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Dean's office staff at Ronald McDonald House

Bringing Breakfast to Families at the Ronald McDonald House

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

To encourage employees to offer their time and talents in service of the local community, Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), recently launched the UMB Employee Volunteer Initiative. This initiative offers eligible employees four hours of paid leave to volunteer at a local charitable organization during a normal work day. Inspired by this effort to support and encourage UMB employees to give back to the community, seven staff members from the School of Pharmacy’s Offices of Communications and Marketing and Development and Alumni Affairs volunteered to make and serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Baltimore on Dec. 10.

Serving Families in Need

Located within walking distance of Pharmacy Hall on the UMB campus, RMH provides an affordable “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children while they receive treatment at Baltimore’s world-renowned hospitals, including the University of Maryland Medical Center and R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Up to 36 families stay at the house each night, and more than 1,400 families stay each year.

When President Perman announced the UMB Volunteer Initiative in November, he remarked, “I hope this small gesture reinforces just how valuable your service is, and how much it contributes to the strength and vitality of Maryland.” I took this offer to heart and decided to rally my co-workers and coordinate our team’s service at RMH. As someone who previously volunteered with RMH, I had seen firsthand just how appreciative the families were of the service that volunteers provided. You know that you are making a difference.

Bringing the Comforts of Home

Breakfast and dinner at RMH are often prepared by volunteers, with the former providing much-needed energy before families head to the hospital each morning. Staying in a new city can be a bit uncomfortable, so we hoped that by cooking breakfast we could make it feel a little more like home for the families.

We arrived bright and early to serve egg casseroles, mini muffins, and yogurt parfaits to the families staying at RMH. Once the food was ready and the holiday decorations were in place, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker and families began trickling into the dining area. Some were more awake than others, but all were smiling when they saw the freshly made coffee and a hot meal waiting for them. We were humbled that, despite the circumstances, every single person made it a point to thank us for coming.

Encouraging Others to Serve

Dr. Perman’s offer of paid leave time to encourage employees across the University to volunteer in service to the local community is very generous, and just one of the reasons why UMB is such a great place to work. Our team was honored to have this opportunity to serve others, especially during the holiday season, when a hospital stay can take an extraordinary toll on a family. We hope other employees across the University will be as inspired by our experience as we were by Dr. Perman’s words and find time to give back to the local community this year.

— Kate Robinson, development associate

Kate RobinsonCommunity Service, People, University LifeDecember 12, 20180 comments
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Dr. Perman and Erika Pixley

Employee of the Month Pixley Is ‘The Glue’ to Palliative Care Program

Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, MA, MDE, BCPS, CPE, program director of the School of Pharmacy’s Master of Science and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care, jokes that she sometimes feels superfluous in her role because of one person: Erika Pixley, MBA.

“Everyone calls Erika,” McPherson says of Pixley, senior academic program specialist. “In fact, when someone calls in, both of our lines ring on both of our phones. I’ll answer it and say, ‘Lynn McPherson.’ And someone will say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, is Erika there?’ And I’ll say, ‘Well, this is Dr. McPherson, can I help you?’ And they say, ‘No, I really need to speak to Erika.’

“She’s indispensable to this program. She’s the glue.”

Helping to manage the program since its inception in spring 2017, Pixley was rewarded for her efforts Dec. 7 with the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Employee of the Month Award for December. UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, presented Pixley with the award at the Saratoga Building, praising her professionalism, work ethic, and ability to meet the needs of students.

“Your colleagues have said a lot of great things about you,” said Perman, who gave Pixley a plaque, a letter of commendation, and news that an extra $250 would be in her next paycheck. “You’ve helped to build up a whole new program and you serve the students exceptionally well. This award is well-deserved, and on behalf of the University, I want you to know that your work is very much appreciated.”

The online program, which is open to other UMB disciplines such as medicine and nursing, is designed to meet the educational needs of those who already work or wish to work in hospice or palliative care environments and want to gain deeper understanding of the physical, psychological, spiritual, and social needs of patients and families involved in end-of-life care.

McPherson describes the program as “a university within a university” and says of Pixley: “Erika is the welcoming committee and the admissions committee and the student affairs committee and the graduation committee. She’s everything. And people adore her.

“She is extraordinarily professional in all her dealings — with faculty, students in the program, pharmacy students, and any other interested parties. She helps the students apply, enroll, develop their plan of study, pay their tuition, resolve technology issues, request graduate certificates, and does many, many more tasks.”

Pixley, an employee of the school’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science who came to UMB in 2016 to help launch the palliative care program, takes great pride in its success, with the first cohort set to graduate next spring.

“I’m with the students from Day 1 through graduation,” she says. “We are not even 2 years old yet and we have over 150 students, so I think that’s pretty successful. And we have great retention, because everyone who has started in the program is on their way to completion.”

Pixley says she learned more in the first few months in this role than in seven years in her previous jobs in education enrollment and admissions, adding that she appreciates the creative freedom she’s given with tasks such as managing social media, producing the program’s newsletter, and assisting with marketing materials.

“I’ve been given the flexibility to utilize my own resources and the freedom to try different things,” she says. “If I have an idea that will aid students or the program, I can actually go to somebody with the idea, instead of just sitting in my cubicle.”

Pixley collaborates with faculty, too, of course, but says the best part of her job is being in constant contact with the students.

“In previous positions I’ve held, students are handed off to other departments after their initial enrollment has ended,” she says. “Here, I like that I’m our students’ main go-to person and that they know they’re with me from beginning to end, through thick and thin. They know I have their backs, that I’ll handle all issues or changes that arise, and that they can come to me with any type of question.

“Our students feel comfortable with me, and many of them have said the students in this program and the support staff feel like a family. I’m very proud of that.”

And McPherson is clearly proud of Pixley.

“Erika is an asset and friend to our program, the School of Pharmacy, and UMB,” she says. “The program is an enormous success, and we cannot imagine that it would have been doing as well under anyone else’s care.”

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 10, 20180 comments
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The President's Message - December 2018

The President’s Message

Check out the December issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on our record-shattering year in extramural funding — $667.4 million in grants and contracts. Also, a holiday greeting; TEDx UMB showcases our big ideas; ceremonial opening for HSRF III; Project Feast serves Thanksgiving meals to those in need; Nursing, Social Work win HEED awards for diversity; students prevail in national public health interprofessional challenge; informatics pioneer saluted at UMB; University takes the fight against opioid addiction on the road; be merry, and wary, around the holidays; and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Back issues of the newsletter can be found in the archives.
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 10, 20180 comments
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Dr. Mackowiak discusses his new book

Mackowiak’s New Book Offers Intersection of Art, Medicine, and Science

Philip A. Mackowiak, MD ’70, MBA, is more medical historian than art aficionado, but in researching and writing his latest book, Patients As Art: Forty Thousand Years of Medical History in Drawings, Paintings, and Sculptures, he learned a few things along the way.

“Before doing this book, I couldn’t even spell the word ‘art’ — but now I’m an expert, thanks to the internet,” Mackowiak joked before launching a presentation about his new book to a crowd of 60 that included members of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) community and his family and friends on Dec. 4 at Davidge Hall.

Mackowiak, professor emeritus of medicine and the Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen History of Medicine Scholar at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), delivered background and insight on the book during his half-hour lecture, which was sponsored by the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture. He displayed slides of 10 of the 160 pieces he analyzed from a medical and scientific perspective, ranging from Rembrandt’s famed The Raising of Lazarus to a watercolor titled Pollution, painted by a Canadian artist named Catherine Hennessey.

The watercolor, in fact, is featured on the cover of the book, which spans 244 pages and 10 chapters relating to medical subjects such as nutrition, surgery, mental health, genetics, and death and dying. Pollution is included in the chapter on public health. In the book, Mackowiak describes it, writing, “Hennessey’s image is arresting, shocking, yet strangely beautiful, like the vibrant colors of a sunset viewed through sickening urban smog.” (See photo, above)

“This artist has done a number of really captivating watercolors, but this is the opus magnum,” Mackowiak told the crowd, adding that he was so taken with the painting that he bought it from Hennessey.

Mackowiak continued the lecture with more art analyses and medical diagnoses, including:

  • The Dissection of a Cadaver, 15th century: Mackowiak noted that the procedure illustrated probably wasn’t a dissection at all, because a close inspection shows that three of the men standing over the body seem to be holding him down, an insight first noted by his former UMSOM colleague Frank M. Calia, MD, MACP. “And you see a fellow on the far right of the painting who’s holding something in his hand. So based on Dr. Calia’s observations and doing another consideration of the painting, I suggest that this is not the dissection of a cadaver. In fact, it’s a lithotomy — the removal of a bladder stone, and that stone is being held by the person at the far right.”
  • The Beggars, 1568: This painting depicts beggars with missing legs, but Mackowiak surmises that there was no medical reason for amputation. Studying the expressions on their faces led him to believe they were mentally retarded. “There was no disorder at that time that could have destroyed the lower legs in a symmetrical fashion without killing them,” he said. “So I suggest these were strategic amputations done by the family to make these poor souls more pitiable and therefore more effective as beggars. That sounds bizarre, and it’s hard to believe. But I saw exactly this same thing in Bangladesh when I was there as a medical student at this institution.”
  • Battle of Issus, 100 B.C.: From this mosaic, Mackowiak blew up an inset of Alexander the Great and takes a keen focus on Alexander’s eyes, which seem to show concern rather than confidence. “Does that look like an all-conquering warrior?” Mackowiak said. “To my way of thinking, it looks like a warrior who wonders, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ The artist who produced this might well have realized the existence not only of post-traumatic stress disorder in the common soldier, but also that this sort of thing can happen to commanders, too.”

Mackowiak’s presentation clearly showed his expertise as one of the most accomplished medical historians in the country, and Patients As Art follows his first two books, Post Mortem: Solving History’s Great Medical Mysteries, and Diagnosing Giants: Solving the Medical Mysteries of Thirteen Patients Who Changed the World.  

Since the mid-1990s, he and the University of Maryland Medical Alumni Association have organized the Historical Clinicopathological Conference, which has examined the illnesses or deaths of figures such as Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus, Beethoven, and Mozart. The 2007 conference, for instance, determined that President Lincoln would have survived an assassin’s bullet if the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center existed in 1865. The 26th conference will be held in May 2019. 

Larry Pitrof, the alumni association’s executive director, noted that when Mackowiak talked about retiring five years ago, two benefactors — Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen, MD — stepped up to fund the doctor’s endowed scholar position. Pitrof thanked Frenkil, who was in attendance, for her support, as well as the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture for its sponsorship of the lecture.

“We’re celebrating an awful lot of history on the UMB campus right now,” Pitrof said, “and it’s our belief that programs like this truly separate the great institutions from the good ones.”

— Lou Cortina

Learn more about the book.

 

Lou CortinaEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 6, 20180 comments
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"Bloodsworth" Book Discussion

One Maryland One Book Discussion: ‘Bloodsworth’

Please join UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library for a discussion of the One Maryland One Book program’s selected book, Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA Evidence, by Tim Junkin.

Read the book ahead of time and join us for a discussion Jan. 16 at noon in Room 3314 in the Thurgood Marshall Law Library.

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. Feel free to bring your lunch.

Michele OndraBulletin Board, People, University LifeDecember 4, 20180 comments
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Project Jump Start brown bag

Project Jump Start: Helping the Homeless

Project Jump Start is funded in part by the University Student Government Association at UMB, and our mission is as follows:

  • To assist homeless individuals in meeting their basic needs through weekly food, clothing, and toiletry drives.
  • To provide homeless individuals in Baltimore with the information and support they need to access available resources in the community.
  • To collaborate and build partnerships with others to advocate for the development of policies and programs that will meet the needs of the homeless population in Baltimore.

Learn more at this webpage.

 

Darya BarshakCommunity Service, People, University Life, USGADecember 4, 20180 comments
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Craft Fair items

UMB Holiday Craft Fair Heightens the Spirit of Community Building

Dinnise Felder’s frost-tipped evergreens were shimmering. When the sponsored programs research administrator at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) combined her greens with Diane Starkell’s brilliantly burning noel candle, they formed a welcome sign to the 11th Annual UMB Holiday Craft Fair.

The aroma of clove and balsam fir radiated between the Elm Ballrooms and the lobby at the SMC Campus Center at the 3½-hour event on Nov. 30. It was either that or Theresa Carrington’s You and Me Soaps, whipped shea butter, and fragrance oils.

More than 60 vendors — faculty, staff, students, and friends of the University — displayed their unique crafts at the fair. In addition to UMB, a common vein that connected them all together was not only the passion for what they do but also the love and support for their Baltimore community.

Starkell, owner and creator of Terra Verde, remains active in the community through her participation in farmers markets and local events such as the UMB Craft Fair.

After wrapping up a soy candle housed in a copper Mason jar, she said, “You can also find me at the farmers market underneath the Jones Falls Expressway, every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 12.” This was a common refrain heard among vendors and even the cacophony of shoppers testing out samples.

In front of Infused Spreads, a family-owned business specializing in handcrafted preserves, jams, and fruit butters, Emem Moody caught up with one of her regulars. They exchanged narratives of when Moody participated in the Baltimore Herb Festival back in May and when the habanero plum butter is expected to make its return. “I did not bring any with me this time,” Moody said.

She later mentioned the JFX farmers market and assured the customer that she will have the habanero plum butter then. Asked if she made and packaged the jams herself, Moody, who was joined by her husband and daughter, said, “My husband and I both make the jams and butters.”

The tart and heat from Moody’s jam sample turned this shopper’s attention to the assortment of olive oils and vinegars at Dimitrios Komninos’ table. The olive oil and vinegar bottles were aligned evenly on top of a dark blue tablecloth. The scene was set for casual taste testing, but the flavors and products were anything but.

As one of the descendants of the Dimitri Giannakos family, Komninos’ products brought the UMB community back to his olive farm in southern Greece. “My family grows and harvests the oils,” Komninos said. “We have a farm at the foothills of Mount Taygetos, where we have been producing olive oil for over 100 years.” While Dimitrios’ olive oils are featured in several Baltimore restaurants, shoppers also can find a taste of southern Greece at the Waverly farmers market on Barclay and East 32nd streets.

Starkell, Moody, and Komninos are just some of the many vendors who go beyond the storefront and bring their craft directly to the community. Whether it is at the UMB Craft Fair or beyond, face-to-face interactions are one of the core values that drives many of these local vendors. For the UMB faculty, staff, students, and friends who participated in this year’s Craft Fair, they had an opportunity to showcase their skill and craft that goes beyond their schools and departments, whether that was an artistic craft or baked good.

For the local vendors, their roots within the community collectively paints a unique portrait of Baltimore that goes beyond its sports teams, geography, and policies. It is precisely the owners of these small businesses that make the contribution to go out and build narratives that gives Baltimore a unique story.

— Jennie Rivera

See more photos from the UMB Holiday Craft Fair.

Jennie RiveraPeople, University LifeDecember 3, 20180 comments
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Hello ... Hola on chalkboard

Spanish Language Conversation Group Meeting on Dec. 7

The Spanish Language Conversation Group will meet Friday, Dec. 7, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 pm. at the School of Social Work, Room 2310.

The group will be joined for the first part of the meeting by guest speaker Amy Greensfelder, who will talk about her work as executive director of the Pro Bono Counseling Project of Maryland and will offer information about volunteer opportunities and advanced clinical field placement opportunities for social workers. The meeting will include some time afterward for discussion in Spanish.

There will be light snacks provided, so please bring your lunch.

For questions, please email Katie  at kgolden@umaryland.edu.

Katie GoldenClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 3, 20180 comments
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Barbara Mikulski speaks to the UMB audience

Mikulski Talks Social Work Roots, Local Organizing, D.C. Politics

Barbara Mikulski, MSW ’65, was a social worker before launching her legendary and pioneering 45-year political career, but she doesn’t consider it a former job.

“People always say that I was once a social worker, but I say this: If you are a social worker, there’s never a ‘once,’” said Mikulski, drawing applause as the featured guest in the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President’s Panel on Politics and Policy on Nov. 27 at the SMC Campus Center. “You are a social worker forever in whatever you do and whatever you become. And I think going into politics is social work with power.”

A proud graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Mikulski talked about those social work roots, community organizing, civility in Washington, presidential politics, the 2020 census, and more in her conversation with UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD. She also took questions from the crowd of 220-plus that filled the Elm Ballrooms for the seventh installment of the panel series, which was launched in January 2017 to examine issues important to the University community that are likely to be affected by the Trump administration and Congress.

(Read about past speakers here and view a photo gallery from the Mikulski event here.)

In his introduction, Perman described Mikulski as his friend and advisor and detailed her trailblazing work as a champion for women, higher education, seniors, and the disadvantaged as the longest-serving woman ever in the U.S. Senate. He pointed out that when Mikulski was asked why she wasn’t seeking a sixth term in 2016, she said, “Well, do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?”

“You know which one she chose,” Perman said with a smile.

Indeed, during the hourlong event, Mikulski showed the mix of feisty and folksy that made her a Maryland political legend and a 30-year force in the Senate, stressing that interpersonal relationships and unconventional thinking often are the keys to getting things accomplished. Now a professor of public policy at Johns Hopkins University, Mikulski began by recounting her shift from social worker to community organizer, rallying opposition to a federal highway construction project in Baltimore 50 years ago.

“I said, ‘Look, we need to fight this,’” Mikulski said. “So we got people in the community together at a bar, had a few shots of ouzo, and said we have to give ourselves a militant name and create the illusion of power. So we came out with SCAR, the Southeast Council Against the Road, and I began the highway fight that took me into politics.”

In her next stop, early during her tenure on the Baltimore City Council that began in 1971, Mikulski said she asked the body’s president to go outside the committee structure to create a rape task force, aiming to treat women who had been assaulted as trauma victims rather than merely crime victims. Counting the task force as among her proudest achievements, Mikulski said of her approach, “Always go outside the box, because otherwise you leave yourself in a box forever.”

This type of thinking was present during her time in the House of Representatives (1976-1986) and in the Senate (1986-2017), she said, particularly in regard to bipartisanship. Mikulski, a Democrat, recalled that in the early 1990s a newly elected Republican senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison, reached out to her for a meeting and, despite her staff’s misgivings, she obliged. This led to a friendship with Hutchison and regular meetings among female senators from both political aisles, she said.

“We didn’t agree on a lot of issues,” Mikulski said. “But we agreed on two things first: We would approach each other in a zone of civility and we would never demonize each other. We would always interact with integrity, a sense of honor, and intellectual rigor.”

Mikulski said that areas of agreement included promoting women’s economic empowerment and especially women’s health, and that the senators from opposing parties could find common ground on issues such as mammogram quality standards and breast cancer research funding.

“We all agreed if we were going to ‘Race for the Cure,’ we wanted to lead the marathon, so that was another proud accomplishment,” Mikulski said.

Searching for Common Ground

Staying on the topic of political relations, Perman asked about the state of affairs in Washington today and whether the partisan divide could ever be bridged. “How do these two parties at odds on absolutely everything find some common ground?” he said.

While lamenting the vitriol and gridlock, Mikulski was optimistic that newcomers in the next Congress — “a blue wave that I’d hoped would be a tsunami,” she said — could help to turn the tide of negativity.

“There’s a tremendous new group coming in and a lot of new women got elected,” Mikulski said. “And not only does the blue wave wear lipstick and high heels, it wears camouflage. Many of the women coming in have had military service. And these veterans bring a different view. They’re a different generation. They’re not only going to come to fight for veterans’ health care, but they will oppose wars that should not be fought and make sure we win wars if we’re going to fight them.

“Most important, I believe they’re going to put country over party. I think that they’re going to make a difference, not only in terms of policy, but in terms of tone and tenor. Keep an eye on them.”

Asked about her thoughts on the 2020 presidential race, Mikulski said she thinks the Democratic nominee will come out of the West or Midwest and that President Donald Trump will face a challenge from within the Republican Party. She said the Democrats’ race could be over quick, partly because California’s primary was moved from June to March, and she mentioned four senators — Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Sherrod Brown — as possible contenders.

“These are very talented people,” she said. “You also have Joe Biden pondering a run and Bernie Sanders pondering another run. So it’s going to be exciting.”

2020 Census Critical for Baltimore

Bringing the discussion back to the local level, Mikulski, a lifelong resident of Baltimore, stressed the importance of the city’s participation in the 2020 census, tasking Perman and the University community with aiding Mayor Catherine Pugh to make sure every person is counted so the city can receive its fair share of federal funds.

“The consequences for Baltimore and Maryland are significant,” Mikulski said. “Eighty-five percent of all federal funds that will come to Baltimore will be formula-driven, from Medicaid to mass transit, from Section 8 housing to school lunch programs. If we don’t get the census right, we will disadvantage ourselves for a decade — for a decade!”

An undertaking like the census, Mikulski added, is where members of the UMB community can learn real-world lessons in civic engagement. And while she recognizes the power of technology and social media, she hopes that young people will realize that it takes more than emails, tweets, or hashtags to effect social change.

“This is a fantastic tool for organizing,” Mikulski said, holding up her cellphone, “but it’s also bloodless, you know? You might get the email, but you don’t get the person. So that’s why there’s nothing like interpersonal gatherings.

“I would encourage civic engagement and volunteerism, and my advice is this: Don’t treat civic engagement like it’s just an event. ‘Oh, I will go to the march. Oh, I will race for the breast cancer cure.’ That’s great. That’s wonderful. But you’ve got to do more than that.

“Engagement has to be a lifestyle, not an event.”

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaFor B'more, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeNovember 30, 20180 comments
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Employee of the Month Ferdine Ramadan and Dr. Perman

With Quick Action, Security Officer Ramadan Earns Employee of the Month Award

“Protect the people.”

That’s the mindset Ferdine Ramadan carries with her every day in her job as a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) security officer stationed inside Health Sciences Research Facility I. And it’s what prompted her quick thinking and actions recently when two men took an apparent disagreement from the sidewalk into the building.

One man entered the facility first, being pursued by a second man, but Ramadan’s rapid response defused the situation. She stopped the first man from moving farther inside the building while calling for backup on her radio, then persuaded the other man to back down before sending both outside the facility while UMB Police arrived on the scene.

“My main thought was to get them out and protect the people inside the building,” says Ramadan, an 18-year UMB employee. “I didn’t want them to get upstairs. I didn’t want them to scare people or get to the point where it gets physical and escalates.”

For her actions, Ramadan received the UMB Employee of the Month Award for November, earning praise from University President Jay A. Perman, MD, and congratulations from UMB Police Chief Alice Cary, MS, and other public safety colleagues during a ceremony Nov. 26 in the President’s Boardroom at the Saratoga Building.

The ceremony was supposed to be a surprise, but Ramadan had figured it out. Someone told her she’d been nominated for the UMB award, and her colleagues had been offering congratulations, without saying why. “I’d say to them, ‘What are you congratulating me for?’ And they would walk away without replying,” she said. “I kind of knew something was going on.”

Perman took note of that in his remarks. “This was going to be a surprise, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we want to honor you … so act surprised or something!” he joked before handing Ramadan a plaque, a letter of commendation, and news that an extra $250 would be in her next paycheck.

Turning serious, Perman told Ramadan, “You are the Employee of the Month because the people who you help and the people who you protect have chosen to honor you. And it’s a real privilege for me to thank you. Clearly you provide an example for everybody at UMB because you are so devoted to this institution. It’s very much appreciated.”

Ramadan’s effective response was appreciated, too, by Anita Warren, a research data entry operator at the School of Medicine who observed the security officer’s actions that day and promptly put forth her Employee of the Month nomination on the Human Resources website.

“I was able to witness firsthand the professionalism, effectiveness, and safety-first attitude of Ferdine Ramadan,” Warren said. “These men were attempting to enter the facility without due cause or reason, other than to harm each other and maybe innocent bystanders. Ms. Ramadan politely but forcibly got these men to leave the building, then she was able to alert her fellow officers to the situation.

“With her willingness to ensure the safety of the staff and visitors first, she was able to provide vital information to responding officers. I believe if it was not for her quick action, this situation could have escalated.”

Asked about being singled out for such praise, Ramadan says that she doesn’t like to draw attention to herself and that she was simply doing her job. And she called it a teachable moment.

“When I got home, I replayed the whole incident in my head, sort of thinking, ‘What could I have done differently? Maybe next time I should communicate to my superior officers better via my radio.’ But the more I think about it, I was just doing my job the best I could.

“The main thing is that nobody got hurt, and I’m happy for that.”

— Lou Cortina

 

Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeNovember 30, 20180 comments
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Beauty break lunch and learns

Lunch & Learns with UM Facial Plastic Surgery

Discover ways to look as young as you feel! Join board-certified physicians from University of Maryland Facial Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa at two upcoming Lunch & Learn sessions as they discuss the latest advances in anti-aging treatment and ways to look your best. Ask the experts and get free samples and treatment discounts. Registration is required and lunch will be served.

Face the Facts: Botox, Fillers, and More

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 28
  • Time: Noon-1 p.m.
  • Site: Health Sciences and Human Services Library, fifth floor, Gladhill Board Room

Latest Laser Treatments for Smooth, Glowing Skin

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 7
  • Time: Noon-1 p.m.
  • Site: SMC Campus Center, second floor, Elm Room A
Merideth MarrBulletin Board, Clinical Care, People, University LifeNovember 26, 20180 comments
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Three helpers

Kudos to the Facilities & Operations Team

Bill Joyner, MSW, senior economic inclusion specialist in UMB’s Office of Community Engagement, contacted Dawn Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president for administration and finance, this week with praise for the facilities and operations team and Terence Morse, MS, interim associate vice president, facilities and operations:

Dawn,

I want to tell you how much it meant to me that your team went out of its way to rescue materials for our community garden.

A Home Depot delivery of fencing materials, including at least 1,600 pounds of concrete, and additional lumber and supplies were dropped off without a phone call, and therefore left at the wrong place. Because of this error, thousands of dollars of materials were left exposed to the elements and the possibility of theft. They also were  dropped in a place that prevented access to utility areas of the BioPark Garage. The materials were just too heavy and too large to move.

That’s when Terry Morse jumped into action, while simultaneously addressing the water main break on Baltimore Street. He coordinated with Mark Drymala to get a forklift to move the materials. Because this was at the very end of the work day for many facilities workers, he moved. When I left the Saratoga Building to meet him there, he was racing on foot in the pouring rain.

After the forklift moved the pallet of materials to the garden, Terry and I started loading the bags of concrete and lumber into the shed by hand because the forklift couldn’t enter the unpaved lot. Matt and Bill, also pictured, heard what was happening and drove over to help volunteer.

These three guys went out of their way to literally do the heavy lifting of community engagement in pouring rain. And Terry did so while dressed like an AVP in dress clothes and dress shoes, covered in mud and concrete.

Then, he went right back to the Saratoga Building to continue working on the water main issue, like it was just another day. I was so grateful, and so impressed. It was a great example of the amazing culture of service in Administration and Finance.

I thought you should know. We were so hot and sweaty in the humid and rainy weather that my camera was fogging up. I’m sorry I couldn’t get a clearer picture.

Thanks!

Bill JoynerCommunity Service, People, UMB News, University LifeNovember 20, 20180 comments
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Students and faculty at tea party

Pharmacy Students and Faculty Come Together Over Tea

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

While the School of Pharmacy is world renowned for its advancements in pharmacy education, scientific discovery, and patient care, it still faces an unspoken and universal truth shared among institutions of higher learning: Students sometimes feel lost and unsure of themselves and as if they have no one to whom they can turn. This silent struggle can prevent many students from comfortably and confidently seeking out help with their academics, pharmacy careers, and research projects. In trying to keep up with the hustle of pharmacy school, students have forgotten who their biggest asset and source of support can be: faculty.

Breaking Down Barriers

On Oct. 31, members of the School of Pharmacy’s chapters of the Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society and the Rho Chi Society set out to nurture positive relationships between students and faculty by hosting the school’s first-ever “Student FaculTEA Party.” Students and faculty were invited to a tea party-style lunch, complete with finger sandwiches, pretzels and hummus, fruit, and tea for all to enjoy. Our goal was to have an informal yet structured gathering where faculty and students could put aside their titles and get to know one another on a personal level.

More than 40 students and nearly 20 faculty attended our gathering, including Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the school. To kick off the event, we broke attendees into small groups, which included approximately six students and two or three faculty members each. We started with a “This or That” icebreaker, which brought a lot of laughs and set the mood for our event. Through a series of questions, students and faculty talked about their childhood memories, hobbies, failures, lessons learned, and how to move forward. Many of the questions asked were not ones that would be commonly broached in typical conversations between students and faculty, as they were not related to pharmacy school.

We then shifted the conversation to the barriers that faculty sometimes assume students encounter when trying to approach them, as well as what students consider to be the true barriers. Our goal was to transform this silent struggle into an acknowledged, spoken one. We have noticed that students primarily interact with faculty during lectures or roundtables; as a result, they often shy away from approaching faculty for advice or guidance on problems not directly related to those brief interactions. They forget that their professors, though knowledgeable and wise now, started in the same place they did — as students who faced the same anxieties and stressors that current students continue to experience and ones who can relate to almost any challenge we might currently be confronting.

By not leveraging a resource as rich as faculty insight, students are only hindering themselves. The years in pharmacy school go by fast, and it is important for students and faculty to understand how we can work together to make this time more productive. We believe that, by offering students an opportunity to get to know their professors outside the confines of the classroom, they will start to see faculty as less intimidating and more approachable — mentors to whom they can turn for advice and guidance on any academic, professional, or personal challenge they might be experiencing.

Building Productive Relationships

Although the party was only an hour long, we hope that all those who attended make the most of it moving forward. For students, we hope the next time they see the faculty members they spoke with, that they will say hello and stop to have a conversation. Hopefully, the next time they encounter an obstacle that they do not think they can overcome alone, they will know they have someone to whom they can turn. And the next time they have a question, they will know whom to reach out to for help. For faculty, we hope they have gained a better understanding of the reasons that students may not come to them for help as often as they expect, and use that understanding to guide their interactions with students.

We plan to host the “Student FaculTEA Party” each semester, with the hope of developing relationships that will ultimately help faculty and students at the school unlock their full potential.

— Leann Kwak and Saniya Chaudhry, third-year student pharmacists

Leann KwakPeople, University Life, USGANovember 19, 20180 comments
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Photographer, writer and artist

Students Needed for UMB Art and Literary Journal Editorial Review Teams

UMB’s new art and literary journal, 1807, needs students to join the editorial review team. Help choose which entries are selected for publication! Choose a team to participate on:

  • Visual arts (painting, drawing, photography)
  • Photography
  • Writing (short story, essay, poetry)
  • Other art mediums (sculpture, clay, metal, glass, wood)

Please note that if you’re picked to join a review team, you may not submit an entry to that category, but you may submit to other categories.

Please email Dana Rampolla by Nov. 27 if you’re interested.

 

Dana RampollaBulletin Board, Contests, People, UMB News, University Life, USGANovember 16, 20180 comments
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Dr. Perman talks at the TEDx UMB event

TEDx Event Amplifies UMB’s Cutting-Edge Innovations

The audience seated in an intimate ballroom at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) turned its attention to a small stage at the front of the room. The stage filled with red light as Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, MS, a research associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, entered from behind a black curtain off to the right.

“I am a P-H-Diva,” Finigan-Carr declared. “I study sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, and I’m here to tell you about the perfect combination of the three: child sex trafficking.” And with that, Finigan-Carr began her TEDx talk titled Child Prostitutes Don’t Exist, which discussed the topic of minors being manipulated and trafficked for sex.

Her riveting talk was part of TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore (TEDx UMB), an inaugural, day-long event for the University put on through TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” The goal of a TEDx program is to carry out TED’s mission in local communities around the world through a series of live speakers and recorded TED Talks.

On Nov. 9, 10 speakers from the UMB community took the stage to share their innovative ideas across a wide scope of subject areas united under a single theme culled from the University’s mission statement: Improving the Human Condition. Each speaker approached the theme from a unique perspective informed by life, work, and experience. This brought forth an engaging mix of topics ranging from pioneering augmented reality in the operating room to exploring a middle ground in gender beyond just male and female.

(View a photo gallery.)

“All of the speakers are passionate about the work they are doing,” explains Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA, UMB’s senior vice president for operations and institutional effectiveness and a member of the committee that organized TEDx UMB. “As an institution for health and human services, UMB conducts a multitude of cutting-edge research and education and we’re always looking for platforms to amplify our work.”

UMB’s cutting-edge research certainly was demonstrated by TEDx UMB speaker Samuel A. Tisherman, MD, FACS, FCCM, a professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), with his talk: A Cool Way to Save Dying Trauma Patients.

Tisherman discussed the idea of using EPR (Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation) on patients with severe traumatic injuries like gunshot or stab wounds to help stave off death during surgery. The innovative medical technique involves pumping the human body with cold saline (a saltwater solution used for resuscitation) to lower a dying patient’s body temperature to a hypothermic state. This slows the patients’ need for oxygen and blood flow, giving surgeons more time to perform life-saving operations.

“There’s this dogma in surgery that hypothermia is bad, but I would have to disagree,” Tisherman told the audience. “There are numerous reports of patients having cold water drowning, but they survived after being under water for over an hour. Think about that for a second. You’re underwater, can’t breathe, but your body cools fast enough so that your brain, your heart, and other organs are protected, and you can actually survive for over an hour.”

EPR is currently in human trials at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. If it continues to be successful, EPR potentially could lead to reduced mortality rates in trauma centers around the world, which fits right into TEDx UMB’s theme of Improving the Human Condition.

Mary J. Tooey, MLS, AHIP, FMLA, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and executive director of UMB’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library, served as emcee for the day, and UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, kicked off the proceedings with his talk, No Money, No Mission. Perman discussed how he learned to balance empathy with good business practices from his parents while growing up in their family-owned dry cleaning business in Chicago. Perman explained how he has put that lesson to use as a pediatric gastrienterologist and as the president of a university that produces hundreds of millions of dollars worth of groundbreaking research and innovations every year.

The day continued with more compelling and thought-provoking discussions. Russell McClain, JD ’95, an associate professor and associate dean at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, used the back of a cereal box to demonstrate and launch a discussion about implicit bias and stereotype threat; Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and at UMSOM, explored the idea of using the brain’s own power as a solution to the opioid crisis; and Jenny Owens, ScD, MS, the faculty executive director of UMB’s Graduate Research Innovation District (the Grid), delivered a talk about her passion project, Hosts for Humanity, an organization that connects families and friends of children traveling to receive medical care with volunteer hosts offering accommodations in their homes.

“I think events like TEDx are really encouraging,” Owens said. “Seeing all of the amazing work people are doing and how much time and commitment they’re putting into making the world a better place is really inspiring, and I hope it inspires people to go out there and get to work on their own ideas.”

Although each speaker at TEDx UMB was part of the UMB community, their audience was not limited to the 100 people seated in the ballroom. The event was livestreamed on YouTube to a global audience, allowing its outreach and engagement to go far beyond the local community.

“There are so many talented people doing important work here at UMB,” said John Palinski, MPA, a philanthropy officer at UMB and a member of the TEDx planning committee. “TEDx is a bit of education in just reminding people who we are by projecting to the world all the wonderful things that are happening here.”

Members of UMB’s TEDx planning committee hope that this year is just the beginning of an annual event that showcases UMB’s commitment to sparking deep discussions and spreading innovative ideas to improve humanity.

“I am so pleased with this year’s event and I’m already excited for next year,” concluded Palinski.

Jena FrickCollaboration, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Administration, University Life, USGANovember 14, 20180 comments
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