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    Lee Blaney Awarded Funding To Develop New Ways To Remove “forever Chemicals” From Water - UMBC
    (UMBC News, 2024-05-16) Meyers, Catherine; Demond, Marlayna
    Lee Blaney will develop new ways to remove substances dubbed “forever chemicals” from water, with funding from the Department of Defence’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.
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    2024 Nancy Kusmaul, Social Work, Receives “Outstanding Individual In Academia” Award From The Congressional Research Institute For Social Work And Policy
    (2024-04-26) Duque, Catalina Sofia Dansberger; Demond, Marlayna
    UMBC's Nancy Kusmaul, associate professor of social work, a scholar and advocate for the rights of older adults and professional caregivers, received the “Outstanding Individual in Academia” award from the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy in March 2024 at a ceremony on Capitol Hill. Kusmaul’s work is informed by her 10 years of experience as a social worker and over a decade of novel scholarship.
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    Harnessing the Web: How E-Health and E-Health Literacy Impact Young Adults’ Perceptions of Online Health Information
    (JMIR, 2015-12-31) Briones, Rowena
    Background: The rise of technology has changed how people take control of their health, enabling individuals to choose to live healthier lives and make better treatment decisions. With this said, the Internet has emerged as the channel used by individuals for actively seeking or passively receiving health information. Objective: To explore how young adults assess the quality of health information, and how they construct meaning of online health information in general. Through 50 in-depth interviews, this study aims to examine how and why young adults turn to the Web for health information, and what strategies they employ to ensure that they are getting credible information. Methods: A total of 50 in-depth interviews were conducted with young adults to explore how they make meaning of online health information. Depending on the geographic area of the participant, the interview took place face-to-face at a location convenient for them, over Skype, or over the telephone and lasted on average 40 minutes. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, fully retaining the speech style of the moderator and the participants. Data were analyzed using techniques from the grounded theory approach, using a constant comparative method to allow for themes to emerge from the transcripts. Results: The participants shared several benefits to this mode of health information seeking, claiming that it made for more productive visits with doctors and made health information more readily accessible through a variety of different formats. Additionally, the participants demonstrated their e-health literacy levels by discussing how they assessed online health information, engaging in a series of strategies that encompassed different aspects of e-health literacy. Social media channels were brought up by the participants as relatively new tools that can be used to assist in the seeking, understanding, and sharing of health information. However, participants also cautioned about the use of social media in regards to its informal nature, warning users to evaluate sources accordingly and to use these channels as supplementary outlets of information for more traditional channels. Conclusions: The use of the Internet and technology for health purposes is a growing area for both scholarship and practice that has strong implications for health consumers, medical professionals, and communicators alike. The findings that emerged from this research demonstrated that the online space is an acceptable channel through which young adults can find and share information. However, in spite of the rising usage of social media by this particular group, the findings showed that they were hesitant and wary of the channel, not seeing it as a resource for health information but more of a channel for networking and entertainment. In spite of this, this study shows that the online health information seeking behaviors is an area that warrants further exploration.
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    New media, new mentoring: An exploration of social media's role in public relations mentorships
    (PRism, 2013) Briones, Rowena; Janoske, Melissa; Paquette, Michael
    This study explores the emerging use of socialmedia in mentoring relationships by publicrelations professionals. In-depth interviewswith 15 public relations professionals from avariety of specialties revealed characteristicsof mentoring relationships in public relations,and challenges and benefits related tofacilitating mentoring relationships online.The key guidance revealed in the interviewsincluded: allowing the mentee to lead theintroduction of social media; mentoring as anopportunity to provide guidance on mentee’ssocial media usage; understanding when tomove the conversation offline; and using theonline interaction as learning opportunity.Because there are currently no theoriesrelated to public relations and mentoring orsocial media and mentoring, theseexploratory findings provide a first step to thefurther development of a model of onlinementoring in the profession.
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    First Data From UMBC’s HARP2 Instrument On NASA PACE Mission Goes Public
    (UMBC News, 2024-04-11) Hansen, Sarah
    Data collected by HARP2, an instrument designed and built by UMBC scientists and engineers, is already available to the public, as is data from the other instruments on NASA's PACE satellite, which launched February 8.
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    Dissolving Disciplinary Boundaries & Embracing the Future: 21st century Spaces for Undergraduate STEM Learning Communities
    (2015-01-28) Cuddy, Dennis; Ellis, Russ; Eyles, Carolyn H.; LaCourse, William; Ribble, David O.; Symons, Sarah
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    Assessing departmental readiness to support minoritized faculty
    (Wiley, 2024-02-27) Carter-Veale, Wendy Y.; Cresiski, Robin H.; Sharp, Gwen; Lankford, Jordan D.; Ugarte, Fadel
    Though increasing numbers of racially and ethnically minoritized (REM) individuals earn PhDs and national initiatives focus on faculty diversity, challenges persist in recruiting, hiring, and retaining REM faculty. While a pervasive issue nationally, the literature predominantly focuses on faculty diversity at research-intensive institutions. This exploratory case study pilots a readiness instrument to evaluate the commitment and willingness of a biomedical department at a primarily undergraduate institution to embrace faculty diversity before initiating a postdoctoral faculty conversion program. We introduce the Community Readiness Model (CRM) into an academic context, offering academic departments a robust framework and tool to evaluate readiness and capacity to recruit, retain, and support REM faculty. Practical Takeaways Academic departments can be conceived of as a type of community. The adapted Department Readiness Tool can be a valuable method of evaluating a department's readiness to support the success of underrepresented minority faculty. Departments may score highly on some areas of readiness but relatively low on others, which provides insight into where time and resources should be invested to improve readiness.
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    Open to Interpretation
    (UMBC Magazine, 2023-06-08) O'Grady, Jenny
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    New U.S. News rankings honor UMBC strengths in teaching, innovation, and inclusion
    (UMBC News, 2020-09-14) McCaffrey, Kait; Winnick, Dinah
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    Wearable sensors and infrared cameras: Introducing UMBC’s User Studies Lab
    (UMBC News, 2020-02-05) Mastrola, Megan Hanks
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    Creating New Antiviral Drugs: Innovative Fleximer Research
    (UMBC RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT, 2023) Hansen, Sarah
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    Narrative to Trajectory (N2T+): Extracting Routes of Life or Death from Human Tra!icking Text Corpora
    (2023-08-06) Karabatis, Saydeh N.; Janeja, Vandana
    Climate change and political unrest in certain regions of the world are imposing extreme hardship on many communities and are forcing millions of vulnerable populations to abandon their homelands and seek refuge in safer lands. As international laws are not fully set to deal with the migration crisis, people are relying on networks of exploiting smugglers to escape the devastation in order to live in stability. During the smuggling journey, migrants can become victims of human trafficking if they fail to pay the smuggler and may be forced into coerced labor. Government agencies and anti- trafficking organizations try to identify the trafficking routes based on stories of survivors in order to gain knowledge and help prevent such crimes. In this paper, we propose a system called Narrative to Trajectory (N2T⁺), which extracts trajectories of trafficking routes. N2T⁺ uses Data Science and Natural Language Processing techniques to analyze trafficking narratives, automatically extract relevant location names, disambiguate possible name ambiguities, and plot the trafficking route on a map. In a comparative evaluation we show that the proposed multi-dimensional approach offers significantly higher geolocation detection than other state of the art techniques.
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    UMBC Scientists And Engineers Celebrate Launch Of HARP2 Instrument On NASA's PACE Mission
    (UMBC News, 2024-02-16) Wainscott-Sargent, Anne
    After over a decade of concerted effort, full of setbacks and recoveries, UMBC's HARP team celebrated as the instrument they designed and built launched on PACE, a major NASA mission set to study Earth's atmosphere and oceans.
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    To Live and Breathe: Women and Environmental Justice in Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, DC
    (University of California, 2024-02-01) Hobson, Courtney C.
    Growing up in the DC suburbs of Maryland in the 1990s and early 2000s, I frequently traveled into the city for work and for leisure. However, Anacostia was a neighborhood that I rarely visited or even thought about. Not only did it have a reputation as a less-than-desirable place to live, its location on the east side of the Anacostia River created a physical separation from the rest of the city as well. Historically, the river has been plagued by pollution thanks to untreated sewage entering the waterway. As a direct result, the health of those who live along the river is under constant threat.
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    Designing Optimal Recommended Budgeting Thresholds for a Medicaid Program
    (AJMC, 2022-07-14) Henderson, Morgan; Stockwell, Ian
    Objectives: To develop and test a methodology for optimally setting automatic auditing thresholds to minimize administrative costs without encouraging overall budget growth in a state Medicaid program. Study Design: Two-stage optimization using administrative Maryland Medicaid plan-of-service data from fiscal year (FY) 2019. Methods: In the first stage, we use an unsupervised machine learning method to regroup acuity levels so that plans of service with similar spending profiles are grouped together. Then, using these regroupings, we employ numerical optimization to estimate the recommended budget levels that could minimize the number of audits across those groupings. We simulate the effects of this proposed methodology on FY 2019 plans of service and compare the resulting number of simulated audits with actual experience. Results: Using optimal regrouping and numerical optimization, this method could reduce the number of audits by 10.4% to 36.7% relative to the status quo, depending on the search space parameters. This reduction is a result of resetting recommended budget levels across acuity groupings, with no anticipated increase in the total recommended budget amount across plans of service. These reductions are driven, in general, by an increase in recommended budget level for acuity groupings with low variance in plan-of-service spending and a reduction in recommended budget level for acuity groupings with high variance in plan-of-service spending. Conclusions: Using machine learning and optimization methods, it is possible to design recommended budget thresholds that could lead to significant reductions in administrative burden without encouraging overall cost growth.