Summer 2011

Tech Boomer: Kara Freeman ’91

Sometimes a small act of kindness can lead to big results. One year into her undergraduate education, Kara Freeman ’91, engineering and information technology, was doing well at UMBC. Unbeknownst to her, however, her parents were fretting how to pay for the next semester. A grade school principal of Freeman’s contacted then-vice provost Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, to ask for help. UMBC’s future president did not know Freeman or her family personally back in 1987, but found time to speak with her mother and offer useful financial assistance tips. The family secured the necessary aid for Freeman not only to… Continue Reading Tech Boomer: Kara Freeman ’91

Bridging the Distance

How does a student 1,500 miles from home cope when disaster strikes? How does he offer help and hope across an ocean? Huguens Jean ’12, Ph.D., electrical engineering, flew to Haiti in March 2010 to find Port-au-Prince still reeling from a devastating earthquake. The streets surrounding his childhood home felt foreign and distorted – unusually silent, filled with unfamiliar smells and crumbling buildings. The earthquake struck in January, during the final days of his grandfather Andre Torchon’s battle with cancer. Travel to Port-au-Prince for the funeral became impossible. Two months later Jean was able to fly to Haiti with his… Continue Reading Bridging the Distance

Finding Their Light

UMBC’s Department of Theatre takes center stage at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – and extends the university’s impressive legacy in college theatre’s biggest annual festival. By Richard Byrne ’86 Washington, D.C. – It’s 7 a.m. and a pickup truck pulls up outside the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as the purples and pinks of a May dawn fade into morning daylight. Inside the truck is the entire set for the UMBC Department of Theatre’s production of Lynn Nottage’s play Las Meninas. It’s going to be a big day for the students, faculty… Continue Reading Finding Their Light

Video: Las Meninas Behind the Scenes

From UMBC Magazine Summer 2011: Las Meninas “Load-in and Rehearsal.” Read more about this theatre production’s journey to the Kennedy Center here. Video by Chris Hartlove.

Up on the Roof – Summer 2011

UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III takes your questions. Q. UMBC has been in the news as a new hub for the cybersecurity market. Do you see it as a growth industry for the BWI corridor, and for Maryland in general? And what are “secret” (or not so secret) weapons in UMBC’s arsenal to compete in this field and attract the best talent? — Joab Jackson ’90 A. I think we’re becoming a model for building the cybersecurity workforce. A model for the nation. The opening of the Northrop Grumman Cync Program here on campus is a great example. This… Continue Reading Up on the Roof – Summer 2011

To You – Summer 2011

A university can offer up a lot of drama: joys and terrors, dark mysteries and the quest to unravel or unlock them. The issue that you have in your hands is chock-full of such drama. There is drama in the most literal sense: the amazing journey taken by students, faculty and staff in UMBC’s Theatre Department to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Led by associate professor Eve Muson, the department took its Fall 2010 production of Lynn Nottage’s smart and provocative play Las Meninas all the way to selection as one of only… Continue Reading To You – Summer 2011

The News – Summer 2011

PUTTIN’ ON A HARD HAT The progress on the construction of Phase I of UMBC’s new Performing Arts and Humanities Building is impressive when seen from the outside. But put on a hard hat and get into the guts of the new building that will open in Fall 2012 and that progress is even more apparent. Already, one can see the shape of the new 275 seat theater – with high-ceilinged passageways between the scenery workshop and the stage to make set construction easier. The elegant curved lines of the James T. and Virginia M. Dresher Center for the Humanities… Continue Reading The News – Summer 2011

Storm Stalker

Hurricanes are powerful – and they also hold great mysteries. UMBC researcher Jeffrey Halverson uses the latest technology in collaboration with NASA to unlock those secrets and make potential storm victims safer. By Jack Williams Hurricanes as strong as the infamous Hurricane Katrina which ravaged New Orleans and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in 2005 rarely hit the Delmarva area. But as Hurricane Isabel showed in 2003, a hurricane – even a storm that is weakening – can cause serious damage to our region. Isabel’s power pushed water up the Chesapeake Bay to flood Fells Point and the… Continue Reading Storm Stalker

Retracing Memory

UMBC professor of biology Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg found a box of faded letters that led her deep into her family’s history­–and led scholars to fascinating new findings in Holocaust studies. By Elizabeth Heubeck ’91 Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg’s mother Marianne came of age as a German Jew during the rise of Nazism and the beginnings of the Holocaust. But she said very little to her daughter about her family’s history during that trying period. “Growing up in a house where you sort of knew something happened, though it was never discussed—it’s as if those years never happened,” says Ostrand-Rosenberg, who is now a… Continue Reading Retracing Memory

Policing the Pastime – Kevin Cepelak ’05, PoliSci

Kevin Cepelak ’05, political science, has a job that comes with a pass that gets him into any Major League Baseball (MLB) park. And when he gets to his office near New York City’s Grand Central Station each day, he rubs elbows with former greats of the game and a chance to work with former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and former New York City Police Department investigators. And he spends his days compiling reports that help MLB officials tackle problem issues in professional sports ranging from steroids to gambling. Cepelak’s work as an analyst for MLB’s Department of… Continue Reading Policing the Pastime – Kevin Cepelak ’05, PoliSci

Over Coffee – Summer 2011

The academic landscape is perpetually shifting, and UMBC is reshaping existing departments and introducing innovative new programs to stay ahead of those changes. The transformations often bring opportunity as well – especially in UMBC’s ability to attract talented researchers. Two recent changes – a merger in the College of Engineering and Information Technology to create a new Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering Department, and the introduction of a new interdisciplinary Asian Studies major – offer new vistas for Upal Ghosh, currently an associate professor and graduate program director in the department of civil and environmental engineering and Meredith Oyen, an… Continue Reading Over Coffee – Summer 2011

How to Stay in Touch with Your Human Roots

With Dr. Jay Freyman, Associate Professor, Department of Ancient Studies Picture yourself trapped on a desert island. What book or books would keep you best occupied for, say, the rest of your life? Dr. Jay Freyman’s answer is simple: The Oxford English Dictionary (or OED for short). At a time when fewer and fewer of us are cognizant of the history of the words that surround us, Freyman argues that this hefty tome (or the two-volume shrunken print version with magnifying glass) teaches not only the story of human language, but of humanity itself. English is a hodgepodge of languages… Continue Reading How to Stay in Touch with Your Human Roots

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