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A New Vision for African American Studies Also inside this issue: • Fighting Wildfires from Space

New AASD Chair Dr. Oscar Barbarin

• Helping Injured Servicemembers • 2016 Elections Insight


Contents S P RING 2016

Features Examining the African American Experience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Sharing Our Stories—and Our Terp Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 African American Studies (AASD) News A Violence Intervention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Anthropology (ANTH) News Keeping Marylanders Safe from Fracking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Downey to Apply Drone Technology to Agricultural Research in Belize. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCJS) News CCJS Faculty Honored with Prestigious Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Alumnus Captain Florent Groberg Receives Medal of Honor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Economics (ECON) News A Conversation with Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Expanded Undergraduate Curriculum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 New Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Geographical Sciences (GEOG) News GEOG Leading International Environmental Discussions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Battling Wildfires from Space: UMD, NASA Add to Firefighters’ Toolkit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Government & Politics (GVPT) News ‘Order in the House’ Symposium Addresses Congressional Efficacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Hearing & Speech (HESP) News HESP Educational Partnership Agreement with Walter Reed Bethesda Benefits Injured Servicemembers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Repeat After Me! Boosting Infant Language Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Congressman Parren J. Mitchell, alumnus and namesake of the rededicated Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building and of a groundbreaking symposium. See story page 19.

Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) News Frauke Kreuter Takes the Helm of JPSM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Psychology (PSYC) News University of Maryland Study Links Anti-Immigration Policies, Terrorism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Announcing New MPS in Industrial Organizational Psychology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 UMD Research Team Awarded $3.4 Million to Study Root Causes of Anxiety, Depression. . . . 18 Sociology (SOCY) News Rededicated: The Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Sociology Partnership Examines, Improves Local Police Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 SOCY and Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC) News Research on Indian Employment Act Could Impact Global Poverty Policies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Peace Chairs News Bahá’í Chair Events Examine Timely Global Topics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Sadat Chair Polls, Events Cover Foreign Policy Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Honoring the Life and Legacy of Professor Suheil Bushrui. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Updates from Centers and More C-BERC Event Examines Corporate Misconduct. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 MLAW Course: Freddie Gray’s Baltimore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 NACS Alumna Wins MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Washington Post-UMD Polls Offer Insight into Hot Political Topics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Giving News Fishlinger Family Supports Ethics Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Feller Professorship Breaks New Ground. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Cover image by John Consoli/UMD

New BSOS Gifts and Giving Opportunities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28



FREDDIE GRAY. FERGUSON. #BLACKLIVESMATTER. Recent events unfolding around the nation and state continue to bring racerelated issues to the forefront of the public consciousness. The University of Maryland has been engaged. A decision in December to rename the University’s football stadium, named for former UMD President and known segregationist H.C. “Curley” Byrd, made national headlines. Instead of shying away from these controversial and complex topics, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences is addressing them head-on, Dean Greg Ball said. “People are often uncomfortable discussing race, but open discussion is important,” Ball said. “For our society to be healthy, we must address issues of racial harmony through discourse, and advocate for measures that promote healing.” Ball and UMD Provost Mary Ann Rankin agreed to allocate significant resources to the Department of African American Studies this fall to initiate a University-wide, cross-disciplinary effort to explore solutions to challenges impacting the African American community. This milestone investment included the appointment of two distinguished leaders who will help shape the department’s future. Oscar Barbarin, Ph.D., was named the new chair of the Department of African American Studies and the Wilson H. Elkins Professor. While he most recently served as the Lila L. and Douglas J. Hertz Endowed Chair in the Department of Psychology at Tulane University, Barbarin previously held a faculty position in the UMD Department of Psychology from 1974 to 1979. Barbarin said he felt the timing was right to return to Maryland in this new position to inspire real change. “As a land-grant institution, it was not simply going to be an ivory tower, it was going to be a place where ideas could be brought to bear on critical problems,” Barbarin said. “Given

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its location in the state of Maryland and in Prince George’s County—and given the pressing needs that are just palpable all around us—it seems to me the very mission of a land-grant institution is to create ideas and solve problems that are related to the people of the state who support the University.” Much of Barbarin’s research has focused on how to improve academic achievement and socio-emotional functioning of children, especially poor children and children of color. He is focused on recruiting a number of new faculty involved in research related to what he considers to be the “pillars” of African American life: health and psychological well-being; child and adolescent development; family functioning; voter participation; and economic well-being. “The most central thing, for me, is mentoring the young scholars that we’re going to be hiring—the next generation, the ones who are going to be taking my place. I see that as my lasting legacy,” Barbarin said. Another new tool advancing the Department of African American Studies to a position of prominence is the Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics. Founded by the Hon. Alexander Williams, Jr., who served nearly 20 years as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court in nearby Greenbelt, the center develops solutions to and provides a forum for the prevailing issues facing underserved, disadvantaged communities today. The center will host a number of lectures and workshops aimed at creating more conversations about racial and social issues, across campus and throughout Prince George’s County.

addressing complex subjects such as the achievement gap, voting rights and criminal justice in the African American community. A unique class offered this spring by MLAW Programs, “Freddie Gray’s Baltimore,” explored this complex case and the unrest that followed through social, legal and political lenses (read more on page 25). On the research front, a series of comprehensive studies is being led by Associate Professor Joseph Richardson, who spent two years working with African American men being treated for violent injuries at Prince George’s Hospital Trauma Center. Richardson’s goal is to reduce the rate of violent injuries in the area (read more on page 8). The department has hosted numerous town hall and teach-in events on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, achievement gaps and other timely issues, as have BSOS’s Bahá’í Chair for World Peace and several student groups. The annual Parren J. Mitchell Symposium hosted by the Department of Sociology and the Critical Race Initiative focuses on important issues including “Racism: In Sickness and in Health” (read more on page 19). Being a part of this coordinated, multidisciplinary effort is a “multi-faceted win” for the University as a whole and for BSOS in particular, Ball said. He notes that it is students who stand to gain the most. “The whole idea is to broaden students’ horizons through more courses and more experiences that allow them an opportunity to get involved in research and policy issues relevant to these complex but monumentally important questions,” Ball said.

“We have not achieved our potential as a county. Our public schools continue to rank near the bottom in terms of test scores and other academic achievements compared to the rest of the state. We have an aging hospital that forces citizens to run to D.C. to get quality care, and we have too many people of color being hurt by the criminal justice system,” Williams said. “We’re blessed to have the flagship university right here in this county, and there’s absolutely no reason why the University of Maryland can’t take a lead role in addressing and offering solutions to these major challenges.” UMD President Wallace Loh announced his “Maryland Dialogues on Diversity and Community” initiative in December—a call to action for the entire University to develop innovative strategies for bridging divides on campus and across the nation, and to create institutional change. BSOS is leading this charge on multiple fronts. Barbarin and Williams plan to co-teach an honors-level course in the fall

From left to right: UMD President Wallace D. Loh; Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.; Dr. Oscar Barbarin; and Dean Gregory Ball celebrate the launch of The Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics and Barbarin’s arrival in September.

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Sharing Our Stories — and — Our Terp Pride This academic year, the University is sharing news and updates with alumni and friends through a series of social media hashtags. By using these hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other outlets, our community is staying informed and sharing Terp pride. Throughout these pages are just a few of the ways that BSOS is leading the University in Discovering New Knowledge (#UMDdiscovers), Inspiring Maryland Pride (#UMDinspires), Transforming the Student Experience (#UMDtransforms) and Turning Imagination into Innovation (#UMDinnovates). We invite you to join the conversation!


Discovering New Knowledge: Seeing the Forest Beyond the Trees GEOG Researchers First to Define, Measure Global Forest Area A UMD-led research team is the first to compare eight global, satellite-based maps to determine the planet’s total forest area, and the information gaps they uncovered were surprising. “We were amazed to find that the results varied by an area equaling 12 percent of Earth’s land surface—that’s half as large as the United States. That’s a lot of missing trees,” said Joseph Sexton, geographical sciences associate research professor and the study’s lead author. “Conservation policy and the measurement of forests” appears in Nature Climate Change. The report was coauthored by Sexton and scientists at the University of Maryland’s Global Land Cover Facility, the National Wildlife Federation, the Global Environment Facility and Duke University. The researchers also discovered that the disputed areas coincide with 45 billion tons of biomass valued at $1 trillion. Given the importance of quantifying forest cover to international climate negotiations, they wondered how such a wide variance could exist among scientific estimates.

“The difference originates not so much in our technical ability to measure the forests as it does in the way we define them,” Sexton said.

“This was no mere academic dispute. This failure to communicate covers a huge expanse of the terrestrial biosphere,” said coauthor Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke. The various datasets had been using different definitions. Each was aiming precisely, but at a different target. Led by the NASA Earth Science program, a fleet of Earthimaging satellites now stream terabytes of data daily to ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists, and economists who use the data to study the global ecosystem. The American satellites are increasingly being joined by sensors launched by European, Chinese, and other nations’ space agencies. Even private companies, from Google to “microsatellite” tech startups, have joined the effort. With the problem identified and mapped, the scientists offer a solution. “We [the science and policy communities] must refine our focus from the abstract concept of forests toward the ecological attributes used to define them,” Sexton said. “To understand the forces impacting forests globally, and to sustain the services they provide, science and policy must now communicate in more measurable terms. Our language has to keep pace with the science.”

Measurement uncertainties remain in many challenging areas—especially those perennially obscured by clouds. But citing technological advances led by the NASA Earth Science Program, the authors note that this imprecision will shrink over time by “an increasing breadth of sensors providing greater temporal frequency, more accurate reference measurements, and better penetration of clouds.” The eight datasets each reported a high level of precision, so the authors next checked their most fundamental assumption—what it means to be a forest. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—the international body responsible for climate governance—allows countries to define forests as parcels of land exceeding a threshold of tree cover, measured as a percentage. The team applied this range of thresholds to the world’s first global, high-resolution dataset of tree cover. Differences resulting from the definitions were concentrated in the planet’s sparse forests, shrub lands and savannahs, and they coincide precisely with uncertainty among the independent sources.

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Transforming the Student Experience: The Summer Research Initiative Established in 1999, the Summer Research Initiative (SRI) is part of the College’s longstanding commitment to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities who pursue graduate degrees in the social, behavioral and economic sciences. Each summer, students from UMD and institutions across the country come to campus to work on research projects alongside a faculty mentor.

Their research is enhanced by trips to centers of learning and policy in Washington, D.C.; conversations with the dean and other BSOS and UMD leadership; and workshops and networking activities. “SRI students have the opportunity to build career-enhancing relationships by working in close, collaborative research mentor/ research protégé dyads or in team science environments in which they receive strong, caring and directive mentoring,” said Assistant Dean for Diversity Kim J. Nickerson, director of the SRI program. “The rigorous research experience builds their research self-efficacy and instills in them the confidence that they, too, can join the ranks of the thousands of other students entering doctoral training programs each fall.” At the end of the session, each SRI scholar participates in a poster presentation session in order to explain research findings with peers, faculty and members of the BSOS community. “The BSOS SRI was one of the best programs I’ve experienced,” said Eric Craig, a political science student at Xavier University of Louisiana. “After the program, I feel far more confident applying to graduate schools.”


Turning Imagination into Innovation: The Food Recovery Network How would our nation improve if wasted food could be transformed into healthy meals for those in need? Founded by BSOS alumnus Ben Simon, the Food Recovery Network is the largest student movement against food waste and hunger in America. While at UMD, Simon and his fellow students noticed good dining hall food being thrown away at the end of the night. Through hard work, creative thinking—and seed money from donor-supported competitions including the BSOS Business Plan Competition—the Food Recovery Network was established and has grown into a national organization, active on nearly 180 campuses and recovering nearly 1.2 million pounds of food to date.

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Inspiring Maryland Pride: Hearing as Healing Through a new partnership, UMD’s Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (HESP) and the Jewish Social Services Agency (JSSA) will provide hearing aids and aural rehabilitation services to Holocaust survivors. UMD faculty and graduate students will assist in providing hearing aid fittings and screenings for the clients.  The selected recipients are clients of JSSA’s Holocaust Survivor Program. As an organization that receives funds from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and local donors, JSSA assists more than 400 Holocaust survivors who are in financial need in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia. “The ability to interact and communicate with others is a basic human right. These clients have shared their stories, experiences and wisdom with their communities over the years; I can think of no better recipients of this equipment and these services than members of JSSA’s Holocaust Survivor Program,” said HESP Clinical Assistant Professor Lisa Rickard. “Our goal is to help these clients maintain communication and relationships, and improve their quality of life.” Without these services, these clients might otherwise suffer significant communicative impairment from lack of auditory amplification and rehabilitation, or might struggle with the financial burden of costly equipment and services. “We are thrilled to work with HESP’s extraordinary faculty and students, who continually demonstrate not only their knowledge and expertise, but also their care and commitment to our community,” said Ellen Blalock, JSSA’s Holocaust Survivor Program Coordinator. Each potential candidate will receive a complete hearing evaluation by audiologists in the Rockville area to determine candidacy for the equipment and services. Those selected will be fitted with amplification and receive training in the use and care of their aids, as well as aural rehabilitation to maximize the effective use of the hearing aids. Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. and Sivantos. Inc., manufacturer of Siemens hearing instruments, have generously donated 40 pairs of digital behind-the-ear hearing aids to the JSSA to be distributed through the program.  “We are extraordinarily grateful to Siemens and Sivantos for this wonderful equipment, which will dramatically increase the quality of life for our clients,” said Professor Rochelle Newman, chair of HESP. “We also are grateful to the JSSA and their clients for placing their trust in our faculty members and doctoral students. This is a wonderful education and service opportunity for the University of Maryland.”


HESP Partnership Provides Free Hearing Aids, Services to Holocaust Survivors

HESP graduate student Maeve Salanger (left) assists client and Holocaust survivor Neli Melman with a new hearing device.

The program’s first two clients were fitted with hearing aids at JSSA headquarters in October. One of them was Neli Melman, whose loved ones were among those murdered along with nearly 34,000 other Jews by German death squads at the Babi Yar ravine in 1941.

Lions Club Partnership The University of Maryland Hearing and Speech Clinic teamed up with the Lions Club organization to provide free hearing aids and fittings for qualified, low-income residents in Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Saint Mary’s counties in Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C. The clinic is reconditioning hearing aids collected through the Lions Club Outreach Foundation and is distributing them to patients in need. HESP students gain critical hands-on experience through the program as they assist in evaluating patients and fitting them with the devices.

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A Violence Intervention Researchers work with victims of violent injury at Prince George’s Hospital Trauma Center Che Bullock has little doubt where he’d be if he had never met Dr. Joseph Richardson, an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies. “I’m almost certain that I would be incarcerated or dead,” said the 27-year-old Washington, D.C. resident. Bullock met Richardson in 2013 during the lowest point in his life—while recovering from nearly fatal stab wounds at Prince George’s Hospital Trauma Center. Richardson was at the hospital collecting data for his Violence Intervention Research Project: a multi-year study on victims of violent injuries such as stabbings, shootings and beatings. Richardson’s aim was to gain a better understanding of why and how people—African American men, in particular— become victims of violent crimes, and what makes them more likely to return to the hospital with similar injuries. Prince George’s Hospital has the busiest level-2 trauma center in the nation. However, despite offering a $50 incentive, Richardson and his research partner found the study participant recruitment process extremely daunting. Richardson and then-Ph.D. candidate Christopher St.Vil, who now works as an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the State University of New York at Buffalo, soon determined it was their own tactics that were stonewalling them.

“We were too academic,” Richardson said. “It’s a traumatic situation, and we were totally ignoring that for the sake of our study; and not realizing that this is a human being in bed who has just been shot [or stabbed].” Richardson said once he and St.Vil started to “just be themselves” and to speak to victims with more care and compassion, they found many of the men wanted to open up and to share their experiences. “These aren’t gang-bangers and hardened criminals,” Richardson said. “They’re normal, everyday guys who are just trying to make it through life in whatever way they can.”

Joseph Richardson (left) and D.C. resident Che Bullock

Richardson and St.Vil went to the trauma center every day for months until they finally had enough people willing to be in their study. During the next two years, the researchers interviewed participants about the events leading up to their injuries, as well as how their lives were affected afterwards. These personal and in-depth interviews allowed Richardson and his team to take a look at a number of complicated issues involving race, violent crime and the justice system. For instance, they published a paper on how emergency department staff could be the key to collecting reliable data on police-involved shootings. Another paper examines the use of synthetic cannabinoids among African American men under criminal justice supervision. For Richardson personally, however, the most significant outcome is the creation of the new Capital Region Violence Intervention Program at Prince George’s Hospital.Victims of violent injury treated at the hospital will be enrolled in the program and provided free psycho-social services, as well as career training in an effort to reduce trauma recidivism and help victims turn their lives around. Richardson will serve as co-director of the program when it launches this fall. Richardson credits the young men, like Bullock, who participated in his research for sharing their stories and helping to develop the intervention program. Bullock is now considering attending college to become a social worker, and aspires to be a motivational speaker. “For the first time in my life, I understand that the sky is the limit,” Bullock said. “I was never brought up to dream big, but I can see now, with Dr. Richardson’s help, that I have the power to change my situation.”

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Keeping Marylanders Safe from Fracking Assistant Professor Thurka Sangaramoorthy is part of a team of UMD researchers helping to inform the conversation about the potential risks associated with fracking in Maryland. Dr. Sangaramoorthy led a study examining community perspectives and experiences related to ongoing fracking operations in Doddridge County, West Virginia. The research was published in Social Science and Medicine. Through their findings, Dr. Sangaramoorthy and her co-authors suggest that the rapid environmental change brought about by fracking in areas like Doddridge County is affecting the physical, mental and emotional health of residents in the area, and that these impacts should be considered if fracking is eventually allowed in Maryland. “Fracking does a lot more than just disrupt the environment. It disrupts people’s sense of place and identity, which is very important to this region of Appalachia,” Dr. Sangaramoorthy said. “The residents we spoke to expressed deep distress over the transformation of their land, their homes and their relationships with each other as a result of fracking, which also influenced their perceptions of environmental and health impacts.” Read more at

Downey to Apply Drone Technology to Agricultural Research in Belize Assistant Professor Sean Downey has been awarded a $500,000 grant through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program. Dr. Downey, a team of graduate students and international collaborators will conduct a comprehensive study of a farming practice common in Mayan villages in Belize. For more than a decade, Dr. Downey has been working with Q’eqchi’ Maya villagers in southern Belize where the practice of swidden agriculture—also known as “slash-and-burn”—is commonplace. Through this technique, farmers clear a patch of forest by cutting with axes and machetes, and burn the vegetation to release nutrients into the soil. The land is then used to grow corn and root crops, and after a several-year period of cultivation, the land is then left to regrow over a number of years to restore fertility.

During this five-year project, Dr. Downey will utilize drones to create high-resolution, multi-spectral maps of regrowing swidden fields surrounding two villages to monitor the changing landscape. His team will also incorporate household surveys and interviews, as well as methods from experimental behavioral economics, to understand how social dynamics relate to changes in landscapescale patterns. “Ultimately, this research will provide evidence that the farming practices in these villages can contribute to the longterm sustainability of mixed-use tropical forests. I hope this will encourage policy adjustments to support traditional forms of agriculture that may increase food security and promote social justice for indigenous groups in Belize and around the world,” Dr. Downey said.


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CCJS Faculty Honored with Prestigious Awards

Prof. Peter Reuter, left, receives Distinguished Scholar Award

The faculty of the top-ranked Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice are frequently recognized for their commitment to teaching, groundbreaking research and numerous contributions to the field—this academic year has been no exception. The College congratulates these remarkable scholarteachers for their achievements. Professor Peter Reuter Receives Distinguished Scholar Award Professor Peter Reuter was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award for 2015 by the International Association for the

Study of Organized Crime at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Washington, D.C.

rewarding for four decades, and I appreciate that my books and articles have been recognized as useful.”

The award recognizes an individual who has a record of sustained and significant accomplishments and contributions to the scholarly knowledge of organized crime. Scholarly contributions include empirical or theoretical work within any discipline as long as the body of work focuses on the concept of organized crime.

Professor Reuter has a joint appointment with CCJS and UMD’s School of Public Policy.

“I owe my career in organized crime research to the FBI. As a graduate student in economics, I had the chance to ask the FBI about the basis for their constant claim that the Mafia, then famous and powerful, ran illegal gambling, then the biggest illegal market. Their inability to even understand the question persuaded me that organized crime might be an interesting topic for research,” Professor Reuter said of his early career inspiration. “That early work led me to think about markets for violence and the ‘structural consequences of illegality.’ Organized crime research has been intellectually

Drs. Laub and Lynch Recognized with ASC Award Drs. John Laub and James Lynch received the 2015 Herbert Bloch Award in November at the American Society of Criminology (ASC) Conference in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes outstanding service contributions to the ASC and to the professional interests of criminology. Dr. Laub is a Distinguished University Professor whose research focuses on crime and the life course, crime and public policy, and the history of criminology. Dr. Lynch is professor and chair in CCJS, and his expertise includes victim surveys, victimization risk and the role of coercion in social control.

Alumnus Captain Florent Groberg Receives Medal of Honor On November 12, President Obama presented Army Captain Florent Groberg (B.A. CCJS ’06) with the Congressional Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. Captain Groberg was honored for his heroism in tackling a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, saving many lives. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the College thank our distinguished alumnus for his bravery 10 | College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution

and for his dedicated and loyal service to our country. Captain Groberg served as the 2015 Winter Commencement speaker at the campus-wide celebration held Dec. 19 in the XFINITY Center.

Watch Captain Groberg address the Class of 2015:


A Conversation with Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin The Department of Economics and the College proudly welcomed Council on Foreign Relations Co-Chairman Robert Rubin, former secretary of the U.S. Treasury, to campus in December for a presentation on the current and future state of the U.S. economy and related political factors. Distinguished University Professor of Economics John Haltiwanger moderated the discussion, which was sponsored by UMD’s Distinguished University Professors. Sec. Rubin described a current political climate in which progress is slow and decision-making is inhibited. “Compromise is doable, but Congress won’t do it,” he said. He noted that the 2016 elections are critical in that they will determine, in part, whether a more effective and collaborative Congress will be ushered in. He also discussed the timely topic of employment in the United States, and how it is affected by technology, globalization and climate change.

New Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics

Expanded Undergraduate Curriculum The undergraduate curriculum in economics has expanded. Students majoring in economics can now choose between two tracks and earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. The B.A. emphasizes breadth of exposure, whereas the B.S. emphasizes the techniques of economic analysis. Courses in the B.A. track enable students to interpret economic analysis applied to different issues and use their knowledge to inform decision-making in the realms of business, government policy or non-profit organizations. Courses in the B.S. track help students develop the ability to produce economic analysis.  Learn more at

“Having speakers of this caliber on campus is a fantastic opportunity for faculty and students,” said Maureen Cropper, Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics. “Secretary Rubin’s visit was a rare, but important chance for our students to engage with a notable public figure who helped shaped U.S. fiscal policy.”

The highly popular new professional master’s degree program in applied economics offered by the Department of Economics was ranked 5th in the nation by The Financial Engineer. This comprehensive ranking of more than 150 economics master’s degree programs is based on several factors, including graduate salaries, the undergraduate grades of students in the program, and graduate employment rates. The employment rate for the 2015 graduates of the program was virtually 100 percent. Graduates were hired by a number of prestigious employers, including Deloitte Consulting, Fannie Mae, J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Federal Trade Commission. For more information and to apply, visit

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GEOG Leading International Environmental Discussions In 2015, the United Nations held an international climate meeting in Paris to set limits on future levels of humanproduced carbon emissions. This 21st annual UN Conference of the Parties (COP21) was successful—representatives of 195 nations reached an historic accord committing nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help combat the alarming effects of climate change. Six UMD professors and six graduate students observed the negotiations and reported back to assist the University’s own plans to reduce carbon pollution.

The Department of Geographical Sciences, which has been ranked 3rd in the nation by the National Research Council, boasts a faculty of leaders in climate-relevant research: ■■ Several GEOG researchers presented at the Climate Action 2016 forum on campus in May: ■■ Professors Hurtt and Giovanni Baiocchi were authors in all three Working Groups of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. In preparation for the next assessment, Professor Hurtt co-chairs the Land Use Model Inter-comparison activities for the World Climate Research Program-CMIP6. He also leads the congressionally directed NASA Carbon Monitoring System. ■■ Professor Ralph Dubayah is developing a new instrument, GEDI, for NASA to measure biomass from the International Space Station, which will provide important input to future land carbon monitoring and modeling.

Professor Hurtt’s carbon PSA for NASA has been viewed more than 170,000 times.

Professor Hurtt Briefs Media, Public on Advances in Carbon Monitoring and Modeling Leading up to COP21, Professor of Geographical Sciences and Research Director George Hurtt participated in a NASA media teleconference, discussing the latest advances from NASA on the monitoring and modeling of carbon in the context of the Earth’s climate. The teleconference featured five prominent scientists discussing the latest developments at NASA for monitoring and modeling carbon in the oceans, land and atmosphere. Professor Hurtt also appeared in a NASA video public service announcement about carbon and climate. UMD and NASA Partnerships Shed Light on Climate Issues The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and UMD have collaborated for more than 30 years on scientific studies of the Earth. Building on this history, the two institutions have partnered to develop a world-leading center for the studies of the global carbon cycle. The Joint Global Carbon Cycle Center combines the strengths of NASA-GSFC and UMD to advance science and education on studies of carbon beyond what either institution could achieve alone. 12 | College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution

■■ Professor Matthew Hansen has developed a global forest monitoring system used in RED+ MRV activities and in countless other significant research projects worldwide. ■■ Professor and Chair Chris Justice, Research Professor Louis Giglio and colleagues have developed a global fire monitoring system used for national-to-global scale biomass burning emissions estimates. Professor Justice’s research team has also developed a global agricultural monitoring system to alert the global community of extreme climate events impacting crop production. ■■ Professor Klaus Hubacek and Research Assistant Professor Kuishuang Feng published a study in Nature Communications that links the global economic recession to reduced carbon emissions. ■■ The department also is involved in developing various global satellite data sets which are contributing to the GCOS Essential Climate Variables.

Watch Professor Hurtt’s carbon PSA for NASA at:

Battling Wildfires from Space: UMD, NASA Add to Firefighters’ Toolkit U.S. firefighters battling wildfires will now get a clearer view of these threats with new UMD-led, NASA-funded satellite-based tools to better detect fires nationwide and predict their behavior. The new fire detection tool now in operation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) uses data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite to detect smaller fires in more detail than previous space-based products. The high-resolution data have been used with a cutting-edge computer model to predict how a fire will change direction based on weather and land conditions. The new active fire detection product using data from Suomi NPP’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) increases the resolution of fire observations to 1,230 feet (375 meters). Previous NASA satellite data products available since the early 2000s observed fires at 3,280 foot (1 kilometer) resolution. The jump in detail is helping transform how satellite remote sensing data are used in support of wildfire management. Compared to its predecessors, the enhanced VIIRS fire product enables detection every 12 hours or less of much smaller fires and provides more detail and consistent tracking of fire lines during long duration wildfires—capabilities critical for early warning systems and support of routine mapping of fire progression. Active fire locations are available to users within minutes from the satellite overpass through data processing facilities at the USFS Remote Sensing Applications Center, which uses technologies developed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Direct Readout Laboratory in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The new VIIRS 375m fire detection product project team was led by Research Associate Professor Wilfrid Schroeder of UMD’s Department of Geographical Sciences with scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado. The product was developed with support from NASA’s Earth Science Applied Sciences Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System Proving Ground Program, and the U.S. Forest Service. NCAR developed a new cutting-edge weather-fire model that has demonstrated potential to enhance firefighter and public safety by increasing awareness of rapidly changing fire behavior. The model uses data on weather conditions and the land surrounding an active fire to predict 12-18 hours in advance whether a blaze will shift direction. The VIIRS fire detection product has been applied to these models, successfully verifying the wildfire simulations.

The state of Colorado decided to incorporate the weather-fire model in its firefighting efforts beginning with the 2016 fire season. “We hope that by infusing these higher resolution detection data and fire behavior modeling outputs into tactical fire situations, we can lessen the pressure on those working in fire management,” Professor Schroeder said. The demand for timely, high-quality fire information has increased in recent years. Wildfires in the United States burn an average of 7 million acres of land each year. For the last 10 years, the USFS and the Department of the Interior have spent a combined average of about $1.5 billion annually on wildfire suppression. Large catastrophic wildfires have become commonplace, especially in association with extended drought and extreme weather.

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution | 13


‘Order in the House’ Symposium Addresses Congressional Efficacy On Constitution Day, Sept. 17, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress presented “Conflict, Order and Reform in the House” in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium in Washington, D.C. This event commemorated the 40th anniversary of the 94th Congress by highlighting and exploring its record and the political change it helped to initiate. Reforms adopted by both the 94th Congress and the 104th Congress under GOP control were contrasted with the current management and operation of the House. With the 2016 elections looming and the challenge to govern facing the Republican-controlled Congress, the symposium sparked a lively discussion. Former members of Congress and staffers, media and academic experts discussed three central topics: Congressional Reform in the 1970s; Congressional Reform and the Republican Resurgence; and Lessons Learned: The Future of Congressional Reform. Keynote speaker Mark Shields of PBS NewsHour discussed the 94th Congress and its impact. He was introduced by BSOS alumnus Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA 15th). Other speakers and panelists included Former Members Dave Obey (D-WI) and Mickey Edwards (R-OK); Frances Lee, professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland; William R. Pitts, former chief of staff to Republican Leader Bob Michel; and Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs, Princeton University. Keynote speaker Mark Shields of PBS Newshour

Watch Symposium videos at:

The symposium was supported by funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. “This symposium not only provided us the opportunity to reexamine a very significant milestone in American history, but it afforded us the chance to explore solutions for how Members of Congress can govern in a more effective manner in order for them to better fulfill their roles as representatives of the people,” said Stella Rouse, associate professor in the Department of Government and Politics and director of its Center for American Politics and Citizenship.

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HESP Educational Partnership Agreement with Walter Reed Bethesda Benefits Injured Servicemembers A new, multidisciplinary educational partnership between the University of Maryland and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) will help graduate students participate in research projects aimed at treating wounded warriors suffering from a broad range of ailments. Military personnel who will benefit from participation in the program will be treated for an array of medical conditions, including: ■■ Traumatic Brain Injury resulting from blast injury; ■■ hearing loss resulting from blasts and noise exposure; ■■ balance (vestibular) problems resulting from head injury; ■■ swallowing disorders following brain injury and penetrating wounds; ■■ neuromuscular skeletal injuries, including amputation; ■■ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and sleep deprivation. The program will afford graduate students access to: state-of-the-art research facilities; clinical populations made up of active-duty servicemembers, their families, and military retirees; and worldclass investigators whose research focuses on a broad range of issues pertaining to prevention, diagnosis and rehabilitation. While the opportunity is open to qualified graduate students of any discipline, the research programs will be of particular relevance to graduate students in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (HESP), the School of Public Health, the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, and the A. James Clark School of Engineering.

“This educational partnership agreement vastly expands opportunities for research training of our graduate students, while at the same time providing new streams of financial support for students we wish to recruit to our graduate programs. The partnership also will enable UMD to attract graduate students with more specific interests in studying health-related issues faced by wounded warriors,” said Professor Sandra Gordon-Salant, Director of HESP’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Audiology. Participating graduate students will gain access to unique clinical populations for study, such as military personnel with acquired traumatic brain injury, noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus, swallowing disorders, and severe-toprofound hearing loss due to blast exposure. Meanwhile, WRNMMC investigators will benefit from the opportunity to collaborate with UMD faculty and graduate students.

“This collaboration could not be a better fit,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “The project enhances our students’ education while serving active military families and retirees who have served the nation without reservation.” The partnership expands upon UMD’s strong relationship with WRNMMC. Past and current collaborative projects include: research on the benefits of cochlear implants for individuals with single-sided deafness; research on speech recognition performance in real-world noise environments to simulate how well military personnel communicate in the kinetic environment that is the battlefield; the development of new measures of working memory and speed of processing that tap into the specific communication problems of warriors with closed-head injuries; and research on new fluid materials that can be used in a protective vest to guard against sudden and violent movements of the head.

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Repeat After Me! Boosting Infant Language Development measured the infants’ ability to understand language at 7 months, and later the children’s vocabulary outcomes at age 2. They found that the toddlers who had stronger language outcomes differed in two ways from their peers: their parents had repeated words more often, and they were more tuned in to the language as infants, and thus better able to process what was being said. “It takes two to tango,” said Dr. Ratner. “Both the child and the parent play a role in the child’s later language outcomes; our study is the first to show that.”

“It takes two to tango. Both the child and the parent play a role in the child’s later language outcomes; our study is the first to show that.” HESP Professor Nan Bernstein Ratner

Watch ‘Baby Talk 101,’ Dr. Ratner’s webinar on how infant language develops, at:

Groundbreaking research from the University of Maryland and Harvard University suggests that young infants benefit from hearing words repeated by their parents. With this knowledge, parents may make conscious communication choices that could pay off in their babies’ toddler years—and beyond. “Input and uptake at 7 months predicts toddler vocabulary: the role of childdirected speech and infant processing skills in language development” appears in the Journal of Child Language. “Parents who repeat words more often to their infants have children with better language skills a year and a half later,” said co-author Rochelle Newman, professor and chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (HESP). “A lot of recent focus has been on simply talking more to your child—but how you talk to your child matters. It isn’t just about the number of words.” Newman and co-authors HESP Professor Nan Bernstein Ratner and Harvard Associate Professor of Education Meredith L. Rowe tracked maternalchild directed speech to prelinguistic (7-month-old) infants. They specifically

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The researchers believe their findings will be of immediate use to families. While it is clinically proven that parents naturally speak more slowly and in a specialized “sing-song” tone to their children, the findings from this study will perhaps encourage parents to be more conscious of repeating words to maximize language development benefits. “It is the quality of the input that matters most, not just the quantity,” said Dr. Rowe. More on Infant Language Development from HESP This new study builds on a growing body of research from HESP focused on exploring infant language development. Professor Newman and two of her thengraduate students recently published “Look at the gato! Code-switching in speech to toddlers” in the Journal of Child Language. That study examined the phenomenon of “code-switching,” wherein adults speak more than one language and “mix” those languages when speaking to their children. A lot of parents are told that this type of language mixing is bad for children, but Professor Newman and her colleagues found that this “codeswitching” has no impact on children’s vocabulary development.


Frauke Kreuter Takes the Helm of JPSM The community of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences warmly congratulates Professor Frauke Kreuter, the new director of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology. “I am delighted that a forward-thinking researcher such as Professor Frauke Kreuter is assuming the leadership of JPSM,” Dean Gregory Ball said. “This is an innovative program that one can argue is even unique in many respects. We are grateful for the energy and guidance Frauke brings to her leadership role.” Professor Kreuter focuses on sampling and non-sampling errors in complex surveys; non-response; systematic measurement error in survey response; and growth mixture modeling for non-normal outcomes. At UMD, Professor Kreuter also works with the Maryland Population Research Center. She additionally serves as a professor of statistics and methodology at the University of Mannheim in Germany, and as head of the Statistical Methods Research Department at the Institute for Employment Research in Nürnberg, Germany.

Professor Kreuter earned an M.A. in sociology from the University of Mannheim, and a Ph.D. in survey methodology from the University of Konstanz. Before joining the University of Maryland, she held a postdoc at the UCLA Statistics Department. In her work at JPSM, Professor Prof. Frauke Kreuter Kreuter maintains strong ties to the Federal Statistical System, and she has served in advisory roles for the National Center for Educational Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

JPSM recently launched new online graduate programs. Learn more at


University of Maryland Study Links Anti-Immigration Policies, Terrorism ‘If we don’t welcome American Muslims, ISIS will,’ researchers warn. New research from the University of Maryland shows that making Muslims feel like they don’t belong in the West can actually bolster support for radical movements. The study, “Belonging Nowhere: Marginalization and Radicalization Risk Among Muslim Immigrants” appears in Behavioral Science and Policy and was written by former Ph.D. student Sarah Lyons-Padilla, now a research scientist at Stanford University, and Professor of Psychology Michele J. Gelfand. The researchers asked hundreds of Muslims in the United States to discuss their experiences as religious and cultural minorities, including their feelings of being excluded or discriminated against on the basis of their religion. Participants

were also asked how they manage their different identities and how they feel about radical groups and causes. Most Muslims in the study did not support Islamist extremism. However, some people felt marginalized and identified with neither American culture nor their culture of heritage—in other words, culturally homeless. According to Lyons-Padilla and Gelfand, people can feel culturally homeless when they don’t practice the same customs or share the same values as others in their adopted culture, but also feel different from other people of their heritage.The researchers found that the more people were torn between cultures, the more they felt a lack of meaning in their lives.This, in turn, was related to greater support for radicalism.

Prof. Michele J. Gelfand

Muslims who feel culturally homeless are targets for established extremists, Lyons-Padilla and Gelfand said. Radical religious groups offer these people a sense of certainty, purpose and structure. Read more at

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Announcing New MPS in Industrial Organizational Psychology According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industrial Organizational (IO) psychology is one of the fastest growing employment fields in the United States, with an anticipated growth rate of 53% between 2014 and 2022. IO psychologists—who focus on human behavior in the workplace—have prominent positions throughout the industry. These professionals work in consulting, human resources, government, research, academia and other industries.

To meet the educational needs of this growing field, the Department of Psychology recently launched a rigorous UMD IO Master of Professional Studies program. Students enrolled in the program develop advanced knowledge of statistical and research methods in business settings, business and legal fundamentals, selection and assessment, talent development, organizational change, and performance management. Workshops are also available for students on professional development topics, including presentation and consulting skills. “This new program builds on the expertise and national reputation within our doctoral program to deliver a curriculum that is a perfect fit for professionals seeking advanced knowledge in industrial organizational psychology,” said Professor Jack Blanchard, chair of the Department of Psychology. The UMD IO MPS is a 30-credit program designed to be completed in five terms over the course of 15 months. Courses follow a hybrid model. In-person instruction is blended with online asynchronous lectures and outside activities to provide a flexible schedule for working professionals. To accommodate the schedules of its students, in-class instruction on campus takes place in the early evening. The UMD IO MPS meets the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology guidelines for Master’s training in IO psychology. Learn more at

UMD Research Team Awarded $3.4 Million to Study Root Causes of Anxiety, Depression The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a $3.4 million grant to the University of Maryland to support research aimed at understanding the catalysts for pathological anxiety and depression, particularly in college students. The new grant will support an international team of researchers, led by Assistant Professor Alex Shackman in the Department of Psychology, who plan to use state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques, clinical measures and smartphone technology to clarify the mechanisms that lead to the development and recurrence of anxiety disorders and depression—a critical step in identifying new, brain-based strategies for preventing or treating these illnesses.

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Rededicated: The Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building In October, the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland unanimously approved the naming of the ArtSociology Building after one of the College’s most distinguished alumni, the late Congressman Parren J. Mitchell. The Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building recognizes and honors Congressman Mitchell’s legacy of advancing greater social inclusion, both at the University of Maryland and the community at large. University leadership and a number of notable speakers and guests attended a special ceremony to rededicate the building on Dec. 3. Sociology Chair Patricio Korzeniewicz noted during the ceremony that “the renaming of this building recognizes Congressman Mitchell’s efforts to challenge the barriers of exclusion and discrimination in whatever form and shape they might take. That is what Congressman Parren Mitchell did with his own life, as a student and after, and that is the legacy we honor today.” History and Legacy In 1952, Parren Mitchell became the first African American to obtain a graduate degree from the University of Maryland, a pioneering achievement as the leadership of the University sought to exclude him from attending classes on account of his race. Congressman Mitchell successfully sued the University, with legal representation undertaken by then-NAACP Lead Counsel Thurgood Marshall, to attend the College Park campus. In his youth, Parren protested against segregation in the city of Baltimore. In 1942, Congressman Mitchell served in the Ninety-Second Infantry Division of the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer and company commander during World War II and received a Purple Heart. He later attended Morgan State University under the GI Bill, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 1950. He then applied to the graduate program in sociology at UMD, ultimately graduating with honors, while overcoming numerous roadblocks and challenges. Congressman Mitchell would state later that the sociological training he received at College Park shaped his activism in politics and social change for years to come. “Congressman Mitchell’s accomplishments brought him broad recognition but were attained while in the pursuit of the public good, and he serves as a shining example of the ideals we seek to foster as a public academic institution,” Dean Gregory Ball said.

After serving in many academic and public positions in the 1950s and 1960s, Mitchell became the first African American elected to Congress from Maryland in 1970, as well as the first African American congressman from below the MasonDixon Line since 1898. Representing Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District, Congressman Mitchell was one of the 13 founding members of the Black Caucus, and became known as a staunch supporter of minority-owned businesses. Annual Parren Mitchell Symposium Each year, the Critical Race Initiative’s (CRI) annual Parren Mitchell Symposium examines systemic inequality in contemporary society. Through the engagement of scholars, activists and other professionals, the symposium elucidates how race permeates social institutions and provides a direct dialogue between the broader campus community and symposium participants. The third annual Parren Mitchell Symposium was hosted by CRI, under the auspices of the Department of Sociology, on April 27. The topic was “Racism: In Sickness and in Health.” Next year’s symposium will be held on April 26. Learn more and watch the livestream:

Watch the Parren Mitchell legacy video at:

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Sociology Partnership Examines, Improves Local Police Services The Department of Sociology (SOCY) is proud to partner with the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGCPD) to examine policing from a different perspective. SOCY will work with PGCPD to improve police candidate screening and measure the community’s satisfaction with police services. “SOCY and PGCPD are working at identifying areas of collaboration through which to enhance the understanding and practice of law enforcement in the Prince George’s County community,” said Professor and Chair Patricio Korzeniewicz. Earlier this year, Associate Professor Kris Marsh and Assistant Professor Rashawn Ray led a diversity workshop for 40 recruits in the PGCPD training academy.

Marsh and Ray discussed implicit bias— subconscious attitudes that unknowingly affect our judgment and social behavior—and conducted exercises to improve the cadets’ awareness of their position and their sensitivity to the standpoint of others. The success of the workshop has inspired the creation of similar programs for the department’s senior leadership and for the academy’s instructors. “The workshop was a huge success and the police department is interested in additional training,” said Marsh. “The timing and foundation of this collaboration and the potential for various sociological training is ideal. It is clear that the foundation of the collaboration and training is grounded in mutual

respect and is proactive and voluntary on the part of the police department, as opposed to reactive and mandatory at the local, state or federal level. This synergy is already producing research opportunities for sociology students both at the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as the larger student body at the University of Maryland.” In an effort to better understand the officers’ responsibilities and challenges, Marsh also completed the Municipal Citizen’s Police Academy of Prince George’s County—a program that affords area citizens an opportunity to learn about community policing, accident investigation, crime prevention, and many other topics.

“SOCY and PGCPD are working at identifying areas of collaboration through which to enhance the understanding and practice of law enforcement in the Prince George’s County community.” Professor and Chair Patricio Korzeniewicz

Assistant Professor Rashawn Ray, PGCPD Major Tim Tyler, Associate Professor Kris Marsh and PGC Police Basic Training Cadet Class Session 129.

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SOCY and MPRC News

Research on Indian Employment Act Could Impact Global Poverty Policies Researchers from the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) team of the Maryland Population Research Center and India’s National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) released a report on a controversial rural poverty measure in India. Public works programs are used by many countries during recessions to create jobs; the Indian experiment assessed in this study could potentially inform global poverty alleviation policies. The report assesses the Mahatma Ghandi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which passed in India in 2005 in response to a crowding of primarily female workers into lowpaying, short-term, mostly agricultural jobs. The act is designed to provide 100 days of work to any rural household demanding work. Using unique data from more than 28,000 rural households surveyed before and after the implementation of the program, researchers from NCAER and the University of Maryland examined changes in lives of rural households as well as in the rural economy in the context of changes wrought by MGNREGA.

“Global economists have much to learn both from the success of the program and from some of its challenges. There is potential here for a model that can reduce poverty across the globe and to inform policies in developed countries during recession.”

The researchers found that India’s massive public works program reduces poverty and empowers women, but work rationing limits its impact.

The program was especially successful for women, the study found. “The most striking impact of MGNREGA participation is on women. Increasingly, women dominate MGNREGA work. And for more than 40 percent of them, MGNREGA is their first opportunity to earn independent cash income. Not surprisingly, this increases their power within the household and improves their conditions, including access to health care,” Professor Desai said.

“While MGNREGA is not without its critics—and has significant weaknesses—we found that the program reduced poverty in India by up to 33 percent for the participants, and prevented 14 million people from falling into poverty,” said Professor of Sociology Sonalde Desai, one of the study’s authors.

Read more at:

“Global economists have much to learn both from the success of the program and from some of its challenges. There is potential here for a model that can reduce poverty across the globe and to inform policies in developed countries during recession.” Professor of Sociology Sonalde Desai

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Peace Chairs News

Bahá’í Chair Events Examine Timely Global Topics The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace is a renowned academic program within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. It uses interdisciplinary discourse to examine the way actors and institutions effect social change and transform society. The Chair’s incumbent, Dr. Hoda Mahmoudi, regularly organizes lectures, events and special activities that foster discussion of interdisciplinary, newsworthy topics related to removing obstacles and creating pathways to peace. “The purpose of the programs at the Bahá’í Chair is to advance intellectual discourse on topics central to our understanding of the complex nature of the pathways that can lead to a peaceful, better world for all peoples. Our world is facing tough and problematic issues such as migration, environmental concerns, and economic inequities for which there are no easy answers,” Dr. Mahmoudi said. “The Bahá’í Chair is continually exploring bold ideas, new thinking and creative approaches that have a direct impact on outdated patterns of thought, behavior and social structures that stand as barriers to peace.” In March, the Bahá’í Chair, in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance at American University, hosted a conference on “Civilizations in Embrace: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Ideas, Peace and World Order.” The conference explored the variety of ways, including peaceful ways, in which civilizations have borrowed and exchanged ideas and engaged in mutual learning both through history and in modern times.

In April, Professor James M. Glass of the Department of Government and Politics presented “The Psychotic in Public Life: Human Nature and the Political Justification of Brutality,” an examination of how human nature finds itself distorted through racism and the eugenic thinking that grounded regimes such as slavery in the antebellum South and the German annihilation of the Jews during the Holocaust. Also in April, Professor Daniel Tröhler of the University of Luxembourg spoke about the role of education in shaping societies. This semester’s events build on the diverse and rich themes of the Chair’s major international conference held in the fall semester. “Global Transformations: Context and Analytics for a Durable Peace” attracted a large audience and numerous notable speakers. The conference was organized in part to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of The Promise of World Peace by the Universal House of Justice, a globally significant work outlining the major prerequisites for—and the obstacles working against—the establishment of world peace. “Our conference also highlighted the urgent need to explore alternative possibilities to address the current threats that are responsible for destabilizing the international order and inflicting violence and harm on millions of people throughout the world,” Dr. Mahmoudi said. Presentations addressed: security and justice in global governance; structural racism; women’s peace movements in rebuilding societies; collective security; sectarianism and totalitarianism in the 21st century; constructive responses to oppression; and equitable water use and protection. Other notable events in the fall and spring semesters included a lecture with Professor Aldon Morris, Northwestern University, on the sociology of W.E.B. DuBois; a talk on the role of media in war and peace with Jon-Christopher Bua, political analyst and White House commentator; an examination of the role of violence and global governance with Dr. John Braithwaite of Australian National University; and “From the Front Lines—A Personal Reflection on Being a Doctor in Soweto” with Dr. Gloria Teckie, a specialist physician working in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dr. Hoda Mahmoudi (left) and Dr. Prudence Carter of Stanford University at the ‘Global Transformations’ conference.

To learn more about past and upcoming Bahá’í Chair events, visit or follow @BahaiChair on Twitter.

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Sadat Chair Polls, Events Cover Foreign Policy Issues In the midst of social and political debate about U.S. foreign policy, unrest around the world and controversial presidential candidates, UMD’s Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development has remained a trusted source for polling information and analysis, insightful events and thoughtful commentary. The Chair’s incumbent, Professor Shibley Telhami, is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, as well as an internationally renowned expert in the foreign policy arena. Sadat Forum features General Michael Hayden At the 2016 Sadat Forum in March, General Michael Hayden, Principal at the Chertoff Group and former Director of the National Security Agency, and Professor Telhami were joined by Professor Dana Priest, John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, to discuss the consequences of cyber spying on U.S. foreign policy over the past several decades. Sadat Forum features William J. Burns

From left to right: Professor Shibley Telhami, Gen. Michael Hayden and Professor Dana Priest

Views of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also vary dramatically. Among the general public, just 32% have a favorable view of Netanyahu, as do 47% of non-Evangelical Republicans. Favorable views rise to 66% among Evangelical Republicans. Evangelical Republicans represent 23% of all Republicans and 10% of the general population.

At the 2015 Sadat Forum in October, career diplomat William J. Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Deputy Secretary of State, and Professor Telhami discussed American involvement in the Middle East since 9/11. The discussion included the response to the Arab Uprisings; developments in Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Yemen; the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; and the evolving relationship with Iran.

“There are, of course, partisan differences on Middle East policy in American public attitudes, but what’s most striking is that much of the differences between Republicans and the national total disappears once one sets aside Evangelical Republicans, who constitute ten percent of all Americans,” Professor Telhami said. “The Israel issue in American politics is seen to have become principally a Republican issue, but in fact, our results show, it’s principally the issue of Evangelical Republicans.”

Sadat Chair Poll: Evangelical Republicans Favor Pro-Israel Policies at Odds with Majority of Americans

Media Commentary

A groundbreaking Sadat Chair poll shows that—in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict overall—an overwhelming 77% of Evangelical Republicans want the United States to lean toward Israel as compared to 29% of Americans overall and 36% of non-Evangelical Republicans. In contrast, 66% of all Americans and 60% of Non-Evangelical Republicans want the United States to lean toward neither side. Evangelical Republicans also differ in that they pay far more attention to a candidate’s position on Israel. When considering which candidate to vote for in Congress or for president, just 26% of all Americans and 33% of non-Evangelical Republicans say they consider the candidate’s position on Israel a lot. Among Evangelical Republicans, 64% say they consider it a lot.

Professor Telhami regularly publishes op-eds and is quoted in major outlets including The Washington Post, Reuters and POLITICO. His commentary covers a broad range of topics related to the Middle East, diplomacy and peace and conflict. For more information, visit or follow him on Twitter @ShibleyTelhami.

Watch the Sadat Forum:

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Peace Chairs News

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Professor Suheil Bushrui Professor Suheil Bushrui—the world’s foremost authority on the works of Lebanese poet, artist and writer Kahlil Gibran and an internationally cherished scholar, author, poet, critic, translator and advocate for peace—passed away on Sept. 2 at age 85.


Since 2006, Professor Bushrui served as the University of Maryland’s George and Lisa Zakhem Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace. In that role, he published and spoke widely, taught groundbreaking courses on the multidisciplinary

pursuit of peace and on Arab literature, and participated in many international organizations dedicated to the promulgation of peace and conflict resolution. He was named as a Research Professor Emeritus in 2009. From 1993 to 2006, Professor Bushrui held UMD’s Bahá’í Chair for World Peace. “Professor Suheil Bushrui has been an inspiration to the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and to the University for a generation,” Dean Gregory F. Ball said. “Modern universities are sometimes criticized for not exposing students to questions of ethics and spirituality. Professor Bushrui’s work illustrates how wrong such an assertion is. He exemplified how an esteemed scholar could challenge students to think about such questions while pursuing deep scholarship in areas of literature and culture.” Among his numerous and insightful works, Professor Bushrui most recently published Desert Songs of the Night: 1,500 Years of Arab Literature (Saqi Books, August 2015; co-edited with James M. Malarkey), a uniquely comprehensive and diverse anthology of Arabic literature.

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences is proud to announce that May Rihani—a pioneer in girls’ education and a tireless advocate of women’s rights—will serve as the new director of the Gibran Chair. She previously served as chair of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative between 2008 and 2010. Her seminal book, Keeping the Promise, is a framework for advancing girls’ education that is used by global organizations.

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Professor Bushrui taught at academic institutions around the world, including the University of Oxford,York University in Canada and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He was the first Arab national to be appointed as the Chair of English at the American University of Beirut. From 1982 to 1988, Professor Bushrui was cultural advisor and official interpreter to the President of the Republic of Lebanon. In 1983, he headed a presidential committee in Lebanon which organized the international celebrations to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kahlil Gibran. These activities focused on the theme of Unity in Diversity and were held in Beirut, Oxford, London and Washington, D.C. Among his countless honors and accolades, Dr. Bushrui received: a life achievement award presented by the Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut; the outstanding faculty award given by the UMD Parents Association; the Silver Medal of Merit of the Vaticansponsored Military and Religious Order of Constantine and St. George for services to Christian-Muslim understanding; and the Lebanese Order of Merit granted by the Government of Lebanon for work on conflict resolution, intercultural reconciliation, and the life and legacy of Kahlil Gibran. On Nov. 18, academics and leaders from around the world gathered in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center to pay tribute to Dr. Bushrui’s life and legacy: Dean Ball represented the College and the University at a memorial service for Professor Bushrui that was held in London. Professor Bushrui will be remembered as a cherished scholar, teacher and friend throughout the international community.

Updates from Centers and More

C-BERC Event Examines Corporate Misconduct In the fall, the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation and Crime (C-BERC) presented a timely discussion on how to best prevent and control corporate misconduct featuring Professor John Braithwaite, founder of the Regulatory Institutions Network at Australian National University. Professor Braithwaite’s expert remarks were followed by questions and commentary from Professor Adam Finkel, Senior Fellow and Executive Director, University of Pennsylvania Program on Regulation; Bill Fishlinger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WRM America Holdings and Chief Executive Officer, Wright Risk Management; and Dan Berkovitz, Partner, WilmerHale. C-BERC Director Sally

Simpson moderated the discussion, which featured lively debate and questions from the audience.

MLAW Course: Freddie Gray’s Baltimore An innovative course offered this spring by MLAW Programs tackled the complex issues surrounding the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, the unrest that followed in the city and the fallout that continues. MLAW374: Freddie Gray’s Baltimore featured instructors from UMD, as well as the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Students explored the Freddie Gray case through social, legal and political lenses and heard from experts on topics such as race, policing and structural violence; housing segregation and concentrated poverty; health care; public education; and social mobilization. A three-credit version of the course is being developed.

Beth Stevens (Ph.D. ’03), an alumna of the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS), was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in September, and received a $625,000 “genius” grant—a five-year grant to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. Dr. Stevens, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, has shed light on the function of microglia, cells comprising about 10 percent of the brain. Scientists have long known that microglia are a vital part of the brain’s immunological defenses, clearing damaged cells and infection and controlling inflammation. Dr. Stevens has found that microglia also play an important role in shaping brain development. And when microglia malfunction, they may cause a host of brain disorders. With the award, Dr. Stevens is considering developing drugs related to her work to improve the lives of people with neurological disorders.


NACS Alumna Wins MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant

Dr. Stevens will speak at the NACS 20th anniversary celebration on campus on June 1:

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution | 25

Updates from Centers and More

Washington Post-UMD Polls Offer Insight into Hot Political Topics The Center for American Politics and Citizenship’s (CAPC) innovative polling partnership with The Washington Post has yielded timely insight into numerous political races and topics. In October 2014, The Washington Post-University of Maryland Poll was launched, and its five iterations have focused on national and Maryland elections, desired priorities for elected officials and issues of interest to voters including immigration, taxes, education and healthcare. The partnership combines the world-class reporting, polling and public engagement resources of The Post with rigorous academic analysis from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ nationallyrenowned Department of Government and Politics. In addition to its impact as a public education tool, the poll also represents a unique research opportunity for UMD students. Faculty members work with students affiliated with CAPC on the design of the poll questions and the analysis of its responses. A few weeks ahead of Maryland’s primary elections in April, the latest iteration of the poll offered a revealing glimpse into key races. According to the poll, Hillary Clinton had a clear but narrowing lead over Bernie Sanders three weeks before Maryland’s Democratic primary contest. The poll also found that Donald Trump had a slight edge among likely Republican voters, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in second place. The poll accurately predicted wins for Clinton and Trump. It remains to be seen whether the poll will accurately predict the general-election matchup. The poll showed Clinton beating Trump by 35 percentage points among registered voters.

CAPC Director Stella Rouse, far left, moderated a panel on money in politics in November.

In Maryland’s hotly contested Senate race, 44% of likely voters responding to the poll said they supported Donna Edwards, and 40% of likely voters said they would support Chris Van Hollen. “In a primary election where there were not significant policy differences among the two leading candidates, identity characteristics likely played a larger role. This means voters may feel one candidate can relate more on an issue and exert greater effort to implement change, given their respective backgrounds,” said Associate Professor of Government and Politics Stella Rouse, CAPC’s director. Van Hollen emerged victorious, and will go up against Republican nominee Kathy Szeliga in November. Current and previous polls have also examined Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s popularity rating, as well as priorities that voters feel he and his administration should address. The latest poll revealed that 66% of Marylanders approve of Hogan’s tenure more than a year after he

26 | College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution

took office, up 5 percentage points since October and higher than any governor in Post polls dating to 1998. Against the backdrop of a Maryland governor recently elected using public financing, CAPC presented a dynamic panel of public officials on campus in November to discuss the issue of money in politics. Rep. John Sarbanes (D–Md. 3rd), former Congressional representatives Connie Morella (R–Md. 8th) and Tom McMillen (D–Md. 4th), and Adam Dubitsky, policy director to Gov. Hogan, headlined a discussion about the seemingly uncontrolled influence of money in our political system. They also examined ways to counteract the influence that money has on politics, such as increased civic education, constituency pressure on elected officials, and greater adoption of statelevel public financing measures. Learn more about the poll and CAPC events at, and follow @capcumd on Twitter.

Giving News

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences is grateful to all of our supporters. By giving to BSOS or to one of its departments or units, you are investing in the future of the College and the University. Thank you for supporting the next generation of scholars, academicians and thought leaders as they work to Be the Solution to the world’s great challenges! Learn more at

Fishlinger Family Supports Ethics Education Matthew Fishlinger (GVPT ’07) grew up watching with fascination as his father built a hugely successful insurance company from scratch. As he brought his son into the business, William Fishlinger (GVPT ’71) realized that a culture of ethics and respect for regulations isn’t something that just appears—it must be carefully taught. That father-son dynamic helped motivate a recent $500,000 gift from the Fishlinger family that will promote both generations’ interests at Maryland.

Half of the gift established the Fishlinger Endowed Scholar Fund and provides crucial, early-stage support for the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation and Crime (C-BERC). The other half of the gift established the Fishlinger Family Fund for Entrepreneurship in the Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. This effort supports and expands the Dingman Jumpstart program, a weekend boot camp where Terp alumni with startup ideas can troubleshoot and strategize.

Feller Gifts Provide Groundbreaking Support In December, Joel Feller (GVPT ’90) generously donated $500,000 to establish the Joel and Kim Feller Professorship—the first of its kind in the College—to be held at the Dean’s level for use in recruiting or retaining faculty in priority areas. “This professorship gives us an unprecedented level of flexibility when it comes to hiring world-class faculty and keeping them here at BSOS,” said Dean Greg Ball. Mr. Feller previously established the Joel and Kim Feller TerpStart

Scholarship, as well as the the Joel J. Feller Research Professorship, currently held by Robert Koulish, Director of MLAW Programs. BSOS is pleased to announce that, through Mr. Feller’s continued generosity, Jack Blanchard, chair of the Department of Psychology, will serve as the first Feller Professor for a term of three years. In October, Mr. Feller came to speak to an MLAW class on Victimization and Expanding Rights Consciousness.

Joel Feller

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution | 27

Giving News

New BSOS Gifts and Giving Opportunities Terp Dream Fund

Brian R. Melchior Memorial Fund

In September, students, alumni, friends and community members gathered at the home of Brian Kildee (’99) and Laura Baptiste for a fundraiser to kick off an effort to endow the Terp Dream Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance for first-generation college students attending the University of Maryland. To learn more and support the effort, visit

The friends and family of Brian Ross Melchior (B.S. Environmental Science ’02, M.A. GEOG ’04) established the Brian R. Melchior Memorial Endowed Research Fund for Geographical Sciences to provide research funds and travel support for students in the Department of Geographical Sciences. Brian passed away on Oct. 24, following a year-long battle with gastric cancer. An avid environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast, Brian spent the past five years working as Maritime Geographer at the U.S. Department of State. More than 60 gifts totaling more than $27,000 have been made to his memorial fund. For more information, visit

The Beardsley Family Endowed Student Experience Fund and the Gary L. Rozier Professional Experience Fellowships Providing access to funded experiential learning and outsidethe-classroom training is a priority for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. New student experience funds established through donations by Gary L. Rozier (ECON ’99) and Drs. Katherine Pedro Beardsley and Robert Beardsley will provide stipends, scholarships and support for students pursuing unpaid internships, study abroad opportunities, service activities and research projects within the College. To learn more or to support these efforts, contact Deb Rhebergen at or 301.405.7959.

Kaulkin-Ginsberg Fellows Program Offers Course Credit Thanks to a generous gift from Michael (ECON ’90) and Tammi (RTVF ’90) Ginsberg, the Kaulkin-Ginsberg Fellows Program in the Department of Economics now allows students who complete the program to earn two course credits. The program was initiated in 2013 to help students understand the importance of high-end research in the professional world. Qualified undergraduate students are paired with experts at Kaulkin-Ginsberg to learn how to collect and interpret economic data within select industries.

Miller Scholarship Through the generosity of an estate planned gift from Robert (ECON ’73) and Teresa Miller, the Robert and Teresa Miller Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship in Economics will support scholarships for undergraduate students in the Department of Economics. If you are interested in including the University of Maryland in your estate plans, please contact Deb Rhebergen at or 301.405.7959.

To make a gift in an area of your choice, visit

28 | College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Be the Solution

Dear Friends, Those of you who are familiar with the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland will not be surprised to hear that the many rich and diverse stories in this issue of Be the Solution are just a small representation of all that is going on in BSOS. Our students, alumni, faculty, staff and collaborators make headlines daily with their innovative research, solution-oriented work and generous gifts of time, talent and resources. We invite you to read more at, and to keep up with us via social media. And we want to hear from you! Please send your updates and feedback to

Dean Gregory Ball

I also want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who donated to the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences on Giving Day, March 3. I was amazed by the outpouring of support which allowed BSOS to secure the most gifts of any unit on campus during this 24-hour fundraising challenge. Additionally, BSOS brought home nearly $8,000 in matching funds by winning numerous hourly giving competitions. In all, the College received 261 gifts and more than $28,000 during the single largest day of giving in the University of Maryland’s history. This level of giving is just terrific! Gifts to BSOS—on Giving Day and every day—allow us to support students, faculty and programs in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible: paying for an undergraduate’s Metro fare to travel to and from an unpaid internship in downtown D.C.; funding state-of-the-art laboratory equipment for the study of brain and behavior in our Neuroscience and Cognitive Science program; purchasing materials for the dozens of community service projects completed each year by students in the CIVICUS Living and Learning Program; off-setting travel expenses for students and faculty doing fieldwork in Africa, South America, Iceland and other locations around the world; and so much more. The University of Maryland as a whole raised more than $370,000 through nearly 3,000 gifts on Giving Day; truly unlocking a world of possibilities not only for current students and programs, but for the next generation of problem solvers working to Be the Solution to the world’s greatest challenges. We are so proud to be part of such a generous community of Terps. Thank you again for supporting the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences—not only on Giving Day, but throughout the year. We look forward to sharing more stories in the near future about the impact of your donations. Sincerely,

Gregory F. Ball Dean and Professor, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences University of Maryland

Office of External Relations 0145 Tydings Hall 7343 Preinkert Dr. University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742

Be the Solution is produced annually by the Office of External Relations, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. For more information about this publication, or about alumni engagement and giving opportunities, please contact 301.405.3475 or

Covers and interior pages contain recycled content.

Gregory F. Ball Dean and Professor College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Jenny Kilberg Assistant Director, Alumni and Donor Relations

Deborah Rhebergen Assistant Dean, External Relations

Kenny Beaver Associate Director, Development

Laura Ewald Ours Director, Communications and Marketing

Joe Azzarello Assistant Director, Development

Andrew Roberts Associate Director, Communications and Marketing

Sameen Saeed Assistant Director, Development

Sara Gavin Assistant Director, Communications and Media Relations

Sarah Chicoine Development Coordinator Elise Glidden Graduate Assistant

BSOS Be the Solution Spring 2016  

News and updates from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland

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