INSPIRATION A N E W S L E T T E R F OR S U PP ORT E R S OF T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF M A RY L A N D / F E B RUA RY 2 0 16
TO TRANSFORM THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE / BOLDNESS TO TURN IMAGINATION INTO INNOVATION / CURIOSITY TO DISCOVER NEW KNOWLEDGE / PASSION TO INSPIRE MARYLAND PRIDE
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDER, TRY Engineering Students Build Their Big Ideas 0 PG. 4
Growing security / PG. 3 Singing from the heart / PG. 6 Revved up by scholarships / PG. 7
2 / INSPIRATION
THERE IS PERHAPS NO GREATER CALLING THAN PROVIDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR NEXT GENERATION. College, with all its options to explore and discover, is the best time to take inspiration and run with it. With the support of our whole University of Maryland community, students can try and fail—and even fail again and again—as they come up with solutions to pressing problems, and to problems we haven’t even identified yet. Here on campus, we seek to Transform the Student Experience, to inspire learning in and out of the classroom, on a stage, on a basketball court and in new and innovative ways. The Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center will not only feature innovative physical spaces, it will also serve as a model for blended, collaborative learning. This new facility will transform how our students learn, and how teachers teach. Our living and learning communities are filled with talented students studying entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, creativity and the humanities. And we’re developing internships, career counseling and mentorships to ensure our students are career-ready when they graduate. And we are absolutely dedicated to increased financial aid, so that a college education is within reach of everyone. With the continued philanthropic support of these and other programs, we can continue to provide the most impactful and innovative education to our outstanding students. In this issue, I am proud to share just a few of our programs that are helping UMD to Transform the Student Experience. As always, I welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go Terps! Sincerely,
Peter Weiler Vice President University Relations
GROWING SECURITY Northrop Grumman Gift to Expand ACES Cyber Program By Chris Carroll
0 THE GROWING CYBERSECURITY THREAT is more than just a technical problem in computer science and software design—it’s a broad social challenge that requires people to come at the problem from different backgrounds and disciplines. “You can design the greatest system in the world, but if I convince you to give me the password, the system doesn’t matter,” says Michel Cukier, director of the Honors College’s Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program. Educating that diverse bunch is the idea behind ACES, which will dramatically expand this year, thanks to a $2.76 million gift in November from the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The University of
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INSTITUTE TO BRING UNITED RESPONSE TO CYBER CHALLENGES 0 WHILE GOVERNMENT,
Maryland established ACES in 2013 with the help of a $1.1 million gift from the aerospace firm. The latest gift will fund new faculty, classrooms and lab spaces, and extend the popular two-year program to upperclassmen with an optional minor in cybersecurity. The key to the program is its multidisciplinary focus. In addition to the technical foundations of cybersecurity, classes cover topics like economics, policy and psychology. Business and government leaders are clamoring for a breadth of knowlewdge in the cyber field, says Jan Plane, associate ACES director. “Some students will concentrate on data, some of them on programming, some on writing and some on statistics,” Plane says. “We want them all speaking the same language, though. The computer scientist needs to know enough about statistics and policy aspects to communicate with those specialists, and vice versa.” Illustrations by Brian G. Payne
The approach has been a smashing success, growing from 45 students in the beginning to 57 in the second year. Then, last fall’s freshman group numbered over 100, resulting in a program 50 percent bigger than expected. The new grant will effectively double the program again, and will help increase the diversity in the program as well as keep talented science and technology students in this region, Cukier says. Stephanie Pomrenke ’18, a linguistics and computer science dual major, says combining students with different talents and majors in a living and learning environment helps everyone increase their cyberversatility. “You have all these tech geeks, and they’re being exposed to things that relate to that work but aren’t pure tech,” she says. “For me, because I’m primarily a language person, I wanted that immersion in a very computer science environment to get a little outside my comfort zone.”
industry and even private citizens are under intensifying attack from online criminals and cyberterrorists, a consensus on what to do about the barrage of data breaches has been elusive. The University of Maryland seeks to develop a cohesive approach in its new Maryland Global Institute for Cybersecurity, envisioned to bring the field’s many partners, disciplines and issues together to promote national security and economic development. The institute will align UMD’s broad assets in public policy, computer science, economics and other fields with a focus on four main areas—executive education, applied research and partnerships, undergraduate education and advanced research. Through scholarships, startups and unique experiential learning opportunities, the institute will graduate thousands of global “cyberwarriors” over the next decade. The institute will also offer the advantages of UMD’s strategic partnerships with private and government cyber agencies to ensure a free and safe Internet.
4 / INSPIRATION
By Liam Farrell
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDER, TRY Engineering Students Build Their Big Ideas
0 THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE, especially for engineers-to-be. That’s why the senior capstone design courses, in which UMD engineering students shepherd projects from concept to product, are so critical. “It’s often the best experience of their studies,” says Professor Gil Blankenship, associate chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “They are young, enthusiastic and fearless. They’ll try almost anything.” These efforts will get a boost with A. James Clark Hall, under construction next to the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building and scheduled to open in 2017. Besides classrooms and maker spaces, it will feature the Innovation Lab, offering
at least 19 undergraduate labs along with an electronics shop and machine shop; InTerp Suites, with dedicated office space and venture creation resources for startups; and the Fab Lab, a rapid prototyping area that will enable design through on-site production of parts and materials. The facility, home to the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, will bring together students, faculty, medical practitioners, entrepreneurs and regulators to design and build the next generation of health-care technologies and get them into the marketplace. Take a look below at some recent projects from UMD students.
UMD students who built this planetary rover prototype beat seven other universities’ teams to win the 2015 RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops Competition sponsored by NASA and organized by the National Institute of Aerospace. The robot, dubbed “Frigg” (pictured left with team member Lemuel Carpenter ’15), underwent field tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston—while being remotely controlled at a College Park “mission control.” The rover also set a new course record.
LONGTIME BENEFACTORS A. JAMES CLARK ’50 AND ROBERT E. FISCHELL M.S. ’53 MADE GENEROUS GIFTS OF $15 MILLION AND $6 MILLION, RESPECTIVELY, TOWARD THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A. JAMES CLARK HALL.
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Safety shouldn’t be sacrificed for convenience, and six students and recent graduates are working to make clunky bike helmets both more portable and resilient. They started out trying to make a better collapsible bike helmet and wound up looking at polyurea, a material that helps the military reduce explosive impacts. They found it tests well for reducing concussions and seek to integrate polyurea into their detachable design, which separates a helmet into different layers and binds them back together like ski boot straps. Now they’re working with advisers to commercialize the device. “It’s definitely all in the works,” says Nathanael Carriere ’15.
Finding a patient’s pulse following a heart attack can be challenging for emergency workers, from locating the right place on the wrist in a moving ambulance to distinguishing the patient’s pumping blood from your own ramped-up heartbeat. Stefanie Cohen ’14, M.Eng. ’16 was on a team that designed an ultrasound patch that could be placed over a patient’s carotid artery and provide hands-free pulse monitoring en route to the hospital. Cohen says the project gave her and colleague Shawn Greenspan ’14, M. Eng. ’16 valuable insight into the medical industry. “I can apply that to medical devices or if I choose to do some other field.”
Photos by John T. Consoli
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NAMING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NEW CLARK HALL, CONTACT LESLIE BORAK AT LBORAK@UMD.EDU OR 301.405.0317.
6 / INSPIRATION
STUDENT ENTER PR ENEURS COUNT THEIR SUCCESSES 0 STARTUP SHELL IS a studentrun business incubator, created in 2012 to give budding entrepreneurs a place to work and collaborate with fellow innovators. Members receive not only 24/7 access to the space—which includes floorto-ceiling whiteboards, tools for projects and a conference room—but also subscriptions to technology resources like Amazon Web Services, Dropbox and Digital Ocean, free legal consultations and discounts on incorporation, patents and trademarks. STUDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO MORE THAN
IN EQUIPMENT IN THE TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT PROGRAM BUILDING’S RAPID PROTOTYPE LAB.
CURRENT COMPANIES, INCLUDING JAVAZEN, WHICH WON TECH.CO’S D.C. STARTUP OF THE YEAR 2015
SPONSORSHIP FROM UBER, WITH HALF GOING TO DIRECT GRANTS FOR STARTUP SHELL COMPANIES NEWLY RENOVATED
1,300-SQUARE-FOOT COLLABORATIVE, CREATIVE WORKSPACE
FRIENDS, FACULTY AND LOCAL INVESTORS AT DEMO DAY TO LISTEN TO COMPANY PRESENTATIONS
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SUPPORTING STARTUP SHELL, CONTACT SAMMY POPAT AT SPOPAT@UMD.EDU OR 301.405.0224.
SINGING FROM THE HEART Maryland Opera Studio Grad Makes European Debut After Health Struggles By Karen Shih ’09
0 IT WAS TERRIFYING FOR PATRICK KILBRIDE M.M. ’14 to walk into his first rehearsal as Damon in George Frideric Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” last summer. A flurry of French directions flew over his head during the seven-hour-long session. “My mind was just numb,” he says. But the tenor was also thrilled. Just a year and half earlier, he couldn’t have dreamed of touring throughout France. He was focused on the bacterial infection in his heart, the fluid pooling in his lungs and whether the insertion of a breathing tube and cracking of his sternum during surgery would hurt his nascent singing career. “It was crazy-scary,” Kilbride says. “From when I was a very young child, music has been the thing that catalyzed my molecules to move faster. It sparked me and made me excited about life.” Growing up in Chicago, he played piano, sang with choirs and worked privately with a voice teacher throughout high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Northwestern University, then came to UMD’s Maryland Opera Studio, drawn
TO LEARN ABOUT SUPPORTING STUDENTS IN THE MARYLAND OPERA STUDIO AND OTHER SCHOOL OF MUSIC PROGRAMS, PLEASE CONTACT DAVID D. ROBINSON-SLEMP AT 301.405.4623 OR DRSLEMP1@UMD.EDU.
to the numerous performance opportunities and the chance to study with Associate Professor Gran Wilson. During his first winter break in January 2013, Kilbride suddenly realized his breathing was shallow, heart rate was accelerated and right leg was immobile. Just weeks later, he had to withdraw from UMD to undergo open-heart surgery for endocarditis. To spur his recovery, he focused on preparing for his performance in “Sweeney Todd” at the Aspen Music Festival in July and his return to the School of Music in the fall. Relearning technique wasn’t easy— “tears were shed”—but led to one of his favorite performances, playing the lead in “Albert Herring” by Benjamin Britten. After Kilbride graduated, Wilson encouraged him to compete in the 24th International Concours de Chant CentreLyrique Clermont-Ferrand. He beat out 500 singers for one of five contracts to perform in France from October 2015 through 2016. “I’m still quite boggled by the whole thing,” says Kilbride. “Previously, I’d never been to Europe, so this has been a great way to get to the see the world. To do that through music, it’s really a dream realized for me.”
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REVVED UP BY SCHOLARSHIPS CLARK GIFT EXPANDS SUPPORT FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS By Lauren Brown
0 After twice dropping out of a pre-med program in community college, then taking a low-paying job at a credit card processing company, Jimmy Vu (left) had his a-ha moment: He needed to get an education. A car and motorcycle tinkerer, Vu decided to return to Hagerstown Community College to major instead in engineering. He graduated with a 3.5 GPA—his exact goal to be a competitive applicant for UMD and to win a spot on
the Terps Racing team, which builds and races a Formula car every year. Vu expected to pay his own way through loans and jobs—until he was awarded $10,000 a year through the new A. James Clark Opportunity Scholarship program. “It took me by complete surprise,” says Vu. “Finding out I got this scholarship has allowed me to put more time into my studies and into the racing team. Not having to worry about the finances really helped my stress factor.” He’s one of 25 transfer engineering students who received the two-year award in the fall, funded by a $1 million gift from the Clark Charitable Foundation. The rare scholarship to support transfer students in the A. James Clark School of Engineering—numbering 894 this academic year—it specifically targets students who come from Maryland community colleges.
Bruk Berhane, assistant director of undergraduate and recruitment programs in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, says many of these students have significant financial need. Some can’t count on support from their parents, or are older with families of their own, or might be the first in their families to attend college or are firstgeneration residents in the U.S. “You’re dealing with a very heterogeneous population, one that we need to be paying more attention to as the tide shifts throughout the country,” he says. Vu is one of those first-generation students; his parents are Vietnamese immigrants. At Maryland, he discovered a passion for biology and chemistry. Now he plans to switch his major from mechanical to bioengineering—and to his parents’ delight, he’s starting the pre-med track after all.
COLLABOR ATION BUILDING
The Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, now under construction on Campus Drive, is designed to be a national model of team-based and collaborative learning and teaching. Its 13 classrooms, along with other small-group spaces, will feature flexible, technology-enhanced spaces that encourage students to learn skills in building relationships, networking and group problem-solving, while accommodating different teaching styles.
The 180,144-square-foot building will also include nine labs in a new chemistry wing and house the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center. Named for the Baltimore developer, philanthropist and 1961 alumnus who donated $10 million to the project, the center is scheduled to be completed in December.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SUPPORTING THE ST. JOHN CENTER, CONTACT VERONICA MEINHARD AT 301.405.3677 OR MEINHARD@UMD.EDU. Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center photo by John T. Consoli
University Relations Office of Marketing and Communications 2101 Turner Hall, 7736 Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD 20742
WHY WE GIVE
BY AVIS ’80 AND BRUCE RICHARDS
board, and other expenses. Veterans exemplify many attributes that we so greatly admire: loyalty, dedication and hard work. Veterans represent one of this nation’s greatest economic resources, as they own 9 percent of America’s small businesses, employing 5.8 million people.
The University of Maryland holds a special place in our hearts, having provided an enduring education and enriching experience for our daughter, brother, sister, niece and nephew. UMD’s renowned, world-class academic rigor helped mold members of our family into the leaders and visionaries they are today. For years, we have considered how we can thank the University of Maryland, and given our good fortune, our time had come to pay it forward, by providing scholarships to a very special group of students we honor, people who represent the fabric of what has made the United States the greatest country in the world. Our $1 million donation is specifically designated to provide scholarships to military veterans attending the University of Maryland to support tuition, room and
Our goal is to ease their transition from military service to the classroom in a seamless manner, as veterans attending the University of Maryland currently carry an average student loan burden of $17,290. The University of Maryland’s unwavering commitment to our nation’s veterans is a model that every college should emulate. We thank the University of Maryland for enabling us to be part of this distinct and noble cause as we are forever grateful to veteran servicemen and -women for their dedication to our country.
Avis (Gold) Richards is CEO and founder of the nonprofit Birds Nest Foundation and Bruce Richards is CEO of Marathon Asset Management LLC.