♦ Frostburg’s Grow It Local Greenhouse Project, an effort that is converting a reclaimed strip mine into a greenhouse complex, received a Sustainability Award from the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission for leadership, community planning and conservation at the Commission’s second annual forum and awards ceremony in early February. Frostburg Grows was one of eight award recipients. The smart growth project, established and developed by Frostburg State University in partnership with the Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, is putting Western Maryland on the map for its sustainability efforts.
♦ For the second year in a row, Frostburg State University has been honored as a Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management. Clearly, the campus leaders care about the environment and sustainability.
♦ This year’s Salisbury University Alumni Association Faculty Appreciation Award winners are “compassionate,” “influential” and “inspiring,” according to their former students. The SU Alumni Association honored four with the accolade during SU’s recent 88th-year Winter Commencement. They include Robert Smith of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Dr. Kimberly Hunter of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, Dr. Jill Caviglia-Harris of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, and Dr. Starlin Weaver of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.
♦ John Wenke, English professor at Salisbury, is featured along with prominent actors, writers and other scholars in the documentary Salinger, which made its television debut on 21 January 2014 as the 200th episode of PBS’ American Masters series. Wenke wrote the first book-length study of Salinger’s uncollected and collected short fiction.
♦ What will Salisbury do next? Eight local chefs prepared dishes “as appealing to the eyes as they are to the tongue” during a tasting event held as part of the exhibit “Palette” at Salisbury University Art Galleries — Downtown Campus.
♦ After scrambling to raise enough money to support the baseball team’s 2013 season, Towson gathered the necessary funding to ensure the program’s 2014 campaign, athletic director Tim Leonard said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re happy to say that at this point, we’ve achieved our fundraising goal to qualify for the state funding matches,” he said, referring to the $200,000 needed. “We have some donors out there who are true champions of baseball and have really stepped up to make a difference, to ensure that we keep baseball around for a while.” (Baltimore Sun)
♦ Naoko Maeshiba directs the Theater Arts MFA program, and her personal thrust is dance-theater. Her current performance piece is “The Visit,” which she has also brought to the Washington D.C. area.
Contractors and developers now have an online subscription service available to track development projects in the pre-planning stages: “The Pipeline,” a service recently launched by the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute in partnership with the Baltimore chapter of the Association of Builders and Contractors, tracks development projects in the pre-planning stages. Now, contractors and developers from across the region can efficiently plan and track the status of projects as early as possible in the developmental stage. The database of projects is then made available on an online mapping tool at www.baltimorepipeline.com, where subscribers can search projects by type, date and developer/architect. (Source: University Relations.)
The School of Medicine has established a research unit that will focus on therapies for neurological disorders.
Also at Medicine, the American Heart Association selected Claudia R. Baquet, MD, MPH, Associate Dean of Policy Planning, Professor of Medicine, and the Director of the Bioethics and Health Disparities Research Center as the recipient of AHA’s 2014 Watkins-Saunders Award. Dr. Baquet is recognized for her exceptional work on nationally legitimizing the role of policy research in addressing health disparities.
At the School of Law, administrators, teachers, and students are being trained in innovative ways to resolve conflicts that may otherwise lead to suspensions and other disciplinary measures. By supporting the use of restorative practices and mediation that encourage talking out problems, avoid blaming the offender, and ensure that those affected can express their version of the story in a safe environment, the program is helping schools significantly reduce office referrals and suspensions. This is especially important given the U.S. Department of Education’s just-out report on suspensions and expulsions.
The School of Pharmacy recently entered into an agreement with the School of Pharmacy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China to explore joint educational, research, and scientific exchanges. This agreement will be led by Peter Swaan, PhD, associate dean of research and graduate education and professor in Pharmaceutial Sciences, and Lei Fu, PhD, associate dean for external affairs and professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
♦ President Freeman Hrabowski gave a TED talk last year about “four pillars of college success in science.” He starts by talking about his participation as a twelve year old in a 1963 children’s crusade led by Martin Luther King. He ended up in a Birmingham jail. His talk focus is America’s failure to get and keep students in the sciences. He wants students to be curious, to ask questions. And he wants students to be more engaged in courses by redesigning them.
♦ Some universities are proud of their “semi-pro” men’s football and basketball teams, and maybe their successes help with fundraising and school spirit. But UMBC has made its mark in different sports, namely, chess and cricket. In the past year, the UMBC teams came in second nationally in chess and first nationally in cricket. We await the delayed entry into contract bridge! See: you don’t have to have nationally ranked football and basketball to be good!
♦ Last fall, President Loh announced that Michael Kaiser, who has headed the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will join the University of Maryland as a Professor of Practice, bringing the DeVos Institute of Arts Management with him. In 2001, he founded the institute in order to teach management practices to professional arts administrators. Quite a catch! Quite a landing!
♦ Engineering assistant professor Christopher Jewell has received a three-year, $375,000 research grant to support the pre-clinical development of a cancer vaccine technology that could give children a better chance to have a long and healthy life.
♦ Criminology professor Ray Paternoster is a co-author of a report that finds almost half of African-American males (247 in the sample of 505, or 49%) have been arrested by the time they are 23 years of age. For Latinos, the percentage is 44%.
♦ Family Science Associate Professor Leigh Leslie has been named a Legacy Scholar for The National Council on Family Relation’s (NCFR) Family Therapy Section. This special recognition, given in honor of NCFR’s 75th anniversary, acknowledges Dr. Leslie’s extensive history of service and scholarship in family therapy and was awarded at the NCFR Annual Conference.
♦ University of Maryland Eastern Shore Dr. Cynthia J. Boyle is the new president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. She chairs UMES’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration.
♦ The University of Maryland University College is offering a discount to graduates of the state’s community colleges. Assuming that a two-year degree costs about $8,000, the cost of the remaining credits needed to complete a bachelor’s degree will be about $12,000. So $8k plus $12k equals $20k, the cost for a four year bachelor’s degree. And the cost could be less if the student gets financial aid. “Community college graduates are a solid investment because they have already invested in themselves,” UMCP President Javier Miyares has said. Apparently, Frostburg State University has a payment plan that is very close to the $20.
♦ A VA report on veterans’ graduation rates has UMUC so far down, 4.3%, that one is tempted to order the bulldozers to take the building down. But wait, there is at least a partial answer: “While the University of Maryland University College had the fourth-largest population of GI Bill recipients in 2012, it had an overall graduation rate of only 4.3%. But of UMUC’s enrollment, less than 1% were counted in the Ipeds graduation rate because they are not first-time, first-year students, said James H. Selbe, senior vice president for military partnerships at UMUC. About 55% of the institution’s students are affiliated with the military, he said.” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 March 2014)