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Carey Law’s Sidhu Brings Unique Perspective to Student Remarker Role

With an impressive array of internships and leadership roles, Aarti Sidhu gained great experience and enjoyed many accomplishments during her three years at the Francis King Carey School of Law.

But in applying to be the student remarker at UMB’s Commencement — and beating out a half-dozen candidates for the honor — Sidhu stressed that what made her a good candidate to speak to the Class of 2018 wasn’t her résumé but the perspective she brings to the lectern.

“As a minority woman in America, and the child of immigrants, I have overcome many challenges and adversities,” Sidhu says. “At every turn, I’ve learned and grown more, into the woman I am today. And UMB has contributed to this substantially.”

Sidhu’s contributions to UMB were substantial, too, as she turned her beliefs into action by advocating for social change, juvenile justice reform, and fair representation for underserved populations – and going the extra mile to do it. She joined Carey Law’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Clinic (now called the Youth, Education and Justice Clinic) in August 2016 and served for four semesters, well beyond the one-semester requirement.

“I’ve been most inspired in my work there,” says Sidhu, who is allowed to practice law under a supervising professor. “We advocate for youth in schools in Baltimore City. Our goal is to do our part to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and work to get students the education they deserve.”

Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Sidhu is one of three children of parents who emigrated from India in the 1970s. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and worked as a consultant and a paralegal before arriving at Carey Law in 2015.

In Baltimore, she found many outlets to help people:

  • As a legal intern with Disability Rights Maryland, she lobbied for special education rights in the state legislature and advocated for students with disabilities.
  • As an Education Reform Project intern with the ACLU of Maryland, she created policy recommendations for the legislative session to increase funding for Maryland schools.
  • As a volunteer with Community Law in Action, a program of the nonprofit Baltimore Corps, she promoted positive community change through youth mentoring.
  • As a law clerk with Maryland Legal Aid, she supported its Community Lawyering Initiative by planning and implementing direct civil legal services to the community.

“After graduation, I hope to work in juvenile justice and more specifically education,” says Sidhu, who won the Monumental City Bar Association’s Juanita Mitchell Scholarship for her work with underserved populations in Baltimore. “I hope to ensure students are receiving the education they’re entitled to.”

Sidhu also was an active member of the Carey Law community. In her second year, she was chosen as the first chair of the school’s Diversity Committee, a particularly meaningful role because of her passion for diversity and inclusion.

“The committee was created to serve as a liaison to the administration and to work with it to improve our school climate,” says Sidhu, who was an advisor during her third year. “I held a number of events, conducted a schoolwide survey to identify concerns regarding diversity, and set a plan to be carried out in coming years.”

Sidhu also served as secretary of the Black Law Students Association, community outreach co-chair of the Suspension Representation Project, and vice president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. She was selected to the school’s 21-member National Trial Team and was manuscripts editor of the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class.

Sidhu says she couldn’t have taken on these tasks without many other helping hands — “I’m thankful to my support system and those who challenged me and laughed with me,” she says — and leaves her fellow graduates with a simple message:

“Pursue your passions, stay true to yourself, and be kind.”

— Lou Cortina

To read more about the commencement speakers and honorees, visit this link.

For more on next month’s ceremonies, visit UMB’s Commencement 2018 website.

Lou CortinaBulletin Board, Education, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB News, University LifeApril 23, 20180 comments
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Quantum Financials Passes Another Milestone

Quantum Financials, which will become UMB’s new financial and reporting system, passed another milestone last week: the completion of the second of four conference room pilots, or CRPs. CRPs are testing cycles used to confirm that the decisions made so far will work for the University when the new system goes live.

The purpose of the second testing cycle was to give Functional Leads hands-on experience with guiding system settings for their areas and in preparing for and executing UMB’s first round of testing within specific areas of the application, including purchasing and finance. The testing cycle was a success. The team identified processes that worked successfully and some that need additional refinements, and it even uncovered a few bugs that are being researched and addressed by the software vendor.

Functional Leads Susan McKechnie (finance), Joe Evans (procurement), and Kevin Cooke (grants) led preparation and testing within their respective areas. In fact, the Quantum Change Champions group got a sneak peek of the upgraded system at the group’s April 19 meeting. Evans led the group of 25 through creating and approving a requisition in Quantum, showcasing new features including purchasing from a catalog and quick ways to view the status of recent requisitions.

First System Upgrade/Evaluation Underway

As CRP2 activities ended, the project team immediately shifted focus to upgrading UMB’s environments to the most current release of the software — the version we will use when Quantum goes live. Functional and technical team members are now evaluating new features, functionality, and how UMB’s settings work with the new release.

Conversions and Integration Testing

The technical teams have been very busy as well. Team members created programs to convert data from eUMB Financials to Quantum. Preparation for CRP2 included testing and refining 15 conversion programs needed to populate the Quantum environments with UMB data such as suppliers, department IDs, and some sample transactional and historic data. CRP2 also included testing 11 of the 46 integrations that Quantum will have to make with other systems such as iLabs, BIORESCO, eUMB HRMS, and the state of Maryland’s R*STARS system. Each conversion and integration requires its own program as well as testing, data validation, and refinement cycles.

What’s Next?

As the team finishes evaluating the features and functionality delivered in the upgraded version of Oracle Cloud Financials, members will begin running another testing cycle — this time in the upgraded release. This cycle will include more converted data, integrations, and solutions than were in the previous cycle. The team will retest transactions and processes run through during CRP2 for any changes in results.

Finally, watch this space for information on the second town hall meeting to be held in early summer. That meeting will be your first chance to get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Quantum Financials!

Robin ReidTechnology, UMB NewsApril 20, 20181 comment
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Peace Corps Director Olsen to Give UMB Commencement Keynote Speech

Former UMB faculty member Jody Olsen, PhD, MSW, confirmed in March as the director of the Peace Corps, will be the University’s keynote speaker at commencement on May 18.

Olsen has served four previous stints — the most recent in 2001 to 2009 as deputy director and then, for eight months, acting director — with the Peace Corps, the country’s flagship international service organization with more than 230,000 American volunteers assisting in 140 host countries since President John F. Kennedy established it in 1961.

Interested in giving back, Olsen came to UMB in 2010 and became immersed in activities as a visiting professor at the School of Social Work, lecturer at the Graduate School, founding member of UMBrella (UMB Roundtable on Empowerment in Leadership and Leveraging Aspirations), even moderating UMB’s 2017 Women’s History Month panel discussion with community leaders and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Olsen also kept international affairs close to her heart as director of UMB’s Center for Global Education Initiatives and co-chair of the Global Health Interprofessional Council. She used her deep knowledge of international development (she has traveled to more than 100 countries) and her commitment to interdisciplinary learning to redefine high-quality out-of-country experiences and give UMB students a transformative global education.

She was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the Peace Corps on Jan. 3. In her remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February, Olsen focused much of her testimony not on the Peace Corps’ work overseas, but on how Peace Corps volunteers strengthen their home communities once they return from service abroad.

“Returned Peace Corps volunteers bring home unique language, cultural, and diplomatic skills,” she said. “They are true global citizens, contributing to our economy, our country, and the urban and rural communities where they live and work all across the United States.”

She added: “Time and again … I see the remarkable ways that returned Peace Corps volunteers teach, inspire, and strengthen communities back home in the United States.”

The students from across UMB’s schools benefited in much the same way from the four summer research projects in Malawi that Olsen participated in and the student trips she led to Central America and South Asia.

“We’re trying to cultivate a mutually respectful situation to solve problems,” Olsen said in 2014 after 33 students from all seven UMB schools traveled in teams to Rwanda, Kenya, Gambia, Malawi, Zambia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines to work on solutions to community-specific health problems. “The opportunity to do that is a gift. It gives students a head start in a world where we’re increasingly dependent on each other.”

Olsen knew she wanted to work globally during her first few days as the Peace Corps’ country director in Togo. With the ink barely dry on her dissertation — a study of end-of-life satisfaction in elderly populations — Olsen landed in the West African nation with her family. There, she oversaw the work of 135 volunteers.

“I walked into that office and I knew immediately I would stay international,” she said. “I liked the action. I liked leading international teams and creating an environment for people to be successful.”

Now confirmed, Olsen will have the opportunity to do just that for the 7,400 current Peace Corps volunteers. She could face hardships, with the organization perhaps facing 15 percent budget cuts, according to some reports.

But Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean of the School of Social Work, has no doubts that Olsen will excel.

“Jody Olsen is a tireless champion,” he said. “She is a terrific communicator, relentlessly optimistic and affirming, and exceptionally knowledgeable about all things international.”

Glenn Blumhorst, president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association, echoed Barth’s praise after the nomination was announced. “America and the world need the Peace Corps now more than ever,” Blumhorst said in a statement. “We’re excited Jody has the opportunity to lead it.”

— Chris Zang

To read more about the commencement speakers and honorees, visit this link.

For more on next month’s ceremonies, visit UMB’s Commencement 2018 website.

Chris ZangPeople, UMB News, University LifeApril 18, 20180 comments
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Integrative Medicine Congress to be Held in Baltimore in May

The International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health will take place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront on May 8-11, 2018. The congress is convened by the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, a group of 71 esteemed academic health centers and affiliated institutions. The consortium is committed to making this congress the premier international forum for integrative medicine research.

The congress will bring together the best and the brightest working globally in the field of integrative medicine and health. Connect, share, learn, and collaborate in this dynamic community, where the leading work is being done via research, clinical care, policy, and education.

Former Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland will be the special guest speaker. Other speakers include UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD; Alessio Fasano, MD; Steven Woolf, MD, MPH; Peter Wayne, PhD; Tracy Gaudet, MD; and Helene Langevin, MD.

Additionally, faculty and staff from the University of Maryland School of Medicine will have posters and presentations on a variety of topics and several faculty members will be leading after-hours events.

Integrative medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, and is informed by evidence. Integrative medicine includes many disciplines, types of practitioners, and therapeutic approaches; the evidence base is complex and growing quickly. The International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health focuses on the evidence base in the practice of integrative medicine. We expect more than 1,200 researchers, clinicians, and trainees from around the world to attend. The congress organizers invite individuals from all disciplines and professions engaged in integrative medicine and health to attend.

The congress will showcase original scientific research through keynote and plenary sessions, oral and poster presentations, and innovative sessions. Research areas to be presented and discussed include basic science, clinical trials, lifestyle and prevention, methodology, health services, cost effectiveness, and education.

For more information and to register, visit this link.

Rebekah OwensBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB NewsApril 17, 20180 comments
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Join Us for MedArt Maryland on April 24

Join us at MedArt Maryland as we explore health care topics in an open and inviting space through the lens of the arts — painting and film, poetry and music, sculpture and prose.

Here are the details for our April meeting:

  • Date: Tuesday, April 24
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Gladhill Board Room, Fifth Floor
  • This month’s topic: “Healing Art.”
  • Special guest: Art therapist Marty Weishaar, LGPAT
  • Note: Light snacks will be served.
  • RSVP: Send an email to srosenbe@som.umaryland.edu
Briana MathisClinical Care, UMB NewsApril 12, 20180 comments
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Celebrate 25 Years of the Social Work Community Outreach Service

Please join the University of Maryland School of Social Work on April 19 for a celebration of 25 years of the Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) and for the Spring 2018 Daniel Thursz Lecture on Social Justice, titled “Community Power: Moving from Service to Justice.”

Here are the event details:

  • Date: Thursday, April 19
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Site: The Winslow at Parker Metal, 333 W. Ostend St., Baltimore, MD 21230
  • Honoring: Diane Bell-McKoy, Associated Black Charities, and Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, founding funder of SWCOS.
  • Individual tickets: $100 per person, $40 for students.
  • More information: Click here.
  • To register: Click here.
Devon PraterCommunity Service, UMB NewsApril 11, 20180 comments
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Rodriguez de Bittner Installed as Trustee for American Pharmacists Association

Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, FAPhA, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been installed to serve a three-year term on the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) Board of Trustees. She will collaborate with fellow board members on broad direction setting for the association, helping to ensure that APhA continues its mission to lead the pharmacy profession and equip members for their role as the medication expert in team-based, patient-centered care.

“Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner has a long history of service to the pharmacy profession,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “As an educator, practitioner, and advocate for her profession, she has developed and implemented numerous programs and initiatives aimed at transforming the way in which pharmacists’ services are incorporated in health care delivery. We are proud to have her represent our school at the national level with this new appointment and are excited to support her continued work to advance pharmacy practice not only in the state of Maryland, but also across the United States.”

Advancing the Pharmacy Profession

Established in 1852, APhA is the largest professional association of pharmacists in the United States, with more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians serving as members. Members of the APhA Board of Trustees are highly accomplished practitioners who are nationally recognized for their efforts to advance the pharmacy profession. They lead the association in developing new policies and programs that advance pharmacists’ optimal roles in team-based, patient-centered care; provide opportunities for professional development, recognition, differentiation, and leadership; disseminate timely, relevant information and state-of-the-art tools and resources; raise societal awareness about the role of pharmacists as essential in patient care for optimal medication use; and create unique opportunities for members to connect and share with peers across practice settings.

“Although it is an honor to serve on the APhA Board of Trustees, it is important to understand that my service extends beyond my own needs as a practicing pharmacist,” Rodriguez de Bittner says. “Because I now have a seat at the table where some of the most important decisions regarding the future of pharmacy practice will be made, it is crucial that I use this visibility to bring awareness to the voices and needs of my students and colleagues. These voices, combined with my expertise and experience, will be critical in helping to inform new policies, procedures, and programming, and ensuring that any new initiatives developed by the association are relevant and important to the advancement of our profession.”

A Leader in Her Field

After receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from the School of Pharmacy, Rodriguez de Bittner joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1984. She has held numerous leadership positions in the school, including associate dean for academic affairs, chair of PPS, executive director of the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS), and director of the award-winning Maryland Patients, Pharmacists, Partnerships (P3) Program. A nationally recognized pharmapreneur who has dedicated her career to developing and implementing new health care delivery models across a variety of practice settings, Rodriguez de Bittner has received many awards in recognition of her achievements, including the APhA Foundation Pinnacle Award for Individual Career Achievement, the Maryland Innovator of the Year Award, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is a past president of the Maryland Pharmacists Association and the APhA Foundation.

She will maintain her faculty appointment at the School of Pharmacy during her service on the APhA Board of Trustees.

“I am excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with other members of the APhA Board of Trustees to address some of the most important challenges facing our profession today,” Rodriguez de Bittner says. “I cannot wait to share the innovative programs that we have developed at our school with others across country as well as learn about the initiatives implemented by those practitioners at their practice sites, to gain a better understanding about which health care delivery methods might be most effective for practitioners and patients alike.

“By working together, I am confident that we will be able to continue moving the profession forward for future generations.”

Rodriguez de Bittner was installed as a member of the APhA Board of Trustees during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition held March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollClinical Care, People, UMB NewsApril 11, 20180 comments
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UMBrella Seeking Applications for Women Student Leaders Conference

The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) will host its annual leadership conference for female undergrad and graduate students, with a goal to provide a robust experience for the next generation of women leaders. The event will be held May 30 to June 2 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

UMB and the UMBrella Group are again sponsoring this event, and, as part of its sponsorship, UMBrella will offer two scholarships for current UMB students to attend the conference.

Scholarship winners will be able to take advantage of numerous workshop sessions, attend a graduate school and career fair, and listen to keynote speakers. In addition, the students will be able to network with other students from around the country.

Interested students can submit a one-page letter stating why they would like to attend via email to umbrella@umaryland.edu.

Submissions will be reviewed by the UMBrella founding members. For further information about the conference, please visit the NCCWSL website.

Sonya EvansPeople, UMB News, University LifeApril 10, 20180 comments
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Graduate School Offers Online Certificate Programs

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Graduate School is offering 100 percent online, asynchronous graduate certificates in Aging and Applied ThanatologyResearch EthicsResearch AdministrationScience CommunicationIntegrative Health and Wellness, Global Health Systems and Services and Implementation and Dissemination Science.

Our 12-credit programs can be completed by a working professional over the course of one year. We’ve structured the program to be as flexible as possible – work anytime, anywhere! Each certificate program consists of four eight-week courses, administered in sequential order.

Each certificate is a stackable credential that can be applied toward a Master of Science in Health Science. The 30-credit MS Health Science program is available entirely online and can be completed by a working professional is as little as 18 months. Upon the successful completion of your certificate, all 12 credits are completely transferable to the MS Health Science program and the GRE requirement is waived. This means that when you finish your certificate, you’ll be 18 credits away from a master’s degree!

Great news, UMB faculty and staff: These programs are covered by tuition remission for benefit-eligible employees; if you fall into that category, your tuition will be covered by the University.

In addition, our certificate programs qualify for federal financial aid. To learn more and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), visit UMB’s University Student Financial Assistance website.

The deadline for fall enrollment to our graduate certificate programs is July 15Apply today!

Ready to learn more about our certificate and MS Health Science programs? We’re going live on social media to talk about our programs and answer your questions in real time. Join us! Register here. Follow @UMBGradSchool on Twitter or Facebook, using hashtag #GradChat to learn more about our certificate programs.

If you have any questions, please contact Jade Grant at jade.grant@umaryland.edu.

Jade GrantEducation, Research, UMB NewsApril 10, 20180 comments
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Halal on the Lawn: Bring Donations, Get Free Food on April 20

The Neuroscience Outreach & Volunteer Association’s (NOVA) Fifth Annual Halal on the Lawn will be held April 20 on the School of Nursing Lawn. There will be food, lawn games, music, and more, and NOVA will be collecting donations to use as prizes at its monthly Bingo events for the patients at Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville, Md. As a thank you for donations, NOVA will provide free Halal in return!

Here are the event details:

  • What: Fifth Annual Halal on the Lawn
  • When: Friday, April 20
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: School of Nursing Lawn
  • Requested donations: Adult clothing, including shoes; toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.); activities (books, games, Sudoku puzzles, etc.).
  • Co-sponsors: NOVA and the University Student Government Association (USGA)
Kasey GirvenCommunity Service, For B'more, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAApril 9, 20180 comments
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SOP’s Mattingly Named Speaker-Elect of American Pharmacists Association

Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named speaker-elect for the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). In his new role, which he will serve while maintaining his faculty appointment at the school, Mattingly will preside over the APhA House of Delegates and serve as a member of the association’s Board of Trustees.

“Our department was thrilled to learn that Dr. Mattingly had been chosen to serve as speaker-elect for the nation’s largest professional association of pharmacists,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “Since joining the faculty at the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Mattingly has proven his skills time and again not only as a practicing pharmacist, but also as an educator and leader, both inside and outside of the classroom. He embodies our department’s mission to advance pharmacy practice through innovation, collaboration, and advocacy, and we cannot wait to see the success that awaits him in this newest appointment.”

Advancing the Pharmacy Profession

Established in 1852, APhA is the leading professional association for the pharmacy profession, boasting a membership of more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. Policies governing APhA’s operations are developed by its House of Delegates, which is composed of representatives from all major national pharmacy organizations, state pharmacy associations, federal pharmacy, and APhA’s three academies: practitioners, scientists, and students.

Individuals elected to the role of Speaker of the House serve a three-year term. After completing his first year of service as speaker-elect, Mattingly will be officially installed as Speaker of the House in 2019. He will conclude his service as past Speaker of the House in 2021. He hopes to use his new appointment to help educate other members about the policy process as well as build new relationships that connect practitioners with resources to help them address some of the most challenging issues facing the profession and become stronger advocates for their work.

“Organizations like APhA are member-driven, which means that their continued success falls on the individuals who are willing to volunteer their time and energy to serve in these important roles,” Mattingly says. “My appointment as speaker-elect is not about me, but about the delegates that I will serve over the next three years. A good speaker must be able to put his or her personal opinions aside and focus on guiding the delegates through the complex mechanisms within the rules of parliamentary procedure.”

Continuing a Commitment to Service

Mattingly received his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics. He began his career with the Kroger Company as a trainer for the company’s EasyFill Pharmacy Retail Network (EPRN) and later was  promoted to District 6 pharmacy coordinator, a position for which he oversaw operations for 12 pharmacies in the company’s Mid-South Division. In 2013, he became the general manager for AlixaRx, a long-term care pharmacy startup company.

He joined the faculty in PPS as an assistant professor in 2014, and his practice interests have focused on patient care and business model challenges in a variety of pharmacy practice settings. He also is pursuing his PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the school, for which his research interests focus on pharmacoeconomics and patient engagement. He serves as director of operations for the school’s Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments (PATIENTS) program, and maintains an active interest in the policy process and parliamentary procedure, which led him to pursue an appointment as speaker-elect with APhA.

“This election was truly special for me, as it took place exactly 10 years to the day that I was elected to serve as Speaker of the House for the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) in 2008,” Mattingly says. “I love parliamentary procedure and the policy process, so I am excited to have this opportunity to continue my service to the association as a practitioner and to take a formal role in helping to shape the policies of the largest pharmacist organization in the United States.”

Mattingly was officially installed as speaker-elect during the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, which was held March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

Malissa CarrollClinical Care, People, UMB NewsApril 6, 20180 comments
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Join the School of Nursing at its Spring Career Fair on April 16

The School of Nursing’s Spring Career Fair will be held April 16 in the school’s lobby. Students and alumni seeking employment, internships, or graduate school opportunities are welcome to attend. Whether this is your first or last year in the BSN, CNL, master’s or doctoral program, you should take advantage of this FREE opportunity to meet representatives from national and regional health care institutions and from other schools of nursing.

Here are the event details:

  • What: University of Maryland School of Nursing Spring Career Fair
  • When: Monday, April 16, 2018
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: School of Nursing lobby
  • More information: Go to the Spring Career Fair web page.
Dardanelles EstesBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeApril 5, 20180 comments
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Symposium Highlights Value of Mass Spectrometry in Biophysics

To help celebrate Biophysics Week, which was internationally observed March 12-16, the Mass Spectrometry Center at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted a day-long symposium March 13 focused on the increasing demand and utility of mass spectrometry in structural biology and biophysical research. Titled “Mass Spectrometry: An Expanding Tool for the Biophysicist,” the symposium attracted dozens of researchers from across the nation and featured presentations delivered by several leading experts in mass spectrometry-based biophysical studies.

“Mass spectrometry methods have been successfully applied to many areas of research — from drug discovery and quality control to diagnosis and imaging,” said Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the school, who offered opening remarks for the symposium. “Increasingly, these methods are also proving to be invaluable for biophysical research. The collective expertise of the faculty and staff in the Mass Spectrometry Center at the School of Pharmacy, coupled with the center’s collaborations with leading experts in the field, uniquely positions us to host this symposium highlighting the role that mass spectrometry can play in structural studies.”

New Approaches to Old Challenges

Biophysical research represents a bridge between biology and physics. Researchers in this field study life at every level – from atoms and molecules to cells, organisms, and environments – to help uncover how complex biological systems work. Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique that helps researchers measure the mass of different molecules within a specified sample, allowing them to identify any unknown compounds and better understand the structure and chemical properties of any molecules that appear in their sample. Recently, mass spectrometry-based methods such as footprinting, hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX-MS), native spray, ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS), and chemical crosslinking have proved highly valuable in the detailed structural and biophysical characterization of proteins.

To kick off the symposium, Brandon Ruotolo, PhD, associate professor of analytical chemistry and chemical biology at the University of Michigan, delivered a presentation titled, “New Gas-phase Tools for the Simultaneous Determination of Protein Complex Structure, Stability, and Sequence.” His presentation outlined key challenges that researchers have faced in their efforts to characterize proteoforms – specific molecular forms of a protein product that arise from specific genes – and showcased his team’s work to overcome those challenges.

“Understanding the complete proteoform space and how it all links together is truly a next-generation challenge for the field of proteomics,” Ruotolo said. “Being able to extract from our analyses some sense of actionable intelligence that we can use to understand a certain disease, for example, is one of our main goals. However, converting this information directly into that intelligence is very challenging. Fortunately, it is a challenge that mass spectrometry is uniquely positioned to help us overcome.”

Pharmacy Paves the Way

A number of faculty, staff, and graduate students from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy delivered presentations during the symposium, including Lisa Jones, PhD, assistant professor in PSC; Patrick Wintrode, PhD, associate professor in PSC; Daniel Deredge, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in PSC; and Emily Hart and Wenjing Li, students in the PhD in PSC program.

Jones, who worked with Deredge to organize the event, delivered a presentation titled “Extension of Hydroxyl Radical-Based Footprinting Coupled with Mass Spectrometry for In Cell and In Vivo Protein Analysis,” in which she spotlighted her group’s work using an emerging analytical technique known as fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP). FPOP is a hydroxyl radical protein footprinting method used to study protein structure and interactions. Researchers can apply this technique to identify protein-protein and protein-ligand interaction sites, identify regions of proteins that undergo conformation changes during ligand binding, and to perform epitope mapping.

“The chemistry behind hydroxyl radical protein footprinting is well known; as a result, we can anticipate all of the different modifications that can happen throughout the process,” Jones said. “It’s also an irreversible method, which is very nice because it allows you as a researcher to do a lot of post-labeling purification if you need to without the risk of losing your protein label.”

Different Perspectives Bring New Insight

Also speaking during the symposium were Lisa Jenkins, PhD, staff scientist from the Laboratory of Cell Biology in the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute; and Asish Chakraborty, PhD, senior business development manager for pharmaceutical business operations at the Waters Corporation. The Waters Corporation served as one of the sponsors for the symposium, with Chakraborty discussing HDX-MS and its numerous applications to the field of biophysical research.

The school’s Mass Spectrometry Center is a partner in the Waters Corporation Centers of Innovation Program, which recognizes analytical scientists facilitating breakthroughs in health and life science research, food safety, environmental protection, sports medicine, and many other areas.

Learning from Leaders in the Field

To conclude the symposium, Michael Gross, PhD, professor in the Department of Chemistry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, delivered his highly anticipated presentation titled, “Biochemical Problem Solving by MS-Based Structural Proteomics.” Gross has 50 years of experience working independently in mass spectrometry, with his research focusing primarily on the development of mass spectrometry in biophysics, specifically to probe protein-ligand interaction interfaces, affinities, and folding/unfolding. Among a long list of significant scientific contributions, his group is credited with developing FPOP as well as another method for the determination of protein-ligand interactions by titration and HD exchange (PLIMSTEX).

“Approximately 15 years ago, I began working with this idea that mass spectrometry-based HDX footprinting and ion mobility could be used to gain new insights about higher order protein structure,” Gross said. “Now, others are beginning to see the same opportunity that I saw — if you use chemistry to footprint a protein, whether it be HDX or FPOP, you can take advantage of all of the strategies that have been traditionally used to elucidate primary structure proteomics to gain new knowledge about proteins’ secondary and tertiary structure.”

Established by the Biophysical Society, Biophysics Week launched in 2016 to help celebrate and raise awareness about the field of biophysics. The symposium hosted by the School of Pharmacy’s Mass Spectrometry Center was one of dozens of events that took place across countries around the world to help promote and expand the understanding of biophysics and related applications.

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa CarrollResearch, Technology, UMB NewsApril 4, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the April issue of The President’s Message.

It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen and the global/local movement she’s helped shape
  • Recaps of the employee recognition luncheon and human trafficking lecture
  • A story on how the Housekeeping Department has benefited from UMB’s Project SEARCH, which trains and hires individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • CURE Corner spotlights
  • A story on the first employee to benefit from our improved Live Near Your Work Program
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAApril 4, 20180 comments
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UMB Participates in YouthWorks Summer Employment Program for 28th Year

In a March 27 letter, Roger J. Ward, JD, MPA, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) senior vice president, operations and institutional effectiveness, and vice dean of the Graduate School, announced the University’s 28th year of participation in the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), YouthWorks/HIRE One Summer Employment Program.

To read the letter, click here or see below.

Here is the text of the letter:

TO:                  UMB HR Partners, UMB Affirmative Action Coordinators and SOM HR Forum

FROM:            Dr. Roger J. Ward, JD, MPA

Senior Vice President, Operations and Institutional Effectiveness

Vice Dean, Graduate School

DATE:             March 27, 2018

RE:                  2018 YOUTHWORKS SUMMER EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM

We are pleased to announce the University’s 28th year of participation in the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), YouthWorks/HIRE One Summer Employment Program.

The University is committed to this program and strives to provide the best student employees to meet your summer staffing needs.  While these students help to meet staffing needs, the placement also provides an invaluable work experience which prepares the students for future employment. Qualified students from the ages 16-21, from Baltimore City high schools and colleges are recruited to work as student employees in UMB offices during the summer. These students will have completed a week-long Job Readiness Training program provided by MOED prior to being placed on campus.

We request your participation in this program by providing job placement for one or more students. MOED and UMB have set aside funding to offset the full cost of hiring the students. Your participation will require that you provide the following:

  • A full time job opportunity that benefits both your department and the student. The opportunity should be interesting and contribute to the student’s learning experience.
  • A salary of $10.10 an hour. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the hourly rate will be charged through the OAC/HRS funding profile.  This 25% off-set seeks to encourage campus participation and subsidizes the students’ time away from the job for program related activities.
  • A work schedule of a 7.5 hour work day, for a total of 37.5 hours a week. The work day must include two 15-minute breaks and at least 30 minutes for lunch.
  • A commitment to employ the student for the duration of the Program; which begins on Monday, June 25, 2018 and ends Friday, July 27, 2018. A student may work longer within the departments. However, the departments must incur the entire cost of the additional work assignment, before and/or after the official program dates.
  • A commitment to support the student’s participation in scheduled program activities, e.g. mentoring, job shadowing, and other training held throughout the five-week program.

To participate, please complete the Job Order form located on our webpage at http://www.umaryland.edu/oac/areas-of-responsibility/youthworks/youth-works-job-order-form/.

Upon our receipt of the form, OAC, EEO/AA will screen and select a candidate as an appropriate match for your position.  Departments may request the return of a student who previously worked in their department from the prior year. The completed Job Order Form must be returned to Camille Givens-Patterson at Camille.GPatterson@umaryland.edu or Kim Mathis at KMathis@umaryland.edu by Thursday, April 26, 2018.

Camille Givens-Patterson and Kim Mathis will begin the interview process for the students the third week in April. If you wish to participate in the interview process, please contact Camille Givens-Patterson or Kim Mathis.

If you have any questions or require additional information, contact Camille Givens-Patterson at (410) 706-3955 (Camille.GPatterson@umaryland.edu) or Kim Mathis at (410) 706-3238 (KMathis@umaryland.edu.)

We at UMB would like to expose the students to the reality of work, and open them up to the world of higher education. Your participation and willingness to provide employment opportunities for these talented students is much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Camille Givens-PattersonBulletin Board, Collaboration, UMB NewsMarch 30, 20180 comments
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