Community Service posts displayed by category

Welcome Captain Carter

The Department of Public Safety welcomes Capt. Dameon Carter, MS, to the UMB Police Force.

Carter, who became captain on Sept. 5, 2017, is no stranger to UMB, having served as a lieutenant in 2015 before returning to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

He joined the BPD in 1994, rising to the rank of detective lieutenant in charge of district investigations for the Western District of Baltimore City. After a brief retirement in 2015, he returned to the BPD late that year as the investigative shift commander (acting captain) for BPD’s Homicide Section.

At UMB, he will be in charge of the Support Services Bureau, which includes the Detective Section, Victim-Witness Services, Evidence Control Section, Quartermasters Section, Crime Prevention Section, Recruitment and Background Investigations Section, Communications Section, and Records Section.

“Capt. Carter has a vast amount of police leadership experience and investigative experience,” said UMB Interim Police Chief Martinez Davenport Sr., MS. “He is dedicated to serving the public and creating crime prevention initiatives geared toward making Baltimore City and our campus a safe place to live, work, and learn. I’m proud to welcome him to the University.”

A Baltimore native, Carter was raised in the Flag House Housing Projects and graduated from Southern High School in 1991. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines and served in Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, rising to the rank of sergeant. Carter obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in applied behavior science-management at Johns Hopkins University. He currently resides in Cecil County with his wife, Valencia. He also has two children, ages 15 and 18.

Said Carter: “It is an honor to be a part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore family. Serving the community is my passion; it is my goal to make the UMB campus the safest campus in the nation. Thank you for the opportunity.”

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 18, 20170 comments
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SNMA To Host CommUNITY FEST Health Fair on Sept. 30

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) at UMB is hosting its 15th annual CommUNITY FEST, a free health fair, on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at historic Lexington Market. This year’s theme is “Filling in the Gaps.”

To promote good health among Baltimore residents, numerous health screenings, resources, and activities are available for people of all ages. Services offered include blood pressure screening, diabetes screening, HIV/AIDS testing, dietary and nutritional information, flu shots, immunizations, and more. Social and legal services will be offered as well, and there will be raffle prizes and food.

Through health education and promotion, the SNMA hopes to foster a healthier Baltimore, one family at a time. More than 300 Baltimoreans attend and benefit each year from this health fair, which is a collaborative effort involving University of Maryland schools (medicine, pharmacy, dental, nursing, physical therapy), local organizations, and the Baltimore City Health Department.

Please visit our website.

  
Jasmine Blake Clinical Care, Community Service, For B'more, PeopleSeptember 12, 20170 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the September issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on workplace wellness and Launch Your Life, a look ahead to UMB Night at Oriole Park and Dr. Perman’s quarterly Q&A, a recap of the YouthWorks and CURE Scholars summer programs, a story on a patient’s kayak journey to honor the late Dr. Brodie, a safety tip concerning personal property, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

 

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, University Life, USGASeptember 11, 20170 comments
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IPE Community Service Opportunity

Are you interested in an interprofessional education (IPE) opportunity? Do you want to be a health leader? Would you like to teach elementary school children about healthy eating and physical activity?

The Healthiest Maryland Schools Program is recruiting University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students to serve as health leaders for an IPE opportunity during the fall 2017 semester. The program is a multilevel intervention aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and active living for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Health leaders will

  • Work in teams of three to four UMB students (representing various UM professional schools) and engage in activities consistent with the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, such as team building, communication, values and ethics, and roles and responsibilities.
  • Lead a group of about 15 elementary school children through lessons that focus on nutrition and physical activity.
  • Attend a one-day orientation (Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and commit to volunteering one day a week for the semester.

The program is implemented during after-school hours in West Baltimore elementary schools (2:40 to 3:40 p.m.; 3 to 4 p.m.; 4 to 5 p.m.; or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.).

For more information, please email Salma Sharaf, project coordinator, or sign up for the program.

  
Salma Sharaf Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Research, UMB NewsSeptember 6, 20170 comments
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Brady Art Exhibit Has Gala Opening

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was honored to have Francine Brady’s art exhibit open on Aug. 14 at the Weise Gallery in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library.

This captivating exhibit is sponsored by UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture. Students, faculty, and staff attended the opening along with other artists and guests, including Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, honorary chair of UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture. She and UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, hosted the art exhibit opening.

Brady, a resident of Frederick, Md., since 1999, describes her artwork as contemporary, narrative, and symbolic. She prefers that each person who views her art interpret the pieces instead of her providing an interpretation for them.

Her artwork covers a wide range of subjects and textures. Her current work mostly focuses on drawings and acrylic paintings. Unique, vibrant, and expressive are just a few of the words used to describe Brady’s art.

Every visitor to her exhibit at the Weise Gallery is sure to find a piece of interest. Be sure to stop by before the exhibit closes on Oct. 1.

Read more about UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture. See more pictures from the event.

— By Sonya Evans

  
Sonya Evans Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 29, 20170 comments
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Founders Week Award Winners Named

Every fall, we dedicate one week to commemorating UMB’s rich history and to celebrating the future we’re building together. Among the highlights of Founders Week is recognizing the extraordinary work of our faculty and staff. Four awards are given every year, each signifying outstanding accomplishment in one facet of our mission. We’re delighted to announce the recipients of our 2017 Founders Week Awards.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Bartley P. Griffith, MD
School of Medicine
Thomas E. and Alice Marie Hales Distinguished Professor in Transplant Surgery
Founder, Breethe, Inc.

A world-renowned heart and lung transplant surgeon, Dr. Griffith struggled for decades to develop an artificial lung — one that wouldn’t tie patients to a breathing machine in a hospital bed.

After 20 years, he achieved his goal, creating a portable, at-home device for artificial respiration.

To market this technology, which should help hundreds of thousands of patients each year, Dr. Griffith in 2014 worked with UM Ventures, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s commercialization arm, to found the company Breethe, Inc.

Based at the BioPark, Breethe, Inc. is deep into product development, funded to date through three rounds of equity capital with Dr. Griffith playing an active role.

Dr. Griffith, who came to the School of Medicine in 2001, has performed more than 1,250 heart transplants and nearly 700 lung transplants.

In 2010, when he was named UMB’s Researcher of the Year, Dr. Griffith was credited with having “the most heavily funded cardiac surgery program in the United States” with $25 million the previous decade.

In addition to his lung breakthroughs, Griffith was one of the early surgeons to implant a Jarvik heart, and he developed a pediatric heart pump.

Previously chief of cardiac surgery at the School of Medicine, Dr. Griffith recently raised funding to endow a joint chair between the SOM Department of Surgery and the Department of Bioengineering in College Park. The chair helps to create new medical devices.


Public Servant of the Year

Susan M. Antol, PhD, RN
School of Nursing
Assistant professor, Department of Partnerships, Professional Education and Practice
Director, Wellmobile and School-Based Programs

During the past 19 years at the School of Nursing, Dr. Antol has developed innovative approaches for meeting the needs of underserved individuals throughout the state. Applying her community health nursing expertise, her organizational skills, and her perseverance, she has brought health care services to at-risk children, the homeless, immigrants, migrant workers, veterans, and victims of human trafficking.

She has led nurse-managed school-based programs providing direct care to children and has served on key statewide committees such as the Maryland Assembly on School-Based Health Care and the Governor’s School-Based Health Center Policy Advisory Council.

As director of the Governor’s Wellmobile Program since 2009, Dr. Antol has overseen nurse-managed primary care services in underserved areas ranging from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and Western Maryland. When Wellmobile funding was cut in half in fiscal year 2010, she pursued grants and partnerships, securing three years of funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and in 2017 partnered with other University schools in a $1.2 million grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission.

An advocate for interprofessional practice, she received $1.04 million in 2015 in Health Resources and Services Administration funding to expand the Wellmobile’s interprofessional practice. In collaboration with the schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Social Work, Dr. Antol and her team have implemented an interprofessional practice that serves as a clinical education site and is examining new methods of providing care through the Wellmobile.


Researcher of the Year

Robert K. Ernst, PhD
School of Dentistry
Professor, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis

Dr. Ernst and his colleagues are engineering rationally designed mimetics based on bacterial surface molecules that will inhibit the body’s immune response to sepsis, a condition that causes a death every two minutes in the U.S.

In particular, he is at the forefront of innovative research studying the molecular basis by which bacteria modify the lipid component of their membrane, specifically lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and how these alterations affect or circumvent normal host innate immune system responses, potentially resulting in septic shock. Additionally, these modifications can promote resistance to host innate immune-killing mechanisms by antimicrobial compounds.

Therefore, altering the biosynthesis of LPS can render the bacteria more susceptible to host cell killing and/or antimicrobial intervention and serve as novel components or adjuvants required for the development of more effective vaccines.

The work of Dr. Ernst, a member of the School of Dentistry faculty since 2008, has attracted ongoing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), MedImmune, as well as University of Maryland Ventures Seed Grant Funding and the state of Maryland Technology Development Corporation.

An advocate of interprofessional research, he has four colleagues from the School of Pharmacy on the NIH sepsis proposal. One of them, David Goodlett, PhD, co-founded a startup diagnostic company with Dr. Ernst called Pataigin. Its patented test “BACLIB” inexpensively identifies bacteria- and fungi-caused infections in less than an hour.


Teacher of the Year

Fadia Tohme Shaya, PhD, MPH
School of Pharmacy
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs

Dr. Shaya leads by example and is an inspirational educator, teacher, and mentor to predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty.

She engages her students in research very early on, and includes them in publications. Under her mentorship, her trainees have been awarded prestigious research and training grants. Her courses — Medication Safety, Drug Abuse in the Community, and Formulary Management — are highly sought after and often referenced by graduates as among their most influential. Fluent in five languages (including her native French and Arabic), Dr. Shaya has trained visiting scholars from many countries, including Armenia, France, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey, and is a popular guest speaker, nationally and internationally.

Along with her School of Pharmacy appointments, she is on the School of Medicine faculty (Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine), director of the Behavioral Health Research and Policy Program, associate director of the Center on Drugs and Public Policy, and adjunct faculty at the American University of Beirut.

Committed to interprofessional education (IPE), she organized an inter-school IPE program on training students to counter the opioid epidemic and how to administer naloxone.

Dr. Shaya also has supported the training of minority students and junior faculty, under the NIH minority supplement mechanism. She serves as a mentor to inner city high school students through the UMB Bioscience Summer Program.

As vice chair for Academic Affairs, Dr. Shaya has helped introduce population health and health services research-based courses in the PharmD curriculum and expand dual-degree options for pharmacy students.


For more on the Founders Week events, including the awards presentation at the Founders Gala on Saturday, Oct. 14, visit The Elm and Founders Week websites in the weeks to come.

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University LifeAugust 28, 20170 comments
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Social Justice and Our Community

Social Justice and Our Community

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) will offer a service-learning course to all UMB students for the fall 2017 semester.

Students will receive hands-on, professional experience with community health programs by working with partner organizations in the community surrounding UMB.

Through service learning, students will learn how community health programs are developed, organized, implemented, and evaluated as well as how interprofessional teams successfully function, how to interact with individuals and groups living in our community, and how to report on their observations to peers and supervisors.

Students who wish to take this course will register through their school’s normal registration process.

Course Description and Requirements

  • Course Name: CIPP 970: Interprofessional Service – Social Justice and Our Community
  • Semester Offered: Fall 2017
  • Course Credit: 1 credit hour (tuition free)
  • Hosting School: UMB Graduate School
  • Instructor: Lori Edwards, DrPH, MPH, RN, PHCNS-BC
  • Email: edwards@umaryland.edu
  • Office Telephone: 410-706-1929

Course Introduction & Goals

This course links the experiential with the theoretical by providing hands-on professional experience in UMB’s surrounding community. Students from all University programs are encouraged to enroll in this course.

Providing true service learning is the ultimate goal of this course in which students will learn by providing for the expressed need of the community. Students will learn how community health programs (broadly defined) are developed, organized, implemented, and evaluated; how interprofessional teams successfully function; how to interact with individuals and groups living in our community; as well as how to report their observations to peers and supervisors. Students will work with organizations with which the University has formed partnerships to meet the course learning objectives. Students will be required to reflect on the service-learning experience in formal written reflections.

Service learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection is a key element of service learning. It is one of the elements that differentiates service learning from community service. Equally important in differentiating service learning from community service is reciprocity between the person providing the service and the person receiving the service. Through the reciprocity associated with service learning, students gain a better sense of belonging to that community while community members are empowered to address and advocate for their own needs.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to explain the connection between course content and their service experiences.
  • Students will be able to paraphrase the definition of social justice.
  • Students will be able to give examples of the root causes of social injustice in the community in which they are doing their service project.
  • Students will be able to differentiate service from social change as they relate to their service-learning experience.
  • Students will be able to define characteristics and value of an interdisciplinary educational (IPE) approach to service learning.

Course Prerequisites

  • Successful completion of background check, if required by service site

Course Requirements

Students will be matched with a community partner and complete a total of 40 hours of service learning with the partner organization, a minimum of five hours of classroom training, and a series of assignments (see “Grading” below). The classroom content will include principles of service learning, community engagement and strategies for working in a reciprocal relationship with community partners.

Community partners will be selected from among community organizations with which UMB CBEL and faculty fellows have working relationships. Examples of partner organizations include: JACQUES Initiative, Southwest Partnership, International Refugee Committee, and Hollins House (mixed population housing).

Students will work in small interprofessional groups of three to five students for their community project. They will meet with the Community-Based Organization (CBO) partner during the first week of the semester to learn more about the CBO, the population they represent, and to discuss the projects that may be undertaken to meet the goals of the organization and community that they represent. The student team and CBO will jointly decide on an approach to the project that will utilize the student expertise and meet community goals. The students and CBO will establish a deliverable/”take home” product and make plans for meeting the course requirements.

HIPAA Statement

HIPPA regulations establish uniform rules for protecting the health information and privacy of our patients. You may not see or use protected health information unless it is required for your clinical assignment. Protected health information is any information that identifies an individual, could be used to identify an individual, describes the health care condition or payment of an individual, and/or describes the demographics of an individual.

Required Readings

TBD

Class Meetings

We will meet in-person three times over the course of the semester. Our first meeting will take place the week of Sept. 5, 2017 (day and time TBD) and will be an orientation to the class, principles of service learning, and your community partner. All meetings will take place in the Community Engagement Center. The second meeting will serve as a mid-semester group check in and peer mentoring. The final meeting will present your “take home” product and discuss your experiences in the course.

Grading Information

This is a one-semester pass/fail course where students will have until the end of the fall 2017 semester to complete the 45 hours of training, service, and reflection. Each project may require separate time commitments and responsibilities. Students will be evaluated on the completion of their service-learning project requirements including:

  1. Professionalism: The student maintains the expected level of professionalism during the course.
  2. Service-subject matter relation: Service activities allow students to apply what they have learned during their professional program.
  3. Class contemplates learning through service: The students must document service activities on a weekly basis as well as record reflections on their experiences in the community, submit a mid-semester sample weekly reflection, and submit a final reflection paper.
  4. Service recipients evaluate service: Sponsoring agencies will be asked to evaluate the service activities. A variety of survey forms are being developed (and may include student involvement in the development of these forms) that will involve focus group and possibly brown bag activity recipients.
  5. Interdisciplinary learning: students may learn from each other through different skills or attributes in providing information or in “people” skills or professional practice. In addition, the group reflection sessions will permit the students to learn from each other in different activities in which they have participated.

Grading Criteria

  1. Course preparation, attendance and engagement (10 percent)
  2. Weekly reflections (not graded) and final course reflection papers (30 percent)
  3. CBO mentor individual evaluation (20 percent)
  4. Group project report (40 percent)

Reflection

Reflection is one of the most critical pieces of service learning. It is the structured time in which students move from participation into deeper understanding. We want students to think about their experiences not only in the context of what they actually did, but also about how their experiences relate to their lives in a bigger sense and the decisions they will make in the future. All reflection activities should come back to the central question of how the service is connected to the learning, and how it is connected to each student’s personal development.

Examples of student reflection activities*

  • Keep an ongoing journal with specific reflection questions throughout the project
  • Compose a letter to one of the service recipients, or to a politician
  • Write a poem that reflects your experience for that week
  • Explain what scientific knowledge would help you with the project and why; see if you can get that information
  • Compile statistics on your project and compare them to other data available for similar circumstances
  • Create a skit based on your project and perform it for the class/school/parents

*Adapted from Loyola University, New Orleans

  
Lori Edwards Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, EducationAugust 28, 20170 comments
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UMB Day of Service

Pop! Farm Day of Service is an opportunity for the UMB community to learn more about the amazing communities across Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and provide some extra hands in a beautiful community garden. Students, staff, and faculty are all welcome! Pop! Farm is a community garden in Southwest Baltimore’s Poppleton neighborhood where community members grow their own fresh produce. You can register for one of two volunteer shifts: 10 a.m. to noon or noon to 2 p.m. All volunteers will begin at the Community Engagement Center.

  
Bill Joyner Community ServiceAugust 25, 20170 comments
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Nursing’s Mitchell Receives AHEC West’s John M. Dennis Award

Jacqueline C. Mitchell, MS, CRNA, director of clinical education, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), was recently recognized by the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center (AHEC West) with the John M. Dennis Award for her leadership and advocacy for rural practice opportunities. Mitchell also received special recognition from several members of U.S. Congress for her efforts.

Recipients of the John M. Dennis Award are usually university representatives who have made noteworthy contributions to off-campus health professional education in Western Maryland through outstanding leadership, ingenuity, advocacy, and education. Mitchell has been a strong supporter of rural clinical education and nurse anesthetist students and a dedicated partner with AHEC West for clinical placements. Several UMSON nurse anesthetist graduates are now practicing in Western Maryland.

“My heart is overwhelmed with joy because I am being formally recognized for my work. I am very thankful for this distinguished award and I am empowered to do even greater work for the students and the community,” Mitchell said. “What is great about this partnership with AHEC West is, although the majority of our students are from the Baltimore area, they are being afforded the opportunity to train in Western Maryland, allowing them to be exposed to different care settings and job opportunities.”

The award is in honor of John M. Dennis, MD, who served as vice chancellor for health and academic affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore from 1977 to 1988. Dennis was a dedicated visionary whose support made it possible for the development of the AHEC West program and center.

“We congratulate Ms. Mitchell on her receipt of this prestigious award. Her exemplary efforts to create practice experiences for nurse anesthesia students in the rural counties of Western Maryland have introduced countless students to the opportunities and rewards of living and serving in the region,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Through her efforts, she is helping to ensure that we meet the needs of residents throughout Maryland.”

AHEC seeks to improve the health status of Marylanders through community educational partnerships that foster a commitment to enhancing health care access in the rural and urban underserved areas of the state.

  
Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 23, 20170 comments
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Housing Authority of Baltimore City Build Day

KaBoom at McCulloh Homes

570 W. Preston St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteers are needed for a playground build in West Baltimore. 200 volunteers are needed to bring play to the “Magnificent” McCulloh Homes public housing development. Join neighbors as we endeavor to build a new playground for kids in the community to enjoy.

  • Volunteers should be age 18+ and will assemble playground pieces, mix concrete, move mulch, etc.
  • Wear comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and closed toe shoes; leave valuables at home.
  • Youth activities provided.
  • Gloves, goggles, breakfast, and lunch will be provided.

Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. Together, we can ensure kids get the balance of play they need to thrive! Please join us and show the kids that play matters to you.

To sign up for HABC’s Build Day, please visit the volunteer registration website. For more information, please email Anita Chavis or call 410-396-4529.

If you’re unable to attend in person, we hope that you will show your support for the cause of playin McCulloh Homes by joining the conversation online on August 26th using the hashtag
#playmatters.

The event is hosted by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City in coordination with the School of Social Work’s Promise Heights Program.

  
William JoynerBulletin Board, Community Service, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB NewsAugust 4, 20170 comments
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Supporting Future Breast Cancer Research

On Aug. 27, breast cancer survivor, Carolyn Choate, and her daughter Sydney Turnbull will paddle in to Baltimore Harbor near the amphitheater at 8:30 a.m., completing their 300-mile kayaking journey to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM).

Choate, 59, a 14-year breast cancer survivor, credits the work of the late UM SOM scientist Angela Brodie, PhD for saving her life. Dr. Brodie developed the use of aromatase inhibitors to fight estrogen-driven breast cancer, a common form of cancer. The mother-daughter team on Aug. 10, will begin their journey on the Delaware River, making several stops along the way for media events and to share their survivor story. They will be raising funds for a special endowment in honor of Dr. Brodie.

As Carolyn and Sydney finish their journey in Baltimore Harbor, representatives from the University of Maryland and the School of Medicine, Baltimore City, and Maryland State officials will be there to greet them and highlight the impact UM SOM’s breast cancer research has had on millions of survivors worldwide.

Carolyn will also be honored by the Orioles at their home game in Oriole Park on Aug. 28. Please come and show your support.

As you follow Carolyn and Sydney on their journey, be sure to share your thoughts and photos using the hashtag #cancerkayakers.

Visit the UM SOM website to learn more about their trip and how to support future breast cancer research in honor of Dr. Brodie, so more individuals like Carolyn and Sydney can experience the positive impact of this research.

  
Sarah Bradley Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, Research, University LifeAugust 2, 20170 comments
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UMBrella Caregivers

UMBrella Caregivers Affinity Group

UMBrella hosts Caregivers, a support group for members of the UMB community who care for elderly loved ones. Open to all faculty, staff, and students, we meet once a month to socialize, learn from each other, share resources and information, and hear from different experts on a wide range of topics.

The program is sponsored by UMBrella and will be facilitated by Reba Cornman, MSW, director, Geriatrics & Gerontology Education and Research Program.

Next Meeting

Monday, Aug. 14
Noon
SMC Campus Center, Room 203

REGISTER NOW

  
Sonya EvansBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, People, University LifeJuly 28, 20170 comments
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Pharmaceutical Sciences Takes Center Stage for University’s CURE Scholars

Local middle school students gain hands-on experience conducting fun-filled science experiments under supervision of faculty at the School of Pharmacy.

Students from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) CURE Scholars Program visited the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy throughout the month of July to gain hands-on experience conducting research in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. The visits were organized by Lisa Jones, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy, as part of her $1.1 million CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, which supports her ongoing work to develop a new method to study the structure of cell membrane proteins in the cellular environment.

“One of the key components of the CAREER Award is that the awardee not only conducts his or her own research, but also creates an education plan aimed at fostering the development of young researchers,” says Jones. “I was thrilled to have an opportunity to collaborate with the UMB CURE Scholars Program for my education plan, and offer local middle school students a chance to conduct hands-on research in a laboratory setting at the School. I hope their time with us helped them uncover a love of science as well as a desire to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).”

Training the Next Generation of STEM Leaders

Established in 2015, the UMB CURE Scholars Program prepares middle and high school students in Baltimore for competitive, lucrative, and rewarding research and health care careers at UMB and other health institutions in the region. The program is a partnership with three public schools in West Baltimore – Franklin Square Elementary and Middle School, Green Street Academy, and Southwest Baltimore Charter School – that provides career navigation, workforce training, and mentorship to underrepresented scholars at all stages or academic and career development.

More than 20 middle school students participating in the UMB CURE Scholars Programs visited the School of Pharmacy on July 6-7 and July 13-14, where they attended brief lectures and participated in hands-on experiments related to the lecture topics in one of the School’s state-of-the-art laboratories. Topics covered during the lectures included the role of DNA in cancer, the incidence of obesity in the United States, recombinant DNA technology, and protein-based drugs. In the lab, students had an opportunity to extract DNA from strawberries and kiwis, test calories in foods such as marshmallows and popcorn, and express and purify a protein in E. coli.

“Studies have indicated that middle school is the best time to capture students’ interest in STEM,” says Jones. “However, you will be hard-pressed to capture much interest by sitting students at a desk all day. The hands-on experiments that students conducted in our lab not only reinforced lessons from our lectures, but were also fun and gave them opportunities to engage with the material and learn from each other – opportunities that they might not have in a typical middle school science classroom.”

Bringing Lessons Learned Home

Students visiting the School on July 7 also had a chance to participate in a special activity hosted by Sarah Michel, PhD, professor in PSC. Inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Mich., Michel asked students to bring a sample of tap water from their homes to test for metal ions using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) – the same method used by researchers who tested the water in Flint – in the School’s Mass Spectrometry Center. With assistance from a postdoctoral fellow and two summer interns in Michel’s laboratory, the students tested and analyzed the levels of toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, as well as non-toxic metals such as iron, zinc, and copper, in their water samples.

“Most individuals likely assume that drinking water in the U.S. is safe regardless of where one lives,” says Michel. “The Flint water crisis was an eye-opening experience for many of us, but I hope that it can serve as an example to these students of how science can help solve real life problems. The scientists who brought to light the drinking water crisis in Flint used their expertise in analytical chemistry to help uncover the lead contamination in the water and, as a result, the city, state, and country took notice. Scientists helped solve this big problem, and I want to inspire the CURE scholars to pursue science and solve other big problems.”

After speaking with students in the program, it appears that both Jones and Michel’s messages are resonating.

“Before I joined the UMB CURE Scholars Program, I thought science was mostly about reading books,” says Tyler McKinsey, a soon-to-be eighth grader at Green Street Academy. “Now, I understand that there are a lot of opportunities for me in science. I like working with my partners on the different projects and knowing that, if my ideas aren’t working, they will have other ideas that we can test, since we’re all contributing to the same project. I’m also looking forward to becoming a surgeon.”

  
Malissa Carroll Community Service, Education, UMB NewsJuly 28, 20170 comments
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