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UMD Named 2014 Best Value College by Princeton Review

January 28, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

The Princeton Review Best Value CollegesCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has been named a Best Value College for 2014 by The Princeton Review.  The list, recognizing 75 public and 75 private colleges, ranks selected schools based on a wide range of criteria—from academics to cost of attendance to financial aid. Maryland was recognized by The Princeton Review for its comprehensive aid program, wide selection of merit-based scholarships, living-and-learning communities and top-notch honors program.

According to The Princeton Review, "University of Maryland—College Park offers a comprehensive aid program for students who demonstrate financial need. But it’s the university’s full suite of merit-based scholarships that make a UMD degree an exceptional value."

"More than 100 undergraduate degrees are on offer here, and the university’s location near Washington, D.C., means that top-notch research and internship opportunities are literally in your backyard," says the book's publishers.

The list features 150 institutions -- ranking the top 10 public and private colleges and listing the remaining 65 in each group unranked and in alphabetical order. To generate the rankings, The Princeton Review examined more than 30 factors using data gathered from institutional and student opinion surveys conducted from Fall 2012 through Fall 2013 at 650 colleges and universities.

The Princeton Review also ranks UMD No. 9 for best athletic facilities, No. 12 for most politically active students, No. 15 for top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs, and No. 20 for lots of race/class interaction. The university was also recently ranked No. 7 for in-state tuition on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance's list of Best Values in Public Colleges.

The full Best Value Colleges list and the University of Maryland's profile are available here.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

Terps Win Sustainable Growth Challenge

January 27, 2014

Sara Gavin 301-405-9235

Sustainable Growth ChallengeCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Students from the University of Maryland's Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture were awarded first prize in the first-ever Sustainable Growth Challenge organized by the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. From a pool of 12 university teams throughout the state, the group of Terps was chosen to present before a jury of planners and state agency officials in December in Annapolis.

Their winning submission entitled “Design and Planning for Sea Level Change and Stormwater Issues on Maryland’s Eastern Shore” addresses challenges faced by the town of Oxford, Md. Located on the Tred Avon River and surrounded on three sides by water, Oxford is predicted to grapple with sea-level rise and storm surges in the near future. The team of UMD students suggested redesigning an existing park, creating wetlands and sketching efficient evacuation routes as some potential solutions to the town’s water woes.

This was the first year of the student challenge, which the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission hopes will inspire more student planners to consider sustainability. The winning team from UMD will be honored February 5 as part of the commission’s second annual Smart Growth Forum and Awards Ceremony in Annapolis.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

University of Maryland Releases TerpVision 12

January 27, 2014

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235


COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The latest installment of the University of Maryland's TerpVision series is now available. Hosted by noted sports broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein '92, TerpVision 12 covers UMD stories of impact and inspiration happening on campus, in College Park and around the world.

TerpVision 12 includes:

  • Sports Journalism the Povich Way: Since its inception in 2011, the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism has brought sports media leaders like ESPN's Kevin Blackistone and Scott Van Pelt to campus to lead symposia on popular sports issues, provide real-world advice and mentor students, and champion Povich's commitment to racial and gender equality in sports.
  • The Birds and the Bees: A decades-long UMD research project gives students and researchers a once-in-a-lifetime experience to live and work in the rainforests of Australia, studying the fascinating mating habits of satin bowerbirds.
  • College Park Academy: This past fall, a new college prep school was opened designed specifically for the coming wave of students, who have their own moniker: Digital Natives.
  • Wilmeth Sidat-Singh: Race and Football: Rewind to Maryland Football way back in 1937, when segregation in the south was very much alive. The Terrapins refused to face Syracuse at home unless the Orangemen benched their top player.
  • Virtual Healing: Maryland is one of the few schools to offer a class in a new art form called projection design. Jared Mezzocchi teaches the class and recently collaborated with other artists, as well as veterans organizations to help raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The full TerpVision 12 show is available here.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

TerpVision 12: Virtual Healing

January 27, 2014

Maryland is one of the few schools to offer a class in a new art form called projection design. Jared Mezzocchi teaches the class and recently collaborated with other artists, as well as veterans organizations to help raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

UMD Artist Resurrects Spirit of Beloved Chapel Oak

January 24, 2014

Nicky Everette 301-405-6714

Chapel Oak SculptureCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – A noted University of Maryland sculptor will formally unveil his latest creation, a 10-foot-tall wooden "vessel" that memorializes a campus landmark, at a reception in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 25.

Foon Sham, a professor of art in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU), built the 5,000-pound sculpture from remnants of a beloved white oak tree that stood in front of the university's Memorial Chapel for close to 75 years, providing a canopy for everyone from wedding parties to students seeking shade as they studied.

Known as the Chapel Oak or "Duke's Tree"—honoring a groundskeeper who tended to it for almost four decades—the majestic oak was cut down in July 2012 after being struck by lightning and suffering further damage from fungi and insects.

Duke's TreeSham's "Chapel Oak Vessel," comprising more than 1,500 pieces from the tree, is on display at the Arlington Arts Center, part of a six-month exhibition of community-sourced art that highlights the center's mission of nurturing and supporting regional artists.

"The [sculpture's] abstract acorn shape represents the fruit from the white oak," Sham says. "Now that the tree is gone, the fruit remains as a metaphor of transformation from one identity to another."

Sham worked with university groundskeepers after the tree was cut down, first storing the wood on campus before transporting large sections to his home studio in Northern Virginia.

In keeping with some of his earlier sculptures—including one commissioned by the World Bank in Washington. D.C., and another currently on display in Shanghai, China—Sham says he wanted to create what he terms a "vessel" with remnants from the Chapel Oak.

Foon Sham"I want people to be able to walk in, to see light above, to hear their echo inside the sculpture and be transported," he says.

ARHU Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill says Sham's art illustrates the imaginative spirit that defines virtually everything in the college. "This piece is particularly special, as it rekindles memories of that most beautiful tree that meant so much to our campus community."

Dane Winkler, Sham's graduate student, assisted his adviser with much of the heavier work, chain-sawing large parts of the tree into sections that could be more easily worked with.

Winkler, a master of fine arts candidate at Maryland, will have his own sculpture on display at the exhibit, which kicks off a yearlong celebration of the Arlington Arts Center's 40-year history as an incubator of regional talent.

Laura Roulet, a 1999 Maryland graduate with a master's in art history, is curating the exhibition. "As we looked through the center's archives when planning this exhibition, Foon's name repeatedly came up as someone who often showed his work here, mentored other artists and truly represented the center's mission of keeping extraordinary talent in the area," she says.


An opening reception for "CSA: Forty Years of Community Sourced Art," takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Arlington Arts Center. Foon Sham, Dane Winkler and other artists will be on hand to discuss their work.


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.

UMD Entrepreneurship Program Honored for Excellence

January 23, 2014

Eric Schurr 301-405-3889

Pictured: USASBE President Pat Dickson, left, and EIP Director Jay Smith.COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) has selected the University of Maryland Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) as the first-place winner for an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education award in the Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program category.

A joint initiative of the The Honors College and A. James Clark School of Engineering's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), EIP is a two-year, living-learning program for freshman and sophomore honors students that fosters an entrepreneurial spirit, creates a sense of community and cooperation, and develops ethical and innovative leaders.

A leading voice in entrepreneurship research, teaching, and application, with over 1,000 members across the world, USASBE established the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards to recognize excellence in entrepreneurship education at the programmatic level. Each is awarded on a competitive basis, with only one institution winning in each category during a given year.

"EIP is a growing and dynamic program," said Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor Darryll Pines. "Few initiatives have made it to this national scale in less than four years. It is a testament to the passion and dedication of EIP Director Jay Smith, who not only lives and breathes the concept of innovative thinking, but also genuinely cares for each and every one of his students."


"I never would have dreamed a two-year program would impact me this much but it has."

--EIP alumna Ashmi Sheth


The premise of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) is simple: take some of the most talented students entering the University of Maryland and teach them how to apply entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to everything they do. Less than four years after the program's launch, its students are leaders across the university, winning competitions, starting new ventures, bolstering companies, non-profits and government initiatives, and spreading the mindset that an individual really can change the world. 

The comprehensive yet dynamic structure of EIP includes a residential community, incubator facilities, experiential learning, coaching and mentoring, challenging academics, impact seed fund and start-up discussion and peer feedback meetings.

Since 2010, EIP has grown to serve 170 freshmen and sophomores in the 2013-2014 academic year and supports 120 additional upper-level students who have completed the program's course sequence.

"Jay Smith and the EIP students are changing the university every day, for the better," said Honors College Director William Dorland. "It is wonderful to see their efforts recognized at the national level. There will be more recognition to come, I am certain."

"We are honored to be recognized for excellence in entrepreneurship education by USASBE, one of the most influential organizations in the nation for supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses," says EIP Director Jay Smith. "We are committed to continually improving a model program to spur entrepreneurship and innovation, two of the key economic development drivers for creating jobs and bringing new products to market. For students, entrepreneurship is a fantastic vehicle for self-expression and self-actualization, giving them a chance them to pursue their dreams while creating value for society."

Click here to learn more about EIP and to see what students have to say about the program.

View a video about EIP made by students in the program:


For the latest news and happenings at the University of Maryland, follow us on Twitter at @UMDRightNow.


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