Archive for July, 2015

A ‘Powerhouse of Purposeful Action,’ Kathleen Palmer is July’s Employee of the Month

Kathleen Palmer, RN, BSN, nurse coordinator in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition at the School of Medicine (SOM), thought she was attending a group photo shoot on July 14. Instead, she was surprised with a UMB Employee of the Month Award.

University President Jay A. Perman, MD, gave Palmer a framed certificate and thanked her for fiercely protecting the rights of research study participants. “I found your nomination to be very compelling,” Perman said. “UMB needs people like you — people who will advocate for our study volunteers — and I’m very pleased to be honoring you with this month’s award.”

Essential Contributor

Palmer, who also received $250 as July’s Employee of the Month, was described by the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine (PPGM) team as someone who attacks her work, takes on monumental tasks with blinders on, and fearlessly presents new ideas. Palmer has been a key contributor to accomplishing the translational medicine mission of PPGM.

“She assembles and leads multidisciplinary teams and interfaces with stakeholders at all levels. Kathy is a powerhouse of ‘purposeful action’ geared toward overcoming the myriad obstacles to advancing personalized medicine,” said Alan Shuldiner, MD, John L. Whitehurst Professor of Medicine, associate dean for Personalized Medicine, and director of the PPGM, who nominated Palmer for the award.

Inspiring Others

Palmer recently revamped the division’s approach to staffing and monitoring clinical research projects. Within six months she evaluated, reshaped, and ensured Institutional Review Board compliance for multiple projects.

Not only has Palmer’s excellent work elevated the University of Maryland Medical Center and the SOM’s national profiles, her dedication has been an inspiration and made her a role model to others in the PPGM. “Her dedication and commitment to her role in the program has inspired others,” Shuldiner said. “She goes above and beyond expectations and is always willing to accept and carry out additional responsibilities, not only for the good of the program, but for the campus community as a whole.”

“I’m very shocked and very happy,” an emotional Palmer said after she accepted the award. “I’m so honored that all of you would think so much of me to recommend me for this. You know how much I care about what I do and I love working with all of you.”

Sarah RebackPeople, UMB News, University LifeJuly 31, 20150 comments
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Hippodrome 2015-16 Broadway Series

Baltimore Welcomes the 2015-2016 Hippodrome Broadway Series

The UMB Council for the Arts and Culture has partnered with the Hippodrome to offer great discounted tickets to students and employees for the upcoming season of Broadway shows.

2015-2016 Hippodrome Broadway Series:

Kinky Boots, Sept. 29 to Oct. 4, 2015

The Book of Mormon, Nov. 3 to 15, 2015

The Sound of Music, Dec. 8 to 13, 2015

The Phantom of the Opera, Jan. 27 to Feb. 7, 2016

Motown The Musical, Mar. 8 to 13, 2016

The Illusionists – Live From Broadway, Mar. 29 to Apr. 3, 2016

Cabaret, Apr. 26 to May 1, 2016

Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, May 10 to 15, 2016

Love Letters, June 7 to 12, 2016


Order your 2015-2016 season tickets here!
Use the pass code: UMDEMP

Upcoming Shows

Learn more about the Hippodrome’s upcoming shows.

Holly BaierFor B'more, UMB News, University LifeJuly 31, 20150 comments
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Staff Senate School Supply Drive 2015

The University of Maryland, Baltimore Staff Senate’s Community Outreach Committee is collecting schools supplies to distribute to elementary schools within Baltimore’s West Side. Look for the collection totes in your building, or if you would like to host a tote in your building, please email Lois Warner.

Partner Schools Include:

  • George Washington
  • Southwest Baltimore Charter
  • Franklin Square
  • Furman Templeton Prep Academy
  • Green Street Academy
  • Samuel Coleridge Taylor
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Harlem Park

Collection Locations:

  • 620 W. Lexington St., 1st Floor Lobby
  • 620 W. Lexington St., 2nd Floor Lobby
  • Health Sciences and Human Services Library, 601 W. Lombard St., 5th Floor Administration
  • MSTF Atrium, BIORESCO, 695 W. Baltimore St.
  • Saratoga Building, 220 Arch St., Ground Floor Lobby
  • Pearl Street Garage, 622 W. Fayette St., Elevator Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Dentistry, 650 W. Baltimore St., Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Law, 500 W. Baltimore St., Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine, 100 N. Greene Street, 4th Floor
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine, HSFII, 20 Penn St., Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine, Howard Hall, 660 W. Redwood St., 1st Floor
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine, Bressler Research Building, 601 W. Baltimore St., Rm. 7-022
  • University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard St., Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, 20 North Pine St., Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Social Work, 525 W. Redwood St., Lobby
  • University of Maryland School of Social Work, 306 W. Redwood St., 2nd Floor, Institute for Innovation and Implementation
  • University of Maryland Medical Center, 22 S. Greene St., 9th Floor
  • University of Maryland Medical Center, Paca Pratt Building, 4th Floor

The last day to donate is Friday, Aug. 21.

Yimei WuCommunity Service, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, University Administration, University LifeJuly 31, 20150 comments
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Introducing New Summer Workshops at HSHSL

Introducing New Summer Workshops at HSHSL!

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) will be offering several new workshops over the month of August.


  • Introduction to 3D Modeling: Learn how to find existing models and how to make models from scratch. No previous experienced is required.
  • Introduction to 3D Printing: This course will show you the basics of finding and downloading 3D model files online. You will also learn how to ensure that files are printable by using scaling and checking for non-manifold geometry issues. The workshop will also provide an introduction to how to operate the Makerbot Replicator 2X and Afinia H480 3D printers for use at HS/HSL.
  • Using to Manage your Scholarly Work: GitHub is a web service that provides authors control of their work history and makes sharing and publishing information online easy. In this workshop, you will learn to use GitHub to solve problems like struggling with clumsy file-naming conventions and keeping track of updates to multiple files by multiple team members. You will also learn to use GitHub for finding and sharing information, and to publish a personal academic portfolio.

All workshops are free! See the full schedule and sign up.

Julia PellegriniEducation, People, Technology, University LifeJuly 29, 20150 comments
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Protecting Your Portable Devices

The feature that makes portable computing and data storage devices so attractive is also their critical weakness, because it makes them so vulnerable to accidental damage, loss, or theft. Fortunately, there are security steps you can take —some of them quite simple —that can dramatically reduce the risks of using portables.

Physically Secure Spaces

The single most important protection for any computing or storage device is keeping it in a secure physical space. Locked doors, alarm systems, video surveillance, human guards, etc., go a long way toward securing modern offices and their contents. When your portables are kept in an office with such protections, they are generally relatively secure. But be very careful about persons who are not well known to you having easy access to your office environment. 

Secure Storage and Transit

When portables are transported from one location to another they should ideally be kept with you or close to you at all times. If that is not possible, portables should be locked up in something else, and, to the degree possible, hidden or disguised. For example, don’t leave a portable in plain view on the seat of your car (it doesn’t take long to smash a car window). And consider forgoing that expensive laptop case in favor of something that disguises what you are carrying.

Protection with Locks and Alarms

If you must leave your computer unattended in an insecure place, you can still gain a measure of physical security. For larger portables, the cheapest option is a cable lock that secures your portable to an immovable object. Cables can be cut, but they will at least slow down a thief.

Another option is an alarm system. Wireless alarms use a transmitter kept with the owner and a receiver attached to the device. When the transmitter and receiver get too far apart — say, because a thief is running away with the attached device — the alarm sounds.

Protection with Tracking Systems

Portable computing devices can also have “tracking” software installed which will report the location of a missing device whenever it connects to the Internet. Some security software of this type also has the capability of erasing data on the device by remote command.

Protection with Labels and Engraving

Tamper-proof security labels and engraving are good options to promote the return of lost devices. Such permanent marking also makes the device difficult to resell, making it a less attractive target for theft. Remember that even if you get your portable back in perfect working order, the security of the data on it may still have been compromised while it was “away.” Always report the loss or theft of a computing or storage device containing sensitive information, even if it was only out of your control for a short time.

Protection with Passwords

Almost all portable computers, as well as storage devices such as USB keys, can be protected with a login password and/or a password-protected screensaver. If a biometric authenticator (e.g., fingerprint recognition pad) can be installed, that’s even better.

Protection with Encryption

Many portable devices–from laptops to smart phones to USB keys– allow protection of some or all individual files and directories with encryption. If the capability is not built into the device’s operating system it can usually be added via supplemental software.

Communications Security

Portable computing devices are often connected wirelessly to local networks and other devices. It is critical that you take steps to secure any Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections for the device. In addition, portable computing devices accessing sensitive data may need to use available capabilities for secure end-to-end communications, such as a virtual private network (VPN).

Minimizing Sensitive Data Storage

Whenever possible, avoid putting sensitive information on portable devices, particularly those that are likely to leave the office. If you cannot avoid it, try to keep the amount to a minimum. If you need access to sensitive data from your portable computing device, consider keeping the data on a secure computer or server and then accessing it via secure communications links such as VPN. It is also critical to have backup copies of all the important data on a portable — kept in a separate place. It’s a good idea for any computer, but it’s particularly important with portables. Whatever backup option you choose, you’ll also need to pay attention to security for your backup copies.

Secure Disposal

When a portable computing or storage device reaches the end of its productive life it is critical that you take steps to clean it of any sensitive information before donation or disposal. This isn’t always as easy as you might think. It is rarely if ever sufficient to simply delete data files or reformat file directories. Most digital media will retain traces of erased data, some of which can be easily recovered. CDs and DVDs should be destroyed. Hard drives and/or solid-state (flash) memory devices must be systematically over-written or physically destroyed. If you don’t understand the specifics of secure disposal, enlist the help of someone who does. Don’t ever just throw a device in the trash or deliver it to an unsecure recycler!


This article has covered many security options for portable computing/data storage devices. The more of them you use, the safer you’ll be. The risks of a security breach include the cost of replacing the device itself, and the costs associated with loss or exposure of any critical data on it–which can be vastly more significant.

The rules for portable device safety are not difficult. Remembering to practice them can be hard because it often requires extra effort and attention, but it is well worth it. The basic rules include:

  • Keep all portable devices as physically secure as possible. With you, or nearby, is best.
  • Enable any technical security measures that are available (e.g., password protection, data encryption).
  • Minimize the amount of sensitive data on the device. Immediately report the loss/theft of any device containing sensitive data.
  • Keep a backup copy of any data on the device that would be difficult to replace.
  • Take appropriate steps for secure disposal when the device is no longer needed.
Brook BotvinEducation, People, Technology, University LifeJuly 29, 20150 comments
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UMB Race Discussion Reveals Gains, Shortcomings

UMB Race Discussion Reveals Gains, Shortcomings

The University continued its discussion on race July 28 with an update from UMB leadership on recommended action and sharing of ideas and concerns from those in the audience.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, led the discussion as the focal point of his quarterly Q&A. He reminded the crowd of the May 6 forum titled “A Discussion About Race in Baltimore.”

“It was less than three weeks after the death of Freddie Gray, two weeks after his funeral, which, as you know, was the same day that widespread rioting broke out in the city. We talked about racism, poverty, and disinvestment in West Baltimore.

“But as students, faculty, and staff took the microphone for comments, another piece to the conversation started to emerge. And it had to do with our own institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion — our institutional commitment to meaningful community engagement.”


So Perman charged UMB’s Diversity Advisory Council to review the May 6 conversation and come up with recommendations. These recommendations, under the themes of career and professional advancement, cultural competency, and community service and engagement, were revealed at the July 28 follow-up discussion.

They include:

  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the University’s personnel actions relating to recruitment, promotion, tenure, reclassifications, and equity adjustments.
  • Enhance the University’s efforts to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion.
  • Evaluate the University’s job classification system and, where necessary, modify the system
  • Evaluate strategies for enhancing cultural competency at the University
  • Support the newly formed Office of Community Engagement

Prioritize key components including a “day of service” and a career program that educates community residents about employment opportunities at the University.

‘Examine Our Track Record’

“As Dr. Perman mentioned, we heard frustration from some employees who feel that they’ve been passed over for promotions not based on their job performance, but based on their race or ethnicity,” said DAC chair Elsie Stines, DNP, MS, CRNP, who announced the recommendations with DAC vice chair Vanessa Fahie, PhD, RN.

“And so we decided that the first thing we need to do is to examine our track record. We need a baseline assessment to gauge whether equity in recruitment, promotion, and salary is a problem at UMB.”

Fahie spoke about how the President’s Fellows, an interprofessional group of students from all seven UMB schools who lead a yearlong discussion on a topic of interest to UMB and its community, will do its 2015-2016 White Paper on cultural competence.

HRS’ Role

Then Roger J. Ward (pictured), EdD, JD, MPA, chief accountability officer and vice president of operations and planning, and interim chief of human resource services (HRS), spoke of how the University “will bring these recommendations to life” in terms of race and ethnicity as well as gender.

For instance, HRS has begun a comprehensive review of the University’s personnel actions relating to recruitment, promotion, tenure, reclassifications, and equity adjustments over the past three fiscal years.

UMB’s job classification system will be evaluated, Ward said. An Extension Center will be opened to offer job training for community residents and much more. And HRS will engage an external consultant to conduct an institutionwide climate survey to assess perceptions of diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff.

Audience Is Heard

The floor was opened to comments and, as in the May 6 discussion, there were plenty.

One attendee reminded leadership to not forget about University affiliates. “A lot of corporate employees work side by side with state employees and there is a vast difference in their salaries.”

Carla Jones from the School of Dentistry echoed that view. “I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Within the University you should be compensated for the work you do whether you’re with a corporation or the state. There should be no in between. You have to count the time, the years, the experience, the department you work in, and classify the jobs accordingly.”

Colette Beaulieu, president of the Staff Senate, reminded the audience to contact the senate with troublesome issues “so we can advocate on your behalf.”

A staff member from the multi-trade shop spoke of the importance of respect and added, “in my department I see ‘I-I-I’. As a University and as a community, it should be ‘we’.”

Perman praised the presenters and the audience for their participation and assured them that the dialogue would continue.

Read the full story.

Chris ZangCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeJuly 29, 20150 comments
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BioMed Central Launches Checklist for Reproducibility

BioMed Central has launched a pilot checklist to improve the reproducibility of studies published in its journals.

In recent decades, the reproducibility of a large number of scientific studies has been called into question. Researchers were able to confirm only 11 percent of the findings in a well-publicized oncology study of preclinical research findings, while other hallmark papers in cancer through to psychology have been flagged as largely unreproducible.

About the Checklist

In an effort to address this BioMed Central has launched the pilot of a new Minimum Standards of Reporting Checklist for manuscripts submitted to a group of select journals: BMC Biology, BMC Neuroscience, Genome Biology, and GigaScience.

The checklist addresses three areas of reporting: experimental design and statistics, resources, and availability of data and materials.

Ensuring Standards Are Met

In a launch editorial for the new checklist, BioMed Central staff and the editors of GigaScience and Genome Biology said, “Our ability to rely on published data for potential therapeutics is critical, and recently its reliability has been called into question… funding and time are both increasingly limited, and the waste generated from follow-up work based on irreproducible research is high. Journals clearly have an important part to play in helping to ensure that experimental design and analysis are appropriate, and that reporting standards are met. The new checklist for authors and referees aims to do just that.”

Reporting Research

The checklist has been produced according to NIH guidelines for reporting preclinical research.

Authors will be asked on submission to confirm that they have included the information asked for in the checklist or give reasons for any instances where it is not made available or not applicable. Likewise, reviewers will be asked to confirm the information has been satisfactorily reported and reviewed.

BioMed Central plans to review the data that has been collected around the trial, with the aim of rolling out the checklist (with any revisions) across all BioMed Central journals.

Julia PellegriniFor B'moreJuly 29, 20150 comments
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Middle States Town Halls Scheduled

As promised, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community is being invited to join the conversation as part of the University’s Middle States self study. During September, five town halls will be held at the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center to collect input from University faculty, staff, and students on how to make UMB a better place.

Town Hall Dates

The first, on Sept. 1, will focus on community engagement. Educational innovation and transformation will be discussed on Sept. 2 and student life, career development, and support services is the topic of the Sept. 3 town hall. Research, scholarship, and entrepreneurship are highlighted on Sept. 9 and institutional effectiveness will be addressed on Sept. 16.

The Middle States town halls are being held from noon to 2 p.m. and all are welcome to attend. Each town hall session is based on one of the Middle States working groups. The town halls will explore the questions assigned to each working group.

What is the Middle States Accreditation?

Every 10 years, UMB undergoes a reaffirmation of its accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The process is an opportunity to strengthen the University through a comprehensive evaluation.

The Middle States accreditation is separate and apart from the process each of our professional schools and their associated programs undergo routinely. Unlike the school-based accreditations, the Middle States accreditation is the certification the University needs to continue to receive federal funds to support our education and research missions. Without Middle States accreditation, programs in the UMB schools would be at risk.

So help UMB do a thorough self study. Register today to join the conversation.


Chris ZangFor B'more, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeJuly 29, 20150 comments
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Tisa Silver Canady featured in Maryland Public Television Special, “Thinking Money: Practical Solutions”

Maryland Public Television (MPT) will broadcast the original documentary film, “Thinking Money: The Psychology Behind Our Best and Worst Financial Decisions,” showcasing the impact of behavioral psychology on everyday financial decision-making. Tisa Silver Canady, MBA, associate director of financial education and wellness, is featured in a televised, post-documentary panel discussion of the film, “Thinking Money: Practical Solutions,” where she offers practical solutions for individuals with regards to financial activities such as saving, spending, and investing.

Who Else Is Involved?

The panel also features Gerri Walsh, JD, president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and Allen Cox, PhD, managing director of the Maryland Coalition for Financial Literacy. The discussion will be moderated by MPT’s veteran business correspondent, Karen Gibbs.

Several UMB students and staff participated in the special as members of the studio audience. A Q&A session filmed after the discussion includes questions from Seante Hatcher, program director in the University of Maryland School of Social Work‘s Office of Continuing Professional Education and 2015 Carey Law graduates Jasmyn Allen and Frederick Curtis. Watch some clips from the Q&A.

About Tisa Silver Canady

Since joining the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2011, Canady has personally advised students on the repayment of more than $25 million in student loan debt. In addition to her work in financial education and wellness, Canady is an accomplished finance author and a member of the School of Social Work Financial Social Work Initiative Steering Committee.

Thinking Money: Practical Solutions will air on MPT, Friday, July 31 at 10 p.m. EST and Saturday, Aug. 1 at 2 a.m. EST.

Tisa Silver CanadyClinical CareJuly 28, 20150 comments
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Her Ability to ‘Make a Difference’ Earns Medeiros Employee of Month Award

Michelle Medeiros, MS, MA, CCRP clinical research manager in the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, is fond of saying “I’m driving this bus” in regard to helping develop OnCore, a web-based software application used for managing the cancer center’s clinical trials. On July 20, OnCore took a different route, with a meeting in the President’s Conference Room. There Medeiros was surprised by President Jay A. Perman, MD, who named her UMB’s June Employee of the Month.

A Team Player

Medeiros displayed initiative and determination when she undertook a complex, much-needed implementation of the financial model for OnCore, which is used to track patient screenings, enrollments, visits, treatment regimens, IRB approvals, and more. Her tenacity in seeing such a challenging and large-scale project through to the end made Medeiros shine as a role model.

“You took this on with no expectation of being acknowledged in any way. You are a team player and you probably know that I particularly value people who are team players. I really do,” Perman said.

Increased Clinical Trial Revenues

According to Robert Mitchell, associate director for administration, Greenebaum Cancer Center, managing clinical research finances is complex. Now, because of Medeiros’ efforts, UMB will have an efficient way to manage clinical trials, resulting in increased clinical trial revenues. Thanks to Medeiros, Mitchell said the OnCore system now has the capability of systematically tracking payments that are due to UMB, the University of Maryland Medical System, and Faculty Physicians, Inc.

One Person Making a Difference

Medeiros exhibited outstanding managerial skills and an unwavering ability to bring people together to accomplish a goal that otherwise would not have been met.

“This project involved an extensive learning curve, and more importantly outstanding organizational skills as the proper implementation of the financial module required multiple entities to work together,” Mitchell said in nominating Medeiros. “By taking on a project so large in scope and with so many implications, Michelle showed her peers and colleagues that it truly is possible for one person to make a difference in such a large, often intimidating, organization. The example she set is one of perseverance, focus, and integrity.”

Medeiros was shocked by the award and expressed her thanks to Mitchell, Kevin Cullen, MD, and their Greenebaum Cancer Center colleagues.

“Wow, I must say, this is quite a pleasant surprise. To be recognized at a campus level for your hard work is very rewarding. Thank you.”

Sarah RebackPeople, UMB News, University LifeJuly 27, 20150 comments
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