Archive for July, 2018

UMBrella Scholarship Opportunity

UMBrella is offering two scholarships to attend the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) 2018 Women’s Leadership Institute.

The scholarship will cover conference registration fees, airfare, and lodging. You must obtain your supervisor’s approval to accept this scholarship. You must also write a reflection piece upon completion of the institute and submit it to the UMBrella Group.

To be considered, please submit your application and a one-page letter of interest detailing:

  1. Why you would like to attend the leadership institute and what you hope to gain personally and professionally by attending
  2. Your leadership experience to date
  3. Your school/unit affiliation (School of Pharmacy, Office of Academic Affairs, etc.)

Submissions will be reviewed by the UMBrella advisory board.

The application deadline is Sept. 3, 2018, at noon ET.

For further information about the conference, please visit the ACUI Women’s Leadership Institute website. If you have any questions, please contact us by email.

The UMB Roundtable on Empowerment in Leadership and Leveraging Aspirations (UMBrella) is a group that helps women achieve their potential, find their voices, and feel empowered. UMBrella works to support the success of women, advance women into leadership roles at UMB, and champion women at all levels of our organization.

Sonya EvansCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeJuly 31, 20180 comments
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UMBrella Caregivers Group to Meet Aug. 20

UMBrella hosts Caregivers, a support group for members of the UMB community who care for elderly loved ones.

Open to all faculty, staff, and students, Caregivers meet once a month to socialize, learn from each other, share resources and information, and hear from experts on a wide range of topics. The program is sponsored by UMBrella and will be facilitated by Reba Cornman, MSW, director, Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program. UMBrella events are open to all UMB faculty, staff, and students.

Here are details on the next meeting:

  • When: Monday, Aug. 20
  • Time: Noon
  • Where: SMC Campus Center, Room 223
  • Registration: Go to this link or RSVP at


Sonya EvansCommunity Service, Education, People, University LifeJuly 31, 20180 comments
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UMB Champion of Excellence: Flavius Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH

UMB Champion of Excellence: Flavius R.W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH

The Champions of Excellence campaign is a multi-year branding campaign at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in which we highlight individuals and teams that exemplify extraordinary accomplishment and represent excellence at the University. During the next few months, The Elm will be featuring these UMB Champions, who are making Baltimore, our region, and in some cases the world a better place. (Read about all of the 2017-18 UMB Champions of Excellence.)

Today’s Champion:
Flavius R.W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH 
Creating Learning Opportunities for All

If you want to see Flavius R. W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH, swell with pride, call him the Summer U mastermind. If you want to see him blush, call him an artist.

As senior associate dean at the University of Maryland Graduate School and associate vice president of academic affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Lilly’s professional pursuits lie in health care and academia. He leads the Graduate School’s strategy to develop new degree programs in the health sciences, provides oversight for academic innovation and teaching excellence, and serves as a leader and visionary for a slew of academic and student services.

But looking at his ink drawings and watercolor paintings, you’d think his personal mentor was artist and TV host Bob Ross.

Inspired by Baltimore architecture and the bright, vibrant colors of his wife (and high school sweetheart) Carolina Vidal’s native Barcelona, Spain, Lilly paints cityscapes and other scenery. His portfolio website,, serves as a shrine for his pieces.

“It’s one of those things I can do and sort of escape from everything else,” Lilly says. “I lose track of time. You get so involved with it that you sort of lose awareness of everything around you, and that can be really stress relieving.”

There was a moment when Lilly considered going to art school but he chose a “more practical” profession instead: biology. Still, he looked for opportunities to flex his creative muscles as an undergrad at Wright State University. When a photography job in the Division of Epidemiology at the Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine opened up, he jumped at the chance to apply.

It turned out that “photographer” really meant “research assistant.” Lilly was responsible for photographing the tops of men’s heads to document male-pattern hair loss over time for a clinical study of a drug later called Propecia. It was part of the Fels Longitudinal Study that dated back to 1929 and studied child growth and development.

By chance, it also was his first exposure to research and aging-related issues, now part of Lilly’s professional life. The children in the study were followed through adulthood, and researchers were looking at all factors related to their aging. Lilly was hooked.

Today, his interests and teaching still lie in aging, but he’s also focused on the bigger picture of growth at UMB — developing new degree programs, new services for students, and improving existing ones.

In 2015, he helped to launch the master’s of science in health science program — the first entirely online degree program at the University.

Each fall, more than 60 students are admitted, mostly working professionals who get their degree in as little as 18 months. The program has grown to include multiple certifications and concentrations, including global health systems and services, aging and applied thanatology, and more.

Lilly is a vocal advocate for all UMB students, too, and has improved and built upon a number of Campus Life Services programs, including the Wellness Hub, the UM shuttle, the Writing Center, and mental health services.

A study published in Nature Biotechnology found that graduate and professional students are six times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population. Social isolation, the often-abstract nature of the work, feelings of inadequacy, and struggle to find work-life balance are to blame.

“It’s not that surprising because these are stress-based disorders, and graduate and professional school is stressful and can trigger conditions that have been dormant,” Lilly says. “I’m concerned about the mental health of our students.”

Lilly is helping to spearhead mental health services at the University by renovating and opening a new space for a student counseling center.

Nearly six years ago, Lilly and Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MPA, senior vice president for operations and institutional effectiveness and vice dean of the Graduate School, also started the Emerging Leaders program, a yearlong leadership development experience.

“I’ve been really lucky that I’ve always had good mentors — Cameron Chumlea [PhD, at Wright State], folks in the hospital system, Roger Ward, and others here at UMB,” Lilly says. “I’ve always felt a responsibility to give back and take time to encourage, mentor, and meet with young professionals who want to develop themselves in leadership roles, too.”

Now in its sixth cohort, the Emerging Leaders program accepts 30 to 40 people each year — not just academic affairs staff, but folks from all across UMB. The program has recently started seeing faculty and higher-level managers apply, too. It’s a diverse group Universitywide, from housekeepers to fairly seasoned faculty members interested in taking on more leadership roles.

Another initiative Lilly is excited about is Summer U. What started as an idea over dinner between UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was piloted in summer 2017 and is expected to launch officially this summer.

It provides summer fun and learning for youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods like West Baltimore. At UMB, they enjoy recreational activities such as yoga, Zumba, swimming, and more, plus meals — all free of charge.

Lilly is especially proud of the initiative’s ethical and social justice missions — its academic one, too. Young people in inner cities often lose any gains from the academic year because they’re not as likely to be engaged educationally during the summer at camps and such as their higher-income peers.

So in addition to exercise, Summer U includes MANGO math, a reading list, several science field trips, visits to Pop Farm to conduct agricultural and nutrition-based experiments, and more.

The goal is to stabilize the third- to fifth-graders’ learning and prepare them to enter the new school year ready to engage with the curriculum. They also get exposure to life on a college campus, a key element of the program, Lilly says.

“Take my kids, for instance,” he says — Gabe, 17, Zoe, 10, and Daphne, 8. “Being on a college campus is nothing new to them. They’ve always come with me to work and had camps on college campuses. When they decide to go to university, they won’t be intimidated. They’ll have had exposure and interacted with college students and professors. That’s not always the case with disadvantaged kids in Baltimore.”

With the Summer U project, more kids get to visit UMB, and see that it’s not intimidating but a place for them. Lilly says, “That simple act alone will mean something for them later on when they apply for college.”

Communications and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeJuly 30, 20180 comments
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Donate to the UMB Staff Senate’s School Supply Drive

The UMB Staff Senate’s Community Outreach Committee, in collaboration with the Office of Community Engagement, is collecting school supplies for James McHenry Elementary and the UMB CURE Scholars. Look for collection bins in your building. If you can collect for your department or building, please email Lois Warner at

Donations can be brought to the Saratoga Building, 220 N. Arch St., 14th Floor, Room 03-168.

Donations Requested

  • Rulers
  • Pens
  • Binders
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Backpacks
  • Tab dividers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Protractors and compasses
  • Glue sticks
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Pocket folders
  • Scissors
  • One-subject notebooks
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Tissues and hand sanitizer

The last day to donate is Wednesday, Sept. 12.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please click here.

Mary PhelanBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, For B'more, UMB News, University LifeJuly 30, 20180 comments
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Affordable, Authentic Afghan Food at Maiwand Grill

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) supports local businesses like Maiwand Grill through programs such as the Local Food Connection, led by UMB’s Office of Community Engagement.

Maiwand Grill owes the mix of men in business suits and college students in sweats to its “terrific” food, as The Baltimore Sun raves. The restaurant offers delicious appetizers and affordable, large platters, like authentic beef kebabs with flavorful rice, bread, and salad. Maiwand is within walking distance of campus and offers delivery and catering services.

Find out more on the Maiwand Grill website or its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Address: 324 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore MD 21201
Telephone: 410-685-0208, 410-685-0225

Olivia FickenscherCommunity Service, People, UMB News, University LifeJuly 30, 20180 comments
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Baltimore Grand Garage – Entrance Closure

The Paca Street entrance will be closed from 6 p.m. to midnight on today and tomorrow so scaffolding can be erected. The Fayette Street entrance will be open during those hours to accommodate the disruption.

Parkers also have the option of using the Pearl Street Garage (closes at 11:30 p.m.) or the Plaza Garage (open 24 hours), but vehicles must exit both before 9 a.m. the following morning.

Questions or concerns? Contact Brian Simmons.

Dana RampollaBulletin Board, On the Move, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeJuly 27, 20180 comments
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Physical and Occupational Therapy at Camden Yards

Board-certified physical and occupational therapists from University of Maryland Orthopaedics provide care for the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions in adults and children. Our Camden Yards office is conveniently located within walking distance to campus, and appointments are available within one week.

Call 667-214-1660 or visit for more information.

Merideth MarrBulletin Board, Clinical Care, People, University LifeJuly 27, 20180 comments
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Dentist’s Blog: Shark Week and Shark’s Teeth

In honor of Shark Week, Philip A. Gentry, DDS, from the School of Dentistry shares a list of facts all about shark teeth that he wrote for his blog.

Sharks are born with a full set of teeth.

Our baby teeth form during the sixth to eight week of prenatal development and begin erupting at about 6 months of age. Unlike humans, shark pups enter the world with a full set of teeth and can fend for themselves.

Sharks have lots of teeth.

Our set of 20 baby teeth usually erupts by age 2. By age 18, we have our adult set, totaling 32 teeth. Most sharks have between five and 15 rows of teeth. The bull shark has 50 rows of teeth and up to 350 teeth erupted at one time!

Shark’s continuously lose and replace their teeth.

A lost permanent tooth is unable to replace itself naturally. Sharks typically break off and lose at least one tooth a week. When a shark’s tooth falls out, another spins forward like a conveyor belt from their rows of backup teeth. A shark may grow and use over 50,000 teeth in its lifetime!

Both the sharks upper and lower jaws move and it swallows it’s food whole.

We use our teeth to bite and chew food. Sharks have the strongest jaws on the planet and, unlike most animals, sharks can move both their lower and upper jaws! Sharks use their teeth to grab, hold, and rip prey then swallow its food whole.

If there was a Shark Tooth Fairy, they would be rich fish.

According to the 2017 Delta Dental Tooth Fairy Poll of parents of children 6 to12 years old, the average payout per lost tooth is $4.13. Children have 20 baby teeth, for a total of $82.60. For an average shark that loses 20,000 teeth, that would be $82,600!

Shark teeth have cavity protection.

Sharks don’t get cavities; their teeth surface contains fluoride! The teeth of humans and other mammals contain hydroxyapatite, which is also found in bone.

Check out the full blog here.

Philip GentryEducation, For B'more, PeopleJuly 27, 20180 comments
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Collage of social media site logos

Tips for Your Social Media Accounts

Social media sites such as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great resources, allowing you to meet, interact, and share with people around the world. However, with all this power comes risks — not just for you, but your family, friends, and employer. Below, we cover the key steps to making the most of social media securely and safely.


Be careful and think before posting. Anything you post will most likely become public at some point, impacting your reputation and future, including where you can go to school or the jobs you can get. If you don’t want your family or boss to see it, you probably shouldn’t post it. Also, be aware of what others are posting about you. You may have to ask others to remove what they share about you.


Almost all social media sites have strong privacy options. Enable them when possible. For example, does the site really need to be able to track your location? In addition, privacy options can be confusing and change often. Make it a habit to check and confirm they are working as you expect them to.


Secure your social media account with a long, unique passphrase. A passphrase is a password made up of multiple words, making it easy for you to type and remember, but hard for cyber attackers to guess.

Lock Down Your Account

Even better, enable two-factor authentication on all of your accounts. This adds a one-time code with your password when you need to log in to your account. This is actually very simple and is one of the most powerful ways to secure your account.


Just like in email, bad guys will attempt to trick or fool you using social media messages. For example, they may try to trick you out of your password or credit card. Be careful what you click on: If a friend sends you what appears to be an odd message or one that does not sound like them, it could be a cyber attacker pretending to be your friend.

Terms of Service

Know the site’s terms of service. Anything you post or upload might become the property of the site.


If you want to post anything about work, check with your supervisor first to make sure it is OK to publicly share.

Follow these tips to enjoy a much safer online experience. To learn more on how to use social media sites safely, or report unauthorized activity, check your social media site’s security page.

Fred SmithTechnologyJuly 26, 20180 comments
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UM Shuttle Discontinuing Two Stops

In the coming weeks, the 701 BioPark/Midtown Medical Center shuttle will not service Stop 6 at Washington Boulevard and Emory Street. Stop 6 is being discontinued because of safety concerns. Stop 5 (Greene and Pratt streets) and Stop 7 (Washington and Martin Luther King boulevards) will be alternative options.

Likewise, the 702 Mount Vernon shuttle will not service Stop 24 at St. Paul and Saratoga streets. Stop 24 is being discontinued because of a mandate by the city. Stop 23 (St. Paul and Mulberry streets) and Stop 25 (St. Paul and Lexington streets) will be alternative options.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes to riders of UM shuttle.

Dana RampollaBulletin Board, On the Move, UMB News, University Administration, University Life, USGAJuly 26, 20180 comments
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Shannon Idzik

Nursing’s Idzik Selected to AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program

Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS, ’03, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor and associate dean of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been selected as a fellow in the 2018 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)-Wharton Executive Leadership Program, Aug. 6-9 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Participants come from 19 states and represent an array of institution types, including small, private, public, and large academic health centers.

The program will be taught by faculty from Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania’s business school, who will present relevant and timely content designed to advance academic administrators to a higher level of leadership. It is open to deans/directors and associate deans/directors from AACN member schools who currently serve as the chief or associate chief nursing academic officer. Fellows must also demonstrate that they have progressive experience in academic administrative roles and positions and that their professional goals are congruent with the aims of the program.

“I am honored to join this impressive cohort of academic nursing leaders. Leadership development is a lifelong journey for all of us, and today, more than ever, we need a diverse set of skills,” Idzik said. “Building strategic relationships and leading change, innovation, entrepreneurship, and negotiation are all in a day’s work.”

Wharton is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world, and has more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually.

The AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program’s curriculum is designed to provide the concepts and tools needed to enhance leadership capacity and hone the skills that are essential to thrive and move forward strategically. Additionally, the content addresses issues around managing and leading change, influencing and galvanizing a diverse set of stakeholders, and building enterprising relationships in highly volatile environments. Fellows will leave the program equipped with an advanced set of negotiation, leadership, and influencing skills, as well as the confidence and ability to serve on or lead high-powered boards.

“We congratulate Dr. Idzik on being selected for this significant opportunity and applaud AACN and Wharton for their ongoing commitment to fostering leadership in academic nursing,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, who participated in the Executive Leadership Program in 2013. “Dr. Idzik has successfully led the significant growth and development of the School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program and has been an active and influential participant in public policy issues related to advanced practice nursing at the state and national levels. I am certain that she will both benefit from and contribute to the leadership program and that it will prove invaluable to her ongoing development as an academic leader within the School of Nursing and the profession.”

AACN is the national voice for academic nursing representing 810 schools of nursing nationwide. It establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAJuly 26, 20180 comments
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Nissan Leaf

UMB Extends Participation in Nissan LEAF Program; Grant Improves to $5,000

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has extended its participation in a program offering a significant rebate on the purchase of an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle, and the rebate has been bumped up to $5,000.

Through Sept. 30, 2018, UMB faculty, staff, students, and alumni can receive a $5,000 rebate on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a 2018 Nissan LEAF. Federal and state rebates are available as well.

To receive the incentive, download and bring a copy of both pages of the flyer linked here and proof of your University affiliation to a participating local Nissan dealership. Read the flyer to learn about the key features of the 2018 Nissan LEAF and visit Nissan’s website to learn more about the car or to find a dealer near you.

UMB has 18 120-volt or 240-volt elective vehicle charging stations (serving 36 cars) spread throughout our parking garages. The Baltimore region as a whole provides more than 200 charge station locations, and as electric vehicle popularity increases, the number of charging stations is expected to increase as well.

If you have questions about the program or charging electric vehicles on campus, please email Karen Park or call her at 410-706-2998.

Karen ParkBulletin Board, Technology, UMB News, University LifeJuly 25, 20180 comments
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Nicole Willhide speaks to SBIP interns

YouthWorks Interns Learn Valuable Lessons About Jobs, Workplace

Kiana Carr and Sydnie Taylor are students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County pursuing biology degrees and careers in the medical field. Carr wants to be a pediatrician. Taylor is leaning heavily toward pediatric dentistry, but she’s not 100 percent sure.

What both students are certain about is the impact of the five-week Summer Bioscience Internship Program (SBIP) they are completing this week as part of the YouthWorks Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). This is the University’s 28th year of participation in the work-readiness program with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and more than 60 interns were placed in jobs this summer through UMB’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE).

High school and college students receive paychecks for their YouthWorks efforts, but what pays off in the long run are the experiences gained by assisting clinicians or researchers, participating in school tours or hands-on workshops. Interns receive invaluable lessons about succeeding in the workforce while making connections that can help them with their future study plans and career paths.

“It’s been interesting to actually interact with patients before you begin your research to find out what topic really matters to them the most,” said Carr, who has been working with C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP). Carr was a YouthWorks intern the past two summers at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “I got to interact with a lot of doctors and residents at Shock Trauma, and that was fun,” she said, “but with pharmacy, it’s interesting to work with different researchers and see their varied focuses. I really get to see how much their research impacts the groups they’re studying.”

Taylor is in her fourth year in the SBIP, and she thanked the program’s leaders — Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director, strategic initiatives and community partnerships in the OCE, and Allison Robinson, MPH, program manager, Maryland AHEC Program, Family and Community Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) — for arranging her internship at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), which hadn’t hosted a YouthWorks intern before.

“They knew I was interested in dentistry, reached out to the school, and paved the way for me to have a mentor in the field I want to possibly get in to,” said Taylor, who is assisting Vivek Thumbigere-Math, BDS, PhD, assistant professor in UMSOD’s Division of Periodontology in the Department of Advanced Oral Sciences and Therapeutics. “The SBIP is a really good program for anyone who’s interested in the science field. It really helps you make connections, which is the best part, because I’m still in contact with mentors I’ve had in the past, and they’ve been very supportive.”

Primers, Tours, and More

On July 20, a dozen of the SBIP students got a primer on UMSOM’s Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science from Nicole Willhide, MS, director of student services. Along with UMB graduate student and SBIP program coordinator Devona Quasie-Woode, they watched a 20-minute video about the profession and toured an anatomy class on the second floor at Howard Hall, where first-year physical therapy students were dissecting cadavers. Then they headed to UMSOP’s PATIENTS Day at the UM BioPark for more interactive and educational experiences. Earlier in the summer, the group took part in a three-day orientation before heading off to their placements at Shock Trauma, Sponsored Programs Administration in UMB’s Office of Research and Development,  and the schools of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry.

“The topics and the experience itself are very intriguing,” said John Tinawin, who is studying civil engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and was placed at UMSOM with Asaf Keller, PhD, professor of anatomy and neurobiology. “I’m helping with three experiments in the lab — on opium addiction, nicotine addiction, and pain. I joined this program to see if I can find anything interesting outside of engineering. I definitely would recommend YouthWorks to anyone who’s looking to expose themselves to different career opportunities.”

There are four sectors to UMB’s participation in YouthWorks: the SBIP; the Community Engagement Center (CEC); HIRE One (administrative/office-type jobs), and the CURE Scholars Summer Program. The latter hosts students from the groundbreaking UMB CURE initiative, the first in the nation to engage middle schoolers in the National Cancer Institute’s Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) Program. (Read more about the CURE summer events.)

Engaging with the Community

Six high school students spent their five-week internship working at the CEC and in the community, with four interns maintaining the Pop! Farm in the nearby Poppleton neighborhood. The students watered plants and trees, pulled weeds, and more. They were supervised by Sara Haile, a student at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW), and the program is led by Bill Joyner, MSW, UMSSW alum and senior economic inclusion specialist in the OCE.

Gardening was a new activity for Jahleah DeGraffinried, who’ll be entering the ninth grade at Western High School in September. “I’m learning how to garden, what weeds to pull, so that’s a plus. And I get to work with my friends,” said DeGraffinried, who did a YouthWorks job last summer canvassing the community to promote West Baltimore businesses.

Dante Gregg, who’ll enter 11th grade at Augusta Fells High School in September, says working at the farm had a side benefit. “I like working in the garden,” he said. “My grandmother’s got a little garden in her yard, so now I can help her with what I’ve learned this summer.”

The teens also got a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the workforce. Andrew Gordon, a rising senior at REACH Partnership, says he’s learned “that I’ll be fine in the work environment,” and wished he could get more hours at the CEC.

“This kind of feels like the Boys and Girls Club, but it’s work, so it’s a lot more serious than that,” he said. “And interacting with people from the community in here is nice, because it brings us all together. We really make a difference, and I love making a difference in our community.”

Haile said she was lucky to have this group of YouthWorks students.

“We supervise them at the Pop! Farm and take them on trips that involve the farm and community engagement,” she said. “We also set up enrichment sessions so they can learn about financial literacy and things like that. We are basically showing them what it’s like in the real world.”

Help Around the Office

Rather than tending to gardens, the HIRE One interns tend to office tasks around the campus in a program led by Camille Givens-Patterson, community partnership specialist in OCE. There are 19 in the program this summer, including Coty Rock, a rising sophomore at Notre Dame of Maryland University, who Givens-Patterson calls a real “Rock star.”

Rock works as a general assistant in the UMSOM Office of Finance and Resource Management, answering phones, filing confidential information, entering data, and doing office inventory among other tasks. She enjoys being a “helping hand” and finds that even the simplest task can provide teachable moments.

“On the phone, you have to really be professional and know what to say and how to say things to people,” Rock said. “One day a caller needed to get transferred, and they told the other assistant that they really liked the way I answered and how well I spoke. That is a compliment because this is my first time answering phones in the office. I really love working with YouthWorks and UMB. It’s a great experience.”

Over on the 14th floor of the Saratoga Building, Fudi Fickenscher is having a similar experience working for UMB’s Office of the President. The rising senior at Bryn Mawr School has been doing secretarial work as well as writing items for The Elm website to promote OCE’s Local Food Connection initiative.

Fickenscher calls working at UMB this summer “truly a foot in the door” and adds that the teamwork she sees in the office reinforces lessons she’s learned in school group projects.

“There is no assignment at work that has not involved other people,” she said. “Without teamwork and without meeting deadlines, this University and any workplace would not function. YouthWorks also teaches us valuable skills to succeed — college prep, résumé writing and finances. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have exposure to a 9-to-5 office job. Not a lot of teenagers have this opportunity.”

— Lou Cortina


Lou CortinaCommunity Service, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeJuly 25, 20180 comments
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People arm in arm

Participants Wanted for Study on Prediabetic Dietary Supplement

Researchers at the University of Maryland are seeking male and female participants to take part in a screening for elevated blood sugar levels. The screenings are the first step in a study to learn about the use of a commercially available dietary supplement for men and women who are prediabetic.

This study may be a good fit if you:

  • Are 18 or older
  • Prediabetic determined by elevated blood glucose or HbA1c
  • Have possible risk factors for prediabetes, including being overweight, inactive, or a family history

If you decide to take part in the screening for this research, you would:

  • Attend one visit to have a fasting blood sample drawn to determine your glucose level
  • Have the opportunity to enroll in the study if eligible
  • After enrollment, attend two 45-minute appointments over 12 weeks
  • Have bloodwork completed at both appointments
  • Participate in a short phone call midway through the study
  • Take four dietary supplement capsules per day for 12 weeks

Participants who take part in the screening will receive $25 for their time.

Contact information:
Mary Bahr-Robertson

Deborah TaberResearchJuly 24, 20180 comments
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