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 / A PR I L 2 0 19
TO TRANSFORM THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE / BOLDNESS TO TURN IMAGINATION INTO INNOVATION CURIOSITY TO DISCOVER NEW KNOWLEDGE / PASSION TO INSPIRE MARYLAND PRIDE
FEARLESS, FASCINATING, FORWARD-LOOKING
BRING MARYLAND TO
DEAR MARYLAND SUPPORTERS, We’re more than halfway through the spring semester at the University of Maryland, and the campus is buzzing with activity. Seniors and some of our graduate students are making the final push toward graduation. Students in every major are flourishing in internships in our nation’s capital, exploring new research frontiers from the new A. James Clark Hall to the stacks of McKeldin Library and giving it their all in athletic competitions. In this issue, we’ll introduce you to several inspiring donors who are transforming the student experience. Jon C. Graff ’66, Ph.D. ’71, whose career spanned the life sciences, tech industry and government consulting, is supporting classrooms in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, a Maryland Promise scholarship and a prize for an outstanding student in the Historic Preservation Program. The family of Ken Joseph, the late associate director of College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society program, is honoring his memory by creating a needbased scholarship for participants in the living-learning program. Jeffrey ’75 and Michelle Rivest, both with long careers in health care, have created a Maryland Promise scholarship, with priority for School of Public Health students with financial need.
Your generosity allows our university to welcome and nurture the best and brightest students to our campus in the pursuit of their academic goals. Thank you for investing in life-changing opportunities for this generation of Fearless Terps.
Jackie Lewis Vice President for University Relations President, University of Maryland College Park Foundation
COVER ILLUSTRATION BY JASON KEISLING
We’ve also been busy visiting our alumni, friends and supporters on the East Coast. With seven regional events this academic year, we are thrilled to bring all the great work of Maryland to our communities within the state and beyond.
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A GIFT TO REMEMBER PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSEPH FAMILY
Family Honors Late College Park Scholars Administrator By Sala Levin ’10
DURING HIS 10 YEARS with College Park Scholars, Ken Joseph was known for sending witty emails, being a supportive mentor, and occasionally showing up to class with a tub of ice cream for all. He died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 40. Now, the family of the late associate director of College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society has given $50,000 to establish the Kenneth A. Joseph Memorial Endowed Scholarship, a gift they hope will be a way for students to “learn about him and also to honor his memory,” says his sister, Kim Joseph.
Ken Joseph (second from right in back), is shown with his family, which has established a needbased scholarship for students in College Park Scholars.
would want,” says Joseph. “Our family knows there are some kids who want to attend UMD but have financial difficulties or maybe just need “THIS GIFT IS A MARVELOUS WAY TO a little bit more money than they currently have in order to HONOR HIS MEMORY AND EXTEND do so.” HIS CARE TO FUTURE GENERATIONS “Ken’s dedication to Scholars students was legendary,” says OF SCHOLARS STUDENTS.” Marilee Lindemann, executive director of College Park Scholars. “This The need-based scholarship will go gift is a marvelous way to honor his to incoming freshmen in the College memory and extend his care to future Park Scholars living-learning program, generations of Scholars students.” with preference given to students from Ken Joseph, whose father was in the Prince George’s County, Baltimore City military, spent much of his childhood in and Baltimore County in Maryland, Silver Spring, Md., and came to Scholars and Washington, D.C. Funding, which in 1999, first as a coordinator, then as will be awarded for the first time in Fall associate director of the Media, Self and 2019, can continue through the student’s Society Program as well as Scholars’ sophomore year so that it lasts throughadmission counselor. “Scholars was out the two-year Scholars program. something that gave him a tremendous “We wanted to try to think about amount of satisfaction and joy, and he what Ken would say if he were here was, to my mind, devoted to education to tell us what kind of scholarship he
and wanted everyone to have access to the same opportunities he had had in education,” says Kim. Joseph was famously committed to his students—in a Diamondback article about his death, then-senior Courtney Pomeroy, co-editor in chief of Unwind! Magazine, for which Joseph was faculty adviser, said, “He was always there, offering to make copies or order pizza. He had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. Not just in College Park, but anywhere.” “He was an incredible, joyful person who loved his students,” says Kim. “He spent time with flashcards of all of his students every year learning about them ... so he’d recognize them on campus, so he could greet them personally and make them feel comfortable right away. He had such incredible devotion both to the program but, more importantly, to the people in the program.”
4 / INSPIRATION
FEARLESS, FASCINATING, FORWARD-LOOKING
BRING MARYLAND TO
YOU Nibble on the hors d’oeuvres. Fill up on Fearless Ideas.
The University of Maryland is coming to cities around the nation to share the vision of its ambitious fundraising effort, Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland. With each visit, university faculty and students share inspiring stories of their opportunities and achievements—many made possible through the generosity of Terp supporters. Since the $1.5 billion campaign launched in May 2018, the university has hosted five of these events, with more to come. At each one, local alumni, donors and Maryland parents mingle, learn about the university’s growing prestige and prominence, and celebrate its future. Here are just a few highlights of the lineups so far. Next up: Fairfax County, Va., on April 23. Find events near you at fearlessideas.umd.edu.
we have a responsibility to improve and enhance
the human condition, no matter where
people live. we are guided by the belief that where you live
shouldn't determine CHARTING NEW COURSES IN SUSTAINABILITY
BOSTON, MA Oct. 23, The Kitchen
whether you live.”
—Craig Beyrouty Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Jonathan Fix ’16 Founder and Chairman, Terps Against Hunger
Fearless idea: To mobilize the UMD community to fight local hunger through large-scale food packaging events. 2.5M meals packed since he founded the nonprofit as an undergraduate
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SHOWCASING FEARLESS IDEAS
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD Nov. 27, Congressional Country Club
President Wallace D. Loh talked about UMD’s expanding role at the Universities at Shady Grove. Five interactive stations: • Drone Technology + Journalism • “Ethical Hacking” • Developing Inclusive Youth • Solar Decathlon-Winning House • Flu Fighting Research
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY
Oct. 25, National Inventors Hall of Fame
the professionals of tomorrow are
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Fearless idea: To create molecular “containers" that turn off the biological activity of commonly used—and abused—drugs, from anesthesia to opioids.
challenge does not
Guests got up-close looks at research: • Virtual Reality to Train Police: a training program developed by UMD sociologists to help police officers recognize biases and be sensitive to citizens’ backgrounds, using VR to evaluate reactions to dozens of scenarios. • Waste-to-Energy Technology in the Bay: a project in the Port of Baltimore piloted by a College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences researcher to create renewable energy from algae harvested from the water.
engagement with the
challenges of today. begin when so many credits are earned or when a student passes x number of introductory gateway courses. challenge EXPLORING DISCOVERY-BASED LEARNING
begins on day one.”
Jan. 24, The Fox Theatre
Shreelekha Revankar ’21, Computer Science Member of the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience program A marriage of art and tech: Revankar and her team are working on augmented reality that allows visitors to the Phillips Collection in D.C. to enhance their museumgoing experience.
Director of Discovery-Based Learning and the First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE), Assistant Clinical Professor of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics
6 / INSPIRATION
A PUSH FOR PUBLIC HEALTH Family Gift Benefits School’s Global Health Initiative By Annie Dankelson
FOR ROBB COHEN ’85, public health is what he calls a “family business.” The Maryland alum has spent his career in health care; his wife, Dr. Gail Schwartz, is a glaucoma specialist; and their older daughter, Lizzie Cohen ’21, is part of College Park Scholars’ Global Public Health program and hopes to become a dentist. That collective interest and involvement led the Cohen-Schwartz family to donate $100,000 to advance the School of Public Health’s Global Health Initiative, launched last year. The gift will help raise awareness and bolster research, education and service programs aimed at improving health in communities around the world. “Maryland is well positioned to be a leader in public health,” Robb Cohen says. “I’d like to see Maryland play a real role.” The donation is part of a $250,000 overall commitment by the Cohen-Schwartzes, who also included a legacy gift in their will. Besides Lizzie’s major in public health science, younger daughter Alex, a senior at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, has been involved with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at UMD. Cohen, who majored in finance at UMD, landed a health care research job after graduation, and he’s remained in the industry since. Amid his involvement with hospitals, nursing homes, and government and policy, he co-founded XLHealth, a chronic care management company focused on diabetes and heart conditions. In recognition of his family’s recent gift, the School of Public Health named a student workspace the Robb Cohen & Gail Schwartz Collaboratorium. Terps can gather there for group
OPPORTUNITIES UNLOCKED Computer Cryptography Expert Makes Three New Gifts By Chris Carroll
ALTHOUGH JON C. GRAFF ’66, Ph.D. ’71 earned his University of Maryland doctorate in biochemistry, he made his name and his living for decades in another field entirely. Ten years and 17 academic publications after graduation, he realized he needed a change. So he designed his own educational program by taking a series of classes in math, computer science and statistics to determine what he’d do next. What followed was a career culminating as a “cryptographic computer architect.” His work in digital communications ranged from pioneering new cellphone technology to developing cryptographic architectures that
meetings, to get software support and to connect with others globally. “I think to solve these global health challenges, you need people working together from different disciplines,” he says. “It could bring people together from different angles on the campus and around the world.” The gift will help strengthen Maryland as a global health center, says School of Public Health Dean Dr. Boris D. Lushniak, but it’s the family’s overall UMD pride that sets it apart. Besides being a donor, Cohen chairs the board of Maryland Hillel (where Lizzie is a fellow), is a member of the SPH Dean’s Council and Campaign Cabinet, and cheers on the Terps with his wife and daughters. “They are Terp people from the core,” Lushniak says. “What really is important in terms of what they bring to our school is that level of commitment and enthusiasm.”
secured the internal communications of a major bank and the operator of California’s electrical grid. He traveled the world for work, along the way exploring cultures and architecture from Southeast Asia to Finland. He also published the book “Cryptography and E-Commerce.” Since he retired in the early 2000s, Graff has focused on avocations including cycling—he estimates he’s pedaled up to 120,000 miles—and going on paleontology digs in North America and Mongolia. Another passion is giving to worthy causes nationwide, including three new gifts totaling $475,000 at UMD. He says it’s “payback” for the university preparing him, albeit indirectly, for success. “I discovered I was very good at systems engineering and as a cryptographic computer architect,” he says. “Having that ability to see the big picture helped me, and that I developed in particular while studying biochemistry at Maryland.” His gifts establish and maintain a named lecture hall in the Chemistry Building, fund an endowed need-based Maryland Promise scholarship with preference for students in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, and an endowed prize for an outstanding student in the Historic
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PHOTO BY JOHN T. CONSOLI
Preservation Program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The three new gifts follow a previous one to name a chemistry lab in the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center. Each reflects his experience in one way or another, he says, including his love of interesting structures “ranging from Stonehenge all the way to the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur,” and memories of sitting under a large periodic table that was old even when he was a student, and which now will be restored because of his gift. Graff is fighting to keep up his enjoyment of life even as he faces advanced cancer, and says creating a diverse philanthropic legacy is part of that effort. “When you’re looking at life’s end, it’s an instigator to think about what you want to do with what you have accumulated,” he says. “There’s a broad range of things I want to help with.”
“TEACHER OF TEACHERS” HELPS PREPARE NEXT GENERATION OF EDUCATORS $1.75M Gift to Support Scholarships in College of Education By Audrey Hill
PHOTO BY FAYE LEVINE
JEAN E. LOKERSON’S interest
in education began at an early age, when she would teach her triplet younger siblings in a makeshift classroom in the family’s basement. She went on to spend more than 50 years in the field, and is now leaving a legacy to support other aspiring educators. The late Lokerson Ph.D. ’70 bequeathed a $1.75 million estate gift to provide merit- and need-based student scholarships in the College of Education. The John T. and Dorothy E. Lokerson Endowed Scholarship in Education, named in honor of Lokerson’s parents, who encouraged her to pursue a career in education, goes toward tuition and fees equivalent to two years of full-time upperlevel undergraduate or graduate study. “This remarkable gift will help students excel in their academic pursuits and ensure that the college can attract the most talented students,” says Jennifer King Rice, dean of the College of Education. “Dr. Lokerson’s passion for the field of education and for teaching teachers is reflected in this endowed scholarship, which will help transform students’ experiences and enhance our research and instruction through the contributions of the best and brightest students.” The gift supports Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, UMD’s $1.5 billion fundraising campaign focused on advancing the university’s mission of service, enhancing academic distinction and
bolstering UMD’s research enterprise. After receiving an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the George Washington University in 1959, Lokerson taught elementary education in Montgomery County, Md., before pursuing a master’s degree in special education from Syracuse University. She completed her doctorate in special education from UMD with a minor in human development. “Jean valued her education at the University of Maryland, her professors and the many opportunities it provided her, which helped shape her career,” says Elise Blankenship, a longtime friend and colleague of Lokerson. A pioneer in the emerging field of special education, Lokerson was dedicated to understanding and addressing the challenges of having a disability. She helped prepare special education teachers for the classroom at a number of institutions. In addition to receiving numerous professional honors, she was recognized for her innovative use of simulations, technology and hands-on experiences in teaching special education. She was a professor emerita at Virginia Commonwealth University when she died in 2016 at age 79. “Jean found great joy in teaching special education students and as a ‘teacher of teachers,’ through her role as a professor in the university setting,” Blankenship says. “It is a fitting reflection of her legacy that her generous gift to the university will help prepare the next generation of educators for excellence.”
University Relations Office of Strategic Communications 2101 Turner Hall, 7736 Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD 20742
BY JEFFREY ’75 AND MICHELLE RIVEST
PHOTO: JOHN T. CONSOLI
W HY W E G I V E
Health care and its associated costs represent a difficult challenge for our country. It’s a problem of both economics and lack of access to quality, preventive health care. It is our hope that future health care leaders can solve this problem through an emphasis on public health and prevention.
We also believe the road to more accessible and less expensive health care starts with educating the next generation of leaders in public and preventive health, and that’s why we gave $50,000 to endow the new Jeffrey and Michelle Rivest-Dean’s Council Maryland Promise Scholarship. It will provide both financial and programmatic support to local undergraduates in financial need, with priority going to those seeking a degree in public health. We are proud to see the University of Maryland investing in its first-class School of Public Health, and we hope our gift, which is fully matched through the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program, will fund the education of future public health leaders who can innovate and lead a new health care paradigm of public health and preventive care.
The current model of health care in America is not financially sustainable. While we have the technology and expertise to treat almost anything, the expense is prohibitive. And while the right for everyone to access health care is also extremely important, the cost is, again, unsustainable. Through our experience in the health care industry with careers spanning hospital administration and nursing, we believe that the best way to create reasonable and equal access to health care for all Americans, regardless of their economic position, is by emphasizing prevention and personal responsibility. Preventing chronic disease is much less expensive than treating it later on.
jeffrey rivest ’75 worked for 42 years in hospital administration, leading large hospitals and health care organizations and capping his career as president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore from 2004–15. He is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors and chairs the Campaign Cabinet for the School of Public Health. michelle rivest earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and had a fulfilling career as a clinical specialist in critical care medicine, nursing faculty member and clinical educator.