Terp—Spring 2011

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Terp Cover SPRING 2011 FINAL3:Terp Cover Summer -FINAL 5/17/11 11:18 AM Page cov I




VOL. 8, NO. 3 SPRING 2011




Research “Decodes” Brainwaves To Control Prosthetics 20


TERP publisher Brodie Remington Vice President, University Relations advisory board J. Paul Carey ’82 M.B.A. Managing Partner, JPT Partners John Girouard ’81 President and CEO, Capital Asset Management Group Anil Gupta Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Strategy and Organization, Robert H. Smith School of Business Beth Morgen Chief Administrative Officer, Maryland Alumni Association Danita D. Nias ’81 Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations and Development Vicki Rymer ’61, M.B.A. ’66, Ph.D. ’83 Teaching Professor, Robert H. Smith School of Business Keith Scroggins ’79 Chief Operating Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools Lee Thornton Professor and Eaton Chair, Philip Merrill College of Journalism magazine staff Lauren Brown University Editor John T. Consoli ’86 Creative Director Jeanette J. Nelson Art Director Monette A. Bailey ’89 Mandie Boardman ’02 Priya Kumar ’09 Kimberly Marselas ’00 Cassandra Robinson Tom Ventsias Brian Ullmann ’92 Writers Joshua Harless Patti Look ’08 Catherine Nichols ’99 Brian Payne Designers Gail M. Cinoski M.L.S. ’10 Photography Assistant Christie Liberatore ’13 Magazine Intern Kathy B. Lambird ’94 Production Manager E-mail terpmag@umd.edu Terp magazine is published by the Division of University Relations. Letters to the editor are welcomed. Send correspondence to Managing Editor, Terp magazine, 2101 Turner Building, College Park, MD 20742-1521. Or, send an e-mail to terpmag@umd.edu


Alumni and Friends,

last month, I had the honor of hosting the annual Alumni Awards Gala, an inspiring gathering of some of Maryland’s superstars. They come from different fields, studied during different eras and have different memories of their college years. But one thing all of our honorees—in fact, most of our alumni—share is a sense of Maryland as a life-changing place. One by one, our award recipients took to the podium to reflect on the opportunities they had in our classrooms and community, and how they were transformed by their time here. There was Aris Mardirossian ’74, M.S. ’75 emotionally recounting how he came to the university shortly after immigrating to the U.S., speaking little English. He left here a well-educated engineer who went on to manage major building projects and launch lucrative businesses. Amal Mudallali Ph.D. ’97 shared how Maryland gave her the freedom to explore professional roles not always open to women in the Middle East. She parlayed her education into a career in foreign affairs, working to improve her native Lebanon and her adopted country.(See Page 8 for more gala honorees.) I’ve been fortunate to meet many other remarkable alumni on campus and at Terp events around the country, and I’ve been reflecting lately on how the University of Maryland has shaped my own life. I jumped at the chance to become a Terrapin cheerleader—my first step in becoming the Maryland booster I am today. I made friends for life on campus and got expert advice from

mentors like the late Tom Fields ’42. And with my business degree, I entered the private sector, thoroughly prepared for a career in sales and marketing. But my passion for alma mater put me back on the path to Maryland. I returned to my college home, first to work for Intercollegiate Athletics and since then for University Relations. It has been my great privilege to serve as your alumni director these past 12 years, so it is with mixed emotions that I say farewell and embark on a new journey. This summer, I will join the University of Florida to lead its alumni association. I leave here excited for the future of Maryland under our new president, Wallace D. Loh, and confident that the university is on the path to reach greater heights than ever. Even though I’ll be cheering on the Gators, I’ll always Fear the Turtle.

Danita D. Nias ’81 Assistant Vice President Alumni Relations and Development

The University of Maryland, College Park is an equal opportunity institution with respect to both education and employment. University policies, programs and activities are in conformance with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on non-discrimination regarding race, color, religion, age, national origin, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

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2 Big Picture Veterans Center opens; WaterShed preparations; Gary Williams retires; and more 6 Terp online Philanthropy follow-up; Loh inauguration photo album; and more 7 Ask Anne Red and White Game review; faux Terps on film; and more 8 Class Act Businesswoman designs new career; nonprofit’s good taste; and more 12 m-file Tracking biodiversity; battlefield’s leadership lessons; building a better sneaker; and more 16 Play-by-play Edsall’s playbook 17 SpotlIght Voices of American history 18 Maryland Live Fireworks on the Fourth; youth orchestra festival; and more 32 In the Loop Entrepreneurship center; Colonnade’s 20th; and more 36 Interpretations Four-part vision


features 24

cataloging grief

UMD interns at the National Park Service archive mementos left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, part of a larger effort to tell the stories of the fallen. by lauren brown



A Maryland researcher is building a computer interface that connects human thought with robotic prosthetic limbs, offering new hope to amputees and victims of stroke. By Tom Ventsias



A new program offers students a unique way to study philanthropy: They have one semester to decide how to give away $20,000. By priya kumar ’09

photo by john T. Consoli; Illustrations by Brian G. Payne and Patti look

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bigpicture Students Prep for WaterShed Moment


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Ventilators Butterfly roofing exchange stale, design provides indoor air for solar power fresh, outdoor through one air and control “wing” and rainhumidity and water filtration temperature through the other


Members of the Terp community penned words of support for University of Maryland veterans on a giant red “M” (above) during the campus’ Veterans Day observance last fall.


Veterans at Maryland now have a new home base where they can meet, study and relax. The Veterans Center opened on Maryland Day in the Cole Student Activities Building, with an office, a kitchenette, computer stations, a lounge with a large TV and video games and a meeting space. Funded by a $125,000 gift from Gordon England ’61, former U.S. deputy secretary of defense and a member of the university foundation’s Board of Trustees, the 800-square-foot space supplements the TerpVets and Veterans Program Office space in the Stamp Student Union. The opening is part of Maryland’s Veterans Initiative of programs and resources to serve the approximately 400 students on campus who’ve served in the military. —LB


home, help, healing

A team of Maryland students competing in the national Solar Decathlon is putting the interplay of sun, rain and wind under one roof. Approximately 100 students and faculty from architecture, engineering, environmental science and technology, plant sciences, landscape architecture and other disciplines designed and are building WaterShed for the contest near the Washington Monument in September. The Decathlon showcases creative and affordable solarpowered houses. WaterShed will draw attention to threats to the Chesapeake Bay and offer suggestions on living without harming the environment, says Amy Gardner, associate professor of architecture and one of the leaders of the project. Highlights include an edible wall and garden, a green roof and solar panels. A Web application will supply data on the house’s performance, which residents can use to decide such things as when to take a shower or water plants. This is the fourth time Maryland has made it to the finals of the competition. Its last entry, 2007’s LEAFHouse, placed first in the nation and second overall. —MAB

Green wall filters rainwater from roof to irrigate garden

M Signature plaque courtesy of veterans program office; watershed image courtesy of the watershed team; and photos by john t. consoli

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Garyland, My Garyland

Beloved B-ball Coach Retires

The legendary men’s basketball coach, who won a national championship among many other accomplishments in 22 years at his alma mater, announced May 6 that he is retiring. “It’s the right time,” Williams said. “My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing. I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here. I couldn’t have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great university. Together, we did something very special here.” Williams ’68 led programs at American University, Boston College and Ohio State before he returned to Maryland in 1989 to turn around its troubled men’s basketball program. He went on to compile a 461-252 record, earning 14 trips to the NCAA tournament and the title of National Coach of the Year in 2002, following the team’s national championship. He’ll stay on at Maryland as an assistant athletic director and a special assistant to Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, and will continue fundraising for the university as co-chair of the Great Expectations scholarship committee. Mark Turgeon, who won back-to-back Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year honors at Texas A&M, has been hired to replace Williams. (See the Fall 2011 issue of Terp for more on Turgeon.) Several thousand fans turned out at Williams’ press conference at the Comcast Center, wearing yellow “Garyland” T-shirts, chanting “GA-RY! GA-RY!” and wildly applauding him. “Gary Williams is not just a basketball coach, but first and foremost a member of the university community,” President Wallace Loh told the crowd. “He’s a passionate example of what it means to be a Terrapin and a man who has touched thousands of lives.” Williams will never quite leave “the House that Gary Built,” either: The university is naming the court at Comcast Center in his honor. —LB

“ My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing.”

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ACC Tournament Champions (2010)... Seven Sweet Sixteens... Two Elite Eights... Two Final Fours... National Championship (2002)... National Coach of the Year (2002)...

There’ll be no more pregame fist pumps from Gary Williams.


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oosing modern, comfortable and convenient housing has never been easier for Maryland students. Or h maybe it’s never been harder, amid the opening of a new high-rise, a building boom on Route 1 and a new option allowing mixed-gender apartments.

Oakland Hall to open Oakland Hall will open as part of the Denton Community on North Campus this fall, the first new residence hall built at Maryland since New Leonardtown in 1982. The nine-floor building will house 700 students in two-bedroom suites. Oakland Hall is expected to earn LEED Gold certification, acknowledging its environmentally friendly features: locally sourced building materials; energy-efficient appliances and lighting; and water-conserving kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Every floor features laundry facilities, study areas and lounges, and trash and recycling rooms, and the building’s HVAC systems will also provide air conditioning to Denton and Easton halls.

Mixed-gender housing The university last fall officially rolled out a program allowing male and female upperclass students to share apartments in the Courtyards and South Campus Commons. “It’s really designed for friends to live together,” says Dennis Passarella-George, assistant director of housing partnerships. Students apply in groups to share units with individual bedrooms and multiple bathrooms, and parents serve as lease guarantors. Department of Resident Life staff members help set residents’ expectations about issues including guests, privacy and safety. In Fall 2010, about 50 students participated.

Route 1, reinvigorated A remarkable spate of private construction along Route 1 near campus is adding thousands of units for Maryland students. University View, which opened in 2005 with more than 1,000 beds, added another 517 in the fall. The Varsity will open this fall with 901 beds, while the Enclave at 8700 will offer more than 400. And Mazza GrandMarc opened last August with 627. Passarella-George says the construction has helped meet the high demand for undergraduate housing and allows commuters to live close to campus. The growth, he adds, is a tribute to cooperation between the university; the College Park community; local, county and state officials; and the developers.


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photos by john t. consoli

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right idea for leftovers A Maryland junior’s efforts to take leftover food from the dining halls “to go” is helping to feed homeless people in Washington, D.C. Evan Ponchick, a double major in supply chain management and operations management, and a small army of volunteers delivered more than 5,000 meals this semester to the nonprofit So Others Might Eat after collecting unpurchased leftovers from the South Campus Dining Hall. Ponchick calls the donations, such as pizza, pasta and vegetables, “unavoidable food waste” because Dining Services reuses what it can. He credits its employees with becoming more conscious about sustainability while helping the hungry. He began the initiative in the fall by dropping off about 2,000 meals collected Friday nights with his service fraternity, Alphi Phi Omega. This past semester, Ponchick welcomed student support from across campus, and he hopes to next expand the effort to the Diner. A new arm is soliciting College Park restaurants to seek donations, one more step in taking his Food Recovery Network nationwide. “The best part is hands-on seeing the impact I’m making on the world, one chicken tender at a time,” he says. —LB

average meals served in a day

3050 @South Campus dining hall


@the diner Evan Ponchick (right), with peers from service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, the Student Government Association, Hillel and the Love Movement, takes unpurchased food from the South Campus Dining Hall to a D.C. homeless shelter.

photos by john t. consoli; scarf knitted by mira azarm

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Quidditch Team Recreates Potter Magic Quidditch, the sport of wizards

and witches in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, has cast a spell over a group of Maryland students— even if broomsticks don’t take flight in the Muggle (nonmagical) world. About 30 Harry Potter junkies and athletes have formed a club team that competed last semester in the International Quidditch Association’s World Cup in New York City. Now members are looking to strengthen their roster while nurturing their Pottermania. “It just brings the world alive,” says founding member Valerie Fischman ’11. The sport, now sweeping across colleges and high schools, has been adapted for fans lacking flight skills. Players hold a broom between their legs, and those hit by “bludgers” run to and from their team’s goal hoops to simulate time lost by falling from a broomstick. The prize of the “snitch” isn’t a whizzing golden orb, but someone dressed flamboyantly who gets chased around McKeldin Mall by the “seeker.” Maryland’s team practices three times a week and has bonded off the field, having weekly dinners, a Yule ball and a planned outing in July to the final movie’s premiere. “It’s great to make obscure Harry Potter references all the time,” says team President Logan Anbinder ’12, (above). “Everyone will get them and appreciate them.” —LB


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terp online



we’re curious. we’re creative. we’re critical thinkers.

see our bonus web content to discover more on how our students, faculty and alumni are changing the world.

class notes Lacy Gilmer ’10, a veterinary student at the University of Florida, went to Thailand and Vietnam in May to visit veterinary schools, clouded leopard breeding programs and elephant sanctuaries—and do a little scuba diving.

Tricia (Burrows) Cecil ’04 and James Cecil ’02 announce the birth of their son, Harrison Lane, on Oct. 12, 2010. His parents, who wed at Memorial Chapel in 2005, report that he can’t wait to attend his first football game this fall.

Casey Rice ‘05 and Jason Scott ’03 got engaged in front of the Testudo in front of McKeldin Library.

and the winners are After you’ve read our feature chronicling how students learning about philanthropy gave away $20,000 in the fall, read our follow-up on the choices made by students in the spring class just a few weeks ago: www.terp.umd.edu/winners.


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Two projects produced by Todd Ehrlich ’86 have been nominated for Emmy awards. The specials “Tunnel to Towers” and “The Yankee Canyon of Hero’s Parade” both aired live on WCBS-TV. Ehrlich, president of T-Line TV, has won three other Emmys. terp.umd.edu/classnotes

we swear, he’s in Wallace D. Loh was sworn in as the university’s president on April 28. You can see the highlights of the inaugural festivities at www.terp.umd.edu/inaugural.

engagement photo by melissa manzione; INAUGURAL PLACE SETTING PHOTO BY JOHN T. CONSOLI

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ask Anne Questions for Anne Turkos, university archivist for University Libraries, may be sent to terpmag@umd.edu.

Q. How long has the Red and White Game been taking place, and how long has it been associated with Maryland Day? —Amanda Parsley Q. Do you know the history of David Simpson ’72 and Charlie Blocher taking down an improperly displayed American flag during the 1970s Vietnam War protests and putting it up the correct way? —Betsy Turner urns out to be quite the tale! A. T

The pair of students faced down an angry crowd of about 300 students outside the Main Administration Building to turn the flag right-side up, winning praise from President Nixon and UM Chancellor Charles Bishop. Nixon hosted the two young men for a visit to the White House, and according to The Diamondback, gave each of them a pair of presidential cufflinks.

A. Spring football games date to at least 1948, when then-coach Jim Tatum held four of them. In 1951, the scrimmage became a contest between current Terps and recent alumni. In 1963, the contest returned to being an intrasquad scrimmage, with the first usage of “red” and “white” to describe the teams appearing in 1964. Prior contests called the divided squads “Terps,” “Old Liners” or “Free Staters.” As for Maryland Day, the Red and White Game has been part of this celebration every year except 1999 and 2000.

Football photo courtesy of university archives, Nixon photo courtesy of the nixon presidential library and museum

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Q. Do you know of any examples of fictional graduates in books or movies? —Beth Cavanaugh A. O ne character is “Jackie

Vance,” wife of the director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, on the CBS show “NCIS.” Mr. and Mrs.Vance met at a Maryland basketball game where they saw Len Bias play. Also, “Emily Appleton,” played by actress Helen Mirren (right) in the 2007 movie “National Treasure II: Book of Secrets,” was a math professor at the university. That’s why part of that movie was filmed here.

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gala honorees

On April 9, the Maryland family honored 20 individuals who have made their mark on the university at the 11th annual Alumni Association Awards Gala. They were:

Ravens Exec Plans Winning Experiences for Fans

president’s distinguished alumnus award William E. Mayer ’66, M.B.A. ’67 international alumnus award Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting ’60 outstanding young alumnus award Joshua K. Goldstein ’05 tyser gottwals award John M. Brophy ’71 spirit of maryland Charles ’65 & Judith E. ’66 Iager honorary membership Gertrude H. Crist college/school distinguished alumni awards a. james clark school of engineering Aris Mardirossian ’74, M.S., ’75 agriculture and natural resources John F. Soper ’81, M.S. ’83 architecture, planning & preservation Stephen T. Ayers ’85 arts and humanities Donald A. Ritchie M.A. ’69, Ph.D. ’75 athletics Robert W. Smith ’63 behavioral and social sciences Ellen L.S. Koplow ’80 computer, mathematical and natural sciences Simon A. Levin Ph.D. ’64 education Jody K. Olsen M.S.W. ’72, Ph.D. ’79 philip merrill college of journalism Amal Mudallali Ph.D. ’97 public health Joy L. Bauer ’86

He joined the Ravens in 2000, when his lifelong friend Steve Bisciotti bought the team.

asking Mark Burdett ’81 for advice. As vice president of

Now his job covers everything from the generation of

corporate sales and development for the Baltimore Ravens,

business and broadcast partnerships to being on point for

Burdett ensures that each fan’s game-day experience is

non-Ravens events held at M&T Bank Stadium, including the

memorable—and marketable.

NCAA men’s lacrosse championship and Maryland football

Burdett’s career began in radio and TV sales, where his responsibilities included selling sponsorship packages to

match-ups against Navy. But most importantly for him are Ravens game days.

public policy Joan B. Rohlfing M.P.M. ’86

and setting up broadcasting deals with local sports teams.

“What we do to prepare for the fan experience is what

When he transitioned from the broadcast to the sports

defines the brand. I’m not in the business of selling wins

robert h. smith school of business Robert L. Johnson ’80

side—football specifically—this experience proved to be an

and losses, but an attachment to our brand,” Burdett says.

undergraduate studies Mark Burdett ’81

coming off of a 12-4 season, he’ll be doing his part behind

recognized at the 11th annual Alumni Awards Gala. As an

the scenes to get them to Indianapolis next year.

alumnus who admittedly got a 4.0 in fun while a student,

For more information on the gala and honorees, visit alumni.umd.edu/gala2011.

The next time you’re hosting 70,000 of your closest friends for a cocktail party, consider


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asset, along with his gregarious nature. And with the Ravens

“The point where you recognize the confetti is coming down on you, it feels pretty special—and fleeting,” he says.

An undergraduate studies graduate, Burdett was

he says, “I’m humbled and thankful to be singled out for this award.” —MLB

burdett photo by phil hoffman; ravens logo courtesy of mark burdett

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a new career, all sewn up Her Spring 2011 dresses are classic, With a background in life sciences and a sleeveless sheaths created from handsuccessful career in business, patterned, intricate prints on richly colored Camilla Olson ’75 silk. For the show, hand-pieced “frames” didn’t think she draped over the dresses for a combination possessed “the art that was inspired by the 1980s sci-fi movie gene.” Then she “Blade Runner” and samurai culture. visited the Academy Simon Ungless, director of the academy’s of Art University School of Fashion, sees promise in her work. with her daughter. “She understands that applying innovative Olson, then textile treatments and fabrications to her a biotech venture classic style offers something unique and capitalist, was smitten by ultimately desirable.” the sewing labs in the San In fact, Betsy Franco, mom of 2011 Francisco school. The large spaces with sketches and fabric everywhere felt right. Oscar co-host and nominee James Franco, wore an Olson dress to the awards ceremony So at age 57, she—and not daughter Cate— in February. enrolled. Olson says her intense research training at On her new path as a designer, Olson Maryland as a microbiology major shapes her specializes in clothing that “encourages process. “I love doing visual research and I do women to experience their own exceptional it scientifically.” presence,” she says. As part of her graduation, Still, working long hours in a lab or even she was selected to present her first collection starting five companies couldn’t prepare her during New York’s famed Fashion Week at for the fashion world’s demands. Lincoln Center last September. “This is harder. All my life I’ve kind of “It was really cool, but getting there is just poked fun at artists: ‘That’s not really a job.’ a toe in the door,” says Olson. But we never sleep. It takes a long time to create,” she says. Adding with a laugh, “It’s a karma thing; this is my public mea culpa.” —MAB To see Olson’s work, visit www.camillaolson.com.

Headshot Photo by Bob Toy; Runway Photography: Randy Brooke; Styling: Michael Carbaugh; Show Production: Simon Ungless, AAU; Fabric Courtesy of Camilla Olson

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a taste of revolution Ori Zohar ’07 has discovered the coolest way to support his favorite causes. He and a family friend created Guerrilla Ice Cream, a nonprofit venture that unites their passions for social justice and innovative, artisanal food. “We’re taking a fun and interesting approach to a food that you can get anywhere,” Zohar says. Combining Zohar’s business know-how and partner Ethan Frisch’s confectionary skills, they started selling their small-batch ice cream from a cart at street fairs and markets in Manhattan. Both have day jobs in New York City (Zohar works in advertising, Frisch is a graduate student in international conflict studies), but they put their social lives on hold to focus on the business. Their flavors are inspired by global political movements and their interest in unusual taste combinations. Libertação—a chocolate and port wine ice cream topped with brûléed frozen bananas and cashews—gives a nod to Guinea-Bissau’s fight for independence. Another hit, 8888 Uprising—a mango, lemongrass and palm sugar sorbet topped with coconut and lime zest—references the pro-democracy movement in Burma. All profits go to support organizations working for social justice, and Zohar (inset, right) and Frisch (inset, left) use organic and sustainable products whenever possible. Zohar says his marketing background has helped him communicate the products in a way that resonates with people. During his years at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, he founded the Maryland Undergraduate Society of Entrepreneurs and, with support from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, started a business that sells slightly used commencement regalia to graduating seniors. With Guerilla, he and Frisch weren’t expecting to turn a profit last year, so they were pleased to give $4,000 to the Street Vendor Project, which promotes the rights of New York’s street vendors. Guerrilla Ice Cream was also a finalist for the 2010 Vendy Awards, New York City’s annual competition for the best street food vendors, and has been invited to create special flavors for events like one hosted by celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Now, Zohar and Frisch are looking to expand their reach beyond the street cart and their ice cream-making classes. Next stop: restaurants and grocery stores. —KB www.guerrillaicecream.com


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One of Guerrilla Ice Cream’s most popular flavors last year was Libertação—a chocolate and port wine ice cream topped with brûléed frozen bananas and cashews. credit

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Career Tool Makes Good Impression


Using engaging text and colorful illustrations, the children’s book Jemma’s Got the Travel Bug by Susan Glick ’76, M.A. ’82 introduces us to a young diamondback terrapin who leaves her familiar cove and swims into the open waters of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.

Objective: To write a compelling resume and cover letter that will captivate potential employers and land that dream job. Problem: Where to begin? The Maryland Alumni Association offers a solution in Optimal Resume, its newest benefit for members. “It is a great starting point for entry-level professionals, or for anyone who is preparing for a career transition,” says Kourtney Kleine Temple, coordinator for student and young alumni programs. Optimal Resume is a central portal to resume management: The software includes coaching, style features and samples for building professional resumes, cover letters and resume websites. Alumni association members can browse resumes based on career field and experience level (early, mid-level and experienced). They can receive tips on writing engaging letters depending on the stage—application, thank you or follow up—of their job search. From choosing among sample templates, they can develop websites that include their resumes, cover letters and links to networking sites like LinkedIn.

The options are plenty—and convenient. Members can work from any computer with an Internet connection. The University Career Center, which collaborated with the alumni association on the software program, offers Optimal Resume accounts to Maryland students, and Kleine Temple looks forward to students transitioning their accounts from the university to the alumni association after they graduate. “It’s the beginning of a lifelong connection to the university,” she says. For more information about career services and to join the alumni association, visit alumni.umd.edu. —BAM

“It is a great starting point for entry-level professionals, or for anyone who is preparing for a career transition.” —kourtney kleine temple, alumni assocation

optimal resume illustration by brian g. Payne; guerrilla ice cream photos courtesy of ori zohar.

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David Biespiel M.F.A ’91 cracks open the creative process and invites readers to take a fresh look at the mysterious pathways of the imagination in Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces. Based on his 2009 lecture at the Rainier Writing Workshop, the book offers a captivating glimpse into the inner life of some gifted writers and painters.

In The Grand Hall Character Ball, Lynmarie McCullough ’94 invites young readers to join Emily and Kogel, a friendly elf, as they make their way to the ball. First, though, they have to make their way past interesting characters including an indifferent rabbit, the Imagination Fish and an evil witch who attempts to lead them astray.

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m-file tracking biodiversity for fun and science


Maryland researchers seek to capitalize on human nature in order to provide a detailed accounting of Mother Nature. Faculty and graduate students in the College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, and the Department of Computer Science are developing Biotracker, a National Science Foundation-funded project that encourages everyday citizens to snap digital photos and collect other data on flora and fauna worldwide. Assistant Professor Derek Hansen says Biotracker will help merge “people’s innate desire to hunt down and collect things” with the precise rules used in computer calculations, called algorithms. He compared it to geocaching, a game that uses hand-held global positioning devices to find hidden objects, except Biotracker has the added “cache” of benefiting science.

“We want to develop technologybased motivational tools that inspire people to collect information useful for other scientists in identifying new species, or in tracking the migration patterns of known ones,” he says. The Maryland team expects the unique data from Biotracker to be incorporated into the Smithsonian Institution’s Encyclopedia of Life, an online repository that aims to document all of the Earth’s estimated 2 million living organisms. Plans call for testing a prototype of Biotracker in India, where the population is already inclined to use technology and a rich diversity of plants and animals can offer troves of information. —TV

University of Maryland faculty are the source news media turn to for expertise—from politics and public policy to society and culture to science and technology. “It’s like you are saying, would you like to have some cake? Yes. Would you like to eat your cake? Yes. Ah, they want to have their cake and eat it too!” Steven Kull, Center on Policy Attitudes, on its study finding most polls on the national deficit don’t ask respondents to make tradeoffs, in

“We had heard everyone saying this stuff is going to be too diluted to get to America, but we wanted to check ourselves. Basically we think this is quite benign for North America, and unless the situation on the ground changes dramatically, there is no reason to change that.”


Ross J. Salawitch, atmospheric

April 25, 2011.

and Oceanic science, on the risk of radiation from Japan reaching the U.S., washingtonpost. com, March 23, 2011.

“Global competitiveness [in the tax code] will boost U.S. job creation, but one-off is not the way to do tax policy. Think about what’s good policy and do that, don’t just do this one-off.” Phillip Swagel, public policy, on tax “holiday” proposals for large companies, National Journal, March 25, 2011.

“It used to be only college kids did it, but people are increasingly finding that the only way to live is with roommates. I don’t think that it means that we’re getting along any better, or that we like each other any more. It’s a response to the current squeeze.” Frances Goldscheider, sociology, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 9, 2011.


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Biotracker illustration by Catherine nichols; Refrigerator illustration by Christie Liberatore

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Teaching the Lessons of History Bruce VanSledright, an 18-year professor in the College of Education, has spent his career rethinking the teaching and learning of American history in public schools. He advocates replacing the traditional reliance on textbooks and memorization with a more investigative approach, and his research has state and national reach. Terp talked to him about it, and the hobby that he says keeps him sane.

TERP: You started out as a middle and high school history and social studies teacher before earning your graduate degrees. How did that experience influence your research focus? VANSLEDRIGHT: I got my bachelor’s in American history, and my classroom experience was not turning out like I wanted. I had a lot of questions, so I went to graduate school. But I found a lot more questions there, and I kept going back to American history (education)— I couldn’t get away from it. TERP: You say in your latest book that the way we typically teach history to schoolchildren “is largely broken.” Why? VANSLEDRIGHT: America is a conflicted

TERP: Why is the reform model, of having students analyze accounts of events in U.S. history, rather than hear a lecture or read a textbook, more effective? VANSLEDRIGHT: It puts kids in charge of their own learning by having them consider important questions: What caused the American Revolution? Why did people starve at Jamestown? Rather than consuming others’ ideas, they’re producing their own.

TERP: You’ve been handcrafting wooden desks, end tables and chairs since working at a highend furniture manufacturer in college, and you still accept occasional commissions. What’s the appeal? VANSLEDRIGHT: The nature of research is it never has a conclusion. There are always more questions. Furniture is not like that. I know when it’s done. It keeps me mentally balanced.

TERP: You’re juggling several research projects with colleagues and graduate students, including studying the effectiveness of the National Park Service’s educational programs and Web content for teachers. What do they have in common? VANSLEDRIGHT: We’re trying to understand the degree to which teachers’ epistemic beliefs— such as their insistence that a textbook is right—get in the way of their understanding. We confront these beliefs with some intellectual tools. It’s been a lot of fun.

place. In telling a story about who we were, we’re conflicted about what it says about who we want to be. Instead of facing those conflicting forces, we’ve tried to sanitize the American “story” into one narrative with right and wrong answers. The consequences are that kids dislike history, they don’t remember history that well, and kids of color get turned off by the story, which tends to be whitewashed, almost literally.

Bruce VanSledright sits behind a chest he crafted from butternut (walnut) wood given to him by a close friend and olive ash burl veneers that his late father rescued from a burn pile. Though he juggles teaching and several research projects, he still occasionally takes commissions. photo by John T. consoli

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m-file From Battlefield to Boardroom Maj. Gen. George G. Meade took command of the Union Army of the Potomac just three days before the Battle of Gettysburg, yet his troops faced no crisis of leadership. In the midst of the Civil War’s bloodiest confrontation, Meade’s decision to call a war council and allow his top generals to help shape strategy changed the course of history. A new partnership between the Robert H. Smith School of Business and the Gettysburg Foundation recalls the challenges facing Meade and other battlefield commanders to provide executives with leadership lessons that apply in the modern workplace. “We have so many characters to build on,” says Greg Hanifee, executive director of the Office of Executive Programs at the Smith School. “It’s an emotional experience. If people internalize what happened at Gettysburg, they gain a new perspective on their own challenges and obstacles.”


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The customizable “In the Footsteps of Leaders” curriculum builds on a 4-year-old foundation program by adding the expertise of business school faculty. Smith sessions last from two days to a week and the content depends on goals—including improving teamwork, conflict management and innovation—identified by each client. All programs start with a seven- to eighthour battlefield tour, followed by a chance to tour the museum and visitor center, as well as the national cemetery where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Participants also reflect on the lessons from the classroom. Leadership Program Manager Sue Boardman, a licensed battlefield guide, helps Smith faculty determine which leaders to highlight. On a given day, she might talk about Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who failed to adapt his communication style when two of his top three

commanders were replaced and missed an opportunity to gain the high ground, or Union Col. Joshua Chamberlain, whose empathy convinced potential mutineers to remain committed to the cause. Boardman says witnessing these decisions as a corporate unit brings co-workers together in a new way: “They’re a ‘regiment’ by the time they march across Pickett’s Charge.” James M. Sullivan ’81, senior vice president of IT solutions provider Force 3, brought more than 20 employees to Gettysburg in 2009 and 2010 to study strategic thinking, leadership style, team building and communication. “Making parallels to how these same processes affect our business environment was an extremely enlightening and effective learning experience,” he says. —KM

need photo credit info

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new center to examine the new america Nearly 250 years after this nation was founded as an immigrant society, the latest U.S. census shows that immigrants and their children made up three-fourths of the last decade’s population growth. A new university initiative, the Center for the History of the New America, will explore this phenomenon, looking at who we are by examining who we were. “Understanding the United States as a nation of immigrants is critical to any appreciation of the new America,” says Ira Berlin, distinguished university professor of history and co-founder of the project. The center hopes to bring in scholars, students and policymakers from around the world interested in how a resurgence of American immigration interconnects with the underlying currents of global social change, Berlin says.

Closer to home, an array of immigrants in Prince George’s County—with large local communities from El Salvador, Nigeria, the Philippines and Ethiopia, to name but a few—offers ample opportunity to gather a rich library of oral histories and other data, says Julie Greene, professor of history who helped launch the center. Greene expects the project to draw strong interest from across academic disciplines, with proposed graduate fellowships attracting not only history majors, but also researchers and scholars from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, public health, economics and more to get involved. “Looking at how Americans relate to one another and how society should function in a way that treats everyone with respect and dignity is important,” she says. —TV

U.S. table-and-chair illustration by Brian G. Payne; Civil War Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-B817- 7252; Photo Illustration by Catherine Nichols; Running Shoe Courtesy of Jae Kun Shim

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off & running When kinesiology Assistant Professor Jae Kun Shim and research fellow Prabhav Saraswat go on their daily runs, they’re thinking about work with every step. Can a better sneaker prevent running injuries? And why aren’t the specialized athletic shoes already on the market doing that? The answer, says Saraswat, lies in research that goes beyond improving performance to focus on shoe-related injuries. He and Shim are doing such work through a collaboration with athletic apparel powerhouse Under Armour, founded by Kevin Plank ’96. Through a $100,000 gift, the company is sponsoring Saraswat’s two-year fellowship. Under Armour donated another $489,000 in shoes and equipment. Shim’s Neuromechanics Laboratory received $100,000 from the university’s Maryland Industrial Partnerships and a total of $90,000 from the Department of Kinesiology, Division of Research and School of Public Health. Shim says other companies in the $3.1 billion running shoe industry have approached him. “But Under Armour appreciates the biomechanics and physiology of it,” he says. As part of the research, 100 test subjects wearing different types of shoes designed by Shim and Under Armour dashed down a 25-meter wooden runway with 12 infrared cameras recording their every move. Sensors in the floor captured the impact. The results created 3-D images and other data for Shim’s team to study. His lab colleagues come from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics and biomechanics, and there’s an orthopedic surgeon in the mix, too. Shim, whose background includes computer science and engineering, says the range of disciplines creates richer research. The goal: sneakers that accommodate runners’ different foot striking patterns. Shim and Saraswat would be among the technology’s beneficiaries: “I’ve gone through a lot of the knee pain and shin splints,” says Saraswat. —MAB

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play-by-play “ If you’re going to do something worthwhile, it’s not going to be easy.” —Randy Edsall

edsall shares playbook for success No more scooters. No earrings, do-rags or ball caps.

basketball camps—he’s planning on making a lot of new

No tardiness. And no excuses.

ones for Terps fans. Building aggressively on a 9–4 program

Maryland football players started spring practice with

to recruit local players who fit his ideal profile: bright, ethi-

hopes his military approach to coaching will lead to wins on

cal, driven athletes who like to work hard.

the field and higher standards for academic performance. “I demand a lot from players because I want them to

alma mater. He spent three seasons as secondary coach

don’t believe you can be successful without preparation,

for the Jacksonville Jaguars, then took the University of

dedication and hard work.”

Connecticut’s football team to five bowl games and a BCS

Rock, Pa., he says his fan allegiance has always been with

contest. A former all-state high school athlete in football, basket-

Maryland. He saw his first college game at Bryd Stadium 40

ball and baseball, Edsall stresses fundamentals and holds

years ago.

his players accountable.

“It was raining like crazy that day,” he recalls of the 1971

The coach’s biggest challenge for the coming season?

home opener against Villanova. “I remember Larry Marshall

“To get everybody to be a team. You have to create trust,

took a punt back,” he says with a grin.

enthusiasm, make sure they have the right attitude, and

While Edsall appreciates his Maryland memories—as a kid in the ’70s, he also attended Lefty Driesell’s summer


It’s a formula Edsall has been developing since he launched his coaching career in 1980 at Syracuse, his

achieve and succeed at the highest level,” Edsall says. “I

Though Edsall grew up 70 miles from campus in Glen

ranked No. 23 in last year’s Associated Press poll, he plans

a new head coach and a set of stiff new rules. Randy Edsall

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be mentally tough. If you’re going to do something that’s worthwhile, it’s not going to be easy.” —MLB

coach edsall and american voices photos by john t. consoli

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spotlight If These Portraits Could Talk What would you ask Henry Ford, Dolley Madison, James Dean or Lena Horne if you had the chance? “American Voices,” a collaboration between the university and the National Portrait Gallery, provided just that opportunity to museum visitors in April. Maryland theatre students, professional actors and Washington, D.C., high school students teamed up to stage interactive performances featuring a dozen notable Americans whose portraits are on display at the museum. The actors, in full character, stood in front

with the gallery’s Portraits Alive! program that brings in local high school students to perform monologues as figures in the museum. The actors spent a year developing their characters, researching their life history, legacy, appearance, mannerisms and voice. Their preparation included staying in character 15 minutes each day, combined with nine months of rehearsals on campus. “It is this magical process, a connection of body and mind,” Felbain explains. “When the body shifts to become someone else, people actually start thinking as the characters.”

of their respective characters’ portraits and bantered with the audience, street theater-style. Then they convened in the gallery’s Great Hall to discuss contemporary subjects ranging from the incivility of American politics to how technology is contributing to social isolation. The director, Leslie Felbain, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, joined forces with the gallery’s youth and family program coordinator, Geri Provost-Lyons, to create the program with a seed grant from the university and the Smithsonian Institution. It integrates Felbain’s college course in character development, in which students study and portray noteworthy Americans,

Kiara Tinch ’12, who portrayed Horne, said, “I feel like Lena is a part of my family now.” Conversely, professional actor Matt Sparacino said, after probing Ford’s values, “I do not think I would have liked him.” If only Felbain could ask the wealthy industrialist for patronage: She’s now exploring ways to fund an international tour of the show. “I hope people saw how similar things still are,” script writer Zachary Fernebok said of the D.C. performance. “Whether it’s the threats to the environment or obstacles to gay or civil rights, things haven’t really changed that much.” —KB

Maryland students recreated historical American figures (from top, left) Lena Horne, Rachel Carson, Dolley Madison and Charles Lindbergh. The entire group (left) posed before one of its performances.

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bles that perform adventuresome compositions.

cross-country audition process, NOI participants coalesce into ensem-

of professional development and music making. Chosen by a rigorous,

talented young musicians to Maryland’s School of Music for a month

The National Orchestral Institute and Festival, or NOI, brings together

Various dates, 8 p.m. Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center $27 ($22 for subscribers)

National Orchestral Institute concerts

Program: “Symphony No. 1 in C Major” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Towards Osiris” by Matthias Pintscher and “Symphony No. 1, Titan” by Gustav Mahler.

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Philharmonic Concert June 18

Program: “Symphony No. 2 in D Major” by Johannes Brahms and “The Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky.

Carlo Rizzi, conductor

Philharmonic Concert July 2

Program: “Rienzi Overture” by Richard Wagner, “Symphony No. 41, Jupiter” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and “The Miraculous Mandarin” by Bela Bartok.

Michael Stern, conductor

The NOI musicians take command, performing without a conductor. Program: “The Birds” by Ottorino Respighi, “Concerto for 7 Winds” by Frank Martin, “Masques et Bergamasques” by Gabriele Faure and “Concert Romanesc” by Gyorgy Ligeti.

Philharmonic Concert June 25

Chamber Orchestra June 11

MarylandLive Other free highlights include a faculty chamber recital at 8 p.m. June 9, student chamber recitals at 7 p.m. June 10 and 16 and open philharmonic rehearsals at 9:30 a.m. June 17 and 24 and July 1.

This is part of the NOI New Lights Initiative, which re-envisions the concert experience to increase engagement between the audience, musicians and music.

NOI members perform a concert of their own creation in groups of four to 15, spotlighting vital composers of our time. The program includes Magnus Lindberg's “Souvenir,” recently premiered by the New York Philharmonic.

New Lights concert June 30, 8 p.m. Ina and Jack Kay Theatre FREE

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The university and city of College Park team up to help the community celebrate the Fourth with a bang and some boogie. The rock ‘n’ roll band the Fabulous Hubcaps will perform at 7, with a huge fireworks display beginning at dusk. Concessions will be available, but guests are welcome to bring snacks as well as chairs. Alcohol is prohibited.

||  www.music.umd.edu/noi  |  www.nationalhistoryday.org/contest.htm  |  www.alumni.umd.edu

July 4, 7 p.m. Lot 1, adjacent to Campus Drive off Adelphi Road

Independence Day celebration

More than 5,000 of the nation’s best history elementary and secondary school students converge to present their exhibits, papers, websites, performances and documentaries. Professional historians and educators will judge the entries.

June 12–16 Stamp Student Union FREE

National History Day contest

Photo by Stan Barouh

The Maryland Alumni Association is taking its Terrapin spirit on the road. Join fellow Terps in the Big Apple for a night featuring cuisine by several of New York City’s finest restaurants, a variety of spirits, live and silent auctions and a surprise sweepstakes—all in support   of Tri-State-area student scholarships and alumni   association programming.

June 9, 6:30 p.m. The Hammerstein

Maryland in Manhattan: An Evening   to Celebrate Alumni & Friends

think. move. live. by tom ventsias


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maryland researcher “decodes” the thought process used for physical activity

the simplest of physical tasks,

such as turning the page to read this article, requires an intense burst of brain activity that rivals the information-driven flurry on Wall Street or a space shuttle mission. It happens in milliseconds and requires little conscious thought. But for stroke victims and amputees with diminished motor-sensory skills, this process can be difficult or impossible. An electrical engineer in the School of Public Health, in conjunction with a top national lab and a medical school in Baltimore, hopes to offer these people newfound mobility and dexterity. He’s conducting pioneering research using data gleaned from electroencephalography, or EEG, to develop a brain-computer interface that could soon control modern prosthetic devices. EEG externally measures electrical activity in the brain, and Associate Professor of Kinesiology José “Pepe” Contreras-Vidal says his team is the first to reconstruct voluntary natural movement from EEG signals in real time, “essentially decoding human brain activity that is used for physical movement.” While similar technology under development allows users to “think” commands that are sent to sophisticated upper- or lower-limb prosthetics, the device that Contreras-Vidal is building will be the first that is noninvasive, requiring no surgical implants. “Our interface requires only a fabric cap and maybe some goo on your head from where the sensors are attached,” he says.


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University researchers are developing noninvasive brain-computer interface that could soon control sophisticated prosthetic devices. Shown are bioengineering doctoral student Steve Graff ’10 (seated, with cap), kinesiology doctoral student Alessandro Presacco (background) and lead researcher José Contreras-Vidal (left).

There are more than 1.8 million amputees in the United States, according to the National Limb Loss Information Center. At least 1,600 of them are U.S. veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their rehabilitation is a priority of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the military’s research and development entity known for advancing farreaching science, including an early version of the Internet. Contreras-Vidal and his team are in the preliminary stages of pairing their EEG-based findings with research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. There, engineers and medical experts are working on the DARPA-funded Modular Prosthetics Limb, or MPL, a next-generation robotic arm that functions like a normal limb. “They are building the arm, and we will work on one of the options for the control system,” says Contreras-Vidal. Though EEG monitoring is safer than other approaches, scientists had deemed it unreliable for a brain-computer interface, mainly because they believed the human skull blocked much of the detailed brain activity needed for precisioncontrolled prosthetics. A paper Contreras-Vidal published in the Journal of Neuroscience last March turned that notion on end, showing that he could capture and decode the lower frequencies of EEG signals emanating from the scalp, producing data comparable to almost any invasive method—data that could drive complex robotic devices like the MPL. “People were reluctant to believe that EEG had new things to offer because it had been studied for so long,” says Jacob Vogelstein, a senior biomedical engineer at the Applied Physics Laboratory who is leading the MPL research. “But Pepe had a different viewpoint, and in that it somewhat matched my own, I was very interested in talking once I read his study.” Contreras-Vidal’s journey began when he was 21 and an engineering undergraduate in his native Mexico. His mother suffered a brain aneurism and fell into a coma for almost a year before passing away. “It was hard on the family, and frustrating that you felt like you couldn’t do anything,” he says.


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photography by John T. Consoli credit

5/12/11 1:05 PM

“our interface requires only a fabric cap and maybe some goo on your head from where the sensors are attached.”

Contreras-Vidal decided to focus his graduate studies on neuroscience, using his skills in signal processing to develop detailed computer models of the brain. His postdoctoral clinical —josé contreras-vidal research focused on movement disorders, mostly Parkinson’s disease, and he began to learn advanced brain imaging techniques. He arrived at UMD in 1999, and later was For the past year, Forrester and the UMD granted a yearlong sabbatical to go to France and team—funded by a seed grant program between study the use of functional magnetic resonance the two institutions—have tracked the neural imaging, or fMRI, to help develop real-time activity of people on a treadmill doing precise models of brain activity. He contemplated how tasks like stepping over dotted lines. Once to use his distinctive blend of scientific skills— again, the researchers are matching specific engineering, neuroscience and brain imaging—to brain activity recorded in real time with exact make a difference. lower-limb movements. “I knew I wanted to develop a brain-comThis data could help stroke victims in several puter interface that could help people,” he says. ways, Forrester says. One is a prosthetic device, To make that happen, the main challenge— called an “anklebot,” that stores data from a what sets his research apart—was not recording normal human gait and assists partially parathe brain data, which the fMRI and EEG do easlyzed people. ily, but analyzing it in relation to movement. People who are less mobile commonly suffer Back at Maryland, Contreras-Vidal enlisted the from other health issues such as obesity, diabetes aid of a half-dozen doctoral students from kineor cardiovascular problems, Forrester says, “so we siology, bioengineering and the neuroscience and want to get [stroke survivors] up and moving by cognitive science program. They devised a set of whatever means possible.” experiments in which subjects walked on treadThe second use of the EEG data in stroke mills or touched random buttons on a computer victims is more complex, yet offers exciting screen while wearing a fabric cap with 64 sensors possibilities. “By decoding the motion of a recording EEG data, while other sensors picked normal gait,” Contreras-Vidal says, “we can up arm, leg, hand and foot motion. then try and teach stroke victims to think “We were able to match specific brain activcertain ways and match their own EEG signals ity with specific motor functions without any with the normal signals.” This could “retrain” time delay,” says Alessandro Presacco, a secondhealthy areas of the brain in what is known year doctoral student in Contreras-Vidal’s as neuroplasticity. Neural Engineering and Smart Prosthetics Lab One potential method for retraining comes who is developing the algorithms to decode the from the Maryland research team’s newest memvoluminous data. ber, Steve Graff ’10, a first-year bioengineering doctoral student. He envisions a virtual reality game that matches real EEG data with on-screen Contreras-Vidal says his brain interface will characters. “It gives us a way to train someone to come in “two flavors.” One is for restoration of think the right thoughts to generate movement function and includes robotics work with the from digital avatars. If they can do that, then they Johns Hopkins lab. The other is for rehabilitation, can generate thoughts to move a device,” he says. specifically for stroke victims with brain injuries Graff brings a unique perspective to the that affect motor-sensory control. Maryland team: He has congenital muscular “There is a big push in brain science to dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. The advances understand what exercise does in terms of motor he’s working on could allow him to use both learning or motor retraining of the human hands while operating his motorized chair, brain,” says Larry Forrester Ph.D. ’97, an associ- whether putting on a jacket, dialing his cell ate professor of physical therapy and rehabilitaphone or—he hopes—clutching a football. tion at the University of Maryland School of “I see the research we are doing as giving Medicine in Baltimore. people like me hope,” he says. terp

illustrations By Brian G. Payne credit

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Part of the research involves matching EEG data in real time with specific motorsensory control points.

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Cataloging Grief by lauren brown

Maryland Interns Archive Mementos Left at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Antoine-Louis Barye’s 1865 “Walking Lion; Striding Lion” sculpture at the Walters Art Museum could one day benefit from the new treatment, says Walters conservation scientist Glenn Gates.


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by lauren bro wn

Maryland Interns Archive Mementos Left at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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One day in 1989, grief came in the shape of a plastic Snoopy doll.  The Marine Corps sergeant rank insignia had been drawn on its arms, and the names of the cities Da Nang and Phu Bai had been scrawled on Snoopy’s feet. On the belly were the words, “To John Thothland, Thanks for being there. —Dan.”  It was left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., with a letter about the good-luck piece that read in part: “He belongs here with my fellow brothers.”  Snoopy spent the next 22 years in a plastic blue storage container, until Janet Donlin ’09 pulled it out and took the first steps in sharing its story. 

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Janet Donlin ’09 (above and below, left) says her archival work with the National Park Service is giving her a better understanding of veterans’ sacrifices.


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The Wall, as it is known, appears to rise out of the Earth itself, the starkest and darkest among the memorials in the nation’s capital. Smooth, impenetrably hard and harshly angled, it doesn’t inspire hope so much as evoke sadness. The polished black granite bears a grim catalog: the names of 58,267 men and women in the U.S. military who died or went missing in the war zone. Since 1984, survivors and strangers alike have come here to pay their respects, to mourn, to say they haven’t forgotten what sacrifice looks like. The Wall draws 4 million people each year, and some of them leave things there: flower bouquets, POWMIA bracelets, medals, battered helmets, letters that make your heart hurt. The National Park Service, or NPS, quietly retrieves these items. Except for the flowers and other perishable items, the agency doesn’t discard the artifacts, but stores and archives them. That’s where the University of Maryland comes in. The NPS awards grants to Maryland and a handful of other colleges to hire interns to identify, label and catalog these mementos, giving them a unique experience in museum archival work while providing a service to the federal government. Paul Shackel, Department of Anthropology chair, has worked with the Park Service for more than five years on this project. He says it’s about how people recall the past, which is key to understanding how people think about and remember the Vietnam War. “There’s a lot to be learned from material culture,” Shackel says. “This project can help students understand the trauma involved in the war, and they’re also learning about collections—what happens to an artifact, how to care for it.” The work takes place at a NPS museum storage facility that looks like the inspiration for the final scene of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Blue plastic boxes stacked 12 high line shelf after towering shelf, each carefully labeled and filled with a week’s worth of Wall mementos. Under the care of curator and Vietnam veteran Duery Felton, they share space


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with thousands of other items from the NPS and Department of the Interior collections—items that could go back on public display anytime: Gen. Robert E. Lee’s rusty bathtub, Frederick Douglass’ personal library and countless pieces of furniture, artwork and textiles that have a place in American history. Everything in the repository, from the lowliest Budweiser can left at the Wall to the most fragile Colonial spinning wheel, is stored in a temperatureand humidity-controlled environment to protect their conditions. It reflects a respect for the usually modest Wall artifacts. Bob Sonderman, director of the 60,000-square-foot facility, even now chokes up when he shows visitors a selection of notes and other items now encased in glass. “The objects can really talk to you,” he says. “They really can.” Most of the artifacts in the collection, however, haven’t been handled or catalogued since being removed from the Wall. The intern program allows the NPS to reduce that backlog. Janet Donlin, who majored in anthropology and history at Maryland, takes personal photos of many of the items she enters into the NPS database, “just to remember them.” Her parents, grandfathers, uncle, sister and cousins have served or still do serve in the military. “This makes me feel like I understand their experience more,” she says of her internship. “My grandfather doesn’t talk about his time in Vietnam at all. I like to think that the letters I read here are kind of like his stories.” Donlin also likes thinking that the items she catalogs—such as the Snoopy, the Texas flag paired with plastic yellow roses and the helmet decorated with aces and spades that shared one bin—will resonate with others who may someday see them. Zachary Singer ’10, who finished his internship in January and is now a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of Connecticut, was grateful to be a part of a project “saving America’s culture history.” He normally studies the prehistory of North

America, so he also appreciated the opportunity to work with contemporary artifacts. He and Sonderman note that the items people leave at the memorial have evolved over time. In the first years, veterans spontaneously set down key chains or can openers or letters they’d kept since the war, but as years have passed, the personal connection has grown more distant and the items are left more symbolically. One group recreated a tiger cage, or bamboo cell where American POWs were tortured. A group of veterans from Wisconsin parked a gorgeous Harley-Davidson motorcycle, custom airbrushed with war images on its shiny paint, at the Wall after consulting with the Park Service on the donation. The Harley regularly goes on exhibit with other haunting and touching Wall mementos at places such as the Office of Veterans Affairs in New York City or the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Bob Sonderman The inventory the NPS interns are developing will make it easier than ever to select which objects to exhibit publicly—particularly at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Education Center planned next to the Wall. The foundation behind the Wall’s funding and construction is raising money to support “telling the story behind every name” of the fallen. It’s a story told through the mute testimony of the offerings left at this somber shrine. They range from the prosaic—beat-up boots, baseballs, high school yearbooks—to the poignant, like the “return to sender” care package from 1972 that was left at the Wall with a note reading “Charles Stewart—Mom & Dad want you to have these cookies and Kool-Aid. It’s time they gave these to you. They send all their love. — Gary B.” “You never know what you’re going to pull out of a box,” Singer says. terp 

“ The objects can really talk to you.”

The National Park Service’s Sonderman says the Wall artifacts (below) that the interns are cataloging make up “one of the finest contemporary museum collections in the United States.”

Vietnam wall photo by vincent rush; other photos by john t. consoli and courtesy of the national park service


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Learning to

By Priya Kumar


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Giving away $20,000 isn’t as easy as it sounds.

A group of Maryland students realized this after debating for 20 minutes whether two-thirds or three-fourths of them had to agree on worthy recipients. The 60 undergraduates voted on that point, then continued the discussion over dinner at the Diner. Though this exchange appears ridiculous in hindsight, it reflects how seriously the students took their task, says sophomore Zach Cohen. “This wasn’t an academic exercise,” he recalls. “This was real.” A university course on philanthropy, “How Will You Make a Difference: The Art and Science of Philanthropy,” is introducing students to its importance in society and in their own lives. The course not only focuses on the latest research in this emerging field, it also supplies the students with cash to support an organization in the local community. A gift from Bruce and Karen ’76 Levenson funded the first course, which launched last spring for students in the College Park Scholars Public Leadership program. A second course for Honors College students was offered this spring, thanks to financial support from the Levensons and the Cora and John H. Davis Foundation. “This has so surpassed any of our initial expectations,” Karen Levenson says. “I think [the experience] really changed them in terms of being able to take these skills and apply them to school and then again in the workplace.”

illustration by patti look

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Besides its obvious social value, philanthropy plays an important part in the nation’s economy. The nonprofit sector grew 31 percent from 1998–2008, and last year, nonprofits received more than

And what better way to learn than by doing? “If you just study philanthropy but you don’t actually engage in it,” says Grimm, “it’s like having a science class with no lab.”

“If you just study philanthropy but you don’t actually engage in it,” says Grimm, “it’s like having a science class with no lab.” $300 billion in philanthropic donations, according to the Urban Institute. “We spend a lot of time studying business and the role of government, but indeed nonprofits and philanthropic organizations are a key player in how all aspects of public life play out,” says Professor of the Practice Robert Grimm, who teaches the course and runs the new Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management Program in the School of Public Policy.

In class, students first reflected on their personal experience with giving. A class debate pitted different philanthropic philosophies against one another: Andrew Carnegie sought to build institutions allowing people to help themselves, while Jane Addams donated directly to the poor. They then researched social issues plaguing local communities. As students, they found common ground in education, but narrowing the idea into a


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what students said concrete goal was harder. They wrangled for nearly an entire session over their 32-word mission statement. They settled on middle-school youth empowerment and sought grant proposals from Prince George’s County nonprofits. Guest speakers offered advice: Keep an open mind. Trust each other. Scrutinize organizations. Talk to the people the nonprofit helps. “There were days when this seemed impossible,” says sophomore Devon Brunson. “There were times when I walked out of the class trying to figure out, OK, how are we going to make a decision on this?” Among the 11 applications they received, the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection stood out. Hillside pairs atrisk youngsters with professional youth advocates who keep them on track for graduation. Another organization, the Cultural Academy For Excellence, or CAFE, intrigued the students with its student steel drum orchestra but left them unsure how the music tied into academics. A Saturday visit to CAFE changed everything. Upon entering the church basement three miles from campus, Maryland students saw children


playing chess, learning how to create a budget and practicing for a mock trial competition. “All of the kids were either way too engaged to notice us, or they would be coming up to us, wanting to talk to us,” says sophomore Ryan Steinbach. “Everyone was just so happy to be there.” CAFE’s award-winning Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra then serenaded the visitors with three songs. “It was almost like all of us got hit on the head with that moment of clarity,” says sophomore Aaron Fagan. Twelve days later, the students hammered out a final proposal to award $9,000 to Hillside and more than $11,000 to CAFE. Forty votes were needed for it to pass. The final tally: at least 50 hands up. But more important, their vote would help the youth orchestra use music as therapy for wounded veterans. “We are just very excited. It goes way beyond the funding,” says Lorna Green, CAFE’s executive director, who was impressed by the students’ professionalism and engagement. “They came on a site visit. They spoke with our students. They spoke with our tutors. Oftentimes, we don’t see that with our other sponsors. They bought into it.” ­—TERP

Excerpts from the HONR349I blog collegeparkphilanthropy. wordpress.com

“I believe that this is the appropriate approach to being a philanthropist because a true philanthropist not only gives the gift, but also walks the walk as well.” ­—Jong P.

“How many college students get to say that they have played a part in donating nearly twenty thousand dollars towards a good cause? That’s pretty sweet.” —Stephanie B.

“Through this experience we have become good deed doers and now, my friends, we must go forth and do good deeds.” —Pam B.

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Ben ‘39 and Betty Alperstein Hotsy Alperstein ‘42 William ‘69, ‘76 and Frances Apollony Robert A. ‘70 and Marjorie Deck ‘72 Bedingfield John and Mary Benish

a tradition of giving

Lance ‘61 and Carolyn ‘61 Billingsley Espey Jr. ‘74 and Deborah Browning Robert Butman ‘77 Ann ‘68 and Robert Byrd A. James ‘50 and Alice B. Clark William E. Jr. ‘71 and Angela A. Cole Francis ‘68 and Betty Contino Alan Cornfield ‘83 B. Gary ‘64 and Marilyn S. ‘64 Dando Edward ‘52 and Loretta Downey

Since 1991, 68 loyal Terps have stepped up every year with gifts of $1,000 or more to support the University of Maryland. They are among the founding members of the Colonnade Society, setting the pace for the 5,200 members who have joined them.

Michael and Kathleen Eidsness M. Jean Farrell A. Thomas Jr. ‘76 and Robin B. Finnell Albert Folop ‘69 John Ford ‘64 and Sandra Poster ‘64 William and Constance Fourney Dennis Ginsberg ‘72 Francis J. Govan ‘75

As the Colonnade Society celebrates its 20th anniversary, it offers a special thank you to these pioneers for their yearly commitment. Annual giving like theirs is critical to Maryland’s success.

William ‘66 and Carol ‘66 Gross John Jr.* ‘47 and Jacqueline ‘49 Heise LeRoy J. Herbert Jr. ‘50 Edward Herring Jack Kay ‘47 Oscar Line ‘50 Robert ‘59 and Marlene Mitchell Marvin* ‘53 and Carol Perry Jane Pfeiffer ‘54 Robert P. Pincus ‘68 Erwin* ‘56 and Bonnie Raffel Warren K. ‘49 and Mary* Reed



John ‘60 and Victoria ‘61, ‘66, ‘83 Rymer

Learn how you can become a member of the Colonnade Society. Visit www.colonnade.umd.edu or call Deb Rhebergen at 301.405.4630.

Robert ‘62 and Marilyn ‘65 Schaftel Adele Chidakel Schwartz ‘55 and David Schwartz Charles ‘90 and Judith Sturtz Donald ‘68 and Barbara Sweeney Charles F. Wellford


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“Issues involving energy, clean water, land use, urban design and monitoring and protecting resource use are going to be solved by fundamental research.”—Warren Citrin

A Passion for Growing Big Ideas Warren Citrin wants budding entrepreneurs to turn to the A. James Clark

Warren Citrin has a history of supporting Maryland students focused on developing innovative businesses with social impact. He sponsors pre-seed grants for undergraduate entrepreneurs as well as the social impact award presented each year at the university’s $75K Business Plan Competition.

School of Engineering for the technical education and mentorship to develop big-impact ideas like clean water technology or local power generation. His recent gift of $560,000 to establish the Warren Citrin Graduate Fellowship program is just his latest effort to help young people in the school take on society’s biggest challenges. The fellowships, to be awarded for the first time this fall, will provide significant funding for graduate assistantships and other support to attract talented master’s and doctoral students with ideas for sustainable solutions. Individualized mentoring will help them to complete their degrees and launch businesses that boost Maryland’s economic development. “Issues involving energy, clean water, land use, urban design and monitoring and protecting resource use are going to be solved by fundamental research,” says Citrin. “To the degree that we can get candidates here who focus on some aspect of these pressing problems, it will be very gratifying.” Citrin, founder of software engineering firm Solypsis and mediaapplication company Gloto, is also supporting a new part-time employee to help the fellows create viable businesses. Maryland’s Mtech Venture Accelerator will provide business professionals to coach students on setting goals, raising capital and marketing. David Barbe, Mtech executive director and professor of electrical engineering, says the fellowships will also help keep top undergraduates in the state. Applicants must show a history of business involvement—whether through a childhood lemonade stand or a lucrative Web endeavor—and present a new business concept. “This program will continue to put the Clark School on the map as a college of engineering that highly values the entrepreneurial spirit,” Barbe says. —KM

Band Plays Victory Tune in ★TerpsChoice ★ think small gifts can’t make a difference? Ask the Mighty Sound of

Maryland about that. The three-month TerpsChoice initiative, which pooled together gifts of less than $250 and awarded all donations to one of five causes that garnered the most votes from donors, ended with the band marching to victory. The Mighty Sound of Maryland inched out other worthy causes including Keep Me Maryland, the Veterans Initiative, the Solar Decathlon and Mtech’s Entrepreneurship Program. Though the band earned the collective gifts totaling more than $6,000, each of the other programs received $1,000 for participating.


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The band, seeking to refurbish its uniforms, used its grassroots approach to drive donations and votes. Members tapped family and friends to support the cause and distributed a video showing the shabby condition of the uniforms, which resonated with many. Brodie Remington, vice president for university relations, thanks the everyone who donated. “Your participation in TerpsChoice demonstrates your commitment to the worthy causes featured in this program, and shows your affinity for the University of Maryland,” he says. —BU

photos by john t. consoli

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The university hopes to launch 100 successful ventures in the next eight years through a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

new center to expand entrepreneurship opportunities squarespace creates and maintains websites that get millions of hits. Alertus makes and installs emergency alert systems for colleges, military bases and government buildings. Zymetis is on the cutting edge of the alternative energy field, producing biofuels from Chesapeake Bay plant waste. All of these companies were founded by Maryland alumni and faculty, and the university hopes to launch 100 more such successful ventures in the next eight years through a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or CIE. The center, planned for development over the next four years with substantial private support, will bring together the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Robert H. Smith School of Business to enhance the university’s ability to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization across the region.

“Who is going to be the new person that revolutionizes technology, that launches a name-brand firm like Google? I think that person is going to come out of the University of Maryland,” says Darryll Pines, dean of the Clark School. The CIE will house the array of entrepreneurship activities in a central facility and serve as a bridge to the venture capital and larger entrepreneurship communities. Plans call for streamlining existing activities, creating new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and providing assistance to commercialize discoveries, inventions and business ideas. The university is committed to infusing the spirit of entrepreneurship in students across the campus, and is doubling its annual investment in these programs, says G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Smith School. “We’re seeking the support of alumni and friends to share our vision of this institution as a major source of enterprise generation and economic development for the state and region.” —CR

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a renaissance man of giving Albert Folop ’69 plays music and instruments from the 1600s, but his support for budding young musicians at Maryland makes clear that he is focused on the future. Folop, who for more than 30 years has made an annual gift to benefit Maryland students, is a charter member of the university’s Colonnade Society, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. “This kind of consistent giving has enabled Maryland to now compete for the best students and faculty and is essential if the university’s ambitions goals for the future are to be realized,” says Colonnade Society Council Chair John H. Axley III. Folop, who retired from a 27-year career in the Navy and 15 years as a computer programmer, says when he started giving, he kept it up every year, giving at the Colonnade level since 1982. “My education was paid for by the government and I felt I ought to give back to help other students.” Today, Folop is doing his part to preserve Renaissance and Baroque music, playing the viola da gamba, recorder, krummhorn, rauschpfeife, cometto, lute and baroque flute and creating an online archive of some 3,000 viol music scores available for free download. A member of the School of Music Board of Visitors, Folop frequently attends student performances. He even sits with nervous families to cheer students during the early stages of the annual concerto competition. “College is there for the young people,” Folop says. “I’m supporting the School of Music in developing high-caliber students who are destined to become the professional artists of tomorrow as well as those who will keep music alive in local communities.”—CR



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Colonnade Society Marks 20 Years The Colonnade Society recognizes donors who make annual contributions of $1,000 or more. Membership reached 5,212 in 2010. For more information, visit www.colonnade.umd.edu.

photo by john T. consoli

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The Gift’s in the Mail: Libraries to Receive 1 Million Postcards Human hair. Mother of pearl. Some of the earliest photos of middle-class Americans. Pickle advertisements. They’re all part of a new University Libraries collection highlighting the role of the humble—and sometimes bizarre— postcard in recording more than a century of illustration and communication. Historian Donald R. Brown, a retired librarian and professor and founder of the Institute of American Deltiology, has agreed to donate the bulk of his one-million-card collection to the National Trust Library, housed in Hornbake, to encourage the use of postcards in scholarly research. About 66,000 postcards from 18 Southern states arrived at Maryland in November; Brown and volunteer curators are preparing more boxes for shipping this fall.

GREAT Expectations progress


campaign total

$810 million

“Postcards capture the tastes of an age, the interests, the work habits, as well as communities,” Brown says. “They document our heritage.” The Myerstown, Pa.,-based institute is housed in a former general store built in 1849; many of its contents are nearly as old. Postcards dating to the 1890s were valued more for their aesthetics— unique colors created in a photomechanical printing process—than for their messages. Postal regulations prohibited messages on the cards’ backs until 1907. Doug McElrath, the university’s curator of Marylandia and rare books, calls the resulting, often pithy messages scribbled on the fronts the “tweets of 1900.” Brown’s overflowing card catalogues, sorted topically and geographically, fill nine rooms in his home. The “D”s alone range from disasters to distilleries to dogs. Many cards emphasize American architecture and emerging skylines. The collection joins an already substantial 18,500 postcards in the National Trust Library. Once Brown’s collection has been transferred, Maryland’s postcard archive will be the secondlargest in the U.S. “We anticipate that we’ll be offered more now that we’re seen as a center for postcard collections,” says McElrath, who plans to put the cards into an online database. Meanwhile, more postcards continue to pour in to the institute—a good sign in Brown’s eyes. “Yesterday’s postcards are today’s history,” he says. “And today’s postcards are tomorrow’s history.” —KM

Donald Brown has agreed to donate as many as one million postcards to University Libraries because of its connection to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

as of May 4, 2011 postcards courtesy of The National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection

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Interpretations New Priorities, New Opportunities

Four strategic priorities:



Student opportunity and achievement


Innovation and entrepreneurship




Service to the people of Maryland

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On April 28, I formally accepted the honor and the responsibility to serve as the 33rd president of the University of Maryland. My wife Barbara and I are proud to be Terps, and thrilled to be residents of College Park. We are touched by how warmly you have embraced us. I assume this office with humility, because I stand on the shoulders of the giants who preceded me, Dan Mote and Brit Kirwan. They led the university in its remarkable rise in stature and impact. I thank them for their leadership. Your charge to me is not only for me to accept. It is for all members of our university community to accept together with me, because the university’s future rests upon all of us. This is the symbolic significance of the inauguration ceremony. I first came to America at the age of 15, to a field of dreams called Iowa. I was born in China and raised in Peru, speaking Chinese at home and Spanish in school. I came alone, without friends or family, with limited English, and with $300 in my pocket, the life savings of my parents. But I was sustained—as generations of immigrants before and after me have been sustained— by an unwavering belief that this is the land of liberty and opportunity, that with hard work, scrappy determination, perseverance and education, I could realize my dreams. My four years in college transformed me and set the stage for my life’s journey. My personal story is of no consequence other than as a story of the importance of education and the promise of America. It’s a story for every young person who can grow up thinking, “If he can make it, so can I.” It’s the story of our nation’s evolution toward a more inclusive society that makes it possible for this Asian-Hispanic

American to stand here today as the president of the University of Maryland. It’s the enduring story of the American dream. If there is one message I want to get across to you, it is this: We will continue to rise in prominence and impact. We will be relentless in our drive to the next phase of greatness in all that we do: in academics, in the arts and in athletics. As your new president, I will continue our ascent by focusing on four strategic priorities: • student opportunity and achievement • innovation and entrepreneurship • internationalization • service to the people of Maryland. These priorities express the dreams, the hopes and the goals that many of you have shared with me in my listening sessions over the past six months. They build on our values and our strengths, and are grounded in our strategic plan, “Transforming Maryland.” These four strategic priorities of my presidency are not promises that I make to you. Rather, they represent opportunities for us to pursue together. There is a saying from where I was born: A village comes of age when its elders plant trees under whose shade they will never sit. You and I are the elders of the University of Maryland.Together, let us plant trees— of student opportunity and achievement; innovation and entrepreneurship; internationalization; and service to the people of Maryland—trees that will provide shade for generations of Marylanders to come. —Wallace D. Loh, President

photo by mike morgan

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Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center

Come home to the convenience and elegance that is your Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, a conference facility for business and campus leaders, a gathering place for alumni and friends and a special setting for family events. Explore each of our unique rooms and you are certain to find one or more that will fit your needs. Our spaces are designed for intimate groups to large gatherings.The possibilities are endless!

Leave your Legacy on the grounds of the Riggs Alumni Center through the Legacy Brick Campaign. Thanks to early support from loyal alumni, we have

Alumni association members enjoy a 5% rental discount, and lifetime alumni association members receive a 25% rental discount! Your 100% tax-deductible membership also supports alumni and student programs, including workshops, networking events and scholarships. Visit alumni.umd.edu to join today!

recently lowered our giving levels. Visit riggs.umd.edu/brick.html to learn more about brick and paver donations, and check out our new souvenir brick.

Vertical 3 color - Pantone 186 (Red), 116 (Gold), & Black

The Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center is the perfect location for your next event. Contact us today! 301.405.9756 • 800.336.8627 • riggsinfo@ur.umd.edu • www.riggs.umd.edu college park, md 20742 Vertical - Grayscale

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Division of University Relations College Park, MD 20742-8724

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 10 College Park, MD

Change Service Requested

We take the status quo, crumple it into a ball and throw it in the trash. We embrace challenges. We take what is undoable and do it. If a problem seems too big to overcome, we’re already working on the solution. That’s what it means to be a Terrapin.


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