Maryland Moments, July, 2003
(Rankings, New & Special Programs, Honors)
In the annual Black Issues in Higher Education rankings, UM finished among the top 25 schools in eight categories:
Top Doctorate Degree schools: No. 16 in African American doctorates in all disciplines combined; No. 23 in African American education doctorate programs (up from No. 37 a year ago); No. 6 in African American Social Sciences & History.
The first international conference on Acoustic Communication by Animals drew more than 200 researchers from North America, Europe and Asia to the university. Featured research came from UM faculty members Arthur Popper and Robert Dooling. Popper, a biologist, has created awareness of noise pollution damage to animals in the world's oceans. Psychologist and researcher Dooling exhibited his ground-breaking research on birds.
Susan Schwab, dean of the School of Public Affairs, was nominated by President Bush to become deputy Treasury secretary. Previously, in April, Schwab was nominated by the President to be first vice president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
The university planned to hire as many as 35 new researchers � each projected to generate about $400,000 in grant money � to staff a new biosciences research building that should break ground next summer. The 138,000 square-foot building building is to be constructed off of Field House Drive
The Maryland Economic Development Corp. planned to issue $27.4 million in taxable lease revenue bonds on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense to finance construction of a telecommunications sciences laboratory building for use by the DOD. The building will be located on the UM campus.
The William Kapell International Piano Competition and Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary with an extravaganza hosted by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. No only was their a quality competition to capture Kapell honors, but the week also included: a Grand Piano Party, where local actors, a mime and otherartists entertained children while explaining the mysteries of practicing and recitals; a "keyboard petting zoo," where people could test their skills on harpsichord,clavichord or piano; performances of jazz, boogie-woogie and classical piano music; and a "Piano Puzzlers" name-that-tune game.
The Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program awarded $1 million in funding for research projects teaming Maryland companies with University System of Maryland faculty. The 18 jointly-funded awards, worth a total of $5.1 million, went to projects with established companies such as MedImmune Inc. and Hughes Network Systems, as well as to early stage ventures such as Calibrant Biosystems and DataStream Conversion Services. MIPS, an arm of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, contributed $1.02 million to the projects, while companies are supplying $4.1 million in funding and resources. $2.4 million came from Hughes Network Systems alone.
The Smith School of Business received a $3 million pledge from Robert H. Smith, for whom the school is named. The money will be used to attract undergraduate and graduate students. Also, Dean Howard Frank's wife, Jane, donated $500,000 to the school.
Society & Culture
A study commissioned by the Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology and conducted by the department of agricultural and resource economics said the Eastern Shore poultry industry should remain strong and able to adopt to new environmental standards. Distinguished University Professor Bruce Gardner and Professor Wesley Musser were co-authors. Gardner: "The Eastern Shore economy has a huge stake in the poultry industry, but that investment is not at immediate risk of going down the drain."
Carmelita Troy, who earned her doctorate in May from the Smith School of Business, was the lead researcher of a groundbreaking study on the accounting ills of the last decade. Co-authors included by Ken Smith, Dean's Chaired Professor of Business Strategy, and Larry Gordon, Ernst & Young Alumni Professor of Managerial Accounting. Results were first published in the Wall Street Journal. "During the 1990s, accounting fraud erupted at companies that made numerous acquisitions and were run by relatively young men with lucrative holdings of stock options."
The Smith School of Business and IBM released a study that said new financial, administrative and technology initiatives provide only modest benefits for cash-strapped governments, and they called for more focus on business transformation to drive increased benefits. The double-blind survey was conducted for IBM's Institute for Business Value in cooperation with the Smith School.
Artifacts from an "Archaeology in Annapolis" excavation were displayed at lunches sponsored by the Historic Annapolis Foundation. Matthew Palus, a lecturer in anthropology and director of the Summer Field School Program in urban archaeology, made presentations concerning four Eastport digs at private homes this summer.
Science & Technology
The Clark School of Engineering's Bioprocess Scale-Up Facility looks like little more than a science enthusiast's garage at first glance," according to the Washington Post. "But the gleaming silver tanks surrounding the lab's main room have aided more than 300 local biotech companies... Even some of the area's most successful biotechs, including MedImmune Inc., Martek Biosciences Corp. and Digene Corp., got some crucial help from the unassuming lab. The lab recently landed a $775,000 grant from the state to update its equipment in order to break cells down to their components for client companies."
Lucy McFadden, associate research scientist in astronomy, was among a distinguished group of Americans who joined together to send a unique request to Congress�-preparations should be made to deal with the prospect of Earth being slammed by an asteroid or comet.
Maryland's agricultural community hoped research from the university will support a move towards less regulation of nutrients and manure. The study by Frank Coale, associate professor of soil fertility and nutrient management, found that "far fewer farms than previously thought appear to be in danger of letting major amounts of phosphorous run off into the bay."
Michael Fuhrer, assistant professor of physics, was among a team of University of California-Berkeley researchers who built the world's first nano-scale motor�-"a gold rotor on a nanotube shaft that could ride on the back of a virus." Fuhrer did his research as a post-doctoral student.
More Maryland Moments in July
Students from the Gemstone honors program readied a lab kit that will allow high school biology students to genetically modify plants. The motivation is to demystify and educate, according to Gemstone students, some of whom major in both the physical sciences and social sciences.
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