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The President's Message-June

The President’s Message

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

It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on last month’s State of the University Address
  • A recap of commencement, UMB’s Neighborhood Spring Festival, Glendening and Ehrlich’s political discussion, and the CURE Scholars’ end-of-year celebration
  • A look ahead to Dr. Perman’s June 19 Q&A
  • Stories on philanthropic gifts to the schools of medicine and nursing
  • Two more employees benefit from the Live Near Your Work Program
  • UMB police start active shooter response training
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJune 11, 20180 comments
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2018 Healthiest Maryland Business Award-Silver

UMB Awarded Wellness at Work Award

At the Ninth Annual Maryland Health and Wellness Symposium on June 1, more than 50 Maryland employers were recognized as Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work Awardees for their exemplary accomplishments in work site health promotion.

UMB placed silver based on its wellness program planning, assessment, implementation, and evaluation. The award demonstrated an advancement from previous years — winning bronze for two consecutive years.

The theme of the conference was “Mental Health in the Workplace.” Preventing mental illness and promoting good mental health involves actions to create environments that support mental health and to help people adopt healthy lifestyles and place measures to abolish stigma in the workplace.

UMB and is partners will continue to provide employees with wellness events and activities that pertain to their needs and promote trending topics by increasing awareness and communicating programs to the University.

Jina BacchusCollaboration, Contests, Education, UMB News, University LifeJune 8, 20180 comments
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Check Out the Latest ‘Connective Issues’ Newsletter

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

Included in this issue:

  • The GDPR – Why Should We Care?
  • Virtual Reality Headset Available at HS/HSL Innovation Space
  • Fruit Ninja VR Study Break Contest – Game On
  • Discover and Share Data with the New UMB Data Catalog
  • Advice for Grads
  • Movable Monitors Roam the HS/HSL
  • HS/HSL Historical Collection Open House Event
Everly BrownContests, Education, Research, TechnologyMay 10, 20180 comments
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Fruit Ninja VR Study Break Contest – Game On

Take a break from reality and slice up some virtual fruit salad!

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library’s (HS/HSL) Innovation Space is hosting a Fruit Ninja VR study break from May 7-16.

The top score gets a $50 Amazon gift card; second and third place earn $25 gift cards. To enter, take a screenshot of your high score and post it on social media (Twitter/Facebook) with #HSHSLSTUDYBREAK.

Drop by to get your game on between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

Brian ZelipContests, People, TechnologyMay 7, 20180 comments
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Apply for Endowed Scholarships by June 1

Endowed scholarships are competitive awards requiring a record of demonstrated academic achievement and commitment to the community.

Currently enrolled, degree-seeking graduate and professional students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore may be eligible to apply for one or more endowed scholarships. Applications will be accepted until June 1, 2018.

Visit this link to apply and learn more.

 

Meghan Bruce-BojoContests, Education, University LifeMay 2, 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, 20181 comment
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The President’s Message

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

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

2018 Heart Gala Planned for Feb. 23

Don’t miss the Heart Gala planned by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee.

The event is being held Feb. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center to raise awareness of women’s cardiac health to improve health outcomes in women and the entire community. Students can come and show off their red outfits and compete in a fun, heart-healthy trivia/pageant style show where a winner is selected by a group of judges. The event also will include a speaker from the American Heart Association, heart-health trivia, and raffles to win prizes. At the end, “Mr. and Mrs. Heart” will be selected.

RSVP or sign up to compete in the Heart Gala here.

All funds raised from the event will be donated to the American Heart Association.

Michael ObinemeContests, University Life, USGAFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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Million Hearts Month Cholesterol Management Relay Day

Support the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ Operation Heart and Operation Diabetes in a competitive way to celebrate the American Heart Association’s Million Hearts Month.

Team up with your classmates and race to win the top spot in this challenging relay. Freshen up on your cholesterol and heart healthy facts, then lace up for an athletic activity. Teams are encouraged to dress alike so they look unified. You could win bragging rights for your class as well as prizes!

The event will be held Feb. 19, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Elm Room 208A.

Tickets are $3 and include raffles, refreshments, and prizes. For details and to register for Million Hearts Month Cholesterol Management Relay Day, click here.

Caroline TitusContests, Education, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 8, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the February issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the Live Near Your Work Program, a look ahead to his quarterly Q&A on March 7, CURE Corner, a story on Jody Olsen’s nomination as Peace Corps director, and a safety tip on winter driving.

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 2, 20180 comments
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School of Medicine’s Hassel Wins MLK Faculty Award

Bret Hassel, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine, has been a team player, helping with multiple Universitywide initiatives, since coming to UMB in 1995.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that when Kevin Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, asked Hassel to be UMGCCC’s liaison for the UMB CURE Scholars Program that he jumped in with both feet.

“What started as a peripheral role on the UMB CURE team rapidly evolved to a more substantial commitment as I was ‘infected’ by the contagious enthusiasm for this program that has now spread as an ‘epidemic’ for the good across UMB schools and the entire city of Baltimore,” Hassel said of the UMB pipeline program that is preparing West Baltimore children for health and research careers through hands-on workshops, lab experiences, and mentorship.

“Indeed, the UMB CURE team is a microcosm of diversity that is at the heart of its goal, with each member bringing a unique skill set that fuels the program,” Hassel said.

For his contributions to CURE and many other programs at UMB and beyond that help under-represented minority students find success, Hassel will receive the Outstanding UMB Faculty Award as part of the University’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1.

Hassel, a member of the UMB CURE Scholars team since its inception, serving as a mentor and co-chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee that is charged with writing grant applications to fund the program, said he shares the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Award with many colleagues.

“It is a humbling honor especially in the context of the many UMB faculty and staff who are also deeply passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion,” he said. “In that vein, the committed people that I work with are equally responsible for the success of the different outreach and education programs and should be considered as co-recipients of this award.”

In addition to the CURE Scholars, Hassel plays leadership roles in multiple National Institutes of Health-funded programs that promote minority inclusion and diversity at UMB. He has directed the School of Medicine’s Nathan Schnaper Intern Program in Translational Cancer Research for 16 years and is a member of the core team for the STAR-PREP minority postbaccalaureate program.

Most recently, Hassel received a Bridges to the Doctorate grant in partnership with Towson University to foster the progression of minority master’s degree students to PhD programs. He also contributes to minority-focused training programs at Morgan State, Coppin State, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“Bret does not treat scholar diversity as a dream, he is a team player who helps find the funds and helps build the structures to make this a reality,” said Gregory Carey, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at SOM, who nominated Hassel for the MLK award.

“Bret is focused on diversity achievement at the individual level as well,” added Carey, director of student summer research and community outreach at the school and a former MLK award winner himself. “A faculty member recently asked Dr. Hassel and I to help with a Howard Hughes research fellowship application for one of our PhD-track, African-American scholars. This talented and wonderful young lady happens to also have a certified neurocognitive disability. Bret and I responded enthusiastically! Proudly, we learned from her mentor last week that the student has been advanced to the finalist round for a Howard Hughes Medical Institute student award! What greater reward for service than to read through the letter sent by this proud young lady and celebrate her win with her? This is Dr. King’s dream and what Bret lives for.”

Hassel, who loves mentoring, teaching, and interacting with students, said he gets back more than he gives.

“Working in an environment that promotes a culture of diversity, like UMB, has allowed me to experience the benefits of a diverse workplace and understand the importance of efforts to expand this at UMB and beyond,” he said when asked why helping minorities is so important to him. “The impact of programs that advance minority representation, and benefit all parties involved, provides plenty of motivation to continue this work.”

For more on UMB’s Black History Month celebration, click here.

— Chris Zang

Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 30, 20180 comments
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School of Dentistry’s Otto Wins MLK Student Award

President Jay. A Perman, MD, is fond of telling new UMB graduates to “go out and change the world.” Tiffany Otto hasn’t graduated yet, but she already is on course toward changing things for the better.

A fourth-year student at the School of Dentistry, Otto has provided meaningful discussions for minority professionals after traumatic local and national incidents with University events such as an open forum on the shooting deaths of unarmed black men with City Councilman Brandon Scott, a post-Freddie Gray meeting where she allowed her colleagues to speak freely and safely, and helped coordinate an event supporting slain Muslim students at colleges in North Carolina with other student groups on the UMB campus.

She has served in organizations such as Healthy Smiles for Baltimore (vice president), the Baltimore Minority Council of Professional and Graduate Students (vice chairman), and the Student National Dental Association (president), which won Chapter of the Year honors for notable programs such as the Taste Bud Tour, where cultural groups shared their cuisines.

For this and much more, Otto will receive a Diversity Recognition Award as Outstanding UMB Student at the University’s Black History Month celebration Feb. 1.

“I truly don’t have many hobbies, thus service and upliftment of others serves me just fine,” Otto said when asked how she finds time for her yeoman organizational efforts. “It is energizing and exhausting, yet empowering at the same time. My commitment to inclusivity, dialogue, support, and service is an integral part of my being.”

This has been demonstrated in her many successful events. The open forum on the shooting of black men provided a safe space for students from all seven UMB schools to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes without fear or backlash. The goal of this, as well as many of her initiatives and events she has been involved with at the University, was to help students of marginalized ethnic groups and various religious backgrounds attain healing, discussion, and awareness amongst each other.

“I’m incredibly grateful, honored, and thankful that I attend a University that offers such a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. diversity recognition award,” Otto said. “This shows UMB’s commitment to Dr. King’s principles, and that makes me proud to be here. My hope is that this award will inspire students and staff to initiate conversations and spread love to their colleagues, friends, and community members who share different backgrounds than them.”

Some of her best work outside the classroom — it’s easy to forget Otto also maintains a rigorous dental school schedule that includes clinic work with patients several days a week — has come with the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), an organization that strives to uplift minority students.

She was community service chair for SNDA during her second year at UMB and created service events for students, on and off campus. The next year she became president and hosted over triple the community service events. In addition, she led four professional development programs, seven general body meetings, and more.

The school’s SNDA chapter won Chapter of the Year for the second consecutive year, this time with Otto as president. Notable activities were highlighted such as the Taste Bud Tour, during which all cultural groups on campus were invited to share their cuisines; Generation NeXT, which provided opportunities for School of Dentistry students to mentor high school students at the Vivien Thomas Medical Arts Academy; and an Oral Cancer Walk, which raised $19,445.

Otto says all of the SNDA events would not have been possible without the help of her executive board and chapter members who also shared the same vision of service and cultural competence.

“Her impact toward diversity and inclusivity has been monumental over her four years at the school,” said those who nominated her. “She has been a leader every step of the way.”

Otto, who plans to do a dental residency program in New York (and do community projects, of course) after graduating from UMB, credits her parents for putting her on the public service path.

“My character has been shaped by my childhood experiences in a racially diverse small town called South Orange in New Jersey, coupled by a ‘village’ of family and friends who share similar core values,” Otto said. “My parents taught me very early to treat others well, to do good, and to be the change that I wish to see — and it has truly gone a long way. It took a village to get me here, and I owe it to that village to enter spaces at UMB with the same love, energy, and tenacity that they taught me.”

— Chris Zang

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 26, 20180 comments
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CURE Scholars Program Wins MLK Staff Award

Princaya Sanders used to dream of being a professional wrestler. Now, she has her heart set on anesthesiology. Shakeer Franklin was a disruptive, inattentive middle school student. Now, he plans to be a psychotherapist. Nicholas Knight aspired to be an NFL player. Now he sees a career in health care.

These are just three of the lives that have been changed by the UMB CURE Scholars Program, which for 2 1/2 years has been taking young people from West Baltimore with an interest in science and molding them into future health care workers and researchers through hands-on workshops, lab experiences, and mentorship.

On Feb. 1, the UMB CURE Scholars Program’s central leadership team will receive the Outstanding UMB Staff Award as part of the University’s Black History Month celebration.

When informed of the program’s selection of this award, executive director Robin Saunders, EdD, MS, noted, “This program is truly a labor of love for all of us on the central leadership team. I am honored to work with a team of committed professionals who work tirelessly to positively impact and transform the lives of young West Baltimore students and their families.

“I am amazed at the progress of our scholars who were often overlooked and perhaps even written off due to the socioeconomic status of their neighborhoods. This program demonstrates that when students have opportunities and high expectations, they can rise to immeasurable heights.”

Launched in October 2015, the program has grown to include 80 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders, not to mention the nearly 200 mentors from UMB schools recruited by CURE staff members. The UMB CURE Scholars are the youngest ever to participate in the National Cancer Institute’s Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) national program. With the first cohort of UMB CURE middle schoolers entering high school in fall 2018, their improved grades, including math and reading scores, and stellar school attendance becomes all the more important.

After school on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, the scholars are transported to the Baltimore City Community College Life Sciences Institute at the University of Maryland BioPark for their training with mentors. On Saturdays, they meet at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy to take part in A Bridge to Academic Excellence, where they receive tutoring.

The UMB Writing Center also has held workshops to help prepare the students for the college application process. Field trips have included museums, mechanical engineering labs, pharmacy and dental school, anatomy class, and planetary presentations. Summer camps have exposed the scholars to new discoveries as well.

“I think it’s amazing,” said sixth-grade scholar Jazire Faw. “Last week we dissected a sheep’s eye, and I thought that was really cool.”

By enhancing that love of science from groups under-represented in the biomedical and health care workforces, UMB hopes to create a pipeline that will see the scholars through college into rewarding careers — breaking the cycle of poverty so prevalent in West Baltimore.

“We’ve established that in these students we’ve got talent to spare, but now we have to make the opportunity,” UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, said on Saturday, Oct. 14, as the third cohort of CURE scholars slipped on the program’s signature white laboratory coats.

“We have to dismantle the barriers that separate our young people from their potential and from their purpose. We have to give these students what they need to rise, because I’ve seen them rise, and it’s beautiful to watch.”

Each year at UMB’s Black History Month celebration, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Awards are presented for individual and/or group achievements in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness. The recipients serve as models of the ideals epitomized by the life and work of Dr. King.

Saunders (pictured above with CURE colleagues Lauren Kareem, MEd, and Borndavid McCraw) is proud that the UMB CURE Scholars Program is taking its place among former outstanding staff recipients.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our challenging and complex yet rewarding work,” she said. “We are grateful to have been selected for this prestigious award named after a great man who gave his life to improve conditions for people who, like our scholars, are often overlooked, forgotten, and perhaps even written off. This award is a blessing and we greatly appreciate this acknowledgment on behalf of the many mentors, faculty, staff, and partners who support our important work, our amazing scholars, and our comprehensive program.”

For more on UMB’s Black History Month celebration, click here.

— Chris Zang

Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 23, 20182 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the December issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on Medicaid cuts under proposed health care legislation, a holiday greeting, Russell McClain’s Diversity Advisory Council presentation on bias, volunteers helping at Project Feast, CURE welcoming its third cohort of young scholars, seasonal safety tips, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris Zang ABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 13, 20170 comments
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