Teaching Power, Globally and Locally (BreakingGround TV)

Dinah Winnick is UMBC’s Director of Communications.

CommunicationsTeam-8262Since BreakingGround’s launch two years ago this month, I’ve had dozens of thought-provoking conversations with faculty and students working together to address real-world problems in ways that both educate and empower. Thanks to New Media Studio Director Bill Shewbridge and students in his TV production course, I’m delighted to now share two of those thought-provoking conversations.

In the first video, below, I interview assistant professor Lee Blaney, chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, and Dalton Hughes, ’14, chemical engineering, about their Engineers Without Borders project in Isongo Kenya. In the second, I speak with associate professor Denise Meringolo, history, about her BreakingGround grant-funded course on supporting Baltimore communities through public history and digital storytelling.

1. Interview with Lee Blaney and Dalton Hughes


2. Interview with Denise Meringolo


Contact the author, Dinah Winnick, at dwinnick@umbc.edu.

Research for Social Change at URCAD

Janet McGlynn is director of communication and outreach in UMBC’s Office of Undergraduate Education.

mcglynn_cropEach year I have the pleasure of organizing a unique forum for sharing students’ extraordinary research, creative projects and scholarly contributions to the common good. Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) 2014 (Wednesday, April 23rd) will feature more than 200 presentations by UMBC students on projects spanning (and sometimes blending) the disciplines.

Some of the projects aimed at contributing in creative ways to positive social change include:

  • Evaluating the Efficacy of Low-Tech Processes in Removing Bacterial Contaminants from Drinking Water Supplies in Isongo, Kenya, by Dalton Hughes, Chris Mullen, Madison Bondoc and Hollie Adejumo (Mentor: Lee Blaney, Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering). This presentation explores water quality issues affecting a small village in Kenya visited by the students and their faculty mentor on a recent Engineers Without Borders trip, and proposes a method for removing contaminants that were tested on UMBC’s Library Pond. 10:45 a.m., Oral Presentation, UC 310.
  • Resource-sharing and Psychological Sense of Community among First-Generation Latin American Immigrants, by Kaitlyn Golden (Mentor: Anne Brodsky, Professor, Department of Psychology). This  research focuses on two support networks used by first-generation Latin Americans: their families and their fellow members of the Latino/a community.  2:45p.m., Oral Presentation, UC 312.
  • Baltimore Voices: Creating a Comprehensive Sense of Place and Identity, by Samantha D. Hawkins (Mentor: Sarah Chard, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology). This photo-ethnographic research investigates what it means to be a Baltimorean and explores the complex interaction between place and identity,  indicating a common view of Baltimore as a “blue collar,” hard-working, small town, whose residents share a mutual respect for one another. Additionally, the changing industrial scene in Baltimore has resulted in a collective mourning of a loss of Baltimore history and identity. Nayaba URCAD1:45p.m., Oral Presentation, UC 312.
  • Arts Advocacy: Promoting Policy Change, by Mary B. Hester (Mentor: Carolyn Forestiere, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science).  While research suggests that there is a correlation between participation in the arts by children and academic performance, the arts, specifically dance, are often the first programs to be eliminated when cuts need to be made. This research focuses on the benefits of dance lessons for children enrolled in the Easton YMCA and Elementary School Summer Learning Program, and attempts to communicate the results in a policy-oriented manner.   12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Poster Presentation, UC Ballroom.
  • Tactile Tools for Educational Research, by Samantha A. McDonald, Joshua Dutterer (Mentors:Shaun Kane and Amy Hurst, Assistant Professors, Department of Information Systems). This presentation focuses on using a laser cutter and 3D printer to create inexpensive custom tactile tools in order to help a visually impaired student grasp online visual assignments, including color formats, font types, web layouts, and web design. 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m, Poster Presentation, UC Ballroom.


I’m looking forward to being informed, provoked and challenged by these and many other student projects. What are you looking forward to seeing and learning about at URCAD this year?

Contact the author, Janet McGlynn, at mcglynn@umbc.edu.

Arbor Day Tree Campus USA Presentation (4/9)

Tree Campus USA Lunch and Learn-page-001Students, faculty and staff are invited to a light lunch and presentation on Wednesday, April 9 from 12-1PM in the UC Ballroom Lounge to hear about the efforts taking place to save UMBC trees.

The Arbor Day Foundation recently awarded UMBC with the Tree Campus USA recognition for tree care management. The lunch will include presentations on facilities management, landscape and grounds, campus tree inventory work progress, and Ph.D. candidate Jonathan Dandois’ research findings and reflections from EDU 299: Saving UMBC Trees, a Breaking Ground class.

Find out more information and RSVP on myUMBC.

Green Dot Training (3/8)

Green-Dot-Flier-Greek-training-2014-page-001Green Dot, a bystander intervention training program that will give you the tools to help keep our campus community safe, will hold a training on Saturday, March 8 from 1:30-7PM in the Community Center and Commons 331.

Find out more information and register for the event on myUMBC.

RecycleMania Parade (3/10)

recyclemania parade 2014 flier The RecycleMania Parade will be taking place on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 12PM at the Performing Arts & Humanities Center. It will continue down to the University Center Plaza with a speech from President Hrabowski and end with a celebration at the Commons Terrace. There will be Electric Vehicles floats designed by groups from across campus, food, giveaways, bikes, segways, dance and musical performances and more!

Recyclemania is an 8 week intercollegiate competition that rallies the UMBC community around school pride and our excellence alongside many other institutions across the nation. UMBC started competing 7 years ago after joining the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Since then, UMBC’s Greenhouse Gas emissions have dropped by 13% and have a goal of 25% carbon reductions by 2020. By tracking and publishing weekly data on recycling and waste rates, there is hard evidence that individual efforts adds up to make an enormous difference

The first 3 weeks of Recyclemania has reduced UMBC’s carbon emissions by 128 Metric Tons, the equivalent of taking 25 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 11 households.  Reducing, reusing and recycling protects our planet and our climate. Find out more information on myUMBC and the Sustainability Matters at UMBC website.

Entre-Space Grand Opening (2/26)

EntreSpaceYou’re invited to the Entre-space grand opening on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 12-1pm in the Academic Services Building (old Theater building), Suite 139!

Come see the space and meet entrepreneurial students and faculty. Light refreshments will be served.

Entre-space is a unique and inviting place in the heart of the UMBC campus where any student can have access to an entrepreneurial environment.  It’s a place where students can:
  • Share and work on innovative ideas/projects with fellow students
  • Network with students from other disciplines who can give them the expertise they need
  • Meet and talk with practicing entrepreneurs to get advice and mentoring
  • Attend short workshops to learn more about starting a business
  • Engage in an environment of active learning at UMBC

Elect Her (3/1)

electherElect Her, a free training program that encourages college women to run for student government, will be held at UMBC on Saturday, March 1 from 10.30 AM-3.30 PM in Sherman Hall, Room 220.

The daylong Elect Her training teaches college women why more women are needed in student government and provides them with the skills to run successful student body campaigns. All students are encouraged to attend – Elect Her is open to all students of any gender.

Find out more information and RSVP on myUMBC.

March B’PARTner Convening: Project Insight Presentation (3/3)

Project Insight Presentation(1)-page-001Come learn about food insecurities in West Baltimore with Project Insight on Monday, March 3, 2014 from 7.30-8.30PM in Math/Psych, Room 322.

The objective of Project Insight is to gather residents’ perspectives on their individual barriers and facilitators to healthy eating, within their home, immediate family, and neighborhood, and identify ways that their community and the UMBC community can support older adults in eating a healthier diet.

The project uses a community-based participatory action research approach, in which the community and researchers are equal partners in problem-definition, study design, interpretation and communication of results, as well as identifying and implementing actionable solutions.

Find out more information on myUMBC.

Carpool Social (2/14)

carpooling wordleHopping in the car with other students from the same area as you can reduce costs. Carpooling can also help reduce UMBC’s carbon footprint and the amount of cars on the road and in our parking lots. Aside from helping save money and reducing traffic, carpooling is a great way to meet other students. Students who would like to create a carpool with other UMBC students can join the online Casual Carpooling forum, where you can discuss carpooling logistics.

Join the growing casual carpooling community on February 14th in Lower Flat Tuesdays in The Commons from 12pm-1pm for FREE Valentine’s Day treats & crafts. Meet other UMBC students and create a carpool.  This event is sponsored by UMBC Off-Campus Student Services.