Category Archives: UMBC News

Hilltop Releases Issue Brief on States’ Experience with Hospital Community Benefits

The Hilltop Institute at UMBC has released a new issue brief, “Hospital Community Benefits after the ACA: Building on State Experience.” The brief takes a closer look at three aspects of community benefits affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) §9007, “Additional Requirements for Nonprofit Hospitals”: community health needs assessment; hospital financial assistance and billing and collection policies; and community benefit reporting and oversight strategies. The brief considers each of these issues against a backdrop of federal and state experience and practice. It is the second in a series, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Kresge Foundation, to be published over three years.

Hilltop’s Hospital Community Benefit Program, directed by Donna Folkemer, is the central resource created specifically for state and local policymakers who seek to assure that tax-exempt hospital community benefit activities are responsive to pressing community health needs. The program provides tools to state and local policymakers, as these stakeholders develop approaches that will best suit their communities. The program’s first issue brief outlined new requirements described in the ACA, and identified new challenges and opportunities for state and federal policymakers. A third brief, to be published this summer, will help state policymakers make use of information that nonprofit hospitals submit to the IRS to advance state health policy goals.

UMBC Featured in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges”

UMBC is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected UMBC for inclusion in the just-released second annual edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.” UMBC was also included in the 2010 edition.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the “Guide to 311 Green Colleges” is the only free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. Schools were chosen based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges polled in 2010 about their school’s sustainability initiatives.

“This is wonderful recognition of the strong commitment of so many students, faculty and staff to safeguarding our environment, responding to climate change and engaging as much of our community as possible in these efforts,” said Lynne Schaefer, vice president for administration and finance. “Special thanks goes to our undergraduate and graduate student government leaders, Students for Environmental Awareness, Daejayon, the Climate Change Task Force, our student sustainability interns and the many individuals who have pushed forward an aggressive agenda even in the face of limited resources.”

Since UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, UMBC has worked toward supporting green efforts in campus in a multitude of ways through the Climate Change Task Force. The group is comprised of students, faculty and staff engaged in encouraging sustainability on campus.

This fall, UMBC broke ground on its first LEED Silver building, an addition to Patapsco residence hall. The addition includes the university’s first green roof, which will also be used for research by faculty and students. UMBC has developed sustainability initiatives across campus through its dining service, Chartwells, and facilities management, among other programs, and regularly participates in green activities including the annual Ecofest, Recyclemania and the 2009 National Teach-in. Last year, students voted to increase their fees to support four sustainability interns each year to push forward environmental initiatives. The University is also finalizing a contract to have two Zipcars on campus this spring.

The Department of Geography and Environmental Systems offers academic programs in environmental studies and environmental science including master’s and Ph.D. programs focusing on environmental systems, human geography and remote sensing technology. The campus is also the field headquarters for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a federally funded urban ecology project, and is home to the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education. Its research and technology park, bwtech@UMBC, includes the U.S. Geological Survey’s regional water science center and other companies focusing on environmental research and technology.

Other departments that have sustainability-related majors and courses include biochemistry and molecular chemistry, biological sciences, biotechnology, civil engineering, economics, geographic information systems, human context of science and technology, interdisciplinary studies, marine biotechnology, marine-estuarine environmental science, philosophy, physics and public policy.

The Princeton Review first created this one-of-a-kind resource for college-bound students in 2010 with the U.S. Green Building Council, which is best known for developing the LEED standard for green building certification. This past fall, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools (www.centerforgreenschools.org) to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed and operated so that all educational facilities can enhance student learning experiences.

The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.

Gender and Women’s Studies Visits White House

The White House Council on Women and Girls recently invited local women’s educational organizations, including UMBC’s gender and women’s studies department (GWST), to attend the White House spring garden tour. The tour was held on Sunday, April 10.

The faculty voted to invite this year’s recipients of the Joan S. Korenman Service Award, which is given by GWST each year to students who have provided outstanding service to GWST and the campus, to attend as their guests. The group toured the White House grounds, including the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden.

Pictured below are the students and faculty who attended the tour. The students, from left to right in the first picture, are Lisa Nicholson ’11, English; Autumn Reed, Ph.D. student in language, literacy and culture; Sabah Ghulamali ’11, gender and women’s studies; Anna Mallillin ’11, gender and women’s studies and sociology; and Alyssa Cartledge ’11, gender and women’s studies.

White House Tour 1

White House Tour 30

Department of Theatre Celebrates Performance “Las Meninas” at the Kennedy Center

The Department of Theatre’s production of “Las Meninas” by Lynn Nottage, directed by Assistant Professor Eve Muson, has been invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. as part of the American College Theater Festival. The performance, which is open to the public, will take place at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on Wednesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), a national theatre program that annually involves 18,000 students from more than 600 colleges and universities, serves as a catalyst to advance the quality of college theatre. Only four productions each year are invited to the non-competitive national festival at the Kennedy Center, following a screening process that involves local adjudication and appearances at regional festivals.

“Las Meninas” was originally staged at UMBC in fall 2010. The production features choreography by Renée Brozic Barger (Dance, ’99), scenery and costumes by Elena Zlotescu (associate professor), lighting and sound by Terry Cobb (designer/production manager), dialect direction by Lynn Watson (associate professor) and dialect coaching by Natasha Staley (adjunct professor).

Set in the glittering court of Louis XIV, “Las Meninas” tells the story of the seduction of Queen Marie-Therese, and the consequences of her scandalous affair with Nabo Sensugali, her African servant. Irreverent and ironic, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage shines a fiercely imaginative beam on a fascinating but forgotten bit of history that reveals contemporary truths about the racial divide.

Tickets are $10 and are available through the Kennedy Center Box Office and will also be available at the door. For more information, call the Department of Theatre at ext. 5-2917.

UMBC’s Big Trees

This past September, two of UMBC’s oldest trees on campus were measured for the Department of Natural Resources’ Maryland Big Tree program. Located on Giffen Hill, the White Oak Quercus alba, also known as the State tree, and the Post Oak Quercus stellata were recorded on the Maryland State Big Tree list. The Post oak measured 79 feet in height, 75 feet in canopy width and 12 feet, 10 inches in circumference, making it the Baltimore County Champion for that species. These trees date back well before the time when the property was occupied by the Baltimore Manual Labor School for Indigent Boys.

The university received certificates of official record for both trees.

More information on Maryland’s Big Tree program is available on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Video: President Freeman Hrabowski Receives the 2011 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence

State-of-the-Art Lighting System Added to UMBC Soccer Stadium

A state-of-the-art lighting system was installed at UMBC Soccer Stadium last month, giving the Retrievers’ men’s and women’s soccer programs the ability to play games under the lights on its plush, Bermuda grass complex.

The new, four-pole system was furnished by Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa, Iowa. A 30-year innovator in sports-lighting, Musco has recently completed projects at the new Yankee Stadium, Daytona International Speedway and United States National Tennis Center.

The system was installed by Dalton Electric Company of Burtonsville, Md.

“We are very excited about the lights at the Soccer Stadium,” Director of Athletics Charles Brown said. “It gives us a great opportunity to showcase our championship men’s soccer program and our emerging women’s program. Moreover, student-athletes will miss less class time for our midweek home games. I am confident that the attendance and overall atmosphere at our games will be greatly enhanced and more people will be exposed to UMBC soccer.”

Each of the poles will produce 50 candle power, distributed evenly throughout the field. The system utilizes Light-Structure Green technology, which cuts operating costs in half, includes remote on/off control services and provides constant light level.

The men’s soccer team is tentatively scheduled to play all 11 of its home games under the lights, while five women’s games are slated for evening starts. The turf and lighting at UMBC Stadium would serve as a back-up if field conditions do not permit competition on the grass.

In the near future, UMBC will also look to increase the seating capacity and renovate the press box at the stadium.

“We now have one of the best soccer-only stadiums in the country,” Head Men’s Soccer Coach Pete Caringi said.” We have had fantastic support from the soccer community, students and alumni and I am sure they are looking forward to watching our games next year.”

Chris Geddes, Chemistry and Biochemistry, on TalkingHeads@UMBC

On the TalkingHeads@UMBC blog, Chris Geddes, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, describes technology he and his colleagues at the Institute of Fluorescence developed to test for bioagents such as salmonella or anthrax.

The process, called Microwave-Accelerated Metal-Enhanced Fluorescence, has two stages: Microwaves are used to quickly remove genetic material from a test sample. The sample is then exposed to a laser, and it glows if the bioagent is present.

Read the full article here.

UMBC Named One of Nation’s “Best Value” Public Universities

UMBC is one of 50 public institutions in the United States recognized by The Princeton Review as a “Best Value College” offering a combination of educational excellence and affordability. The ranking was announced this morning on the Today Show and in USA Today.

The honor is the third major national distinction UMBC has received from leading higher-education rankings publications this academic year. For the second year in a row, UMBC was named America’s #1 “Up-and-Coming” national university by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guide. The University was also included on Kiplinger’s Best Value Public Colleges list.

The Princeton Review recognizes UMBC, a research university with nearly 13,000 students, for attracting serious students and supporting them with undergraduate research opportunities throughout the Baltimore-Washington region and beyond. The campus location near BWI-Marshall Airport gives students access to internships with government agencies, nonprofits and leading private-sector companies.

“UMBC provides a distinctive undergraduate education to outstanding students, many of whom go on to prestigious graduate schools and professional opportunities. We’re delighted to be recognized by The Princeton Review’s list of ‘Best Value Colleges,'” said UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski.

The Princeton Review selected schools by using institutional data and student opinion surveys. Broadly speaking, it examined factors covering undergraduate academics, costs and financial aid. A school’s academic rating was derived from admissions and other institutional data and student opinion surveys.

A school’s financial aid rating was based on data about tuition, fees, room and board and need-based financial aid packages and student opinion surveys regarding award packages and the service provided by a school’s financial aid office. Approximately seventy-seven percent of students at UMBC receive some financial aid in the form of scholarships, loans and grants.

Dale Bittinger, director of undergraduate admissions and orientation, said, “Being named to the “Best Value Colleges” list once again is something that we are proud of as it reaffirms, among many values, our commitment to attracting a highly diverse community of high-achieving students.”

UMBC was also named a “Best Value College” in 2009 and in 2008 was ranked the second “Most Diverse Student Body” in The Princeton Review’s “The Best 368 Colleges: 2009 Edition.”

SAIC and UMBC Launch Inaugural Cyber Challenge and Conference

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and UMBC announced plans today for a statewide cyber competition and conference designed to attract more students and young professionals to pursue careers in cybersecurity. The Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference (MDC3), to be held October 21-22, 2011, will strengthen Maryland’s position as a cybersecurity leader by bringing teams of current and prospective cybersecurity professionals together to develop the skills and techniques needed to protect vital information systems.

Read the entire release here.