Maryland Moments, September, 2002
(University News, Rankings)
Maryland moved into the Top 20 of U.S. Public Universities for the first time in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings at No. 18. The university has 70 programs (overall, undergraduate, graduate) ranked in their respective Top 25 categories, and 47 programs earned rankings among Top 15 schools.
The 2003 undergraduate rankings:
Maryland is rated No. 30 on Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine's list of the best values in public college education. In a sub-set of its top values, Kiplinger's recommended Maryland and nine other schools for value in "class size."
The Wall Street Journal released its second annual rankings, and the Smith School was well-represented in many categories, including the following:
The Robert H. Smith School of Business launches its first executive MBA (EMBA) program in January 2003 It is designed to not only provide a quality executive education to managers, but also to focus on the educational and developmental needs of the companies that sponsor the participants.
The Smith School of Business will open an executive MBA program in the Chinese capital, with Maryland faculty traveling to Beijing to teach most of the courses. The Smith School will work with Beijing's University of International Business and Economics on the 17-month curriculum.
Murray Valenstein, a retired New York advertising executive, and his wife, Suzanne, are paying for two Baltimore city students per year to attend the University of Maryland under a the Baltimore Incentive Awards Program. Designed to increase the number of students from Baltimore matriculating to the university, the program just welcomed its second class with the start of the 2002-03 school year.
Entertainer Bill Cosby came to town to headline an evening honoring David Driskell, professor emeritus of art and distinguished university professor. The event, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, formally launched the campus's David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora, which has as its goal bringing to public attention the place of African American art among the master works of American art.
The university marked the first anniversary of Sep. 11 with a solemn vigil and program of remembrance. President C.D. Mote Jr. led the morning ceremonies at the east end of McKeldin Mall, where a Memorial Garden is planned. The names of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks were read during the vigil.
The university's innovative "Act Like You Know Campaign," designed to increase sportsmanship at campus athletic events and in their aftermath, was introduced with an aura of mystery. Before the Florida State football game, unattributed "Act Like You Know" art work was displayed on campus. At the game itself, coach Ralph Friedgen announced that "Act Like You Know" is a parallel to act with "class." The campaign attempts to reach the community through editorial pieces in local newspapers and materials which will be distributed through football and basketball seasons.
The university was the focus of media attention for selecting "The Laramie Project" as a reading choice for in-coming and dormitory students. Off-campus groups threatened lawsuits if the university did not cancel planned discussions of the play, which examines the killing of a gay college student, Matthew Shepard, in Wyoming. Academic freedom was insured with the university's decision to move ahead with the selection, which was intended to open a dialogue on the nature of hate crimes.
The graduation rates for University of Maryland student-athletes rose for the fourth consecutive year, to 68 percent, according to figures compiled and released by the NCAA and the Department of Education.
The university ranks No. 24 in a Sports Illustrated ranking of America's strongest college athletic programs. Rankings were based not only on competitive performance, but also on school spirit and recreational opportunities.
Society & Culture
The Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources released its long-awaited report on the state of Maryland farming. The two-year, $200,000 study was directed by Bruce Gardner, distinguished university professor of agricultural economics. Gardner: "(Politicians) should treat agriculture like any other business. The state now tends to be a little more adversarial toward farming."
Paul Herrnson, director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship, and Ben Bederson, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, conducted research on electronic voting machines used in Maryland elections for the first time this fall. They had words of caution as to the ease of use of the machines, whose installation was designed to avoid the problems of the 2000 elections in Florida.
Prince George's County schools superintendent Iris Metts announced plans to improve declining SAT scores in the county. According to the Washington Post, the University of Maryland and Bowie State University are important collaborators in these plans. An example of a successful program to improve test scores is at Bladensburg High School. Under guidance from the university's Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education, Bladensburg elevated its scores by an average of 17 points.
Researchers from the College of Health and Human Performance and Teachers College, Columbia University, released a study published in the journal Teachers College Record that probes the perennial question "What did you do at school today?" The groundbreaking work was based on a nationally representative sample of 553 students in 1st through 5th grades. "Our data illustrate the racial and economic inequality in America's schools: Poorer minority children do not have the same opportunities as richer white students."
More than 1,200 historians signed a petition to Congress calling on it "to assume [its] Constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on whether or not to declare war on Iraq." A delegation of scholars, which included Ira Berlin, distinguished university professor of history, presented the petition to members of Congress. Other Maryland faculty members signing the petition were Randall Mason, director of the Program in Historic Preservation, Gary Gerstle, professor of history, Elsa Barkley Brown, associate professor of history, Claire Moses, professor and chair of women's studies and Robyn Muncy, associate professor of history.
Charles Butterworth, professor of government and politics, is among 12 board members of the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy to sign a "statement denouncing violence and terrorism, especially in the name of Islam, a religion of peace and justice." Also signing were prominent American Muslims, organizations and scholars, as well as others from around the world. Among the 44 academics lending their names to the statement were Jillian Schwedler, assistant professor of government and politics, and Rima Pavalko, graduate assistant in government and politics.
Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, is among 33 scholars whose name appears on an advertisement in the New York Times saying a military attack on Iraq would be a profound and costly mistake.
Science & Technology
NASA launched a University Research, Engineering and Technology Institute and Maryland and the University of Florida were picked to study reusable launch vehicles. Other schools playing lead roles are Princeton University (light-weight aeronautic materials), the University of California, Berkeley (information technology fusion), Georgia Tech University (aeropropulsion and power), and Purdue University (nanoelectronics and computing).
The university is one of six schools who are establishing an aerospace institute for NASA in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The other schools are the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina St., and North Carolina A&T. The institute hopes to produce cutting-edge research by employing a combination of NASA's Langley Research Center efforts and those of institute partners. The institute will offer master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering at Langley and to students at partner universities via distance learning.
The growing International Children's Digital Library, being authored by the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), plans to launch a prototype containing 225 books for Internet use this autumn. Further, UMIACS' partnership with the Internet Archive won a $397,162 grant to evaluate the impact of the children's digital library.
Corinna Lathan, who as founder of AnthroTronix Inc.is focused on easing physical therapy sessions for disabled children, was named Innovator of the Year 2002 by Maryland's Daily Record newspaper. AnthroTronix is part of the Technology Advancement Program at the university's Engineering Research Center.
A group of university researchers thinks understanding how different animals sense and process sound may uncover clues to restoring human hearing loss. Research by an interdisciplinary team in the Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing has so impressed the National Institutes of Health that NIH has awarded a $2.6 million grant to the university to support the center and expand research.
Maryland students--engineers, urban planners and computer science majors--prepared for months to compete at the National Mall in the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon. The 22-ton Maryland entry earned high marks, finishing fourth among 14 teams. In the 10 categories that made up the decathlon, Maryland finished No. 1 in "Energy Balance" and "Hot Water," No. 2 in "The Comfort Zone" and No. 3 in "Design Presentation and Simulation."
More Maryland Moments in September
Raymond Davis Jr., described by Newsday as "a quiet, self-effacing chemist from Brookhaven National Laboratory who searched for secrets of the sun by putting an experiment nearly a mile underground in a South Dakota gold mine," won the Nobel Prize in physics. Davis earned his undergraduate and master degrees at Maryland.
The MacArthur Foundation honors "Extraordinary people doing extraordinary things." And now two University of Maryland alumnae, choreographer Liz Lerman and novelist Karen Hesse can continue doing their extraordinary doings without financial worry. They join 22 other Americans as 2002 recipients of the so-called "Genius Awards" given out September 25th by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Each receives a no-strings-attached fellowship of $500,000 over five years.
Maryland high school students who feel their credentials are faultless are now routinely put on hold for admission to the university, or are denied admission, according to the Washington Post. Part of the story is in the numbers: the percentage of admitted students from the applicant pool is dropping precipitously.
Ray Paternoster, professor of criminology and criminal justice, extended the time for his research on the fairness of the death penalty in Maryland until Dec. 31. Commissioned by the legislature, the study has proven to be a more time-consuming endeavor than thought, according to Paternoster, who is reviewing criminal cases in the thousands going back several decades.
When Diane Waryold, executive director of the Center for Academic Integrity, was asked by the Raleigh News & Observer for good examples of student ethics programs, she pointed to Maryland. "I tell them to look at the University of Maryland..." The Center is part of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.
Alumna Carly Fiornia, CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was named the most powerful woman in business by Fortune magazine.
Maryland Newsline, the University of Maryland's nightly newscast, was named the best student-produced TV news show in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists. The program, produced by advanced broadcast news students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and aired on the college-operated cable station UMTV, won the prestigious Mark of Excellence Award in its first year.
Recent School of Music graduate Camille Lewis finished as the fourth runner-up at the Miss America Pageant. She won the talent and evening gown competitions before the final night of judging.
Soap operas, which in their radio days depended on agonizing organ music to ratchet up plot interest, now tour college campuses. "As the World Turns" held auditions on campus for students who want to become real citizens of a fictional Oakdale, however briefly.
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