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) 2013 (Wednesday, April 24th) 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:

  • 3D Modeling for Older Adults, by Uvonne Andoh, Farnaz Feizian and Joshua Dutterer (Mentor: Amy Hurst, Information Systems). This project explores the use of three-dimensional printing technology to help older adults gain autonomy and enhance their quality of life. 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Poster Presentation, UC Ballroom.
  • Promoting Social Change through Service Learning, by Kathleen Algire-Fedarcyk (Mentor: Jessica Guzman-Rea, Social Work). This research examines the impact of a BreakingGround grant-funded semester-long Social Work course, in [Read more…]

UMBC Engineering Students Foster Development of Clean Water in Kenya

Lee Blaney is an assistant professor in UMBC’s Department of Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering

Lee BlaneyThis past January, a UMBC Engineers Without Borders team left the blustery winds of Baltimore and travelled for two days by plane, van and motorbike to Isongo, Kenya, a community of 500 people in need of a clean water source.

Our team consisted of two undergraduates, Dalton Hughes (chemical engineering) and Chris Mullen (mechanical engineering); our professional engineering mentor, Duane Wilding, from Maryland Environmental Services; and me. Our host and guide was Fr. Chris Shiko, director of our non-profit partner Simiyu House Kenya, which serves orphaned street children in nearby Kakamega.

Chris Mullen, Duane Wilding, and Dalton Hughes conduct water quality testing in Isongo.

Chris Mullen, Duane Wilding, and Dalton Hughes conduct water quality testing in Isongo.

Through this assessment trip we sought to (1) establish relationships with community leaders; (2) conduct water quality testing of the current water source; (3) map the community using a handheld GPS and meet residents; (4) establish a relationship with Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology; and (5) collect pricing information for building materials.

[Read more…]