Archive for February, 2016


Pharmacy Establishes New ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative

The Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has established the Applied Therapeutics, Research, and Instruction at the University of Maryland (ATRIUM) Cardiology Collaborative to help advance the pharmaceutical care of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Led by Kristin Watson, PharmD, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, associate professor and director of postgraduate training in PPS; Brent Reed, PharmD, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, FAHA, assistant professor in PPS; and Sandeep Devabhakthuni, PharmD, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, assistant professor in PPS, the program strives to position its members as foremost experts in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.

“The recent launch of the ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative exemplifies how the School of Pharmacy continues to lead pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement across the state of Maryland and beyond,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “The program capitalizes on its members’ current efforts to provide state-of-the-art clinical pharmacy services to patients with cardiovascular diseases, engage in cutting-edge research, and deliver innovative instruction to pharmacy, medical, and nursing students. I am thrilled to support Drs. Watson, Reed, and Devabhakthuni in this new endeavor.”

Getting to Know the ATRIUM Team

Members of the ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative currently provide clinical pharmacy services at either the University of Maryland Medical Center or the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, specializing in the areas of general cardiology, heart failure, heart transplant, and advanced cardiovascular therapies. They conduct research on the clinical use, safety, and efficacy of medications used to treat cardiovascular disease, and often collaborate with other health care providers to help improve outcomes for patients in the areas of cardiovascular critical care, advanced heart failure, heart transplant, and mechanical circulatory support.

“In addition to advancing the care provided to patients with cardiovascular diseases, the ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative will be instrumental in elevating existing pharmacy practice, education, and research initiatives at the School through its advanced-level clinical practice and training programs, innovative instructional methodologies, and significant contributions to science,” says Watson. “The program will play a critical role in helping the School gain recognition as a leader in the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.”

Advancing Cardiology Pharmacy Education

The program will also help to train the next generation of clinical pharmacy specialists who specialize in the field of cardiology, with all of its members participating in the University of Maryland’s Post-Graduate Year 2 (PGY 2) Cardiology Pharmacy Residency Program.

“The ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative builds on the School of Pharmacy’s commitment to deliver high quality training to the next generation of pharmacy practitioners, educators, and researchers,” says Reed, who serves as director of the PGY 2 Cardiology Pharmacy Residency Program. “Our members have pioneered a number of innovative instructional methodologies, including the formation of a regional cardiology pharmacy journal club, to better engage residents in their educational experience and prepare them to serve as authoritative experts on the optimal use of medications to treat patients with cardiovascular disease.”

The program’s educational initiatives also extend beyond student pharmacists and residents, with members providing educational programming for pharmacists and other health care providers. Designed for pharmacists practicing in all health care settings, the inaugural ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative Continuing Education (CE) Program will be held on Thursday, March 10, and will provide valuable updates about the pharmacotherapeutic management of patients diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions. Individuals interested in attending this free, application-based course should visit the event website to register.

Connecting With the ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative

Individuals interested in learning more about the ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative are encouraged to visit the program’s website and follow the team on social media.

“The School of Pharmacy has a tremendous amount of expertise in the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy,” says Devabhakthuni. “With the formation of the ATRIUM Cardiology Collaborative, we are now better positioned to demonstrate this expertise to other practitioners, institutions, and individuals in the local community, bringing our team to the forefront as leaders in this field.”

Malissa CarrollClinical Care, Collaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB NewsFebruary 29, 20160 comments
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Take Your Tax Credits to the Max

Don’t miss this free tax workshop for employees. Presented in partnership with Human Resource Services and the Baltimore CASH Campaign.

Learn About Your Taxes

(1) Why individuals owe or receive refunds each spring
(2) Tips for deciding whether to “do it yourself” or hire a professional tax preparer
(3) Why getting a refund is not necessarily a good thing
(4) Free, local resources for help with preparing taxes and exploring tax credits

Tuesday, March 8 | SMC Campus Center Room 349 | Noon to 1 p.m.

Bring your lunch and learn how to save money and avoid fraud during the tax preparation process. Walk-ins are welcome!

Jina BacchusBulletin Board, Collaboration, For B'more, People, University Administration, University LifeFebruary 26, 20160 comments
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Book Drive BCPS

Book Drive

During the month of March, UMB’s Office of Community Engagement will be collecting new, hardcover children’s books for the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project. If you are unable to donate books, online donations are also accepted.

All books will be accepted, but graphic novels and picture books appropriate for elementary school age children are desired.

Series Recommendations
From Baltimore City Public Schools

  • Bobby the Brave
  • Carver Chronicles
  • Zapa to Power
  • Miami Jackson
  • Club House Mysteries
  • Gloria Rising
  • Julian Secret Agent
  • Anna Hibiscus
  • Alvin Ho
  • Dyamonde Daniel
  • Simply Sarah
  • Milo & Jazz
  • Get Ready for Gabby
  • Calvin Coconut
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Stink
  • Never Girls
  • Galaxy Zack
  • Captain Awesome
  • Imaginary Veterinary
  • Spirit Animals
  • Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja
  • Stick Dog
  • Secret Zoo
  • Origami Yoda
  • Seven Wonders
  • Last Dogs
  • 43 Old Cemetery Road
  • Dragon Masters
  • Dragon Breath
  • Haunted Library
  • Owl Diaries

The Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project is a collaborative effort to improve academic achievement by renovating libraries in Baltimore City Public Schools. With your donation, either new books or online, you are giving students the lifetime gift of literacy.

Look for collection bins in your building.

Claire MurphyABAE, Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 26, 20160 comments
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MPILP’s Annual Goods and Services Auction

Save the Date

The Maryland Public Interest Law Project, Inc. raises money to fund grants for Maryland Carey Law students working unpaid summer internships in the public interest legal field. Since our founding in 1987, MPILP has supported hundreds of law students who would otherwise go without funding in exchange for invaluable legal experience at public interest organizations. In the summer of 2015, MPILP awarded 28 grants to law students who dedicated more than 10,000 hours of legal services to underserved communities. Join us to continue the tradition of law students working for the public interest.

Event Details

Thursday, March 24  |  6 to 9 p.m.  |  Westminster Hall

Ticket includes light supper fare, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and a bidder number.
All proceeds benefit MPILP’s public interest summer grant programs.

The Maryland Public Interest Law Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Margaret GloverBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, PeopleFebruary 24, 20160 comments
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Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Women’s History Month 2016

UMB Welcomes Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as our guest speaker at the Women’s History Month event on March 10 in Westminster Hall. We will collect donations for Paul’s Place, an outreach center in Washington Village/Pigtown that provides programming, services, and support to those in need.

Please bring donations to the Westminster Hall event on March 10. All clothing donations must be in good condition and in-season.

Suggested Donations

  • White button down shirts and black pants for women seeking jobs
  • Travel sized toiletries
  • Women’s hygiene products
  • New socks and underwear for women
  • Household items (bath towels, wash cloths, kitchen hand towels, kitchen utensils, etc.)
  • Backpacks or small duffel bags
  • Reading glasses (not prescription)

Event Details

Thursday, March 10
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Westminster Hall
519 W. Fayette St.
Baltimore, MD 20201


This event is free and open to UMB students, staff, and faculty of all genders. Light lunch will be provided.

About Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has consistently achieved phenomenal success in her life from a very young age.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Oberlin College and went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from our law school. She was the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council at the age of 25.

Sworn in as Baltimore’s 49th mayor, Rawlings-Blake has overcome many obstacles as a woman in government and has never shied away from a good challenge. She has been honored for her hard work with numerous awards and recognitions including the First Citizen Award by the Maryland State Senate. The National Congress of Black Women named her a Shirley Chisholm Memorial Award Trailblazer. Rawlings-Blake was also named a “Young Women on the Move” by The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club.

She currently resides in Baltimore’s Coldspring neighborhood with her husband Kent Blake and their young daughter Sophia.

Mara DworkinBulletin Board, People, University LifeFebruary 24, 20160 comments
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Pharmacy Hosts Birthday Party to Celebrate 175th Anniversary

On Feb. 10, faculty, staff, students, and alumni from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy joined guests from across the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to kick-off the School’s 175th anniversary with a grand birthday celebration in Pharmacy Hall. The event not only offered an opportunity to reflect on the School’s history, but also called on attendees to look beyond the School to see how the advances being achieved within its walls could make the greatest impact on the local community.

“This remarkable milestone in the School of Pharmacy’s history could not have come at a more opportune time, as health care professionals and policymakers alike begin to recognize the essential role that pharmacists play in the nation’s health care delivery system,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of UMB. “With cutting-edge practice and research initiatives in the fields of drug discovery, drug development, and drug delivery, the School continues to make a real impact on both patients’ lives and the pharmacy profession – a profession for which you as students are being expertly prepared, and a profession in which you as faculty and alumni currently serve. It is what the School has done for 175 extraordinary years, and what I hope it will continue to do for many more years.”

Looking Back in Time

Established in 1841, the School of Pharmacy was first known as the Maryland College of Pharmacy. It was chartered by the Maryland General Assembly in response to concerns from practicing apothecaries about the need for more educated and better trained pharmacists and pharmaceutical assistants to address the increasing number of medicines available to treat different illnesses. The School’s first class included only six students, and was held in a single room at the corner of Gay and Baltimore Streets.

It is the fourth oldest school of pharmacy in the United States and now boasts more than 90 faculty, 300 staff, 700 students across both its Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and graduate programs, and 5,500 living alumni.

“The one word that comes to mind when I think about the School on the occasion of its 175th anniversary is ‘community,’” said Natalie D. Eddington, PhD ’89, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School. “We are a strong, thriving community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, students, and staff. As we kick off the many celebrations that will mark this milestone year, my challenge to all of you is to think about the community beyond the walls of Pharmacy Hall. I want all of us to work together to focus on service during this 175th anniversary, and to build upon the great work that our faculty, staff, and students already do with many community groups.”

Serving the Local Community

Eddington spoke about the numerous programs in which faculty, staff, and students at the School have participated to help make a difference in the local community, from offering tutoring services for local middle and high school students to conducting research that leads to the development of new medications. She noted that faculty in the School’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) have partnered with more than 200 community pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, and other agencies to provide services to citizens and practitioners across the state of Maryland and beyond. In addition, she highlighted the University’s Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments (PATIENTS) program led by C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the School, and its role in empowering patients to propose questions about their health care and participate in research studies designed to help answer those questions.

“Baltimore City is much different today than it was in 1841,” said Eddington. “It is a vibrant, dynamic community, but it is also in need of our assistance. Many of our neighbors lack access to basic goods and services, as well as to health care. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni at the School have a multitude of expertise and the ability to help move our city forward. We have the manpower, the drive, and the heart to be more involved and to make more of a difference.”

Reaching out to Alumni

The celebration, which featured birthday cakes decorated with photos of the five different buildings in which the School has been housed over its history, concluded with remarks from Sharon Park, PharmD ’04, president of the School’s Alumni Association, and Brandon Biggs, a third-year student pharmacist and president of the School’s Student Government Association, who addressed the School’s alumni, encouraging them to continue their involvement with the School.

“Each of us should be proud to be part of the School’s amazing 175-year legacy,” said Park. “However, it is not only the number that is important, but also the excellence and dedication of the School’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni that has persevered over all this time. As alumni, we have had very different dreams and pursued many different careers, but we have been bound by one truth, and that is that we matured as competent professionals because of the education that we received from the School.”

“It is the sustained support from its dedicated faculty, staff, students, and alumni that ensure that the School of Pharmacy continues to lead pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement across the state of Maryland and beyond,” added Biggs. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to hone my skills as a future practicing pharmacist here, and will forever think of this remarkable institution as my home. Thank you all for celebrating this important milestone with us.”

Malissa CarrollCommunity Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 23, 20160 comments
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School of Social Work

Social Work Grads Exceed National Pass Rates on Licensing Exams

According to the latest results released by the Association for Social Work Boards, in 2014, 88% of UMB SSW‌ graduates taking the LGSW exam for the first time passed. The national average is 82%.

UMB SSW repeat takers passed 42% of the time, versus just 33% nationally, giving the School a combined pass rate of 78%. The national average is 71%. That’s 10% better then the national average.

83% of UMB SSW graduates taking the LCSW-C exam pass on their first attempt. The national average is 78%

Graduates repeating the LCSW-C exam pass 46% of the time compared to a national average of 38%. This gives the UMB SSW a combined pass rate for the LCSW-C exam of 73% compared to a 67% national pass average. That’s also 10% better then the national average.

Matt ConnCommunity Service, Education, People, Research, UMB NewsFebruary 23, 20160 comments
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Freda Lewis-Hall

Lewis-Hall to Give Keynote at Annual Pumpian Lecture

Entitled “Patients Taking the Lead in 21st Century Health Care and Research,” the Paul A. Pumpian Memorial Lecture will provide an in-depth look at patient-centeredness in the U.S. today, and as it evolves in the future. It is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at the School of Pharmacy, and will feature a keynote presentation by Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, chief medical officer for Pfizer, Inc. followed by stakeholder panel discussions in which panelists will speak to their vision of patient-centered health care and outcomes research in the future.

The role of patient-centeredness and engagement in health care and drug development is expanding rapidly due to the formation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) initiative, actions of the patient advocacy community, response of the medical product developers, and legislative actions designed to respond to patients’ unmet medical needs. Patient-centeredness means putting patients at the heart of health care research and delivery, and is accomplished by engaging patients as partners to determine their needs and the outcomes most important to them. This partnership extends into the discovery, testing, approval, and delivery of treatments that help patients achieve those desired outcomes. Thus, patient-centeredness means rethinking all that health researchers do and reinventing the ways in which they do it, particularly in the fields of medical product research and development.

About the Keynote Speaker

Lewis-Hall is a pioneer in the area of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). As the chief medical officer for one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world, she is a recognized leader in drug development and PCOR. For the last five years, she has served on the Board of Governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an organization that is leading the charge for patient-centeredness in the U.S.

Dana JoyceEducation, People, UMB NewsFebruary 23, 20160 comments
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Middle States

Middle States Town Halls Need You

Two and a half years in the making, UMB’s Middle States Self-Study Report is ready to be unveiled and discussed. Join the conversation by attending one of the town hall meetings in March. They are being held March 9 from noon to 1:30 p.m. and March 24 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the SMC Campus Center.

Every 10 years the University has to reaffirm its accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. This in-depth evaluation, amassed by hundreds of people, is important to show our strengths and weaknesses. Plus, UMB’s federal funding depends on it.

So with UMB’s Middle States process in the final stages, help push us to the finish line. Register for a town hall today!

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB News, University AdministrationFebruary 22, 20160 comments
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Drinking Clinical-Trial

Is Your Drinking Getting out of Control?

A clinical trial is being conducted on an investigational medication for the treatment of heavy drinking.

Study Participants Should be:

  • Men and women
  • Ages 18 and older
  • Of European ancestry

Participation is confidential. You will be compensated for your time and effort. Transportation can be provided.

For more information, call the Clinical Neurobehavioral Center, 5900 Waterloo Road, Columbia, MD 21045 at 667-214-2111.

Cynthia SmithBulletin Board, Clinical Care, PeopleFebruary 22, 20160 comments
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Becky Davis

Free Grant Writing Workshop

The Network for Social Work Management – Baltimore Chapter and the Macro Student Union at the University of Maryland School of Social Work present “The Beginner’s Guide To Grant Writing” workshop.

Tuesday, March 22  |  4:30 to 6 p.m.  |  Room 4E26.

Come learn about the key elements needed for writing a successful grant proposal and the resources available to help with your grant search.

This workshop will be facilitated by Becky Davis, MSW, assistant director for the Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) at the School of Social Work, who has 15 years of grant writing and grant management experience.

This session is open to students and professionals at all levels. Light refreshments provided.


Matt ConnBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, Global & Community Engagement, People, University LifeFebruary 22, 20160 comments
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SOP Talent Competition Brings Student Innovation to the Forefront

Imagine being a patient who has been prescribed a new medication. You take the medication as prescribed and, while it relieves your initial symptoms, you begin to notice a new symptom that you think might be caused by the medication itself – a side effect. To whom do you turn? Your health care provider? Your local pharmacist? Your family members and friends? Not according to team M-PROVE, a group of five third-year student pharmacists at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy – including Jillian Aquino, Peter Nguyen, Justin Penzenstadler, David Tran, and Yoon Duk Hong – who took first place in the fourth annual “America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent” competition hosted by the University of Maryland’s Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI) on Feb. 5.

“Generally speaking, the first action that patients take when they believe they are experiencing an adverse reaction or side effect from a new medication is to conduct a Google search,” said Nguyen. “Our goal is to capitalize on patients’ fondness for Google to help them take a more proactive role in their health care and increase their participation in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) pharmacovigilance efforts.”

Expanding MedWatch Awareness

The FDA boasts one of the most rigorous drug approval processes in the world. One component of this process involves ongoing safety monitoring based on information collected about medications and other medical products once they are made available to the public. In 1993, the agency launched MedWatch, its safety information and adverse event reporting program, to encourage patients to report firsthand any adverse reactions that they believe were caused as a result of a medication or other medical product. However, due to a lack of public awareness about this program, as well as patients’ perceptions of the amount of time and effort that it might require to make a report, MedWatch is not widely used, capturing only an estimated one in 10 adverse events.

“Participation is inversely proportional to perceived effort,” explained Penzenstadler, who described the team’s proposal to the audience. “When patients first visit the MedWatch website and see the lengthy reporting form, they often feel intimidated. However, we found that MedWatch requires only a minimal amount of information from patients, including the medication name, the adverse reaction experienced, and a unique patient identifier. Our proposed solution would enhance the existing MedWatch program to help identify more adverse events in the community.”

Leveraging the Power of Google

To help improve the MedWatch program and address an important goal of the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Science and Innovation — harnessing diverse data through information sciences to improve health outcomes — the team suggested leveraging the power of the world’s most popular search engine to bring the MedWatch adverse event reporting form to the forefront of patients’ search results. According to the team’s proposal, when an individual uses Google to search for a medication or adverse events associated with that medication, one of the items that would appear in the right sidebar of his or her search results would be the MedWatch reporting form. Individuals could enter the required information and submit a report without leaving their search results.

“It is a simple addition to an already well-implemented feature that displays in the search results for all Google users,” said Tran, who described the significance and impact that the team’s proposal could have on patients’ health care. “The patient’s query would be automatically inputted into a MedWatch form and submitted directly to the FDA. It would maximize the number of patient-reported outcomes submitted to the FDA, as well as improve the agency’s overall vigilance efforts.”

Hong added, “Our ultimate goal is to protect public safety and well-being. Because our proposed solution will make more data available to the FDA, it will allow the agency to detect adverse events more quickly, as well as better identify those populations that are more at risk for developing those side effects.”

Judges Andrew Coop, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School of Pharmacy; Julia Slejko, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the School; and Jace Jones, PhD, research assistant professor in PSC, agreed with the group, awarding them first place and the chance to meet with staff at the FDA to further discuss their proposal.

Bringing Pharmacists to the Forefront

Four teams competed in the talent competition this year, with second place awarded to Max Elixirs – a team of eight third-year student pharmacists who proposed creating a database that could serve as a resource for health care providers who prescribe biologics to their patients. The team also competed in the third annual “America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent” competition at the School in 2015 under the name One Correction, where members placed second again for their proposal to use QR codes to help educate patients about the potential risks associated with their medications.

“It means a great deal to be recognized as one of the top teams in the competition for the past two years,” says Joyce Yu, a third-year student pharmacist and team captain for Max Elixirs. “As student pharmacists, we are trained to educate both patients and health care providers about medication safety, and each year, this competition has afforded us a unique opportunity to develop innovative solutions to help address areas in patient and health care provider education where we feel gaps exist, allowing us to bring the role of pharmacists as leaders in medication information dissemination to the forefront.”

In addition to M-PROVE and Max Elixirs, FDAngerous – a seven-person team that included third- and fourth-year student pharmacists, as well as a graduate student from the PhD in PSC program – presented their proposal highlighting the benefits of transitioning to continuous manufacturing across the pharmaceutical industry, and New Generation Regulation – a team of four second-year student pharmacists – advocated to include a description and photo of medications on their prescription label.

“Pharmacists make up the second largest group of employees at the FDA, and the quality of the presentations delivered by our student pharmacists and biomedical scientists today underscores the value that these important health care professionals can add to that prestigious agency,” says James Polli, PhD, the Shangraw/Noxell Endowed Chair in Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics at the School and co-principal investigator for M-CERSI. “When we established this competition four years ago, our goal was to provide more students with an opportunity to get involved and learn about regulatory science. Not only have we accomplished that goal, but the student teams continue to astonish our judges with the tremendous effort that they put into their presentations, making for a very fun competition each year.”

Malissa CarrollABAE, Collaboration, Contests, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 19, 20160 comments
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