Spring 2017

Discovery – Spring 2017

Runaway Black Hole A team of researchers including UMBC’s Eileen Meyer and Markos Georganopoulos have found strong evidence of a striking astrophysical phenomenon: a supermassive black hole traveling away from the center of its galaxy at an incredibly rapid pace. A scenario like this has been predicted for some time. “The theory is great, but we’ve got to have some observations to see if our simulations are correct,” says Meyer, assistant professor of physics. Those observations are now in hand, with copious lines of evidence all supporting the team’s explanation. “There have been previous cases of systems like this,” says… Continue Reading Discovery – Spring 2017

At Play – Spring 2017

Making a Case Just six years after its founding, the UMBC Mock Trial team is already taking the nation by storm. Having outperformed hundreds of other college and university teams since September, the team made a historic trip to the American Mock Trial Association’s National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles, California, in April, competing against a select group of only 48 teams from across the United States. UMBC received team and individual honors in L.A., including an honorable mention for the Spirit of AMTA award, for best display collegiality and fair play, and two All-American awards—the highest individual honor in… Continue Reading At Play – Spring 2017

Creating a “Pacemaker” for the Brain

Kafui Dzirasa ’01, chemical engineering, is only 38, but is already emerging as a national leader in brain science. His research – which posits that some of the most common mental illnesses might be explained by unexpected connections between electrical patterns in different parts of the brain – could lead to more targeted and effective ways to treat conditions from schizophrenia to autism to depression. The former Meyerhoff Scholar has also drawn national attention. Last October, as part of a White House panel on research, he found himself explaining to the leader of the free world what it means to… Continue Reading Creating a “Pacemaker” for the Brain

Staking our Claim

UMBC Researchers Explore the New Great Frontier – The Brain By Megan Hanks Illustrations by David Plunkert In the early 1960s, the prospect of being the first nation to plant a flag on the moon stoked America’s collective imagination, leading to a national commitment from scientists, engineers, and researchers – along with their funders – to explore and understand outer space. In similar fashion, researchers today are scrambling to explore a frontier that’s just as vast, though considerably closer to Earth – the human brain. “In some ways, what we have right now is an inner space challenge,” explains Karl… Continue Reading Staking our Claim

Wilderness Warriors

You’re hiking in the woods. A branch snaps…and suddenly you’re on the ground, immobilized by pain. As the sun begins to set, you wonder what you’ll do next, and who might come to your rescue… Wilderness Warriors It takes intense training to rescue and provide excellent medical care to patients under normal, predictable circumstances. To do the same thing in untamed wilderness? Well, that takes an extra layer of grit. That’s why each spring for the last 33 years, UMBC’s Emergency Health Services (EHS) program has sent a group of hardy students deep into the forest to learn the finer… Continue Reading Wilderness Warriors

How to Make a Viral Music Video

With Lisa Soumphontphakdy ’14, Visual Arts Back in 2012, Lisa Soumphontphakdy ’14, visual arts, was a recent transfer student looking for a home at UMBC. She loved music, she loved to sing, and she especially loved the idea of making more female friends, so the Stilettos, UMBC’s only all-female a cappella group, seemed like a natural fit. After auditioning, she quickly bonded with the group and became as involved as possible, arranging music, designing T-shirts, acting as president, and shooting and editing the group’s first video – Meghan Trainor’s hit “All About That Bass,” complete with sassy choreography, which she… Continue Reading How to Make a Viral Music Video

Legend of Excellence

During her years as an undergrad at UMBC, Karen Sutton ’97, history, would constantly see Simmona Simmons ’74, American studies, working quietly in the library. Even today, when she stops in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, she sees Simmons and smiles, for even the sight of the librarian still inspires Sutton to pursue her goals. “I (wanted to) become a librarian vicariously through her,” says Sutton, a lecturer at UMBC. “I plan to use the skills Simmona taught me to inspire others.” Despite the major impact she tends to have on the lives of others, Simmons has always kept a… Continue Reading Legend of Excellence

Savvy Entrepreneur

Danielle Burnett ’00, M.S. ’05, information systems management, wasted no time putting her UMBC degrees to work. In 2001, a newly-minted college graduate, she founded Applied Technology Services (APS), a technology services company serving commercial and government clients throughout Maryland. Since Burnett launched the company, it’s grown exponentially, recently exceeding 10 million dollars in revenue, and earning her a spotlight in the Baltimore Business Journal. Natural business acumen accounts for much of Burnett’s success, as does the preparation she received at UMBC, she says. “The information systems program I was in at UMBC was very project-management oriented. And those process-driven… Continue Reading Savvy Entrepreneur

Our Best Defense

Bill Ermatinger ’86, political science, grew up in rural Baltimore County, in the (then) small town of Reisterstown. Decades later this small town background comes in handy when Ermatinger describes his work at Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest military shipbuilding company in the U.S. and our nation’s sole builder of nuclear aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers, those behemoths of the ocean, are the most complicated piece of machinery in the world, says Ermatinger. “Imagine you’re creating an entire small town. You have to have clean water and a way to feed all your citizens. You need sanitation and waste disposal, a… Continue Reading Our Best Defense

Back Story – Spring 2017

For 25 years, the Women’s Center has provided co-curricular programming, support services, and advocacy for marginalized individuals and communities, along with campus-wide activities such as Take Back the Night, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Critical Social Justice, and more. UMBC Magazine talked with center director Jess Myers, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs Patrice McDermott, and special projects coordinator Amelia Meman ’15, GWST, for their thoughts about the center’s mission. What do you see as the role of a women’s center on a university campus in today’s environment? Jess Myers: There are so many women in higher education. But just because there… Continue Reading Back Story – Spring 2017

Practicing What They Preach

Students come to UMBC’s Emergency Health Services program for many reasons. Some already work as EMTs or as physicians, while others hope to get into health policy or disaster relief. What brings them together, says program chair and professor J. Lee Jenkins ’97, biological sciences and EHS, M.S. ’99, EHS, is a shared desire to help people in need. “The students here are very altruistic, and they are the classic ‘Wanna change the world, wanna make it a better place,’ people with big ideas,” she said. “Being able to help people immediately and make a difference at a very stressful… Continue Reading Practicing What They Preach

Up on the Roof – Spring 2017

UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, takes your questions. Q: With the success and momentum from events around the 50th celebration, what are the best lessons learned in how to engage and develop new generations of UMBC alumni for the next 50 years? — Nate Dissmeyer ’07, information systems management A: The number one lesson comes from the faces of the alumni who came back. So many were surprised to see how UMBC has developed and evolved over the years. The lesson was that we have to find ways of getting graduates back to campus—not simply to see the growing… Continue Reading Up on the Roof – Spring 2017

Scroll to Top