Maryland Moments, January 2007
(New Programs, Rankings)
UM extends the reach of its innovative Maryland Transfer Advantage Program (MTAP) to students enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland, in LaPlata, and Anne Arundel Community College, in Arnold. In 2005, Maryland joined with Montgomery College and Prince George's Community College to make it easier for their students to obtain a bachelor's degree. Now a similar two-year MTAP agreement has been signed with CSM and AACC that begins this month and ends in December 2009. The Maryland Transfer Advantage Program guarantees UM admission to qualifying community college students who complete the program requirements.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine updates its Top 100 best values in public higher education. UM is ranked No. 23 among best values for in-state and out-of-state tuition categories. Two other figures of interest: UM was No. 20 among the Top 100 in four-year graduation rates (50.2) and No. 23 for six-year graduation (76.4). UM was also in the top quarter for having the lightest debt load for graduates (No. 25, $14,076).
The Peace Corps' annual rankings are released. UM is No. 12 among Large U.S. Colleges and Universities, continuing a tradition of sending a high number of students to serve overseas. UM was number 15 on the same list a year ago.
Baltimore Sun: "Protecting the nation's food supply from contamination -- either accidental or intentional -- is the goal of a new research center at the University of Maryland. In addition to developing methods to prevent the types of bacterial outbreak that have made headlines in recent months, researchers at the university's Center for Food Systems Security and Safety also will work to safeguard food from terrorist attack. 'Recent events have shown that we need to do a better job in these areas,' said Cheng-i Wei, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who will oversee the center's operations."
The Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic of Greece, Alexandros Mallias, signed on behalf of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a Hellenic Studies Endowment at the University of Maryland.
Jack Scarbath, All-American Terrapin quarterback and runner-up for the Heisman Award in 1952, lives in rural northeast Maryland, where a two-row mission church founded by the Jesuits in 1819 strives to survive. The Baltimore Sun: "When it comes to needed repairs, Scarbath - who built a career in industrial abrasives after playing football at the University of Maryland and in the National Football League - isn't interested in testing the limits of St. Patrick's patience. He ran his hand along the stone foundation that is shifting away from the floorboards at the chapel's front corner. 'We need to take care of that soon,' he said." (Scarbath is president of the St. Patrick's Chapel Historical Society.)
A Washington Post obituary about journalism's Ben Holman is an appreciation, too. " 'He was a force on campus, both respected and loved,' said Thomas Kunkel, dean of the Merrill College of Journalism. 'Over the years, I can't tell you how many former students made a point of telling me how influential Ben Holman was to them, not only in terms of their careers, but their lives,' he said on the school's Web site.... Mr. Holman, who broke through color barriers in the media, spent eight years as director of community relations in the Nixon and Ford administrations....Mr. Holman entered journalism as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News at a time when only a few African Americans worked at large-city daily newspapers. He remained the Daily News's first and lone black reporter for 10 years, often challenging white and black communities with his coverage. His series about problems in the Black Muslim movement, which the paper promoted by putting his picture on the sides of delivery trucks, led to him being beaten by those who did not like his reporting. In 1962, Mr. Holman reported for radio in Chicago before becoming the first African American in television news in Chicago, at CBS's WBBM-TV. He later joined CBS News in New York as a reporter." Ben Holman came to Maryland in 1978 and was named a professor emeritus in 2004.
Maryland Daily Record: "A group of Robert H. Smith School of Business undergraduate and MBA students rang the bell to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday (Jan. 20). The students manage the University of Maryland, College Park-based Smith School�s two investment funds — the Mayer Fund and the Lemma Senbet Fund — and were in New York for an educational trip to meet with financial professionals. The 9:30 a.m. ceremony was televised nationally on CNBC and Bloomberg Television, as well as broadcast live on the NYSE's Web site."
Football Recruiting, Via Internet Scouting Services, a Scandal, Knight Commission Panel Told
The Chronicle of Higher Education: UM football player Andrew Crummey is chosen to appear on a Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Atheltic Programs panel regarding recruiting abuses. "Malcolm Moran, who holds the Knight chair in sports journalism and society at Pennsylvania State University, said that recruiting Web sites are notorious for 'dehumanizing' recruits and misstating information about them, and operators of such sites are often not held accountable for their mistakes, he said. 'All you need is a laptop and a really good delete key,' he said.... Andrew Crummey, a football player on scholarship at the University of Maryland, said the recruiting Web sites did him no favors. 'These sites, they all want the numbers -- what's your bench, your squat,' he said. 'You end up thinking that those numbers are all that matter.' " Crummey is also quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "There�s no doubt that high school players read the recruiting Web sites religiously, said Andrew Crummey, a junior offensive lineman for the University of Maryland football team. 'People can say some very hurtful things on message boards,' he said. In e-mails from adult fans, '17-year-old kids are getting bashed,' he said."
The Press Association (UK): "Die-hard EastEnders fans in Washington DC are planning an Albert Square-style knees-up after saving the soap from the axe. The fanatical viewers were distraught last year when they found out that their beloved show was to be ditched in the area this month. But a furious campaign, spearheaded by a classics professor and a real estate lawyer, has raised more than �26,000 to pay for WETA, the local branch of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), to keep the residents of Walford on air for two more years.... After a Bonfire Night rallying party attended by civil servants, academics, company directors and high-ranking medical professionals, University of Maryland professor Judith Hallett and fellow E20 enthusiast Michael Gordon met WETA's bigwigs and offered to raise the cash to save the show." From the Washington Post: "Gathering on Guy Fawkes Day at the Bethesda home of University of Maryland classics professor Judith Hallett, they plotted strategy and ate English food. (That should tell you how committed they were to this.)"
Society & Culture
Mary Corbin Sies, an associate professor in American studies, and Isabelle Gournay, associate professor of architecture, continue their mission of preserving architecture in the region, even if it is not ancient. Giving their effort a high profile is the Baltimore Sun: "[A]dvocates of preserving modern architecture contend that in today's sped-up development environment, many extraordinary structures built in the past 50 years will be lost before they could qualify for official recognition and protection. 'Building cycles are now more like 30 years,' says Mary Corbin Sies.... 'Something can be easily mown down or bulldozed and paved over without much thought about whether it can have historical significance when it was built in the post-World War II era.' Sies and a colleague, Isabelle Gournay... have conducted a statewide survey to identify distinctive modern buildings or groups of structures in Maryland that they believe are worthy of preserving." The Sun publishes a list of 18 buildings nominated by the two, but more research is needed to identiy many more worthy aspirants. "Yet in a state colonized nearly 380 years ago, recently built structures often get short shrift. 'Modernism has been popularly depicted as something that really is not very popular,' Sies says, 'that is very cold, that is alienating and that sort of insists on a kind of design purity that makes it not necessarily amenable to human habitation.' "
The School of Public Policy's Program on International Policy Attitudes, in a single January week, lent its expertise to two polls that earned notice around the world.
On the eve of President Bush's State of the Unon speech, the British Broadcasting Company releases a poll carried out by PIPA and the polling firm GlobeScan (Canada).
Later in the same week, PIPA releases its own poll done by its WorldPublicOpinion.org.
McClatchy Newspapers: "Iranians overwhelmingly support their government's drive to enrich uranium to produce electrical power, but they don't favor developing nuclear weapons, according to a poll released Wednesday. The survey, which also sampled U.S. attitudes toward Iran, found that nearly half the people in both countries thought that American military action against Iran is likely in the next year or two. But only 48 percent of Iranians said they favored direct talks between the governments to lessen tensions, while 79 percent of Americans surveyed thought that direct talks were a good idea.... The poll touched some sensitive topics for the Iranian government, and the firm that carried out the survey in Iran refused to ask some questions, said Steven Kull, the editor of WorldPublicOpinion.org and a faculty member at the University of Maryland. 'Would nuclear weapons increase or decrease Iranian security?' was one example. 'They didn't like that question,' Kull told a conference Wednesday. 'Should Iran have a nuclear weapon?' was another question that didn't get asked. "
UM's Robin Sawyer and his popular human sexuality class are featured on NBC's Today Show. Three students are also interviewed. "At first glance, it sounds like every parent's nightmare. A college course called human sexuality. It is the most popular course being taught at the University of Maryland. So we sent our national correspondent Jamie Gangel to sit in. We should warn you some of the language is graphic. ... But at the University of Maryland, Dr. Robin Sawyer is on a mission to change that. The reality is that STD's are pandemic on college campuses. Welcome to health 377, human sexuality."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Two young journalists explore the ways in which black men of the hip-hop generation are portrayed and perceived.... In their new book Deconstructing Tyrone (Cleis Press, $14.95), two black women take a critical look at what they consider the stereotypical black man created and perpetuated by society, particularly in the mass media. They profile a young man serving a life sentence in prison, for example, contending that his story is significantly more complex than what was portrayed in news stories.... But they don't shy away from critical assessments. They question what famous rappers such as Jay-Z and 50 Cent are teaching young blacks about gender roles." Co- author Natalie Hopkinson is a lecturer in the Merrill College of Journalism.
Science & Technology
New Scientist: "At the bottom of the Arctic Ocean is an ecosystem that has been isolated for the past 65 million years, since geological activity separated it from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Like the teeming ecosystems that line volcanic ridges in the Atlantic and Pacific, its denizens, which are likely to be unique, subsist on heat and nutrients coughed up from the Earth's interior by hydrothermal vents. Apart from one mapping mission and an expedition that returned a few snapshots and bits of rock in 2001, for all we know about this intriguing marine life, it might as well exist on Mars. 'With the possible exception of Lake Vostok in Antarctica, this is the closest you can come on this planet to an alien life form,' says David Akin of the University of Maryland, College Park, who plans to plumb these unknown depths with robots later this year."
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