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YouthWorks/HIRE One interns at celebration

Interns Complete Youth Works/HIRE One Summer Jobs Program

Seventeen Baltimore City youths completed the campus’ Youth Works/HIRE One Summer Jobs program, where they learned skills to help them compete and succeed in today’s workforce.

Youth Works/HIRE One is one of several UMB summer youth employment opportunities offered to Baltimore residents in partnership the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. The program is based on job requests from several departments and offices on campus. Students between the ages of 16 to 21 are selected, interviewed, and put on UMB’s payroll.

In the five-week program, which began June 25, some students learned new skills while others expanded their job experience by working in a number of administrative roles in departments throughout the UMB campus. The positions included but were not limited to working as a camp counselor for the new Summer U program at URecFit, in the Office of the President, and in the dean’s offices at the schools of medicine, nursing and dentistry. The Office of Public Safety, Department of Epidemiology, and the offices of Accountability and Compliance and Human Resource Services are regular participants of the program.

Students not only receive hands-on experience, but they also are paired with a mentor, a UMB employee who volunteers their time and expertise to give the student an opportunity to discuss their area of interest and become familiar with the campus. Another component of HIRE One is to present information that can be beneficial to a high school or college student. Cherita Adams, career development manager, Human Resource Services, presented on résumé writing and effective interviewing skills. Patricia Scott, assistant vice president of enrollment administration, presented information regarding college loans, grants, and scholarships. Jullyenne Antues, community outreach specialist from SECU, presented financial management information, discussing the differences between a credit union and a commercial bank.

The program concluded July 27 with a ceremony for students, mentors, and supervisors. Some students can be  invited to continue to work after the program if the office or department has additional work and funding. This year, four students earned that distinction.

If you are interested in providing an opportunity for Baltimore youths via Youth Works/HIRE One for the summer of 2019, or if you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Camille Givens-Patterson at or Kim Mathis at . It might be the fastest five weeks ever, but it could give a student a valuable opportunity — a summer job at UMB.

Camille Givens-PattersonFor B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 15, 20180 comments
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UMB Champion of Excellence: Kelly Doran, PhD, MS, RN

UMB Champion of Excellence: Kelly Doran, PhD, MS, RN

The Champions of Excellence campaign is a multi-year branding campaign at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in which we highlight individuals and teams that exemplify extraordinary accomplishment and represent excellence at the University. During the next few months, The Elm will be featuring these UMB Champions, who are making Baltimore, our region, and in some cases the world a better place. (Read about all of the 2017-18 UMB Champions of Excellence.)

Today’s Champion:
Kelly Doran, PhD, MS, RN
Enriching Public Health Through Preventive Care

As a little girl playing make-believe, Kelly Doran, PhD, MS, RN, always dreamed of being a nurse. With endless ambition, she earned her Registered Nurse degree, but the dream began to change when she realized she didn’t want to treat people after they were sick. Instead, she wanted to focus on prevention.

So she pursued her master’s and doctorate in community/public health with a focus on research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), graduating in December 2011 and joining the faculty a month later as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Her childhood dream has transformed her into both an influential researcher and community changer. When she heard about the nonprofit community care organization Paul’s Place — which has a rich 34-year connection with the University — she jumped at the chance to get more involved as part of her faculty practice.

Paul’s Place is a keystone in improving the quality of life for the people of Southwest Baltimore. Located about a mile away from the University, it provides access to high-quality health care, education, employment, and housing options, as well as other support needs for homeless and low-income individuals in the area.

Today, Doran is director of health and wellness for Paul’s Place, where she spends two days a week on-site integrating health and wellness concepts into its programming. She serves as a faculty preceptor for the UMB students who come to do service learning or clinical placements, and also runs the public health clinic that provides both basic care and programs for mental health, substance abuse, wound care, and stress.

Doran describes it as a “public health primary prevention clinic,” rather than a typical clinic or hospital. It provides a range of services from basic first aid to intensive clinical case management.

“[Paul’s Place] is absolutely amazing. One of the things that makes it unique is that it’s a one-stop shop,” she says. “Our population is often distrustful of the health care system and of social services in general, so it’s really important that we have a good and trusting relationship with them. We try to provide as many services in-house as possible so we can meet their needs on-site and continue to build relationships with them.”

Not only is working at Paul’s Place an example of how much of a champion for public health Doran really is, but it’s also the perfect place for her research.

Recently, Doran has been partnering with behavioral psychologists from the University of Maryland, College Park and researchers from universities in Michigan and Florida to study delayed discounting and executive functioning in the guests at Paul’s Place.

Delayed discounting refers to the decline in the value of a reward because of the delay to its receipt, while executive functioning refers to the parts of the brain that let us plan, organize, and complete tasks. Essentially, the research team is studying how trauma changes the way the parts of the brain work, thereby affecting perception and impulses.

When dealing with delayed discounting in combination with impulsivity, it is harder for a person to wait for a distant reward because they desire more immediate gratification.

For example, they may turn to smoking for stress relief without focusing on the possibility of contracting lung cancer 10 years from now.

Doran and the rest of the team look at how change in executive functioning after trauma impacts a person’s health behaviors, outcomes, and engagement with health services.

“We have a trial where we have an intervention group play computer games to hopefully improve their memory and impulsivity so they’re at a place to think about and prioritize future events and delay gratification, essentially working on improving their health,” she says.

Being able to see and work with the guests at Paul’s Place two days a week is not only personally rewarding, but also gives Doran a better sense of what her guests need and how to help them. Personal interaction in combination with data is the best way to create well-rounded, successful solutions in both a statistical sense and in a real community-based setting.

So what does the future look like for Doran? She plans to continue applying for new grants to study both impulse and substance abuse. She hopes to also create more in-depth programming at Paul’s Place to educate guests about substance use and misuse and mental health as well as provide the guests with more treatment options.

When not working and researching at Paul’s Place, Doran spends her work time teaching and mentoring students at the School of Nursing.

“I’m really passionate about getting students to understand and appreciate research. It’s all about helping them gain and understand concepts and apply them in the real world,” she says.

The overlap of Doran’s research, teaching, and daily work at Paul’s Place is her favorite part of the job. Yet, she knows the reward from seeing the facets of her work connect is only magnified by the support she receives from the leadership at the School of Nursing and UMB.

“We have this mission [to improve the human condition], and to complete it there is this juggling of research and teaching and practice, but everyone is very supportive of your strengths and what you can contribute. They do what they can to foster [those strengths],” she says.

As her personal and career life continue to evolve, like with the birth of her first child in 2017, Doran knows UMB is the place she wants to stay.

“I absolutely love my job,” she says. “I feel every day that I’m at Paul’s Place and with students that I’m making a difference. I love my research. I really feel like it’s going to help the community.”

Communication and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 13, 20180 comments
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International Conference on Electrochemistry

The fifth International Conference on Electrochemistry welcomes electrochemical professionals, electrochemists, battery developers, sensor makers, professors, researchers, research scholars, scientific communities, delegates, students, business professionals, and executives from all over the world. The  conference will be held May 27-28, 2019, in Barcelona, Spain.

The goal of the conference is to disseminate new ideas and methods of relevance to electrochemistry by gathering professionals under one roof. The conference is a tremendous global platform to contest and learn about electrochemistry, physical chemistry, photoelectrochemistry, corrosion chemistry, bioelectrochemistry, computational electrochemistry, carbon nanotubes, fullerene applied electrochemistry, and other fundamentals involved in the field of electrochemistry.

The conference gathers world-class experts from  academia and industry on a common platform at chemistry meetings and includes prompt keynote presentations, talks, poster presentations, symposiums, workshops, and exhibitions.

The conference is expecting more than 200 participants and we would like to know your interest in being a delegate, sponsor, exhibitor, or collaborator at our conference.

Click here to learn more details about the conference.

Conference highlights:

  • Theoretical and Computational Electrochemistry
  • Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Electrochemical Energy
  • Sensors
  • Organic and Bioelectrochemistry
  • Batteries and Energy Storage
  • Corrosion Science and Technology
  • Electronic Materials and Processing
  • Carbon Nanostructures and Devices
  • Dielectric Science and Materials
  • Electrochemical Electroless Deposition
  • Electrochemical Water Treatment
  • Electrochemical Surface Science
  • Electrochemiacl Engineering
  • Environmental Electrochemistry
  • Inorganic Electrochemistry
  • Market Surveillance of Electrochemistry
  • Applied Electrochemistry
Jennifer WatsonEducation, People, University LifeAugust 9, 20180 comments
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New Group Forming: Artists’ Alliance

An affinity group for UMB professionals who are balancing their work and creative lives is being formed called Artists’ Alliance.

Are you a singer? A writer? A poet? A sculptor? An artist of any stripe? Balancing creative endeavors with working full time can be challenge. Join your colleagues for monthly brown-bag lunches as we explore ways to make time for art, fight resistance and self-doubt, hold each other accountable to our creative goals, and celebrate our artistic successes!

The Artists’ Alliance Group will meet in Room 203 of the SMC Campus Center on the first Friday of every month from September to April. If you are interested in becoming a member or would like more information, please contact Erin Hagar at or 410-706-4591.

You also can visit the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture website for more information about the University’s involvement in the arts.

Alice PowellBulletin Board, People, University LifeAugust 9, 20180 comments
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UMB Night at the Ballpark Set for Sept. 14

Join us for UMB Night at the Ballpark on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7:05 p.m. Watch the Baltimore Orioles face the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards and enjoy fireworks and music after the game.

Click here to purchase tickets and check pricing and seating options.

For questions or accessible seating options, call 888-848-BIRD (2473) and ask for the Ticket Services team. Tickets posted for re-sale are subject to cancellation. This offer is not valid at the box office.

Alice PowellBulletin Board, For B'more, People, University LifeAugust 9, 20180 comments
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UM Carey Law Librarians Attend and Volunteer at National Law Library Conference in Baltimore

This year, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) held its Annual Meeting and Conference at the Baltimore Convention Center from July 13 to 16. Given the location, it was only natural that there would be a strong connection with the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law community.

Charles A. Pipins II, research and academic technology librarian, co-chaired the conference’s local arrangements committee, which was responsible for coordinating all of the conference’s on-site activities. Simon Canick, associate dean for law library and technology and law school professor, hosted several workshops on legal education and library practices at UM Carey Law. Jason Hawkins, head of research services, planned tours of several local libraries for conference attendees. Maxine Grosshans, research librarian, and LuAnn Marshall, academic coordinator, hosted a well-received tour of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, and the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground for the visiting librarians. Several other librarians and staff at UM Carey Law also volunteered to assist with on-site registration, hospitality services, and other conference tasks. Even Dean Donald Tobin stopped by the conference to attend the keynote address.

The AALL Annual Meeting and Conference is the premier educational and networking event for legal information professionals, and was attended by more than 5,000 law librarians, vendors, and other information professionals. Local film director, artist, and provocateur John Waters was the keynote speaker.

Jason HawkinsEducation, People, University LifeAugust 8, 20180 comments
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July-August President’s Message

Check out the July-August issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on immigrants’ rights and how Maryland Carey Law is helping secure them; a Q&A with new Police Chief Alice Cary; a preview of Campus Life Services’ Welcome Month; a recap of Project SEARCH’s graduation, and a new alignment for UMB’s overall commencement; stories on UMBrella scholarships and Teaching with Technology Day; a look ahead to Dr. Perman’s Sept. 18 Q&A; and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Click here to read the full message.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 7, 20180 comments
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UMB Champion of Excellence: Kevin J. Cullen, MD

UMB Champion of Excellence: Kevin J. Cullen, MD

The Champions of Excellence campaign is a multi-year branding campaign at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in which we highlight individuals and teams that exemplify extraordinary accomplishment and represent excellence at the University. During the next few months, The Elm will be featuring these UMB Champions, who are making Baltimore, our region, and in some cases the world a better place. (Read about all of the 2017-18 UMB Champions of Excellence.)

Today’s Champion:
Kevin J. Cullen, MD
Championing Patients with Cancer

Everybody knows somebody whose life has been impacted by cancer. Each year researchers across the country work tirelessly to find new ways to prevent and cure this dreaded disease. In Maryland, one of those top researchers is Kevin J. Cullen, MD.

Cancer took both of Cullen’s parents from him early in his life. His mother died of lung cancer when he was in high school, and his father died of leukemia right after Cullen finished his degree at Harvard Medical School. Being so personally affected by cancer, he decided to study oncology and complete his residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.

Today, as a renowned oncologist who specializes in head and neck cancer, Cullen serves as director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) and as a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Cullen oversees all aspects of the cancer center, including a staff of 275 physicians and researchers, while also treating his own patients, roughly 20 per week. He manages an impressive $90 million in research funding that UMGCCC receives annually to fund a range of cutting-edge research, including the more than 230 clinical trials conducted by center oncologists each year.

Under Cullen’s leadership, the cancer center was named a National Cancer Institute (NCI)–Designated Cancer Center in 2008 and then awarded the NCI’s highest designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2016. The recognition acknowledges UMGCCC’s high caliber of scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of its interdisciplinary research.

In addition, UMGCCC was ranked No. 21 out of 900 cancer programs nationally in the 2016 U.S.News & World Report‘s “Best Hospitals” list.

Through such achievements, Cullen has helped cement the state of Maryland’s future as a hub of cancer research and treatment. “The NCI designation attracts top research and clinical talent and significantly enhances our ability to translate discoveries in the laboratory into better treatments for cancer patients in Maryland and beyond,” he says.

The key to success for UMGCCC, Cullen says, is having a talented and diverse staff that can provide comprehensive research and care. UMGCCC recruits outstanding basic scientists doing critical work in understanding tumor immunology, oncologists developing clinical trials, and population scientists studying how to prevent cancer and the disease’s effects on specific populations.

These impressive researchers also help to run UMGCCC’s robust training program that educates the next generation of life-changing clinicians and researchers.

The Greenebaum Cancer Center is a bridge between research and clinical practice. UMGCCC’s clinical scientists work with more than 3,650 new patients annually, providing treatment, cancer screening and education services, and also have direct access to research laboratories for investigating cancer causes and treatments. The balance of patient care and innovative research gives UMGCCC physicians and researchers a solid foundation for their efforts.

For Cullen, having access to researchers at the six professional schools and the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) adds to the interdisciplinary approach for solving problems related to cancer.

“It’s a very powerful mix of scientists from all disciplines,” Cullen says. “Any way that we want to attack a cancer problem, we have the experts on campus who can provide the knowledge base to do that. That can range from statisticians in the School of Medicine to experts in pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy.”

Cullen has achieved much national recognition for his work. Some highlights include his appointment by former President Barack Obama to a five-year term as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board, an advisory committee to the National Cancer Institute, and serving as chair of the American Cancer Society board.

He also was voted to The Washington Post Magazine’s “Super Doctors 2011” for oncology and Baltimore magazine’s “Top Docs” for hematology/oncology for 2010 and 2011. These high honors are only a snippet of the acknowledgment that Cullen has received for his work.

When Cullen is not at the UMGCCC championing cancer research, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 15-year-old son, biking, hiking, and skiing at their cabin in New Hampshire.

“I’m incredibly proud of what the cancer center has been able to achieve for the people that we serve and the citizens of Maryland,” Cullen says. “I’ve been so privileged to lead this team and to help the cancer center grow to national prominence over the last 12 years. I’m just so excited for what we will be able to accomplish in the future.”

Communication and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 6, 20180 comments
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Four Nursing Faculty Members Awarded Nurse Support Program II Grants

Four University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) faculty members have been awarded Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) grants funded through the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). UMSON’S grant awards total nearly $2 million.

NSP II grants aid in increasing the capacity of nurses in Maryland by implementing statewide initiatives to grow the number of nurses prepared to serve effectively in faculty roles. MHEC offers a number of educational grant programs, funded by state general funds, special funds, and federal funds, designed to address Maryland’s economic and workforce development needs, campus reform initiatives, student preparation for post-secondary education, faculty and student diversity goals, and teacher professional development objectives.

“We are thrilled that UMSON has received NSP II grant support for four significant and quite varied projects, each of which will help address Maryland’s need for a well-educated and well-prepared nursing workforce. These projects expand opportunities for seamless progression of Maryland high school students into nursing careers, increase the number of highly qualified clinical preceptors, build further expertise in quality improvement and evidence-based practices, and create a Maryland Nursing Workforce Center to ensure appropriate data for future decision-making,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We are grateful to the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission for its generous support of nursing research and the Maryland Higher Education Commission for its leadership in administering the NSP II initiative. Together we are ensuring that Maryland’s residents have access to excellent health care now and in the years ahead.”

The NSP II grants awarded to UMSON beginning in Fiscal Year 2019 include:

Debra Bingham, DrPH, RN, FAAN, associate professor – Advancing Implementation Science Education project ($698,995, three years): The Advancing Implementation Science Education (AdvISE) project will expand statewide capacity in improvement science and quality improvement (QI) expertise. Implementation science expertise is a necessary foundation in expanding the effectiveness and impact of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students’ quality improvement projects. Implementation science and QI expertise is needed to increase evidence-based practices, which will improve the quality and safety of health care delivery and reduce moral distress and burnout among registered nurses. Through this project, Bingham and the AdvISE Steering Committee seek to advance faculty implementation science and QI knowledge and skills. This project also will aid faculty in effectively guiding and educating DNP students on how to develop, implement, and evaluate QI initiatives.

Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS, ’03, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor and associate dean of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program – Continuation of Statewide Preceptor Modules for APRNs ($359,211, three years): Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) programs across Maryland struggle to identify enough preceptors to meet the growing needs of the program. Additionally, many active preceptors feel challenged in acquiring the skills needed to adequately mentor APRN students in a positive way. During the first cycle of funding, Idzik and colleagues created online learning modules and an in-person simulation to educate preceptors around the state. Through this continuation grant, Idzik seeks to recruit and educate more than 300 preceptors, who receive 11 continuing education units upon completion of the program requirements.

Nina Trocky, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNE, assistant professor and associate dean for the baccalaureate program – PTECH at Dunbar High School for Health Professions with Baltimore City Community College ($629,919, three years): Through the NSP II grant, Trocky and UMSON aim to improve opportunities to develop a diverse and competent professional nursing workforce to care for patients in Maryland. UMSON plans to extend the Pathways in Technology Early College High (PTECH) program at East Baltimore’s Dunbar High School and use it as a pipeline to prepare and send students to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). After graduating from BCCC with an ADN, students can enroll at UMSON to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The mentoring program will offer students academic support, an overview of the nursing field, and financial aid options, and is designed to improve career options and employment prospects for students.

Rebecca Wiseman, PhD ’93, RN, associate professor and chair of the University of Maryland School of Nursing at the Universities at Shady Grove – Establishing the Maryland Nursing Workforce Center ($265,467, two years): The Institute of Medicine’s 2018 Future of Nursing report recommended improving collection methods of workforce data. Currently, data about the nursing workforce in Maryland available to nursing agencies and organizations is lacking. In planning for future workforce needs and to measure the success of programs and initiatives, it is essential to have an accurate and comprehensive data set. Through this project, Wiseman seeks to establish the Maryland Nursing Workforce Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore to be responsible for compiling and reporting relevant data.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAAugust 6, 20180 comments
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UMBrella Scholarship Opportunity

UMBrella is offering two scholarships to attend the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) 2018 Women’s Leadership Institute.

The scholarship will cover conference registration fees, airfare, and lodging. You must obtain your supervisor’s approval to accept this scholarship. You must also write a reflection piece upon completion of the institute and submit it to the UMBrella Group.

To be considered, please submit your application and a one-page letter of interest detailing:

  1. Why you would like to attend the leadership institute and what you hope to gain personally and professionally by attending
  2. Your leadership experience to date
  3. Your school/unit affiliation (School of Pharmacy, Office of Academic Affairs, etc.)

Submissions will be reviewed by the UMBrella advisory board.

The application deadline is Sept. 3, 2018, at noon ET.

For further information about the conference, please visit the ACUI Women’s Leadership Institute website. If you have any questions, please contact us by email.

The UMB Roundtable on Empowerment in Leadership and Leveraging Aspirations (UMBrella) is a group that helps women achieve their potential, find their voices, and feel empowered. UMBrella works to support the success of women, advance women into leadership roles at UMB, and champion women at all levels of our organization.

Sonya EvansCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeJuly 31, 20180 comments
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UMBrella Caregivers Group to Meet Aug. 20

UMBrella hosts Caregivers, a support group for members of the UMB community who care for elderly loved ones.

Open to all faculty, staff, and students, Caregivers meet once a month to socialize, learn from each other, share resources and information, and hear from experts on a wide range of topics. The program is sponsored by UMBrella and will be facilitated by Reba Cornman, MSW, director, Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program. UMBrella events are open to all UMB faculty, staff, and students.

Here are details on the next meeting:

  • When: Monday, Aug. 20
  • Time: Noon
  • Where: SMC Campus Center, Room 223
  • Registration: Go to this link or RSVP at


Sonya EvansCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeJuly 31, 20180 comments
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UMB Champion of Excellence: Flavius Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH

UMB Champion of Excellence: Flavius R.W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH

The Champions of Excellence campaign is a multi-year branding campaign at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in which we highlight individuals and teams that exemplify extraordinary accomplishment and represent excellence at the University. During the next few months, The Elm will be featuring these UMB Champions, who are making Baltimore, our region, and in some cases the world a better place. (Read about all of the 2017-18 UMB Champions of Excellence.)

Today’s Champion:
Flavius R.W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH 
Creating Learning Opportunities for All

If you want to see Flavius R. W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH, swell with pride, call him the Summer U mastermind. If you want to see him blush, call him an artist.

As senior associate dean at the University of Maryland Graduate School and associate vice president of academic affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Lilly’s professional pursuits lie in health care and academia. He leads the Graduate School’s strategy to develop new degree programs in the health sciences, provides oversight for academic innovation and teaching excellence, and serves as a leader and visionary for a slew of academic and student services.

But looking at his ink drawings and watercolor paintings, you’d think his personal mentor was artist and TV host Bob Ross.

Inspired by Baltimore architecture and the bright, vibrant colors of his wife (and high school sweetheart) Carolina Vidal’s native Barcelona, Spain, Lilly paints cityscapes and other scenery. His portfolio website,, serves as a shrine for his pieces.

“It’s one of those things I can do and sort of escape from everything else,” Lilly says. “I lose track of time. You get so involved with it that you sort of lose awareness of everything around you, and that can be really stress relieving.”

There was a moment when Lilly considered going to art school but he chose a “more practical” profession instead: biology. Still, he looked for opportunities to flex his creative muscles as an undergrad at Wright State University. When a photography job in the Division of Epidemiology at the Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine opened up, he jumped at the chance to apply.

It turned out that “photographer” really meant “research assistant.” Lilly was responsible for photographing the tops of men’s heads to document male-pattern hair loss over time for a clinical study of a drug later called Propecia. It was part of the Fels Longitudinal Study that dated back to 1929 and studied child growth and development.

By chance, it also was his first exposure to research and aging-related issues, now part of Lilly’s professional life. The children in the study were followed through adulthood, and researchers were looking at all factors related to their aging. Lilly was hooked.

Today, his interests and teaching still lie in aging, but he’s also focused on the bigger picture of growth at UMB — developing new degree programs, new services for students, and improving existing ones.

In 2015, he helped to launch the master’s of science in health science program — the first entirely online degree program at the University.

Each fall, more than 60 students are admitted, mostly working professionals who get their degree in as little as 18 months. The program has grown to include multiple certifications and concentrations, including global health systems and services, aging and applied thanatology, and more.

Lilly is a vocal advocate for all UMB students, too, and has improved and built upon a number of Campus Life Services programs, including the Wellness Hub, the UM shuttle, the Writing Center, and mental health services.

A study published in Nature Biotechnology found that graduate and professional students are six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population. Social isolation, the often-abstract nature of the work, feelings of inadequacy, and struggle to find work-life balance are to blame.

“It’s not that surprising because these are stress-based disorders, and graduate and professional school is stressful and can trigger conditions that have been dormant,” Lilly says. “I’m concerned about the mental health of our students.”

Lilly is helping to spearhead mental health services at the University by renovating and opening a new space for a student counseling center.

Nearly six years ago, Lilly and Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MPA, senior vice president for operations and institutional effectiveness and vice dean of the Graduate School, also started the Emerging Leaders program, a yearlong leadership development experience.

“I’ve been really lucky that I’ve always had good mentors — Cameron Chumlea [PhD, at Wright State], folks in the hospital system, Roger Ward, and others here at UMB,” Lilly says. “I’ve always felt a responsibility to give back and take time to encourage, mentor, and meet with young professionals who want to develop themselves in leadership roles, too.”

Now in its sixth cohort, the Emerging Leaders program accepts 30 to 40 people each year — not just academic affairs staff, but folks from all across UMB. The program has recently started seeing faculty and higher-level managers apply, too. It’s a diverse group Universitywide, from housekeepers to fairly seasoned faculty members interested in taking on more leadership roles.

Another initiative Lilly is excited about is Summer U. What started as an idea over dinner between UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was piloted in summer 2017 and is expected to launch officially this summer.

It provides summer fun and learning for youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods like West Baltimore. At UMB, they enjoy recreational activities such as yoga, Zumba, swimming, and more, plus meals — all free of charge.

Lilly is especially proud of the initiative’s ethical and social justice missions — its academic one, too. Young people in inner cities often lose any gains from the academic year because they’re not as likely to be engaged educationally during the summer at camps and such as their higher-income peers.

So in addition to exercise, Summer U includes MANGO math, a reading list, several science field trips, visits to Pop Farm to conduct agricultural and nutrition-based experiments, and more.

The goal is to stabilize the third- to fifth-graders’ learning and prepare them to enter the new school year ready to engage with the curriculum. They also get exposure to life on a college campus, a key element of the program, Lilly says.

“Take my kids, for instance,” he says — Gabe, 17, Zoe, 10, and Daphne, 8. “Being on a college campus is nothing new to them. They’ve always come with me to work and had camps on college campuses. When they decide to go to university, they won’t be intimidated. They’ll have had exposure and interacted with college students and professors. That’s not always the case with disadvantaged kids in Baltimore.”

With the Summer U project, more kids get to visit UMB, and see that it’s not intimidating but a place for them. Lilly says, “That simple act alone will mean something for them later on when they apply for college.”

Communication and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeJuly 30, 20180 comments
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Donate to the UMB Staff Senate’s School Supply Drive

The UMB Staff Senate’s Community Outreach Committee, in collaboration with the Office of Community Engagement, is collecting school supplies for James McHenry Elementary and the UMB CURE Scholars. Look for collection bins in your building. If you can collect for your department or building, please email Lois Warner at

Donations can be brought to the Saratoga Building, 220 N. Arch St., 14th Floor, Room 03-168.

Donations Requested

  • Rulers
  • Pens
  • Binders
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Backpacks
  • Tab dividers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Protractors and compasses
  • Glue sticks
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Pocket folders
  • Scissors
  • One-subject notebooks
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Tissues and hand sanitizer

The last day to donate is Wednesday, Sept. 12, and you are encouraged to take advantage of tax-free shopping week Aug. 12-18.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please click here.

Mary PhelanBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, For B'more, UMB News, University LifeJuly 30, 20180 comments
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