climate policy network in the summer of 2010 about their attitudes toward climate science and climate policy, and questioned them about their policy network connections. The research team repeated the process in the summer of 2016 to determine whether echo chambers still existed and how they have changed. 

“The research presents data collected during two very different time periods with respect to climate politics,” said Lorien Jasny with the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter, a co-investigator on the study and lead author of the paper in PLOS ONE. “In 2010, Congress was considering legislation aimed at regulating carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, the data collected in 2016 was after implementation of President Obama's Clean Power Plan was halted by the US Supreme Court until the legal challenges to the program had been concluded.”  

The summer of 2016 ended up being the swan song for the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which focused on reducing emissions from power plants. In August of 2018, the Trump Administration proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to replace the CPP. 

To test for the presence and significance of echo chambers among members of the U.S. climate policy network, researchers utilized an exponential random graph model—used to analyze data about social and other networks. In the “echo,” two people who have the same outlook or opinion on a relevant issue share information, reinforcing what each already believes. In the “chamber,” individuals hear information originating from one initial source through multiple channels.

“Our findings show that echo chambers were not unique to 2010 but their impact on policy networks has shifted,” Fisher said. “In 2010, we found that echo chambers amplified divergence on certain issues—making it seem as if more people disagreed with scientific consensus related to the drivers of climate change. In 2016, however, we found that echo chambers worked in the opposite manner and amplified the level of agreement on these same topics.” 

Fisher and the rest of the research team are currently examining how climate policy networks changed after the 2016 election once the Trump administration took office.

“Our results demonstrate that even when echo chambers are amplifying support for a particular climate policy, the President can stop progress, as the Trump administration did in the case of the Clean Power Plan,” Fisher said. 

The study was funded by the MacArthur Foundation as part of the larger Climate Constituencies Project. 


Thumbnail Photo: NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory. Credit: NOAA

 

 

Gone for Good? Classifying Drivers of Global Forest Loss

September 17, 2018
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin, 301-405-1733 

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- New research from the University of Maryland Department of Geographical Sciences reveals that more than a quarter of the forests lost around the world in the last 15 years are gone for good. Without significant changes to land management policies and corporate supply chains, the rate of commodity-driven deforestation is not likely to decline in the future. 

Alongside colleagues from the University of Arkansas-based Sustainability Consortium and the World Resources Institute, UMD researchers used satellite imagery to develop a forest loss classification model and assign a driver of forest loss for each 10x10 km parcel of land globally between 2001 and 2015. Their findings, published September 14 in Science, show that 27 percent of global forest loss can be attributed to permanent land use conversion for the production of commodities such as palm oil, mining or energy infrastructure. Urbanization is another form of semi-permanent forest conversion, but it was estimated to account for less than 1 percent of global forest loss. The remainder of the forests were lost to things like shifting cultivation, forestry and wildfire—scenarios in which eventual forest regrowth remains possible. 

“It’s important to note that not all forest loss is necessarily permanent,” said Alexandra Tyukavina, a post-doctoral associate with the UMD Department of Geographical Sciences and a co-author on the study. “However, our work reveals the stark reality that more than a quarter of the forests lost in the last 15 years or so represent deforestation—meaning they are not re-growing any time soon.”

Results also indicate that, despite recent commitments from nearly 450 companies worldwide to end deforestation in their supply chains by 2020, the rate of commodity-driven deforestation did not decline between 2001 and 2015.

“Our findings clearly show that policies designed to achieve zero-deforestation commitments are not being adopted or implemented at the pace necessary to meet 2020 goals,” said UMD Geographical Sciences Professor Matt Hansen, a co-author in the research. “However, we hope our analysis can help international policymakers better understand what is creating changes to forest cover around the world so that we can stop or, at the very least, slow the loss of ecologically important forests in the future.”

The research team is currently working on a more detailed map of forest disturbance drivers to provide better analysis at the national, regional and local levels.

Maryland Alumnus Gives $1M to Support Innovative Business Teaching

September 14, 2018

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Sept. 12, 2018) – Students and faculty at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business will benefit from a new $1 million gift from longtime benefactor Allen J. Krowe ’54. Krowe’s funding will be used to expand the Office of Transformational Learning to support excellence in teaching and learning. The gift supports Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, UMD’s $1.5 billion fundraising campaign focused on elevating and expanding the university’s mission of service, enhancing academic distinction and bolstering UMD’s leading-edge research enterprise.

headshot of kroweKrowe credits the education he received at Maryland for propelling his career at IBM and Texaco to senior executive responsibilities and board service. Now he hopes the gift will bolster Maryland Smith’s business education for the next generation of leaders with innovative course design and learning experiences.

The Office of Transformational Learning is the engine behind Smith’s experiential learning initiatives. The office works with alumni, employers, startups and nonprofit organizations to create meaningful learning opportunities for students, and Krowe’s gift supports expanding those opportunities. The office also helps faculty explore and adopt innovative teaching technologies. Krowe’s support will enable the development of courses that blend real-time interactions among students and instructors with well-designed content and tools that students can use online, anytime and anywhere. 

Krowe’s latest gift follows his decades of support for faculty and the university. His initial gift in 1986 to Maryland Smith established the Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence, the university’s first-of-its-kind recognition program to celebrate and reward instructional excellence. Each year, top faculty members are honored for the work they do in the classroom. Since its inception, more than 150 instructors have been recognized.

“When I finished at Maryland and went to work in the business world, I realized the powerful strength of my education that came from the quality of my instructors,” Krowe said. “The business school at Maryland did a tremendous job of educating me. I gave back by starting the teaching awards to allow teachers to be annually recognized as outstanding instructors. That’s been very rewarding.” 

The native of Deltaville, Va., remembers his time at the university fondly, as an avid sports fan, Air Force ROTC member, saxophone player, and sometimes fraternity prankster. 

“I never forgot the benefit I gained by spending four years in the business school,” Krowe said. “It enabled me to compete with anyone I encountered in the financial world.”

After graduating and serving a stint as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Krowe began his career as a certified public accountant at Touche, Niven, Bailey & Smart. In 1960 he joined IBM in the Federal Systems Division and worked his way up to be elected as IBM Corporate chief financial officer in 1982. He was then elected IBM executive vice president and a member of the board.

In 1988 he was recruited by Texaco to be senior vice president and CFO. He became vice chairman of the petroleum company in 1993 and retired in 1997.

Since establishing the teaching award program, Krowe has remained actively involved at Maryland. Krowe received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986 and was named the business school’s alumnus of the year in 1988. He has volunteered his time as a fundraiser for the university, chairing the first University of Maryland Systemwide fundraising campaign, which secured $260 million in donations from private funds for the public university between 1988 and 1993.  

“Having a chance to give back, and in so doing, be a small part of the extraordinary growth and excellence of the Smith School has meant a great deal to me,” he said. “I believe that each one of us should replenish those resources from which we have personally benefited.”

About the Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community.

 

University of Maryland, Governor Hogan Announce Grant to Support the Development of a New Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center

September 14, 2018
Contacts: 

Elise Carbonaro Kim, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland (UMD) has received a $500,000 grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) to support the development of a new Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center. UMD will lead the effort and will partner with University System of Maryland (USM) institutions to engage interdisciplinary capabilities, in coordination with resources offered by industry and state partners, to support the establishment of a knowledge and research center to help the state’s crime control and prevention efforts. The initiative will benefit from the state’s collective talent and expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research and to help inform state policies and programs. 

Through these collaborative efforts, the Center will:

  • Work to identify threats, develop innovative, outcome-based solutions aimed at combatting violent crime, and evaluate progress;
  • Examine criminal justice issues related to human trafficking, firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, as well as gangs;
  • Bring together resources, research experts, thought leaders, and industry innovations to tackle the complex social issues that underlie violent crime in Maryland;
  • Conduct research to inform pilot tests of promising crime prevention interventions, with the ultimate goal of informing statewide policy; and
  • Employ data and analysis of data to develop law enforcement solutions, victim services, prevention efforts, and criminal justice programs that reduce violent crime and improve quality of life for Maryland residents.

"We are excited to contribute our collective research expertise to support this initiative, which we believe will help positively impact safety, security, and quality of life for Maryland residents," said UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin. 

The year-long initiative will be led by the School of Public Policy’s Dawn Pulliam, project director and principal investigator, and William Lucyshyn, co-principal investigator, in partnership with faculty experts from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the School of Public Health, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, and the College of Information Studies, as well as a liaison from the GOCCP. 

“The safety and security of the citizens of Maryland requires a team approach,” said V. Glenn Fueston, Jr., Executive Director of GOCCP. “Everything we do must be centered around identifying the roots of violent crime and finding solutions that focus on prevention, enforcement, and victims services. We look forward to engaging the academic expertise across Maryland’s university system, while partnering with stakeholders, to ensure that we have the benefit of the best talent across the state working together to make Maryland the best state in which to live, work and raise a family.”

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The University of Maryland Safe Center for Human Trafficking Survivors, a joint MPowering the State initiative between the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, helps prevent human trafficking and serves survivors through research and policy advocacy. UMD’s Department of Criminology, ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu.

About the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention serves as a coordinating office that advises the Governor on criminal justice strategies. The office plans, promotes, and funds efforts with government entities, private organizations, and the community to advance public policy, enhance public safety, reduce crime and juvenile delinquency, and serve victims. For more information about GOCCP, visit goccp.maryland.gov.

 

UMD to Memorialize Capital Gazette Shooting Victims

September 14, 2018
Contacts: 

Alexander Pyles, 301-405-2399

COLLEGE PARK, Md.--The University of Maryland announced today plans to honor the five victims in June’s mass shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md.

UMD’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism will rename an executive seminar room in Knight Hall as an on-campus memorial for UMD alumni John McNamara, ’83 and Gerald Fischman,’79, UMD adjunct professor Rob Hiaasen, and their colleagues Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. A dedication ceremony, co-hosted with The Diamondback student newspaper, will take place in December. Merrill College will also create writing competitions in memory of Fischman and McNamara, as well as a teaching award in memory of Hiaasen.

"These people served their community by practicing and supporting journalism," said Lucy A. Dalglish, dean of Merrill College. "We hope these remembrances will be a consistent reminder of their example, and that their memory inspires others to seek truth and do good."

Maryland Athletics will pay tribute to McNamara, a sports reporter who covered Terps football and basketball for two decades, with a moment of silence in the press box before this Saturday’s home football game. A press seat will be dedicated in memory of McNamara with a permanent placard in the press box at both Maryland Stadium and XFINITY Center. 

“From his time as a young reporter for The Diamondback, John dedicated much of his life to reporting news and sharing stories of our student-athletes, coaches and programs at Maryland,” director of athletics Damon Evans said. “John was a part of so many special moments in our history and created many personal moments of his own in College Park. The seats dedicated in his honor at both XFINITY Center and Maryland Stadium will serve as a constant reminder to the dedication and passion he had for Maryland and sports journalism."      

McNamara first started covering the Terps as a student reporter for The Diamondback. He wrote a 2001 book with Dave Eflin on UMD men’s basketball, then in 2009 wrote another on Terps football.

Fischman, who also worked for The Diamondback, was an award-winning editorial writer who began working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in 1992.

Hiaasen, who taught news writing and reporting in Spring 2018 at Merrill College and was scheduled to do so again this fall, started working at The Capital in 2010 after 15 years as a feature writer at The Baltimore Sun. 

Wendi Winters, a features writer, started out as a freelancer at The Capital nearly 20 years ago and Rebecca Smith was hired as a sales assistant for the publication. 

 

UMD Alumna Jean E. Lokerson Bequeaths $1.75M to Support Scholarships for Education Students

September 13, 2018
Contacts: 

Audrey Hill, 301-405-3468

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has received a $1.75 million estate gift from alumna Jean E. Lokerson Ph.D. ’70 to support student scholarships in the College of Education. The John T. and Dorothy E. Lokerson Endowed Scholarship in Education—named in honor of Lokerson’s parents who encouraged her to pursue a career in education—provides merit and need-based student scholarships toward tuition and fees that are equivalent to two years of full-time upper-level undergraduate or graduate study.

Headshot of Lokerson“This remarkable gift will help students excel in their academic pursuits and ensure that the College can attract the most talented students,” said Jennifer K. Rice, dean of the College of Education. “Dr. Lokerson’s passion for the field of education and for teaching teachers is reflected in this endowed scholarship, which will help transform students’ experiences and enhance our research and instruction through the contributions of the best and brightest students.”

The gift supports Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, UMD’s $1.5 billion fundraising campaign focused on elevating and expanding the university’s mission of service, enhancing academic distinction and bolstering UMD’s leading-edge research enterprise. 

A pioneer in the emerging field of special education, Lokerson, who passed away on November 7, 2016, was dedicated to understanding and addressing the challenges of having a disability.

“Jean found great joy in teaching special education students and as a ‘teacher of teachers,’ through her role as a professor in the university setting,” said Elise Blankenship, a longtime friend and colleague of Lokerson. “It is a fitting reflection of her legacy that her generous gift to the university will help prepare the next generation of educators for excellence.”

A committed, lifelong educator, Lokerson’s interest in education began in her childhood home, where she taught her triplet younger siblings. After receiving an undergraduate degree in elementary education from The George Washington University in 1959, she taught elementary education in Montgomery County, Maryland, before pursuing a master’s degree in special education from Syracuse University. She completed her doctorate in special education from the University of Maryland in 1970 with a minor in human development.

“Jean valued her education at the University of Maryland, her professors, and the many opportunities it provided her, which helped shape her career,” Blankenship said. 

Lokerson then transitioned into higher education, where she helped prepare special education teachers for the classroom at a number of institutions, prior to becoming a professor emerita at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to receiving numerous professional honors, she was recognized for her innovative use of simulations, technology and hands-on experiences in teaching special education.

The undergraduate and graduate student recipients, referred to as John T. and Dorothy E. Lokerson Scholars, will be selected first on the basis of merit and academic excellence and then on the basis of financial need.


Photo: Headshot of  Jean E. Lokerson. Credit: Lokerson Family

Pages

November 9
Primary forests in the region could disappear by 2100, geographical scientists say. Read
November 7
New UMD patented apple varieties could improve yields, growing efficiency, and profitability for farmers in Mid-... Read
November 1
Former U.S. Secretary of Education has had a lifelong dedication to education as a teacher, principal, and leader of... Read
October 31
Measures Announced to Reverse Trend of Declining African-American Freshmen Enrollment  Read