CURIOSITY 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 / N OV E M B E R 2 0 18
TO DISCOVER NEW KNOWLEDGE / PASSION TO INSPIRE MARYLAND PRIDE / INSPIRATION TO TRANSFORM THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE / BOLDNESS TO TURN IMAGINATION INTO INNOVATION
MAKING A SPLASH, AND A MARYLAND PROMISE — Barrier-breaking Former UMD Diver, Jason H. Williams ’66 Creates Scholarship for Incentive Awards Students
THIS FALL, THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND WELCOMED MORE THAN 40,000 STUDENTS TO CAMPUS. WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE NEXT GREAT SOCIETAL ADVANCEMENT OR LIFE-CHANGING TECHNOLOGY THEY WILL DEVELOP DURING THEIR TIME IN COLLEGE PARK. Our undergraduates are hot on the trail of scientific discovery, including sending several years’ worth of experiments to the International Space Station to help make extended space missions healthier. Meanwhile, researchers in computer science are pushing the boundaries of virtual reality in the context of learning and memory. Through the MPowering the State initiative, artists and performers at UMD are collaborating with medical researchers at the University of Baltimore to design immersive experiences that reduce anxiety and the need for medication in hospital patients. Others are tackling the growing threat of Lyme disease, working both to reduce the prevalence of disease-carrying ticks where people live, and to understand the complex biology behind the infection. Please read ahead about donor-supported opportunities to help students discover their passions, such as Brick Day in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. For decades, a regional business owner and Terp has shared supplies, staff and expertise so students can try their hands at masonry—and now he's funding a new endowed scholarship in the school. You’ll also meet the former director of our public health science program, who with her husband endowed a fund supporting outstanding undergraduates’ research in that field. Another generous gift will start a lecture series exploring the role of physics as it intersects with history, arts or the humanities. Your support of our students and faculty gives them the chance to discover new knowledge around every corner. Thank you for giving them a place to turn their fearless ideas into reality.
Jackie Lewis Vice President for University Relations President, University of Maryland College Park Foundation
COVER PHOTO BY JOHN T. CONSOLI ’86
CURIOSITY / 3
REAPING REWARDS FOR RESEARCH Former UMD Program Director Establishes First Named Public Health Science Award By Annie Dankelson
in the medical field, Dr. Barbara Alving believes one thing could have given her a boost: an undergraduate degree in public health science. “If I were going to college now, this is the major that I would have chosen as an undergraduate before going to medical school,” she says of the University of Maryland’s program, which provides interdisciplinary training in natural sciences and public health. “I would then have had a much broader understanding of research, communities and global health.” Now, the former director of the degree program is rewarding students for their work in those areas with the Barbara and Carl Alving Research Award in Public Health Science, the first named award in this program. She and her husband, Dr. Carl Alving, created a $50,000 endowment to recognize a junior each spring who demonstrates research excellence and the potential to translate that research into clinical or community applications. The first award will be $2,000. “We recognize the long-term value of students’ research,” Barbara Alving says. “Laboratory, clinical, environmental, public health-based—but research. It’s broad, because those are the domains of public health science.” After earning a B.S. in biology from Purdue University and an M.D. from the Georgetown University School of Medicine,
ILLUSTRATION BY JASON KEISLING
for all of her success
Barbara Alving completed a residency and research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. She held research roles at the Food and Drug Administration and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. She then served at the National Institutes of Health, where she was the acting director at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and then the director of a center that established a clinical and translational program in more than 60 academic health centers nationally. She brought that experience to the UMD School of Public Health as a research professor in 2012. In 2014, she served as the first director of the public health science program on the College Park campus. The program had been initiated at the Universities at Shady Grove two years earlier. The program’s curriculum includes courses such as biostatistics, health policy and global health, and it encourages research and internship opportunities to prepare students to address growing health challenges. It has expanded rapidly to over 750 students. “The program crosses departmental boundaries,” Barbara Alving says. “It reflects the interests of the students of today.” Many of those students are engaged in research and go unrecognized, says Stephen Roth, who took over as director in 2016. In fact, Barbara Alving—who he says is “passionate, energetic, student-focused, a natural mentor”—was motivated to give when she didn’t see any student awards within the public health science program at the Honors Convocation, an annual event in the school. Rewarding juniors, she says, will provide an early push in their career paths, hopefully strengthening their applications for graduate programs, internships and more. “Their research will not stay only in lab notebooks or papers,” Barbara Alving says, “but will be used to provide new ways of improving health.”
MAKING A SPLASH, AND A MARYLAND PROMISE — Barrier-breaking Former UMD Diver, Jason H. Williams ’66 Creates Scholarship for Incentive Awards Students
n a balmy summer’s day in the 1950s, 11-year-old Jason H. Williams came across a group of divers at the Clifton Park pool in Baltimore. He was so inspired by their athleticism, precision and grace that he began imitating the young men. Seven years of practice later, he was admitted to the University of Maryland on a partial scholarship as its first African-American athlete—not just in diving, but any sport. Now retired from Los Angeles County government, Williams ’66 is pledging $50,000 to help students in need by establishing the Ralph and Jason H. Williams/W.D. Prater Maryland Promise Scholarship to support students in the Incentive Awards Program. It’s among the first gifts to the new Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise, established with a $50 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation and the university. If fully matched by gifts from other donors, the program will become a $100 million fund to support
need-based scholarships for students in Maryland and D.C. “These are the individuals from underserved Baltimore-Washington areas who need scholarships,” says Williams, who signed the gift agreement and met with students in September. “In giving back, I’m giving back to individuals and neighborhoods from whence I myself came, with a poor background growing up on the east side of Baltimore.” He recalls buying an instructional book as a boy to teach himself proper springboard diving forms and techniques and made the team at Baltimore Polytechnic High School by the time he was a junior. In his senior year, Williams won the city diving championship, earning him enough attention to receive the small scholarship to the University of Maryland. Upon joining the team in 1962, Williams became the first African-American athlete at the university and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In a time period fraught with racial tension, Williams says his teammates and coaches saw beyond the color of his skin. “There wasn’t a single hint of discrimination in terms of how I was treated by my team-
mates or coaches,” says Williams. “They valued me, not because of my color, but because of my personality and the skillset I brought to the team. In other words, they valued me based upon the human being that I am.” But this wasn’t the case everywhere. He recalled a team trip to a meet in North Carolina, which was followed by a restaurant stop. The waiter took the orders of all the athletes before him, then turned to Williams and refused him service. The rest of the team canceled their orders, and they all quietly left, in shock. During his time at the university, Williams was also a member of the Air Force ROTC, graduating as a 2nd lieutenant. “The most important asset I left the university with was the skillset I received from the Air Force ROTC,” Williams says, noting that these skills were akin to leadership training and carried him through his career. Shortly after graduating, Williams moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles and began working in the Department of Public Health. There, he met his boss W.D. Prater, who would become one of the most influential people in Williams’ life. “Mr. Prater
ARCHIVAL IMAGES: COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES; PHOTOS BY JOHN T. CONSOLI ’86
by Colleen Crowley M. Jour. ’19
CURIOSITY / 5
“To step up to the plate and put some money in an area that will help young, ambitious men and women pursue their dreams through education fulfills one of my greatest dreams, of giving back.” and his wife were like surrogate parents to me,” says Williams. “But he didn’t treat me with favoritism.” Williams followed in Prater’s footsteps and became a department head at the age of 35, the youngest in LA County history at the time. He last served as director of hospital administration before shifting to the insurance industry with AXA Advisors. Now Williams is focusing on serving others and giving back, a decision largely influenced by his brother, Ralph. “My older brother was a dreamer, and I saw his dreams come true. I was a dreamer, and I’ve seen my dreams come true as well. The backbone to all of that, for my brother, myself, and for many others, was education. Education has been the key to success.” Williams also named his gift in honor of his late mentor, who would say to him: “Remember where you came from. Bloom where you are planted.”
JASON H. WILLIAMS ’66
DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT THROUGH THE CLARK CHALLENGE During his busy visit to campus, he shared his story in meetings with student-athletes, veterans, several classes and the IAP students. They come from Baltimore City and Prince George’s County high schools and receive full financial support and mentoring in a nurturing community. Jacqueline Wheeler Lee, director of the Incentive Awards Program, says Williams is a great model for the students to follow. “The students who were present to witness him writing his check were able to make the connection between the donor and the opportunity to continue their education,” she says. “It was powerful for them to see philanthropy in action, especially from someone who looked like them.”
Are you interested in creating an endowed scholarship through the Clark Challenge for Maryland Promise program? Here’s how: 1 Choose the school or other approved program where you hope to support students in need. 2 Make a gift of at least $50,000 and name your new endowed fund. 3 Receive a 100 percent match from the university and A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. 4 See your scholarship awarded –every year in perpetuity. For more information, contact the Office of Principal Gifts at 301.405.9375.
6 / CURIOSITY
A COMPLEX FOUNDATION Gift Aims to Give Students Liberal Arts Background for Business World By Liam Farrell
A SCIENTIFIC TRUTH New Lecture Series to Focus on Intersection of Science and Society
when howard milchberg, his wife, rena, and their three children
established an endowed lecture series in honor of Howard’s late parents, they wanted something that would honor their spirit—a spirit that helped them survive the Holocaust, he by selling cigarettes to Nazis in occupied Warsaw while smuggling weapons to resistance fighters, and she in a slave labor camp in Siberia. The professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering hopes that the Irving and Renee Milchberg Endowed Lectureship will carry on the legacy of his parents, both witnesses to and victims of a historical moment in which truth and reality became twisted. The annual cross-disciplinary lecture, housed in the Department of Physics but intersecting with schools across campus, will aim to highlight the connections among science, truth, the human condition and a civil society. “Physics has brought material benefits to society but it has come with enormous consequences and responsibilities that demand a continuous and vigorous commitment to
truth telling, facts and tolerance,” says Milchberg. “In modern times, scientists themselves have frequently been in the vanguard of peace and human rights movements.” The lectureship, to which the Milchbergs have given $100,000, “will be an exciting addition to the Physics Department’s calendar of colloquia and lectures,” says Steven Rolston, chair of the department. “Its focus beyond physics to the wider world will provide valuable exposure to the big issues facing our society to our students, staff and faculty. We do not do science in isolation, and this will emphasize that.” Milchberg’s mother and father, who died in 2017 and 2014, respectively, never had formal educations but Milchberg describes them as “remarkably open-minded and tolerant” and as “wide-ranging thinkers and skeptics.” After immigrating to Canada in 1947, Irving Milchberg trained as a watchmaker, eventually meeting Renee and opening a gift shop in Niagara Falls, Ontario. “I didn’t want their passing to be unrecognized,” says Milchberg. “The fact that I’m here doing what I do is a testimony to how they lived their lives.”
a career as a manager and officer for large energy companies, Peggy Landini ’83, MBA ’85 believes everyone can benefit from having a background in the liberal arts. “That made all the difference in the world in how I approached the leadership position—that skill in being able to manage your way through complexity,” says Landini, whose bachelor’s degree was in English literature. “That’s business. Life is shades of gray.” Now she is trying to provide that foundation for UMD students with the Peggy Landini Endowed Scholarship for Enlightenment. The bequest will support annual scholarships for students who are active members of student organizations and demonstrate leadership and community engagement in social justice issues. Eligible students will include those majoring in the liberal arts as well as those pairing a business or science major with a liberal arts minor. Landini, who worked to support her late husband Tom through his graduate studies before he did the same while she completed her degrees, says she was attracted to UMD because of its demographic diversity. But in addition to having a diverse social experience, she says, students would benefit from having one in the classroom as well. Landini continues to expand her education as a volunteer at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, N.C., and she hopes the scholarship can enrich the college experience for someone who is focused on a more applied degree such as accounting. “It’s an incentive,” she says, “to take on the extra little bit that makes you a more well-rounded and compassionate human being, as well as a better leader.”
PHOTO: COURTESY OF MILCHBERG FAMILY; ILLUSTRATION BY RYUMI SUNG AND ELENABS/GETTY IMAGES
A SELF-DESCRIBED “ENGLISH-LIT DIE HARD” who built
By Sala Levin ’10
CURIOSITY / 7
BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES Supporter of “Brick Day” Lays New Foundation for Architecture Graduate Students By Colleen Crowley M. Jour. ’19
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING AND PRESERVATION
one day every fall,
the great space in the Architecture Building becomes a bustling construction site, with graduate students slinging mud and laying brick. They get this firsthand (and messy) lesson in masonry, building a wall with bricks and concrete blocks, thanks to the donations of time, expertise and supplies from Potomac Valley Brick and Supply. The event “gives students a hands-on appreciation for the material and—importantly—the skills required to successfully build with masonry,” says Brian Kelly, director of the architecture program. The company, owned by J. Alan Richardson, is now expanding its commitment to the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation by establishing the Potomac Valley Brick and Supply Company Endowed Scholarship through a $50,000 gift. The funds will support merit-based scholarships for graduate students in the architecture program.
“We want to support these students and make it as easy as possible for them to get into the field,” says Richardson, who attended the University of Maryland in the early 1970s. Since many architecture graduates go on to practice in the D.C. area, Potomac Valley Brick and Supply values establishing a working relationship while they are still students. “The architecture school is important for our business; we can inform them in advancements in construction… and we can work with them in the future.” The family-owned business, started in 1976, has a history of donating to UMD over three decades; in addition to supporting programs in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the company has also given to the athletics department. Beyond monetary gifts, the company and their employees also donate their own time. On Brick Day, Dave Richardson, Alan’s brother, teaches a masonry class to the architecture students and fills them in on trade knowledge, like the benefits of masonry in green construction and robotic construction. “Our feeling is that [masonry] is the foundation of what our industry is,” says Richardson. “Learning the fundamentals is so important, and that’s what we want to support.”
THE UNIVERSITY OF
IS COMING TO
MONTGOMERY COUNTY Pride unites us. Join President Wallace D. Loh, fellow Terp leaders and students for an experiential evening showcasing the Fearless Ideas shaping the future of Maryland and the world.
SAVE THE DATE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2018 6 - 8:30 P.M.
University Relations Office of Strategic Communications 2101 Turner Hall, 7736 Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD 20742
BY CHRISTINE FISHER ’91
PHOTO: COURTESY OF FISHER
W HY I G I VE
College was not part of the plan. I grew up the middle child of five in a loving family, but one in which money was in short supply. None of us had ever attended or even considered college, and at 18, I was expected to support myself and find my own path. What I knew was that I wanted a different life—one that would take me beyond my immediate surroundings in Southern California and the limited opportunities that lay before me. For me, that meant college. It also meant affording college. So I spent years working full time while attending community college at night. When I could finally enroll as a full-time student at the University of Maryland, I was 25 years old, paying for myself and knew no one—to say I was scared and overwhelmed would be an understatement. But from day one, I was embraced and accepted on campus. Two years later, I proudly donned my graduation robes and became my family’s first college graduate. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to realize my dream. In an era of rising tuition nationwide, today’s first-generation students face barriers higher than those I faced. Studies
show they’re less likely than their peers to graduate in four years or to graduate at all. Oftentimes, their difficulties center on simply feeling comfortable to ask for help or advocating for themselves, rather than academic problems. They also confront financial barriers beyond tuition, ranging from the cost of textbooks to unpaid summer internships. To help students overcome these barriers, my family and I are establishing the Fisher Family First-Generation Endowed Scholarship so they can take full advantage of the campus experience while receiving an education that will elevate them throughout their lives. My goal is not simply that they get through school, but that they thrive while they’re doing it.
christine fisher ’91 was an executive at several department stores and major clothing retailers, and helped open the u.k. office of women for women international uk, a nonprofit focused on aiding women in conflict zones, serving as chair of the board for five years. she now sits on the board of the organization's u.s. office, as well as the boards of saving mothers and the macdowell colony. she also serves on brown university’s advisory council for the school of public health and the university’s executive committee of the parents leadership council.