Maryland Moments, June, 2002
Towards Being Best: Numbers, New Programs, Honors, Awards
Guidance counselors selected their list of the hottest and trendiest colleges, as polled by Kaplan's educational services which publishes "The Unofficial, Unbiased, Insider's Guide to the 320 Most Interesting Colleges." The top 10 hottest schools: Harvard University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, New York University, University of California-Los Angeles, Georgetown University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Brown University, University of Maryland, College Park and Princeton University. Maryland was also rated a "Best Value."
The Knight Foundation released plans to establish a John S. and James L. Knight Journalism Center at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The Center would house some of America's most important journalism programs and publications: The American Journalism Review, the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families, the Hubert Humphrey Journalism Fellows, the College's Journalism Fellowships in Child and Family Policy program, the National Association of Black Journalists and the American Association for Sunday and Feature Editors.
In rankings issued by Black Issues in Higher Education in June, improvement in attaining a more diversified campus were quantified. In African American baccalaureate degrees, the university advanced from No. 16 to No. 14 in the U.S. In rankings of African American baccalaureate degrees at traditionally white universities, Maryland went from No. 5 to No. 4, while Asian American baccalaureate degrees advanced from No. 22 to No. 18. In dramatic rises, Maryland advanced from No. 9 to No. 2 in African American doctoral degrees at traditionally white schools, and from No. 10 to No. 3 in African American doctoral degrees (No. 10 to No. 3).
The University System of Maryland raised more than $880 million among its 13 branches during its latest fund-raising campaign. Overall, the System exceeded its goal of contributions by $200 million. * The University of Maryland ($475 million) accounted for more than half of the total raised by the System and provided the impetus for System success by raising $125 million more than its goal. *The $475 million easily exceeded the next highest total of $218 million raised by the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
An incoming class of talented, high achievers is the result of the most competitive admissions season Maryland has ever known. The number of applications rose nearly 18 percent over last year, exceeding 23,000, for a class the university hopes to hold to 3,900, 100 fewer than last year's target. About half of this year's admitted freshmen are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes. The SAT scores of the class are an average of 25 points higher than last year, with the middle 50 percent scoring between 1200-1350.
The Chesapeake region's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games had its final review by the U.S. Olympic Committee, which will select the U.S. entrant to compete for the Games. The University of Maryland was key to region hopes as it would house the Olympic Village. One official said of the university, "I have never seen such a facility. Boy, talk about drooling, it has all the amenities...They don't get any better than the University of Maryland."
Hundreds of teachers, administrators and researchers met for two days at the university and pledged to work to eliminate the growing achievement gaps between educational standards and the many groups of students who are not meeting them. "Achievement-A Shared Imperative" was the theme for this inaugural conference of the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education - a joint effort of the University of Maryland College of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education.
William Destler, vice president for academic affairs and provost, announced the university will dedicate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of merchandise bearing the "Fear The Turtle" slogan towards state research and field programs.
The Robert H. Smith School of Business helped MBA students beat a tight market for summer internships. Many of the students worked on campus for the university's Technology Advancement Program.
Faculty, Student Achievement
President Bush announced winners of Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the nation's highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. Satayandra Kumar Gupta, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was among 60 researchers honored at the White House on July 12.
Camille Lewis, who just graduated from the School of Music with a concentration in the violin, won the Miss Maryland competition in Hagerstown and now travels to Atlantic City to compete for the title of Miss America. She will be a proponent of elementary and high school funding for music, which she feels too often gets the budget ax.
Linda Clement, vice president for student affairs and former director of undergraduate admissions, was in the forefront of news coverage in her role as chair of the College Board explaining the group's decision to insert an essay portion into its SAT exams.
Nora Fatima Achrati, a junior in the College of Journalism from Silver Spring, won a $10,000 scholarship based on her academic achievement and interests in journalism. She was one of 10 students selected from across the nation.
Research, Signifcant Discoveries
The university is one of seven new "NASA Institutes" that will be located at colleges and universities across the country. Each school will work on a long-term strategic interest of the federal agency. Maryland's focus will be third generation reusable launch vehicles, receiving approximately $3 million per year. Other schools selected include Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California-Los Angeles, Princeton University, Texas A&M University and Purdue University.
A report issued by the University of Maryland and the Israel Institute of Technology was put in front of the federally appointed panel investigating the collapse of the World Trade Center. The research showed that the weak link in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers was insulation around the diagonal rods in the steel trusses, which supported the floors. Once the rods failed, the trusses buckled. James Quintiere, professor of fire protection engineering, continues to criticize the government for not launching an immediate investigation.
The Civicus Living-Learning Program was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for a program to discover the best ways to interest young people in politics. The project will follow the progress of 21 courses and programs at colleges across the U.S. for three years to identify what works in igniting civil involvement.
Two early-stage Technology Advancement Program (TAP) tenants, Chesapeake PERL and Advanced Thermal and Environmental Concepts, received Maryland Incubator Company of the Year awards. Chesapeake PERL is developing a method of "mass customization" for recombinant protein manufacturing in insect larvae. Advanced Thermal develops "smart" miniaturized thermal management tools for mechanical, electronic and high-tech environments.
Samples Sarah Tishkoff, assistant professor of biology, went to Africa to collect genetic data, and the Website, www.inform.umd.edu/Campus/InstAdv/newsdesk/dna , was born with the help of the Offices of University Communications and Publications. The Chronicle of Higher Education recommended the unique site to its readers.
The Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland and Webmergers.com, a San Francisco company that provides research for technology companies, are teaming to document the stories of the (dot-com) bubble, from euphoric new paradigm to unemployment. A Web site, www.businesspanarchive.org, is available for those who want to share their experiences.
Outreach: Campus People Aiding the Community
As part of a collaborative effort between the campus's Maryland Technology Advancement Program (TAP) and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, up-and-coming tech companies hired MBA interns for $8,000. That's half the cost of what they would typically pay.
In The News: University People Earning Media Attention
Frank Gouin, professor emeritus in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is at the center of attempts to clone the recently felled 460-year-old Wye Oak, taking buds from the tree's crown. Gouin already has cloned 30 descendants of the enduring Maryland state symbol, which were planted to Mt. Vernon.
Charles Piety, faculty research assistant in the department of meteorology, is the expert the media quotes in the business of forecasting "Ozone Days" and their effects. The university maintains an Ozone Forecast Web site at http://metosrv2.umd.edu/~forecaster/ozone_fcst.html for the region.
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) earned national notice when it reported that 42 percent of young eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2000 presidential elections-a 13 percent drop since 1972.
In her book "Leadership The Eleanor Roosevelt Way," Robin Gerber, senior fellow at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, writes that the famous first lady's path to greatness had many obstacles. Veteran White House columnist Helen Thomas thinks Gerber's book shows why Roosevelt should be a role model today.
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