UMBC students, professors have success outside of the classroom

Here’s a recap of what’s in the news in and around the UMBC campus, originally brought to you by UMBC News.

This news recap is brought to you by UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies, offering a broad array of professionally-focused master’s degrees and certificate programs that address industry needs while anticipating future opportunities.

UMBC Professor Matthew Baker releases a study on how trees cool cities

Matthew Baker, professor of geography and environmental systems, co-authored a study in Environmental Research Letters describing the issues of urban heat. Baker said  “Urban heat is a big deal, and tree canopy can help.” Shade from trees can shade some heat-trapping surfaces like sidewalks, streets, and roofs. Transpiration – when a tree releases water through their leaves – helps cool down cities as well, because once the water is released from the leaves, it evaporates and brings air temperature down.  The paper explains that different types of canopy are necessary for different things, and understanding which canopy to use for specific needs of the community is essential.

UMBC named one of the best universities to work for

The Chronicle of Higher Education published the annual Great Colleges to Work For list, and UMBC landed on this list for the 12th year in a row.  Not only was UMBC on the list again, but the university for every single award category. The 10 categories of achievement are job satisfaction and support, compensation and benefits, professional development, mission and pride, supervisor/department chair effectiveness, confidence in senior leadership, faculty and staff well-being, shared governance, faculty experience, diversity, and inclusion and belonging. UMBC’s chief human resources officer, Valerie Thomas, said “It is gratifying to witness UMBC’s continued recognition by Great College to Work For.” President Freeman Hrabowski proudly said “I have been so fortunate to be at a university that values people.”

UMBC and IMET faculty reveal a hidden world in the Chesapeake Bay

Professor of visual arts at UMBC, Lisa Moren, and Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) associate research professor Tsvetan Bachvaroff led a creative project about the microorganisms living in the Chesapeake Bay. The project titled “Under the Bay” is an augmented reality app that gives users a look into the lives of dinoflagellates. Alongside the images in the app, the duo created an eight-part audio story that is available for listening on Moren’s website. The public got its first look at the project on the 9th of October at the Inner Harbor. There will be three more live showings; two at UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) in January and February of 2022, and one final showing in downtown Baltimore around the app’s release date.  Moren and  Bacharoff say the app will be available worldwide by a free download in March of 2022.

UMBC Student Haleemat Adekoya named 2021-2022 MHEC student commissioner

Political science major and senior Haleemat Adekoya is serving as the 2021-2022 student member of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). As an education advocate, the appointment is due in part to Adekoya’s community-engaged work that connects students to resources they need both at the K-12 and university levels. Adekoya will represent students on MHEC’s Educational Policy Committee and Outreach, Grants, and FInancial Assistance Committee as a voting member. “I see all of my work as a way of helping create a more inclusive and equitable future,” Adekoya said. “Rather than consider myself someone speaking for all Black people or all students, I see these roles as opportunities to pass around my mic and amplify others’ voices. I want to make space for those coming after me.”

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