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Med Students, Surgeons Share College/Career Advice with Local High Schoolers

On April 16, a group of first-year students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine hosted 23 freshmen from the PTECH School at Dunbar for a panel discussion on college and health care careers. This was followed by “Stop the Bleed” training provided by trauma surgeons from the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign designed to prepare laypersons to address life-threatening bleeding after everyday emergencies or natural disasters. It is sponsored by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma.

The PTECH School at Dunbar is a new six-year high school program that featuesg integrated high school and college coursework leading to an industry recognized postsecondary degree in a health care field (physical therapy, nursing, health information technology, and respiratory care) for all enrolled students. As an industry partner and Baltimore anchor institution, UMB partners with PTECH to provide campus-based learning opportunities and mentors from the University community.

The April 16 activity was organized by first-year medical students and panelists Dominique Gelmann, Mohammad Hadavand, Molly Himmelrich, Atizaz Hussain, and Madeleine Smith, in partnership with trauma surgeons Laura Buchanan, MD, Sharon Henry, MD, Habeeba Park, MD, Jason Pasley, DO, and the UMB Office of Community Engagement (OCE). Participating students gained valuable information about general preparation for higher education and specifics on how to prepare now for future careers in medicine.

Alexia Smith, corporate education liaison for PTECH, said about the visit, “The information our students gained from this experience was invaluable! Not only did they learn to start thinking critically and early about the process of continuing their education beyond their high school diploma and associate degrees, they gained a valuable skill in the Stop the Bleeding training, which can help them save people’s lives. The kids were ecstatic, and this experience really helped build their confidence. Thank you!”

OCE challenges student groups, staff, and faculty across the UMB campus to develop creative ways to share their chosen career paths with our K-12 partners. If you, your student organization, or department would like to propose such an activity or gain assistance in developing creative ways to engage our community partners, please contact Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships, via email at or by calling 410-706-1678.

Brian SturdivantCollaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, USGAApril 18, 20180 comments
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Green Street Academy Students Visit School of Pharmacy

On the morning of April 9, a group of 33 high school students with aspirations in health-related careers visited UMB from Green Street Academy in West Baltimore to learn about careers in pharmacy.

Students participated in a walking tour of the UMB campus that culminated with a presentation on careers in pharmacy at Pharmacy Hall. While at the School of Pharmacy, students toured the Fred Abramson Pharmacy Practice Lab, Walgreens Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) rooms, the IV Lab, the Pharmacy Hall museum, and lecture halls.

Students also learned how they will need to prepare now if they think they’re interested in a career in pharmacy. The pharmacy presentation and building tour was developed by JuliAna Brammer, MBA, director of admissions, Records and Registration, and Patrice Sharp, office manager, Student Affairs, and it was led by third-year student Gloria Rinomhota.

“Oftentimes, students may not be aware of the diverse areas that pharmacists practice,” Brammer said. “We find that information given by our current pharmacy students, along with presentations and hands-on activities, helps to engage and expose K-12 students to careers in pharmacy.”

UMB’s Office of Community Engagement works to develop relationships with public schools in West Baltimore and leverage campus resources to meet needs identified by these schools, with career exposure being among the top requests.

OCE challenges student groups, staff, and faculty across the UMB campus to develop creative ways to share their chosen career paths with our K-12 partners. If you, your student organization, or department would like to propose such an activity or gain assistance in developing creative ways to engage our community partners, please contact Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships, via email at or by calling 410-706-1678.

Brian SturdivantCommunity Service, Education, For B'moreApril 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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Join UMB CURE Scholars for the Program’s STEM Expo on April 28

Members of the UMB community are invited to join us for the UMB CURE Scholars STEM Expo on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to noon at the School of Pharmacy to see posters and research articles written by the CURE Scholars.

The UMB CURE Scholars Program currently enrolls 80 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from three schools in West Baltimore. They receive weekly mentoring and tutoring from more than 250 volunteers within the Baltimore community, most of whom are UMB students.

Our scholars have researched dozens of topics in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), including cancer health disparities, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, nano-robotics, and more. Articles written by scholars are available in the UMB CURE Journal of STEM, which will be unveiled and distributed at the event.

We would be honored and privileged to welcome you to our exposition to learn and give valuable feedback to our scholars as they present their work.

Guests also will be treated to a special keynote address presented by UMB CURE Scholar Shereen Farquharson, who researched the prevalence of gestational trophoblastic disease in African-Americans in 2017.

We hope that you will join us for this inspiring event.

Please visit our website for more information about the program

To see a video about the program, click here.

Lauren KareemABAE, Community Service, Education, ResearchApril 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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DEA Drug Take Back Days: April 25 and April 28

To help improve medication safety in the community, student pharmacists from Generation Rx in the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) at the School of Pharmacy will partner with the UMB Police Force for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Take-Back Initiative on April 25 and April 28.

Faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to turn in their unused or expired medication for safe disposal.

  • What: DEA Drug Take Back Days
  • When: Wednesday, April 25, and Saturday, April 28
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day
  • Where: SMC Campus Center
  • Questions: Contact Payal Patel at
Erin MerinoCommunity ServiceApril 9, 20180 comments
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Next UMBrella Caregivers Support Group Meeting is April 23

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

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

Here are details on the next Caregivers meeting:

  • Date:  Monday, April 23
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: SMC Campus Center, Room 203
  • Registration: You can register at this link.
Sonya EvansCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeApril 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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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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Employee of the Month: Saxon’s Service with Smile Saluted

If Angelo Saxon, senior accountant for the UMB Foundation, were defined by a symbol, it would be a smiley-face emoji. During his 10 years in UMB’s Office of Philanthropy, Saxon has come to be known for two things: quality accounting work and his upbeat attitude.

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, said as much on March 22 when he surprised Saxon by naming him Employee of the Month.

“Colleagues say you are a consummate professional,” Perman said before giving Saxon a plaque and telling him there would be $250 in his next paycheck. “You represent the foundation in a cheerful way with a can-do attitude. Your answers to requests are speedy. You’re not just a colleague; you’re a teammate.”

Minutes earlier, Saxon was more than a little confused. He had come from the Lexington Building to the Saratoga Building with a group of co-workers, including Thomas J. Sullivan, CFRE, MS, chief philanthropy officer and vice president, ostensibly for a tour of their new offices. But rather than going to the 13th floor, where the foundation staff will be relocated later this year, they went to 14. And when Perman showed up to lead the “tour,” Saxon knew something was up.

“I really avoided you all day long, Angelo,” Pamela Heckler, COO and treasurer of the foundation, told Saxon after the ceremony. “Because I had this big smile on my face and I didn’t want you to know.”

“Of course, the downside is he’s never going to be able to trust you again,” Sullivan said, teasing Heckler.

Such give-and-take among colleagues is one of many things Saxon enjoys about working in the Office of Philanthropy. “We all gel very well over there,” he said.

Then there is the work itself. “I’ve always been a numbers guy, so the accounting fell right into place,” said Saxon, who has mastered their system, Financial Edge NXT (Next Generation).

The UMB Foundation is an independent entity that manages and invests private gifts and/or property for the benefit of UMB, facilitates fundraising programs and contributions from private sources, and engages in other activities to further the educational, research, and service missions of UMB. Its current holdings are nearly $300 million.

Saxon knows all the ins and outs of handling foundation money. “I know the foundation as a whole — from the opening of an account, what it takes to disperse funds from the account, how to reconcile the account. How the financial system works start to finish.”

Because of this knowledge, not to mention his sunny outlook and willingness to make Financial Edge NXT house calls, Saxon is in demand among schools and departments.

“Angelo always provides assistance with a great attitude,” said Jennifer Fisher, executive director of development operations at the School of Medicine. “Every request comes with a proactive ‘please and thank you’ and his answers to requests are speedy. It’s always a pleasure to work with Angelo.”

Fisher’s colleague, assistant director Trish Bates, agrees. “Angelo is always extremely helpful,” Bates said. “His work is fast and accurate. He goes above and beyond when asked to perform a task and he always maintains a positive attitude even in difficult situations.”

Saxon insists such a positive mindset comes naturally.

“That’s just me, that’s my total personality inside and outside of work,” he said. His four brothers and one sister also are upbeat. “Every last one of us,” he said with a wide smile. “Mom and Dad absolutely raised six children with the same spirit that I carry.”

The Office of Philanthropy considers itself fortunate Saxon is that way.

“Angelo represents the foundation and our department with a cheerful, can-do attitude!” Heckler said in her nomination. “We rely on his institutional knowledge as one of the core ‘point people’ in our department. Throughout many transitions and staff changes he is a constant — a dependable member of our team. And his uplifting positive demeanor is most appreciated!”

Added Kusumam Pavanal, associate director of foundation operations, “Angelo has done a phenomenal job adapting to various departmental changes and accomplished many responsibilities. He is very helpful, dependable, and conscientious. We are so fortunate to have him in our department as an excellent team player.”

Saxon is just glad to be part of the UMB team.

“I have been here long enough to adjust to different management styles and have learned from each,” he said. “I do enjoy the motivation of our current management to build upon a culture of philanthropy. I believe in Dr. Perman’s mission to encourage and be a part of the outcome of the community in which we work for the betterment of all.”

And as for those colleagues who got him to the Saratoga Building on March 22 under false pretenses? “Oh, they’ll pay,” Saxon said with his familiar smile. “They will have to eat every last doughnut I bring in here!”

— Chris Zang

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 29, 20180 comments
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Nicholson Wins Employee of the Month for Efforts to Boost Diversity, Inclusion

When Ebony Nicholson, MSW ’16, was summoned to the Saratoga Building’s Peacock Room for a meeting on March 19, she went prepared to talk to University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) finance and human resources leaders about expanding programs in the Office of Interprofessional Student Learning and Service Initiatives (ISLSI).

Nicholson, the ISLSI’s academic coordinator for diversity and inclusion initiatives, was waiting for Dawn Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president of UMB, to show up, but when University President Jay A. Perman, MD, walked into the room and started asking her questions about who was running the meeting, Nicholson thought something wasn’t quite right — and started to feel a bit unsettled.

But Perman put her at ease with some playful banter, and Nicholson’s fears turned to tears when he informed her she had been selected as UMB’s Employee of the Month of February. The group that had gathered for the “meeting” cheered the news, and once the applause died down, one of her ISLSI colleagues asked, “Were you getting nervous?”

“Yeah. I thought I was getting fired!” Nicholson said, sparking laughter as co-workers offered her hugs and a bouquet of flowers in celebration. But that wasn’t all she received. Perman delivered a plaque, a note of commendation, and news that an extra $250 would be in her next paycheck, all rewards for Nicholson’s sterling efforts to promote diversity and cultural enrichment at UMB.

Perman singled out one of the ISLSI’s programs, the Poverty Simulation, an interactive, three-hour workshop designed to help participants understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family and survive from week to week.

“People are very proud of you, starting with me,” Perman told Nicholson. “It’s far from your only initiative, but I know a lot about the Poverty Simulation, and everyone’s talking about it. It always inspires me when we hire people who in short order make UMB a better place. And that’s what you’ve done in taking on these types of initiatives.

“I also know you’re a graduate of our School of Social Work,” Perman added. “Our graduates turn out pretty well, and certainly you’re evidence of that.”

Making an Impact

Nicholson, who’s from Silver Spring, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in law and society from American University in Washington, D.C., spent two years in Zambia with the Peace Corps, then worked for the Children’s National Medical Center in D.C. As she began pursuing her MSW degree at the School of Social Work (SSW) in 2014, she also worked for ISLSI as a Diversity Fellow. After graduation, she joined the office on a contractual basis before being hired full time in December 2016.

ISLSI director Courtney J. Jones Carney, MBA, says Nicholson has made a huge impact at UMB, with her efforts directly supporting University core values such as diversity, collaboration, excellence, knowledge, and leadership.

“Ebony was hired to invigorate the diversity and inclusion programming of the department,” Jones Carney said. “Not only did she reimagine existing programs, she also created and piloted a cultural responsiveness training program for staff representing various areas of the University called the Safety Pin Initiative. The eight-session program is focused on equipping participants with the tools necessary to continue gaining cultural competence and building allyship. Not only did Ebony research and create the curriculum, but she also facilitates many of the sessions.”

One of Nicholson’s main goals is for those at UMB and in the Baltimore community to broaden their ideas about and understanding of different people, especially traditionally marginalized and under-represented populations. Regarding the Safety Pin Initiative, she says, “It teaches staff and faculty about how to be an ally for various groups of people and talks about how to incorporate being an ally into your professional life. It also asks how we can re-examine our policies, procedures, and teaching materials to make sure they are more inclusive and create an affirming campus climate for everyone.”

Poverty Simulation Opens Eyes

Nicholson is particularly proud of the University’s response to the Poverty Simulation, saying there have been nine sessions during the 2017-18 academic year and most have been filled to the 88-person capacity. She says it gives students who will become health and human services practitioners a better understanding of what people with limited resources must deal with.

“A lot of the students have ‘aha moments’ around empathy and can begin to understand where the people they’ll serve are coming from,” Nicholson says. “Participating in the Poverty Simulation allows them to understand that people who are living at or below the poverty line have to prioritize. So maybe going to the doctor two times a week is not realistic when you only have so much money to get to work and to pick up your kids and things like that.”

She thanked Jones Carney for pushing her to propose new and innovative ideas and teaching her to not be afraid of failure — “Courtney tells me, ‘You have to try it. If you never try it, you’ll never know.’” Nicholson also praised several SSW mentors for allowing her to bounce ideas off them and help her to “organize my thoughts.”

Nicholson said she was shocked to be chosen Employee of the Month, considering “there are so many people doing such great work here.”

“The ISLSI team works really, really hard. Campus Life Services as a whole, serving all the students, does a lot of really great work,” Nicholson says. “With all the people who make this place run, I am very, very surprised to win this award, but also very honored.”

— Lou Cortina

To learn more about ISLSI and its initiatives, check out its web page.

Lou CortinaBulletin Board, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 26, 20180 comments
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UMBrella Group Presents ‘The Art and Advocacy of Joyce J. Scott’ on April 25

The UMBrella Group invites the UMB community to join Joyce J. Scott, an artist, sculptor, quilter, performance artist, installation artist, lecturer, and educator, on April 25 for a program titled “The Art and Advocacy of Joyce Scott.”

  • Date: Wednesday, April 25
  • Time: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Where: School of Nursing Auditorium and SMC Campus Center


  • 4 p.m.: Scott will deliver a 30-minute presentation at the School of Nursing Auditorium
  • 4:30 p.m: 20-minute Q&A and samples of Scott’s art
  • 4:50 p.m.: Adjourn to reception and jewelry for sale in the School of Nursing lobby
  • 6 p.m.: Event concludes

To learn more about Scott, click here.

To register for this event, click here.

(Note: Photo above by John Dean)


Sonya EvansBulletin Board, Community Service, People, University LifeMarch 23, 20180 comments
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HS/HSL’s Latest ‘Connective Issues’ Newsletter is Online

The March 2018 issue of the Connective Issues newsletter from the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) is now available.

Included in this issue:

  • All of Us research program
  • BrowZine has arrived
  • Maker Expo recap
  • Library Genie grants a wish
  • Historical highlights: Blaustein donations
  • Exhibit: “Scarred for Life”
  • Exhibit: “For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform”
Everly BrownCollaboration, Community Service, Education, People, Research, TechnologyMarch 23, 20180 comments
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Next Women In Bio Baltimore Meet-Up Scheduled for April 12

The next Women In Bio Baltimore Meet-up, titled “Through the Trenches and Beyond! Find $$$, Resources & Talent for Start-Ups, Nonprofits & More,” will be held Thursday, April 12, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., in Room 600 of Health Sciences Facilities II, 20 N. Penn St.

The event is open to men and women, and you can register at this link.

Here is the panel of four speakers:

  • Tonya Webb, PhD, CEO, Webb Cures
  • Srujana Cherukuri, CEO, Noble Life Sciences
  • Carol McKissick, director, BIORESCO
  • Arti Patel Varanasi, president and CEO, Advancing Synergy

The panel will be facilitated by Arti Santhanam, PhD, director, Maryland Innovation Initiative, TEDCO.

After the panel, there will be tours of the Center for Innovative Biomedical Resources (CIBR).

Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Community Service, EducationMarch 20, 20180 comments
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Bear Family v. Gold E. Locks Case Offers Schoolkids Lessons on Law

On March 13, members of the Francis King Carey School of Law’s trial team hosted 32 students from UMB partner school George Washington Elementary’s after-school program for a career exposure activity.

The activity held in the Ceremonial Moot Courtroom involved a mock trial of fairy-tale character Gold E. Locks,  played by third-year student Jackie Taylor, “for having bad manners” for entering the home of the three bears, eating their porridge, and vandalizing their rocking chairs. Pop A. Bear was played by third-year student Donavan Ham, Babe E. Bear was played by second-year student Timothy VanCisin, and Mom A. Bear was played by third-year student Jhonell Campbell.

Other law students involved in the activity included third-year student Courtney Watkins as Gold’s mom Curl E. Locks, third-year student Ashley Fellona as the judge, third-year student Tyler Brown as an advocate for Gold, and third-year student Andrew Nagel as an attorney for the Bear Family. The children were split into three separate juries of approximately 10 students each, all of whom got a chance to sit in the jury box. One jury found Gold guilty of having bad manners, but the other two juries were more sympathetic to the defendant, finding her not guilty.

The exercise in career exposure allowed our K-12 community partners an out-of-classroom learning experience that many of our partner schools are not funded to provide. These types of experiences are well-documented to have positive outcomes for participating students and are among the most cost-effective ways for us to engage our community partners.

The Office of Community Engagement challenges student groups, staff, and faculty across the UMB campus to develop creative ways to share their chosen career paths with our K-12 partners. If you, your student organization, or department would like to propose such an activity or for assistance in developing creative ways to engage our community partners, please contact Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships, at or 410-706-1678.

Brian SturdivantCommunity Service, Education, For B'more, UMB News, USGAMarch 15, 20180 comments
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