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News Briefs – September 2010

7 September 2010 No Comment

SMC Campus Center Hosts Welcome Week

To launch the 2010-2011 academic year, the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center (SMC)—now 1 year old—hosted a full week of activities starting Aug. 30.

Welcome Week events included an outdoor movie, an academic symposium, a scavenger hunt, daily lunchtime concerts, a boat-building contest and race in the pool, a spelling bee, games, wellness and writing workshops, and a poetry, open mike, and karaoke night. Jay A. Perman, MD, University president, greeted new students and helped kick off Welcome Week during a reception Aug. 26.

A similar week of events was held a year ago at the SMC Campus Center to mark the center’s opening and to thank David Hillman—SMC chair and chief executive officer—and his wife, Suzanne, for their $5 million gift to the facility.

“The SMC Campus Center is the perfect location to kick off the school year,” says Roger Ward, EdD, JD, MPA, associate vice president for academic affairs. “We are so pleased to be able to bring the student body together during Welcome Week, building a new annual campus tradition.”

Yearly Charity Campaign Set to Begin

This year’s Maryland Charity Campaign (MCC) kicks off at the University in October. The annual fall program collects funds for hundreds of charitable organizations through payroll deductions or one-time gifts from state employees.

Contributions can be designated to specific charities, placed in a general pool, or directed to University schools or programs. The campus’s theme this year is Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Now More Than Ever. The University’s goal is to raise $432,557.98—one dollar more than last year’s total.

A breakfast to thank participants will take place in Westminster Hall on Dec. 7 from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Faculty and staff will receive an information packet about MCC with instructions on how to contribute. Students can participate by contacting an MCC coordinator through the dean’s office at their school, or by contacting campaign chair Dave DeLooze at 6-7569 or ddelooze@af.umaryland.edu.

Department Name Change Reflects Public Health Focus

The name of the School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine has been changed to the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health to reflect the department’s growing emphasis on public health problems and practice, according to E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, University of Maryland vice president for medical affairs, John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and dean, School of Medicine.

The names of three divisions in the department also have been changed due to their new directions in preventive medicine, genomic epidemiology and clinical outcomes, and translational toxicology. Currently all of the department’s programmatic areas are in public health disciplines as applied to clinical and population health research, education, and service.

The department’s strength in public health has accelerated during the past five years, Reece says, including the creation of a Master of Public Health program.

JACQUES Initiative Helps Encourage HIV Testing

Hundreds of volunteers and medical staff visited Baltimore communities during the summer to encourage residents to obtain a free HIV test at one of 14 locations in the city. The group was led by the JACQUES Initiative, a program of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the School of Medicine, in partnership with the Maryland Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration, the Baltimore City Health Department, and numerous local faith-based and community organizations.

“I believe if you want to change a city you must engage the city,” says Derek Spencer, MS, CRNP, executive director of the JACQUES Initiative. ”We can’t sit and wait in our academic centers for people to present with AIDS, so we’ve engaged community volunteers from a wide spectrum of organizations to increase our capacity in our efforts to reach Baltimoreans.”

“In Maryland, there are between 6,000 and 9,000 people who have HIV and do not know it,” says Heather Hauck, MSW, director of the Maryland Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration. “We ask everyone to test for HIV at least once annually and to get into care if they are positive so that they can live longer and healthier.”

Launched in 2003, the JACQUES Initiative provides HIV testing plus care and support for HIV/AIDS patients and their family members, friends, and neighbors.

New Intramural Sports Pass Available

Participation in a University intramural league sport is now available without buying a more costly University Recreation and Fitness (URecFit) membership.

A $25 IM Sports Pass, available to anyone who is eligible to be a URecFit member at the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center (SMC), allows participation in one intramural sport including playoffs. Those eligible to be members of URecFit’s BioPark center can buy an IM Sports Pass for summer softball only. An IM Sports Pass permits use of URecFit facilities during league competition but not at other times.

Play in a one-day intramural event is allowed with the purchase of a single-day URecFit membership.

A wide variety of intramural sports programs are offered including flag football, basketball, soccer, table tennis, and sports trivia. IM Sports Passes, available at the fourth floor membership desk at the SMC Campus Center, must be bought by 2 p.m. on the first day of competition or by 2 p.m. on the Friday before a weekend event. For more information, call 6-7529 or visit www.umaryland.edu/urecfit/sports/Index.html.

Campus Responds to Call for Energy-Use Reduction

In response to the failure of a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. transformer during one of the summer’s heat spells, University faculty and staff helped reduce energy consumption from 27.5 megawatts on the afternoon of July 7 to 18 megawatts within an hour and half. The reduction in electricity use helped avoid brownouts or blackouts in the area, according to Robert Rowan, MS, the University’s associate vice president, facilities and operations.

The energy saving was accomplished by turning down air conditioning a few degrees. Also staff and faculty turned off noncritical lighting and electrical devices, used stairs instead of elevators, and scheduled discretionary equipment use for nonpeak hours.

The University participates in a “demand response” program with utility providers that saves the campus approximately $600,000 per year, Rowan says.

Yogurt Lids Collected to Fight Cancer

Pink lids from containers of Yoplait yogurt are being collected on campus this fall to raise funds for the breast cancer support organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Through its annual Save Lids to Save Lives campaign, Yoplait is donating 10 cents for each lid it receives—up to $1.5 million—by the end of the year. For collection locations at the University, contact Jessica Grabowski at jgrabowski@af.umaryland.edu or 6-3821.

USGA Elects New Leaders

The Executive Board of the University Student Government Association (USGA) is made up almost entirely of new members for the 2010-2011 academic year.

School of Law student Doug Rubin, previously the parliamentarian, is now president. Dennis Eaton from the School of Pharmacy has assumed the job of treasurer, and Tina Dang, also from the School of Pharmacy, has joined the board as the chief of public relations. Law school student Josh Cover is this year’s parliamentarian.

Returning from last year’s Executive Board is vice president Andrew York, a student in the schools of law and pharmacy.

The USGA, which meets monthly, holds events including the annual Fall Fest, advocates for student rights, and addresses issues such as parking and safety. Members of the USGA Senate are elected to represent each school at the University as well as academic programs and student groups. For more information on the USGA, visit www.umaryland.edu/usga.

Annual Emergency Exercise Planned

The University will hold its annual emergency exercise Oct. 19 at the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center. The exercise will test the University’s ability to respond to a large-scale disaster using the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which allows the University to manage its response to an emergency in a manner that is compatible with outside emergency response agencies.

Representatives from throughout the University, including the Emergency Management Team, will participate in the exercise. The event will not affect other campus activities. For more information, contact Robert Rowan, MS, the University’s associate vice president for facilities and operations and its emergency management director, at (410) 6-8200 or rrowan@af.umaryland.edu.

Campus Leaders Plan Perman Inauguration

A 12-member advisory committee made up of leaders throughout the University is planning the inauguration this fall of President Jay A. Perman, MD. Inauguration events will be held Nov. 9 to celebrate Perman’s presidency, which began July 1.

Members of the committee, led by Janet Owens, MA, who chairs the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. (UMBF), are Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean, School of Nursing; Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, dean, School of Social Work; Marcelo Cardarelli, MD, president, Faculty Senate Executive Committee; Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, dean, School of Pharmacy; Kenneth Fahnestock, MA, chair, Staff Senate Executive Committee; T. Sue Gladhill, MSW, vice president for external affairs, and president and chief executive officer, UMBF; Phoebe A. Haddon, JD, LLM, dean, School of Law; Malinda B. Orlin, PhD, dean, Graduate School; E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, University of Maryland vice president for medical affairs, John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and dean, School of Medicine (Reece was also acting president of the University before Perman’s arrival); Doug Rubin, president, Executive Board, University Student Government Association; and Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, dean, Dental School.

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