Bill Thomas, Erickson School, in AARP Journal

“Persistently and deliberately misinterpreted as mere decline, elderhood is actually the rich reward that goes to those who manage to outgrow the frenzied jangle of adulthood and enter voluntarily into a new and much more soulful way of being.” This is the crux of William H. Thomas’ argument in the recent AARP Journal essay, “Eldertopia.” A geriatrician and faculty member at UMBC’s Erickson School, Thomas encourages older readers to reinterpret the physical changes that come with aging as “important signifiers or our unique journey through life” rather than as flaws. Recognizing the deeply personal nature of this challenge, he suggests that older adults “stop pining for what is already gone” and “start searching for the person [they] are meant to become.”

Libya Confirms Detention of Journalist Matthew VanDyke ’02, Political Science, in Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun reports that Libyan authorities have acknowledged detaining journalist Matthew VanDyke ’02, political science, according to Maryland Rep. Ruppersberger. The UMBC community has been following VanDyke’s status since he was reported missing in March. In recent months, his mother, Sharon VanDyke, has been working with the US State Department and Red Cross, as well as other organizations, to locate her son and secure his release. In a June AP article, Thomas Schaller, professor of political science, called VanDyke one of his smartest students, saying, “I just know he’s going to come out on the other end with quite a yarn.”

Traffic Patterns for Move-In Days (8/27 and 8/29)

Residential Life joins the UMBC Community in welcoming our new freshmen and new transfers to campus move-in on Saturday, August 27. Returning residents will move-in into their residential communities on Monday, August 29. The hours for move-in on both days are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Campus police, Parking Services staff and student volunteers will be assisting in providing traffic direction and assistance during these annual move-in day events.

On Saturday, August 27, freshmen and their parents will arrive on a Saturday this year. Because of this, changes to traffic patterns will have limited impact on the campus community.

On Monday, August 29, returning students and their parents will arrive on a weekday this year, and campus traffic will be altered to provide a welcoming experience as follows:

  • Access to Center Road and Poplar Roads will be restricted to students and parents and day care facility drop-off and pick-up only.
  • The inner loop of Hilltop Circle from Walker Ave to Commons Drive will have many parking spaces dedicated to staging vehicles to turn right onto Center Road and Back Road and unload directly in front of Patapsco Hall in the residential portion of the campus. Left turns from the outer loop of Hilltop Circle onto these interior streets will be restricted at these locations during the hours of 7 a.m.-4 p.m., on August 27 and 29.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to arrive on campus via the Highway I-195 corridor to avoid expected traffic delays at other campus entrances, and are encouraged to use their faculty/staff parking spaces in designated lots and also the Hilltop Circle parking spaces on the Academic side of campus for Opening Day.

Pardon the temporary traffic inconveniences as we welcome all of our returning students to campus. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this annual event.

University Counseling Services Closed (8/17 and 8/18)

The Vice President of Student Affairs has approved the temporary closure of University Counseling Services, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday, August 17, and Thursday, August 18, for a department planning retreat. If there is an emergency during the dates and times of closure, call UMBC Police at ext. 5-5555 to reach our on-call counselor. If you have questions about the closure dates and times, call Dr. J. Ingram, director of University Counseling Services, at ext. 5-2472.

Fall 2011 Social Sciences Forum Lectures (9/12-11/15)

The Social Sciences Forum presents topics and perspectives of vital interest to the social sciences community and beyond. Lectures are free and open to the public and will last approximately one hour, followed by a question and answer period and a reception.

Topics of this fall’s lectures include:

  • The Constitution and Civil Rights: The Search for Equality in a Multi-Racial America (9/12)
  • Better Living Through Economics (9/13)
  • US Trade Policy in the Asia-Pacific (9/27)
  • Genetics & Personalized Medicine (10/12)
  • China Goes Global (11/3)
  • Teaching Peace and Nonviolent Social Change (11/15)

If you have any questions, contact Delana Gregg at or ext. 5-2916.

Social Sciences Forum: Better Living Through Economics (9/13)

The Social Sciences Forum fall 2011 lecture series presents John Siegfried, professor emeritus of economics, of Vanderbilt University, Tuesday, September 13, 4 p.m. at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.

The Mullen Lecture, “Better Living Through Economics,” is sponsored by the Department of Economics.

The Social Sciences Forum presents topics and perspectives of vital interest to the social sciences community and beyond. Lectures are free and open to the public and will last approximately one hour, followed by a question and answer period and a reception. For more information, call ext. 5-2916.

If you would like to receive announcements about the Social Sciences Forum, email us.

Donald F. Norris, Public Policy, in the Gazette

When Harford County Executive David Craig told Gazette editors that he’s considering running for governor or comptroller of Maryland in 2014, reporter Sarah Breitenbach turned to UMBC public policy chair Donald Norris to make sense of the statement. Although serious campaigning for the gubernatorial race won’t begin until after the 2012 general election, Norris argues that it is wise for Craig to throw his hat into the ring early. “You run other possible candidates out of a primary,” he says. “It’s not just announcing. It’s announcing, getting fundraising going, locking in the donors.” Craig would likely encounter more conservative Republic challengers in a gubernatorial primary, Norris suggests, noting, “It’s conceivable that he’s not conservative enough for [Maryland Republicans].”