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

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

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

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

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

Taking Ownership

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

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

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

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

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

Home Sweet Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Lou Cortina

Housing Fair on March 25

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

More LNYW Information

To learn more about the LNYW Program, click here.

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

Lou CortinaFor B'more, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeMarch 16, 20180 comments
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Call for Proposals: IPE Faculty Award, March 2018

All UMB faculty are eligible to apply for a Faculty Award in Support of Interprofessional Education. Please see the IPE web page for additional information. Submit your two-page proposal, including budget, to Patricia Danielewicz at

Deadline for priority decision: Friday, April 6

Additional applications will be considered on a bimonthly basis (May, July 2018) pending availability of funds. Please visit our website for additional information and to download a proposed template.


The purpose of the IPE Faculty Award is to encourage and build a community of faculty members across the schools of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and throughout the University System of Maryland who have an interest and expertise in interprofessional education. This includes, potentially, IPE activities nationally and internationally.


Faculty Awards may be used for a variety of endeavors that can include, but are not limited to, travel to other institutions to study IPE; regional and national meetings focused on IPE, including poster and podium presentations; educational products focused on IPE; and other faculty development activities that are inclusive of UMB students from two or more schools. The funds must be used within a one-year window, and any individual is limited to one award per year. Faculty Awards may provide a one-time salary enhancement stipend, if allowed by the UMB school and appropriate for the proposed activity.

Award Management

All UMB faculty members are eligible to apply for a Faculty Award of up to $2,000 annually. Other faculty from the University System of Maryland require a partner from the UMB faculty and are eligible for up to a $1,000 award. A two-page proposal, including a budget, should be submitted via email to the Center for Interprofessional Education. Please include a title for the award, along with a description of the proposed activity and its potential to further IPE at UMB. If you plan to use standardized patients through the Clinical Education and Evaluation Laboratory, please contact the director, Nancy Budd Culpepper, at The co-directors of the Center for Interprofessional Education serve as the award committee.


Patricia DanielewiczCollaboration, Education, UMB NewsMarch 15, 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, and third-year student Andrew Nagel as 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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Eight DNP Students Share Expertise Through Poster Presentations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 14, 20180 comments
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Policy Forum on Gender-Based Violence to be Held April 18

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

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

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

Register here for this free event.

Lisa FedinaBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, UMB NewsMarch 13, 20180 comments
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School of Nursing, Harford CC Sign Dual-Admission Agreement

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Harford Community College (HCC) in Bel Air, Md., recently signed an agreement of dual admission that will ensure students’ seamless transition from HCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to UMSON’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. HCC becomes the eighth community college in Maryland to sign such an agreement with UMSON.

Through the agreement, students can apply and be admitted to UMSON’s BSN program while in HCC’s ADN program. Students will receive transfer credits from UMSON for completed coursework at HCC and will be granted special student status, allowing them to take UMSON courses while still working on their associate degree, thereby saving them time and money in completing their BSN degree.

“We encourage all of our nursing students to determine their career goals early in their nursing education and develop an academic progression plan,” said Laura Cianelli Preston, dean, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, HCC. “This partnership adds to our students’ options in taking the next step in advancing their nursing degree.”

An effort to increase qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping to further the mission of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP to advance comprehensive health care change. The campaign uses as its framework the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The partnership program specifically addresses one of the eight goals set forth in the report: to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

“We are excited to begin this partnership with Harford Community College. It will provide ADN students at Harford Community College with a flexible BSN degree option for continuing their education,” said Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, assistant professor and director, RN-to-BSN Program, UMSON. “This option provides them with a seamless transition to the BSN, as it enables them to work on prerequisites or take UMSON courses while enrolled in their prelicensure program.”

To matriculate to UMSON’s BSN program, students must graduate with an ADN from HCC and satisfy UMSON’s progression criteria.

Kevin NashCollaboration, Education, UMB News, USGAMarch 12, 20180 comments
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Maryland Poison Center Celebrates National Poison Prevention Week

Since 1962, the third week of March has been celebrated by presidential decree as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), providing poison centers across the country — including the Maryland Poison Center (MPC) — an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of poisonings and highlight steps that families can take to prevent them. This year, NPPW will be observed March 18-24 and will focus on several poison prevention-related themes:

  • Monday, March 19: Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons
  • Tuesday, March 20: Poison Centers: Saving You Time and Money
  • Wednesday, March 21: Poisonings Span a Lifetime
  • Thursday, March 22: Home Safe Home
  • Friday, March 23: Medication Safety

Call for Expert Advice

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the No. 1 cause of injury death in the United States, with most of these deaths caused by drug and medication misuse and abuse. The MPC, part of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, is a 24-hour telephone service that offers free, fast, and confidential expert advice about poisonings and overdoses. It has provided poisoning treatment advice, education, and prevention services to Maryland citizens since 1972 and is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) as a regional poison center.

“The MPC, along with the nation’s other 55 poison centers, is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of every American through proactive poison prevention and free, confidential, and expert medical services,” says Bruce Anderson, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, director of operations for the MPC and professor in PPS. “The center is staffed 24/7 by pharmacists and nurses who are certified as specialists in poison information and uniquely trained to help individuals who have been exposed to a poison or have questions about a potential poisoning.”

Take Steps for Prevention

Although about half of the calls received by the MPC involve children younger than 6 years old, teens, adults, and seniors also are at risk for poisoning. To help prevent poisonings in your home, follow these tips from the MPC:

  • Program the poison center’s phone number in your cell phone. Your local poison center can be reached anywhere in the United States by dialing 1-800-222-1222. You also can text the word “poison” to 797979 to receive the poison center’s contact information. Save this contact and share it with your friends.
  • Read and follow directions on the label before using medicines and household products.
  • Follow the poison safety checklist‌ to make sure all medicines, poisons, and harmful household products are stored out of the sight and out of reach of children.
  • Keep all household products and medicines in their original containers. Never put chemicals or cleaning products in empty food or drink containers.
  • Always ask for medicine in child-resistant containers, but remember that these containers are not child-proof. If given enough time, children often can open the safety caps.
  • Know the names of plants in and around your home and remove poisonous ones from the house and yard.
  • Teach small children never to touch or taste something unless they ask an adult.
  • Put medicines away after each dose, even if they will be taken again in a few hours.
  • Have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home if you have a fireplace, wood-burning stove, or other gas appliances.

Individuals living in Maryland can participate in National Poison Prevention Week by following the Maryland Poison Center on Facebook and Twitter.

Families in Maryland that would like more information about poison prevention can request a Mr. Yuk packet for their homes. This packet contains information about poison safety, Mr. Yuk stickers, telephone stickers, and a magnet that can help families prevent or prepare for poisoning emergencies.

Malissa CarrollClinical Care, Community Service, For B'more, UMB NewsMarch 12, 20180 comments
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Police Patrols Reminder from Interim Chief Davenport

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

Dear Colleagues:

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

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

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

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


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

Chris ZangCollaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 9, 20180 comments
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Reece and Others Speak to Succeeding as Minorities in Health Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Betsy Stein

Betsy SteinCollaboration, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
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Ladies Who Lunch Seminar to Address Incontinence Solutions

Spend your lunch hour March 16 with Madeline Dick-Biascoechea, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University of Maryland Medical Center, who will discuss “Leaky Bladders: Incontinence Solutions.”

Dick-Biascoechea will discuss the latest treatments for incontinence as well as overactive and leaky bladder concerns. Learn more about how to live your life worry-free. All are welcome to attend. Free lunch will be provided.

The seminar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library’s Gladhill Board Room, 601 W. Lombard Street, fifth floor.



Erin RummelBulletin Board, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
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UMBrella’s Caregivers Support Group to Meet March 19

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

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

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

Sonya EvansBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, People, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
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PROMISE Event Promotes Diversity in STEM Academia

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

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

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

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

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

Scholars, PhD Candidates Make Their Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Development Workshops Offer Perspective

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaCollaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeMarch 5, 20180 comments
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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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Need Help Getting Your Research Off the Ground?

Need help getting your research off the ground? The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Institute for Clinical & Translational Research (ICTR) provides UMB faculty free:

• Biostatistical services
• Informatics services, such as data capture forms/surveys as well as EPIC clinical data
• Community engagement assistance, such as creating community focus groups and participant instruction videos
• Studios consult services
• Voucher (micro-grant) support to help defray clinical research costs

Learn more about the support and funding ICTR can provide here or email

Wanda FinkCollaboration, Research, UMB NewsFebruary 28, 20180 comments
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Women’s History Month Event to Honor Life, Legacy of Angela Brodie

The University of Maryland, Baltimore celebrates Women’s History Month with a panel discussion titled “The Life and Legacy of Angela H. Brodie, PhD,” on Wednesday, March 28, noon to 1:30 p.m., at Westminster Hall.

Brodie, former professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, was an internationally recognized scientist whose groundbreaking cancer research is considered among the greatest advances in treating breast cancer. She died in June 2017 at age 82 of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

A panel of distinguished leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy will discuss the impact of Brodie’s career accomplishments and the future of breast cancer research.

To register to attend, click here. For more information about the event and panelists, click here.

A light lunch will be served at the event, which is sponsored by the UMBrella Group.

Alice PowellBulletin Board, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 26, 20180 comments
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