Maryland Moments, July, 2002
An exceptional class is produced by one of the most competitive admissions season in Maryland history. The number of applications rose nearly 18 percent to 23,000 over last year for a class the university hopes to hold to 3,900. About half of the admitted freshmen are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes. The SAT scores of the class are an average 25 points higher than last year with the middle 50 percent scoring between 1200-1350.
The university purchased the $12.45 Northrop Grumman-owned Litton Systems Inc. plant on near-by Calvert Road in College Park. The tract will be a major piece of the coming university research park.
The university was one of 44 major research universities chosen to share $80 million in awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). This marks the third time in four award periods since 1992 that Maryland has received the prestigious HHMI grant, which is aimed at strengthening life sciences undergraduate education.
The flight of Maryland students to out-of-state schools appears to be grounded. Last year saw a marked increase in the number of Maryland students who stayed at home to attend college, reversing a 10-year trend. The university had the largest increase in resident enrollment among four-year institutions, capping a successful effort to slow down the exodus of top students from Maryland education institutions.
Society & Culture
At the Clarice Smith Center
Renee Poussaint, senior fellow with the Academy of Leadership has teamed with alumna Camille Cosby, wife of entertainer Bill Cosby, to start the National Visionary Leadership Project. The stories of legendary and pioneering blacks now in their 70s or older will be preserved in their own words.
The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education's Rankings of "Selected Black Academics by the Number of Times They Were in the National Press for 2001" rates Ron Walters, government and politics professor, at No. 17.
The U.N. released its Human Development Report 2002. Nations were rated by the University of Maryland on democratic freedoms and poverty.
The Institute for Global Chinese Affairs (Office of International Programs) conducted a media study at the behest of the bipartisan Congressional U.S. China Security Review Commission. The study found that "extremely negative tones toward the United States are rare."
Science and Technology
Gates and Academics Join on Security
Entomologist Earlene Armstrong conducted the first ever Insect Summer Camp on campus. She had been taking her bug show to area elementary and middle schools. "This is the age we have to get them interested in science." (In December, Professor Armstrong was awarded a Presidential Award for Excellence In Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring by the National Science Foundation. She received her honor at The White House.)
Andrew Lazur, an adjunct associate professor for the Maryland Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was one of the key researchers in the effort to eradicate the snakehead fish, which in a short time acquired great media legend as a fish able to leap from pond to pond.
One of the West's most valuable tools in fighting the prolific fires of a dry summer is located on campus. The department of geography works with NASA's Goddard Space Science Center to "transform data into maps that show where fires are raging and where they are headed."
Margaret Palmer, professor of biology, directed a symposium about boosting the flow of ecology theory into effective practice at the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Ecological Restoration meeting held in Arizona. Palmer stressed successful habitat restoration requires an understanding of theories about population biology, competition between species, biodiversity and the stability of ecosystems.
Other July Maryland Moments
The 2002 Forward Forty
The U.S. Department of Education announced the dates and locations for the meetings of the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics. The panel was appointed by the secretary of education to analyze federal gender-equity laws and their impact on college sports. Athletics Director Deborah Yow was named a member.
Architecture student David Groff is one of seven students who eat and sleep historic bridges as they spend the summer working on the National Park Service's American Engineering Record. The goal was to produce accurate and complete architectural drawings, accompanied by engineering analyses and historical information, that will become part of the National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record."
Anh Duong, Class of �82 and chemical engineering graduate, aided in constructing a bomb that pursued the leaders of the killers of September 11 deep into the caves of Afghanistan. According to the Baltimore Sun, the group of researchers she directs at the Naval Surface Warfare Center is the most competent in the world.
Musue Noha Haddad of Liberia, formerly a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the Merrill School of Jouralism, was presented a Humand Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Award, granted to writers around the world who have been the targets of political persecution. "Ms. Haddad wrote unbiased, factual reports, criticizing the government and providing information that the government tried to suppress. Following articles she wrote about a visit to the United States in 1998, she was accused of spying as a CIA employee...Liberian death threats followed her to the United States where she now lives in hiding."
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