People posts displayed by category

UMB Employee Lawson is First to Buy House in Improved Live Near Your Work Program

Living in an apartment in Charles Village, near the Johns Hopkins University campus where she went to college, Shea Lawson had to take four buses and sometimes more than an hour to get to and from her job as a research project coordinator at the Brain and Tissue Bank at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

She wasn’t crazy about the commute or, as she put it, “putting money down the rent drain.” Last fall, she was thinking about buying a house but wasn’t sure she could swing it financially, so she started thinking about shopping for a condo instead.

But when an email touting the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) improved Live Near Your Work (LNYW) Program landed in her inbox in early November, her outlook on buying a house brightened. She sprang into action, eager to take advantage of the grant that provides University employees up to $18,500 toward the purchase of a home in seven targeted Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods — Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Market, Mount Clare, Pigtown/Washington Village, Poppleton, and Union Square.

“I jumped on it pretty quick,” Lawsonx said of the program, which officially launched Jan. 9. “When I saw the advertisement [in November], I went on the Zillow real estate website, looking at houses in these neighborhoods. I was mostly looking at Pigtown, Barre Circle, and Hollins Market, because I was more familiar with those areas.”

Taking Ownership

She soon contacted a realtor and toured about 10 houses between late November and mid-January, all while working with a mortgage company to set up the financing for a potential purchase. She completed the program’s required homebuying counseling sessions with UMB’s LNYW partner, GO Northwest Housing Resource Center, attended the employee kickoff event at the SMC Campus Center on Jan. 11, and was among the first to apply when applications opened Jan. 29.

Today, Lawson is the proud owner of a rowhouse in Pigtown, the first grant recipient in the improved LNYW Program, which offers $16,000 from UMB and $2,500 from the city of Baltimore, a dramatic increase from the program’s former $5,000 incentive. The University has committed $1.5 million to the initiative, with hopes that 90-plus employees will take advantage of this financial benefit. Lawson says the program was a perfect fit, opening the door to homeownership and fulfilling her desire to stay at UMB long term.

“I really didn’t have enough for a down payment on a house. I would’ve had to canvass some relatives for a loan,” said Lawson, who has been working at UMB since May 2017. “This allows me to be financially independent. And being near my work was appealing, especially after I decided I wanted to stay at UMB for a while. If it weren’t for this program, I probably would’ve ended up in another rental situation.

“I actually had been trying to get my financials in order to possibly look at condos. I thought that might be the next step for me. A house seemed like a much bigger investment than I initially thought I was ready for. But seeing the Live Near Your Work Program advertised and looking into that, it all of a sudden became feasible.”

Emily Kordish, Human Resource Services benefits manager and the LNYW coordinator, said of Lawson: “Shea was extremely pro-active and resourceful. She really utilized our resources and website and got everything together on her own to get this done. It was a very seamless and positive process working with her.”

Home Sweet Home

Lawson, a city native who went to high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts before earning a bachelor’s degree in history at Johns Hopkins, is thrilled with her purchase, a rowhouse that was built in 1900 and had been refurbished in the past year.

“I didn’t have a specific type of house in mind when I started looking,” she said. “I just looked at everything in my price range and any place that had decent parking options. The house I found has a spacious, open floor plan that still manages to feel cozy and inviting, with solid workmanship on all of the interior features. All of the inside was redone. Half of the basement is finished. And they put a parking pad in the back.”

As for the neighborhood, Lawson says she liked “the close-knit and friendly vibe of the street and block,” and adds that her proximity to M&T Bank Stadium and other downtown attractions was a plus.

“I can see the stadium lit up at night from my back bedroom window, which is a fantastic view for a lifelong Ravens fan like me,” she said. “It will be convenient to my new digs in Pigtown without being overwhelmingly intrusive. It’s the best of both worlds!”

Lawson was extremely pro-active in pursuing the grant, but she also praised Kordish and the program’s partner organizations for helping make her homebuying experience a success.

“It’s been very smooth. The program is run very well,” Lawson said. “Everyone I’ve encountered who’s a part of it — Emily Kordish, Live Baltimore, GO Northwest — they’re very much enthusiastic about it and want to get you the information you need. Also, the Live Near Your Work website has a lot of good information and is really well done.

“I got a lot of help from a lot of good people in the program and from my realtor and my lender — everyone made it easy for me to communicate with them. The Live Near Your Work Program, you can tell they are passionate about this, they want it to work. It’s not just the money UMB has put up, it’s that they’re engaged.”

— Lou Cortina

Housing Fair on March 25

The Southwest Partnership is holding housing fair Sunday, March 25, that is open to the public and will feature UMB’s Live Near Your Work Program. The fair runs from 11:30 a.m to 4 p.m. Click here to register.

More LNYW Information

To learn more about the LNYW Program, click here.

To read more about the program’s launch, click here and here.

Lou CortinaFor B'more, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeMarch 16, 20180 comments
Read More

Everyman Theatre Offers 20 Percent UMB Discount on Tickets

Everyman Theatre is offering UMB faculty, staff, and students 20 percent off tickets.

Everyman Theatre is a professional theater with a resident company of artists from the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Each season of plays is carefully curated to foster a diverse range of human experiences found in a mix of dramas and comedies selected from timeless classics to world premieres.

The UMB discount offer is valid until June 10, 2018. Use the discount code UMB18 when making your purchase (excludes previews and opening-night performances).

Click here to buy tickets.

The theater’s current play, Aubergine, runs through April 15. The next play, The Book of Joseph, is scheduled to run May 9 to June 10.  Click here for more details.

Alice PowellBulletin Board, For B'more, People, University LifeMarch 15, 20180 comments
Read More

Eight DNP Students Share Expertise Through Poster Presentations

As part of their coursework in preparation for graduating from the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s (UMSON) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, students submit poster presentation abstracts on health topics to national nursing organizations.

Eight UMSON DNP students — Kelly Allen, BSN, RN, CCRN; Sharon Ballinger, BSN, RN, CCRN; Eugena Bergvall, BSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN; George Bigalbal, BSN, RN, CEN; Jamie Bowman, BSN, RN; Ajibola Ibironke, BSN, RN, CCRN; Megan Lucciola, BSN, RN, CMSRN; and Theresa Nowak, BSN, RN, CCRN — had their abstracts accepted to several national nursing organization conferences.

In developing their abstracts, DNP students in Diagnosis and Management 5: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems were asked to select a national nursing organization to which to submit a poster presentation abstract, review the organization’s abstract submission guidelines, and describe how and why they identified the health care need or topic they focused on. Assistant professors Maranda Jackson-Parkin, PhD, CRNP-BC, ACNP, CCNS, CCRN-K, and Alicia Williams, DNP, RN, MBA, ACNP-BC, CCNS, served as mentors. Some students’ presentations were accepted to multiple conferences.

“Having so many of our students have their abstracts accepted at national conferences demonstrates the dedication of our students and their faculty mentors to advancing the practice of nursing and is the reason UMSON is a top-10 DNP program,” said Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS ’03, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor and associate dean for the DNP program. “Much like any of the other skills our advanced practice registered nurse students learn, dissemination takes practice. Presenting at these conferences will set the stage for lifelong scholarship.”

Allen will be presenting “Using Clinical Data to Design Nurse Education for Expansion of Oncology Services” at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 43rd Annual Congress on May 17-20 in Washington, D.C. The abstract also will be published in an online issue of Oncology Nursing Forum. Allen had a second abstract, “Translation of a Vascular Specific Cardiac Risk Stratification Tool into Practice for Patients Undergoing Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair,” accepted for display at the Society for Vascular Nursing 36th Annual Conference on June 20-21 in Boston.

Ibironke also had two abstracts accepted. She will present “Effectiveness of Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (QSOFA) as Sepsis Screening Tool in the Emergency Department (ED)” as a podium presentation at MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Third Annual Nursing Evidence-Based Practice and Research Conference on March 8 in Washington. The same abstract also was accepted to the Sixth International Congress on Bacteriology and Infectious Disease on May 21-22 in New York.

Additionally, Ballinger, Bergvall, Bigalbal, Bowman, Lucciola, and Nowak presented their posters at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists’ annual conference on Feb. 28-March 3 in Austin, Texas.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 14, 20180 comments
Read More

Policy Forum on Gender-Based Violence to be Held April 18

“Bringing Marginalized Voices to the Center: A Policy Forum on Gender-Based Violence” on April 18 will feature a panel of Baltimore-based community organizations to highlight marginalized voices in the current national conversation on gender-based violence, including trends in the #MeToo and #WhyIStayed movements.

Panelists’ perspectives on sexual violence, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence against women with disabilities, women veterans, transgender women, Latina immigrant and undocumented women, and women in low-wage work will be presented, including potential policy solutions to end gender-based violence. A moderated Q&A session will follow.

  • When: Wednesday, April 18, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Where: UMMC Shock Trauma Auditorium, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, 22 S. Greene St. Visitors can enter through the Shock Trauma main entrance on Lombard Street or through the Homer Gudelsky Building located at the corner of South Greene and Lombard streets.

Register here for this free event.

Lisa FedinaBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, UMB NewsMarch 13, 20180 comments
Read More

Police Patrols Reminder from Interim Chief Davenport

As the weather turns warmer, more members of the UMB community will be walking outside. Martinez Davenport, MS, interim chief of the UMB Police Force, thought it an appropriate time to discuss police patrols and remind us of changes that were enacted last fall. Here is his letter:

Dear Colleagues:

Last fall I alerted the University community to some changes to the way the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Force patrols campus streets. Now, as the weather improves and we all spend more time walking around campus, those changes will become more apparent and a reminder seems in order.

In the past, sworn police officers could be seen standing in the same locations at the same times of the day. Those locations were chosen because of the amount of foot traffic in the area and other factors that indicated the greatest need for police presence. Although the officers’ consistent presence was a comfort for many, our experience showed us that this method of deployment was not the most effective way to maintain a safe and secure campus.

As a result, starting last October, we changed things just a bit. While our sworn police officers continue to provide service to these locations, they now have the autonomy to walk the area around the corners on which they were often stationary in the past. This change has given our officers greater flexibility to react to situations as they happen and to respond more effectively to suspicious activity. It has also had the effect of providing visible coverage to more of the campus.

I believe this change in tactics is already having a beneficial impact on campus security. So, please remember, when you pass by those familiar street corners today, you’ll still our officers on the beat much of the time. But if you don’t, you can be sure they are close by and keeping a sharp eye on things.


Martinez Q. Davenport, MS
Interim Chief, UMB Police Force

Chris ZangCollaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 9, 20180 comments
Read More

Reece and Others Speak to Succeeding as Minorities in Health Care

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and dean of the School of Medicine (UMSOM), shared his mantra with a group of students gathered for a Minorities in Health Care presentation Feb. 21 at UMSOM’s Leadership Hall.

“Think big, aim high, stay focused, and be relentless,” Reece told the students while stressing the importance of dressing for success. “People make up their minds about your intellect based on your deportment. Deportment matters. Remember that every day.”

For Black History Month, the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), Student National Dental Association (SNDA), and Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) at UMB highlighted the successes and accomplishments of remarkable under-represented minorities in their fields.

“We wanted to organize an event to encourage minorities because sometimes we feel the obstacles are harder than the accomplishments,” said Claudia Avalos, a second-year UMSOM student and president of the SNMA.

Three leaders from UMB spoke — Reece, Mary J. Njoku, MD, associate professor and vice chair for education in the UMSOM Department of Anesthesiology, and Dwayne Everett, DDS, oral surgeon and professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. The speakers offered advice for students as well as words of inspiration and encouragement.

Njoku, whose parents emigrated from Nigeria, told the students to take ownership and responsibility for their learning.

“Recognize what you know and do something about what you don’t know,” she said. “Always recognize an opportunity and allow yourself the freedom of new ideas and reevaluation of your old ones.”

Everett, gave the students the same advice he gives his children: “Stand on your achievements but never sit on them.” He added, “Take every ounce of knowledge you can from this place and never allow your light not to shine its brightest.”

Netsanet Woldegerima, a first-year medical student and immigrant from Nigeria, enjoyed the presenters— especially Njoku, who spoke of the impact her immigrant parents had on her life.

“Seeing minorities like that makes me realize that any barriers can be overcome,” she said. “Seeing others have made it reassures me I can get there, too.”

Ellis Tibbs, a third-year MD/PhD student, said he found the presentation extremely insightful.

“It struck me,” he said of Everett’s advice. “Now that I’m here, I shouldn’t take anything lightly. It should push me further.”

— Betsy Stein

Betsy SteinCollaboration, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
Read More

UMBrella’s Caregivers Support Group to Meet March 19

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

UMBrella events are open to all UMB faculty, staff, and students.

The next meeting will be held March 19, noon to 1 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Room 203.

Sonya EvansBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
Read More

PROMISE Event Promotes Diversity in STEM Academia

In the effort to increase diversity in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), looms large. Using resources from University System of Maryland institutions, the initiative aims to connect graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from under-represented ethnicities to professional development opportunities and pathways to careers in academia.

One of the program’s signature events is the PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium and Professional Development Conference, which was held Feb. 16 at the University of Maryland, College Park. About 20 students, faculty, and staff from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) participated in the daylong event at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, and they left feeling enlightened, empowered, and thankful.

The conference consisted of research presentations, “TED-style” and “lightning-round” talks, poster sessions, and professional development workshops, followed by a closing reception and awards ceremony. Erin Golembewski, PhD, senior associate dean of the UMB Graduate School, was a moderator and helped lead the University’s contingent along with TaShara Bailey, PhD, MA, UMB’s PROMISE director and diversity fellow on the President’s Diversity Advisory Council.

Dominique Earland, a scholar in the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s (UMSOM) STAR-PREP program, said attending the conference was a win-win, providing what she called “a wonderful learning experience outside of the lab and reinforcing the supportive, inclusive culture of UMB.”

Earland found the conference educational and said it enhanced her professional development. “I not only listened to various STEM research presentations, I also was able to network with other under-represented minorities at different stages of their education and training,” she said. “Additionally, the professional development workshop offered insight into the future. I hope my career can incorporate research and grass-roots community development.”

Scholars, PhD Candidates Make Their Mark

Earland was joined by six other scholars and the academic program specialist, Leanne Simington, from STAR-PREP (Science Training for Advancing Biomedical Research Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program), a one-year mentored training initiative designed to encourage and prepare recent baccalaureate graduates from under-represented groups in the biomedical sciences for successful entry into a top-notch graduate program. STAR-PREP mentors Bret Hassel, PhD, and Gregory Carey, PhD, faculty members from the UMSOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology, served as faculty judges for the day. Harry Choi, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Shock, Trauma and Anesthesiology Research at UMSOM, also served as a judge.

One of the scholars, Mc Millian Ching, was awarded first place for his lightning-round talk, where participants were tasked with condensing their research goals and findings into two-minute oral presentations. Ching, whose presentation was titled “Functional Analysis of PGE2 Pathway Members MRP4 and EP4 in Ovarian Cancer,” praised the University System of Maryland’s commitment to diversity in the sciences and hopes it will extend to all fields of study.

“The PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium is a platform for budding scholars coming from under-represented backgrounds to showcase their ability to do and present research on par with their well-represented counterparts,” Ching said.

Amanda Labuza, a PhD candidate in the neuroscience program at the Graduate School, earned first place for her oral research presentation, “Understanding Regulation of Intercellular Calcium.”

She also presented a research poster, “NOVA: Providing Graduate Students with Outreach Opportunities to Baltimore.” NOVA (Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Association) works with programs and Baltimore schools to teach young students about neuroscience and increase their enthusiasm for studying science.

“I had the opportunity to practice presenting my data in a clear, concise manner to a general audience,” Labuza said. “This provided experience in removing jargon and making my research clear to the public. In my advocacy work, it is important to be able to quickly explain research to non-scientists.”

Jackline Joy Martín Lasola, a PhD candidate in the UMSOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology, also presented a research poster, “Interrogating the Role of Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases (IRAKs) in Mediating Response to Immunotherapies for Solid Tumors.”

Professional Development Workshops Offer Perspective

Edith Hernandez, another STAR-PREP scholar along with symposium attendees Hilary Bright, Kaia Amoah, Elena Muse, and Kayla Rayford, enjoyed the professional development workshops in particular. She said the panel speakers brought a refreshing perspective on what should be expected when preparing for a career in academia. UMSOM assistant professors Cara Felter, PT, DPT, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, and Danya Khoujah, MBBS, Department of Emergency Medicine, lent their expertise to the panel.

“Many unique ideas were shared and discussed among rising researchers in the field of STEM, including a training focus on teaching and mentoring the next generations of minority scientists,” Hernandez said. “The event showcased a tight-knit minority enrichment community that encouraged scientific discussion among peers and professional development in academia.”

Da’Kuawn Johnson, an MD/PhD student at UMSOM, worked as a volunteer at the conference and said he appreciated the way it was structured. “The organizers were careful to provide a snapshot at each level in the process — from postdoctoral fellow to professorship and administration in academia,” he said. “I think that attention to detail was much needed to demystify the route to professorship for minority students.”

Added Earland: “The workshops also discussed the transition from postdoc to first faculty appointment. Several speakers were professors, and each had a unique perspective on the value of teaching. Specifically, Dr. Khoujah encouraged the audience to find ways to gain teaching experience earlier rather than later.”

Johnson said he was moved during a professional development panel by comments from John T. Bullock, PhD, MRP, a Baltimore City councilman and former professor in the Department of Political Science at Towson University.

“The quote that resonated with me was, ‘There is a lot of work to be done and not a lot of people who are willing to do it. If you want to do more, ask for more. You will be surprised at the number of yeses you will receive,’” Johnson said. “I believe it is very important for students at our stage to know that people actually will listen to us and that we can feel comfortable to ask for what we want.

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaCollaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
Read More

‘For All The People’ Exhibit on Display at HS/HSL

“For All The People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform,” a traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine, is on display through March 24 at the Weise Gallery at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL).

Health care reform has been a contentious political issue in the United States for more than a hundred years. From the beginning of the 20th century to today, citizens have made their voices heard in these debates. “For All the People” tells the lesser-known story of how movements of ordinary people helped shape the changing American health care system. The six-banner traveling exhibition highlights images from more than 100 years of citizen action for health care reform.

Everly BrownCommunity Service, PeopleMarch 2, 20180 comments
Read More

The President’s Message

Check out the March issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the significance of Women’s History Month, a 2017 global education recap, a look back at our Black History Month presentation, a look ahead to Dr. Perman’s Q&A on March 7, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 1, 20180 comments
Read More

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Names New Emerson Chair

Angela Wilks, PhD, professor and program chair for chemical and biological discovery in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named the new Isaac E. Emerson Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Established in 1927, the endowed chair honors faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership across the school and their field of research.

“Dr. Wilks’ contributions in the areas of education, research, and service to her field have been significant and sustained since she joined our department nearly 20 years ago,” says Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor and chair of PSC, who awarded the chair to Wilks. “In addition to her commitment to educating future generations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, Dr. Wilks is actively involved in research that aims to improve the treatment of serious infections among some of our most vulnerable patient populations. She has become an internationally recognized expert in her field and is exceptionally deserving of this prestigious honor.”

Honoring Dedication to the Department

The oldest endowed chair in PSC, the Isaac E. Emerson Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences was initially established as a chair in biological testing and assay by Captain Isaac Emerson, president of the Emerson Drug Company, which created Bromo-Seltzer — an antacid designed to relieve the pain caused by heartburn, upset stomach, or acid indigestion — in 1888. It was first awarded to Marvin R. Thompson, PhG, BS, pharmacologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in 1930. Wilks is the seventh recipient of the chair in its 90-year history.

Wilks received her doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Leeds in England, where her research focused on the mechanism of heme degradation. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship and served as a research assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco before joining the School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in 1998. Her current research, which spans multiple disciplines, aims to understand the mechanisms by which pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria acquire and utilize heme as an iron source. Her work has led to the structural characterization of several proteins involved in heme uptake and degradation, as well as the design of potential therapeutic agents that reduce a bacterium’s virulence by targeting its iron metabolism.

In June, she collaborated with Sarah Michel, PhD, professor in PSC, on a winning proposal for the school’s Shark Tank competition, which will bring together more than half of the department’s faculty members to establish a new research center focused on advancing metalloprotein and metallotherapeutics research. “Dr. Wilks is a tremendous colleague and an excellent collaborator. She truly has the department’s best interest in mind and is willing to take that extra step to help us realize our potential,” Shapiro says.

Recognizing Excellence in the Classroom

Throughout her career, Wilks also has demonstrated a passion for educating the next generation of student pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. She is a respected advisor to graduate students in the PhD in PSC program, with nine students graduating under her mentorship, and a dedicated instructor in the school’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, for which she serves as co-course manager for PHAR 5017 (Infectious Disease and Therapeutics II).

“Dr. Wilks has trained many graduate students who now hold esteemed positions across academia, government, and industry. The impact of her mentorship on those students is undeniable,” Shapiro says.

Despite her numerous accomplishments, Wilks remains humble about her recent recognition.

“I am truly grateful to Dr. Shapiro and my department for appointing me to this prestigious role,” Wilks says. “Being named the Isaac E. Emerson Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences is an incredible honor that not only reflects on my past achievements as a researcher and educator but also reminds me that this was not possible without the contributions of others, including the many talented students and postdoctoral fellows I have worked alongside. I would be remiss if I did not also acknowledge the support and friendship of my PSC colleagues. The individuals who held the chair prior to my appointment led remarkable careers in the field of pharmaceutical sciences and it is now my responsibility to ensure that my work emulates the standard that they have set.”

Malissa CarrollEducation, People, Research, UMB NewsFebruary 23, 20180 comments
Read More

Five Tips for a Successful Pharmacy School Interview

Editor’s Note: This post by third-year student pharmacist Dewan Rummana was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

You have completed the prerequisite courses, taken the PCAT, filled out more pharmacy school applications than you can count, and now you have reached the last step of the process: the interview.

Many students, myself included, are apprehensive about the pharmacy school interview, but it shouldn’t be a stressful experience. The interview should be a give-and-take process in which the student not only gets to express their  interest in the field of pharmacy and the school, but also has a chance to figure out if that school is the best fit.  Below is my advice (gained from firsthand experience) on how to make your pharmacy school interview as successful and stress-free as possible.

1. Let Your Passion Shine

The best advice that I can offer is to be yourself and let your passion for pharmacy shine through. An interviewer can tell if an applicant’s interest in pharmacy is genuine. When you are being yourself and representing your thoughts honestly and genuinely, you will find that the interview flows much easier.

2. Make the Interview a Conversation

Interviews should not simply be a question-and-answer process. This makes the interview seem forced, and your answers may come out blunt and choppy. Rather, think of the interview as a conversation about your desire to attend pharmacy school. Do not attempt to memorize answers, because your responses will appear rehearsed and monotonous. Instead, think about some broad ideas for topics that you would like to talk about and messages that you want to convey to the interviewer over the course of the conversation. When applicants think of the interview as a conversation, the experience becomes less stressful and a natural flow for the talk will take over.

3. Be Prepared

Make sure you are ready to discuss all parts of your application in detail — even down to the smallest detail, such as a pharmacy volunteer experience you might have participated in during your sophomore year in college. Do online research to learn about the most frequently asked questions for pharmacy school interviews and make sure you have thought about potential responses. Write notes to help remember topics that are important to you, what you want the interviewer to know about you, and what an interviewer should take away after talking with you.

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions shows that you have done your research on the school and you are interested in learning more. However, be mindful about the questions that you ask. Avoid asking generic questions for which the answers could easily be found on the school’s website. Make your questions thoughtful and insightful, as the responses will help you decide if that pharmacy school is the right match for you.

5. Practice

When preparing for your pharmacy school interview, you will want to practice giving firm handshakes, looking the interviewer in the eye, taking your time answering questions, and learning how to ask your questions. Also, consider practicing how to end the interview by thanking the interviewer for their time and expressing that one last thought that showcases your interest in pharmacy school.

Good luck with your interview! I hope to see you around Pharmacy Hall this fall.

Malissa CarrollEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 22, 20181 comment
Read More

Four Nursing Students Awarded Grants to Participate in Global Health Projects

Four University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) students have been awarded grants to participate in the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Center for Global Education Initiatives (CGEI) grant program, which supports students traveling abroad this summer to participate in global health initiative projects.

Clinical Nurse Leader master’s student Elyse DeLaittre; Bachelor of Science in Nursing students Julie Factor and Sarah Litts; and PhD student Amy Nelson received grants to participate in various projects. CGEI is also providing guidance to the students regarding travel planning, cultural preparation, funding resources, and safety and security.

“We are very excited for Amy, Sarah, Elyse, and Julie. Traveling to another country to address critical global health challenges forces our students to shift their cultural stances and opens their eyes to other ways of providing health care,” said Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD ’11, MS ’05, BSN ’04, CRNP-Neonatal, assistant professor and director, UMSON Office of Global Health. “Global health service-learning experiences are important pathways for bi-directional learning and are often transformational experiences.”

Nelson and Litts will travel to Costa Rica with four other UMB students and three faculty members from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law to participate in the project titled, “A comparative analysis of emerging infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response in Costa Rica and the U.S.” The team will examine how the United States and Costa Rica governments responded to the 2016 Zika outbreak from clinical, pharmaceutical, health care, and community perspectives; compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the two different approaches; and assist in conceptualizing how to implement in the United States successful practices used abroad, while overcoming potential barriers. Additionally, students will learn how to engage the community during infectious disease outbreaks.

DeLaittre, three other UMB students, and two faculty members from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) will travel to Gambia to participate in the project titled, “Health system strengthening in The Gambia: A continuation of prior work.” This project will build upon the foundational work laid in previous UMB visits in 2014 and 2016, with the aim of providing  Gambian health leaders with the knowledge and resources to fortify the country’s health system. Previously, UMB has served as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health in support of WHO’s Global Plan of Action on Worker’s Health. The team will provide technical expertise and content knowledge focused on the health care environment to assist low- to middle-income countries in implementing practices to ensure basic worker protections. Additionally, the group will work to prioritize and implement health care worker protections as one pillar of health system strengthening and sustainability.

Factor, two other UMB students, and a UMSOM faculty member will go to Rwanda to participate in the project titled, “First assessment of injection drug use practices and associated HIV risks in Kigali, Rwanda.” Students will partner with a team of Rwandan medical and nursing students to develop a survey to implement a pilot study at a clinical site in Kigali. The team will seek to ascertain the prevalence and associated behaviors for injection drug use in addition to processing data and presenting the results at an international infectious disease conference.

UMSON’s Office of Global Health predominantly focuses on nursing students, while CGEI is a Universitywide academic resource center for UMB faculty and students who are interested in global education opportunities. CGEI promotes and supports interprofessional global education, identifies global themes that can be contextualized locally, and facilitates academic work related to global education.

“The summer grants program spearheaded by the Center for Global Education Initiatives provides an extraordinary opportunity for our nursing students to join other UMB students and faculty in interprofessional learning opportunities within a global context,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our students will participate in what will undoubtedly be an incredible learning and service experience that reflects our commitment to interprofessional education and to diversity and inclusion.”

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, University Administration, USGAFebruary 22, 20180 comments
Read More