University of Baltimore

University of Baltimore

University of Baltimore


UB Professor: In Politics, It's a Good Idea to Listen to Each Other

In an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, Joshua J. Kassner, assistant professor in the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, says that the only way to improve the nation's political discourse—and thus improve the quality of those elected to public office—is for Americans to start listening to each other when discussing the issues.

"[T]he upcoming election cycle provides an opportunity to redefine and reconstruct the basic tenor of our political culture. It's simple: Be charitable. Obviously, this is not about tithing or giving money. It's about how we understand one another, especially those with whom we disagree," Kassner writes. "It is a basic principle of philosophical discourse, and embracing it would fundamentally alter the nature of political dialogue in the United States."

Kassner, who teaches in the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies and directs the University's B.A. in Jurisprudence program, says that politicians who use attack ads and other methods of marginalizing or demonizing their opponents are a reflection of the values of the electorate. By being charitable, he says, the whole process of politics could become healthier.

"Under the principle of charity, we presume that those who disagree with us have understandable reasons for believing what they do, and it does not inherently mean that they are irrational or evil," Kassner writes. "The principle of charity compels us to be humble and reflective about our own beliefs, and it makes sincere exchanges between those who disagree possible. "

Read the op-ed.

Learn more about Prof. Kassner.

University of Baltimore


'Challenge' Competition Crowns UB's Top Entrepreneurs

Seven students were named winners of the University of Baltimore's third annual Rise to the Challenge competition, with judges from the world of start-ups and small businesses assessing the merits of their various business proposals before an audience of nearly 200 on April 16. The competition, held in the Town Hall in UB's Learning Commons, is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students from across UB's campus to describe their business concepts as they would to a venture capital executive, a potential customer, or even to a skeptical stranger. The winners take home a cash prize and offers of in-kind services, which they can use to develop their ideas.  

"Between the enthusiasm of the crowd and the quality of the business pitches, this was one of our most successful competitions yet," said Johnetta Hardy, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the business school. "It's easy to imagine any one of these pitches turning into a hot product."

This year's Rise to the Challenge winners are:

Group and Category: Graduate Students – Existing Business
Student: Stacy Stube, B.S. '08, studying for an M.P.A. degree in UB's College of Public Affairs
Company: Art Village Education Hub (AVEH)
Prize: $2,500 in cash and more than $1,200 for in-kind services

AVEH promotes traditional handmade fashion connected with education and women's empowerment through strategic social entrepreneurship, with a focus on economic and social progress for female artisans and their villages in Bali, Indonesia. The island's emphasis on tourism decreases the availability of skilled artisans trained in traditional Balinese handmade fashion, while a lack of product promotion limits these artisans’ access to international luxury fashion markets. AVEH provides a showroom for the women’s skills in creating handmade fashion textiles in one location, and provides a positive social impact within the village community through economic stability. Once the business model is tested, the Art Village Showroom will be given back to the village as a community-owned initiative. Stube plans to create more artisan incubators around Indonesia.

Group and Category: (1) Graduate Students – New Business Idea and (2) Crowd Favorite
Students: Jessica Welch, Tracy Gold, Mia White, Justin Sanders, all M.P.A. students
Company: Sounding Sea: Editing, Tutoring and Writing Workshops
Prize: $500 in cash for first place, $250 in case for crowd favorite and more than $1,200 for in-kind services.

Sounding Sea is a Baltimore-based writers' community, offering editing, tutoring and writing workshops to a wide array of audiences, from those just beginning to write fiction, to established content providers seeking an editorial eye. The group's tutoring services are available to students who want to pick up skills they can then apply on their own, whether the focus is grammar or style, or both. Sounding Sea is seeking clients who come from backgrounds and experiences that reflect Baltimore’s diversity. As the group expands, it plans to expand its workshop offerings, and reach writers with interests in specific genres and subjects.

Group and Category: Undergraduate Students – Existing Business
Student: Collin Corcoran, a business administration major in the Merrick School of Business
Company:  Premier Property Preservation
Prize: $2,500 in cash and more than $1,200 for in-kind services

Premier Property Preservation is involved in the revitalization of the housing market in Baltimore. By performing maintenance on residential properties owned by its clients, the company preserves the local housing stock and contributes to the increased availability of rental properties. Premier Property Preservation provides high quality services, and does work on  bank-owned, foreclosures and houses slated for repurposing. The founder is a former carpenter and now a real estate agent.

Group and Category: Undergraduate Students – New Business Idea
Student: Joseph Napoli, a business administration major
Company: Unleash the Beach
Prize: $500 in cash and more than $1,200 for in-kind services

Unleash the Beach offers luxury pet housing services at an affordable cost in close proximity to Ocean City, Md. and Rehoboth Beach, De. The company will offer customers a variety of services, including pet grooming, play and exercise periods, on-call veterinarian services, webcam and social media access for pet owners, and "upgraded" rooms featuring additional options. With more than eight million visitors each year, Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach have great potential for pet service providers, Napoli said.

Rise to the Challenge judges included:

Will Backstrom, senior vice president and client and community relations director at PNC Bank
Scott Cotter, vice president for Evergreen Advisors
Jon Hazman of Home Dialysis of America
Content McLaughlin, partner attorney for the McLaughlin Law Firm
Andrew Rose, president, Zest SMS

Rise to the Challenge student coaches included:

Sean Carton, director for UB's Center for Digital Communication, Commerce & Culture
Jorge Castillo, CMO in residence at the Emerging Technology Center
Steve Cissel, founder and CEO of10-20 Media Inc.
Mark Czosnowski, commercial loan officer for TD Bank
Stewart Gold, executive director of the Maryland Entrepreneurship Center
Irene Gonzalez, president and CEO of NovoDux and executive director/producer of La Petite Noiseuse Productions
Donna F. Grigsby, vice president and communty development manager of TD Bank
Ramsey Harris, manager of LMI Lending Initiative for The PNC Financial Services Group
Paul Taylor, director of the Small Business Resource Center, Baltimore Development Corp.
Wayne Walsh, founder, the WiseWe Company
Aaron Wong, business banking relationship manager for The PNC Financial Services Group

First round judges included:

Daniel A. Gerlowski, professor of economics in the Merrick School of Business Department of Finance
Praneet Randhawa, assistant professor in the Merrick School of Business Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Lisa T. Stickney, professor of Management in the Merrick School of Business Department of Management and International Business

Learn more about the Merrick School of Business.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.

University of Baltimore


'Academic Freedom at Risk: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Against Israel,' April 27

"Academic Freedom at Risk: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement Against Israel" will be presented on Monday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Moot Court Room in the University of Baltimore's John and Frances Angelos Law Center (home of the UB School of Law), 1401 N. Charles St. Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at the Harvard Law School, will deliver the keynote address.

Participants and schedule (all events will take place in the Moot Court Room in the John and Frances Angelos Law Center unless otherwise indicated):
10 a.m.:
Welcome by Dean Ronald Weich

Alan Dershowitz: "Countering the Immorality of BDS"
Followed by questions and responses

11:30 a.m.:
Morning Panel: "Overview of BDS"

  • Jeffrey Herf
  • Alexander Joffe
  • Richard Landes
  • Asaf Romirowsky

Followed by questions and responses

1 p.m., in the Learning Commons and Town Hall:

  • Lunch (dietary laws observed)
  • Film: Crossing the Line 2

2 p.m.:
Afternoon Panel: "BDS and Mideast Politics"

  • Alan Elsner
  • Benjamin Weinthal
  • Moderator: School of Law Dean Ronald Weich

Followed by questions and responses

3 p.m.:
"Summing Up and Moving Forward"

  • Kenneth L. Marcus

Followed by questions and responses

Alan Dershowitz has been called one of the nation's "most distinguished defenders of individual rights" and "Israel's single most visible defender in the court of public opinion." He joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg. Dershowitz is the author of 30 books, including The New York Times bestseller Chutzpah and The Case for Israel. He regularly contributes to a range of publications around the world.

Alan Elsner served as a correspondent for Reuters, with stints in Jerusalem, London, Stockholm and Washington covering foreign policy and presidential elections. He currently is vice president for communications at J Street.

Jeffrey Herf is an intellectual historian, sociologist, political scientist, and professor of modern European history at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has taught at Harvard University and Ohio University. His most recent book is Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World.

Alexander Joffe, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, has taught at Pennsylvania State University and the State University of New York at Purchase. He has published numerous scholarly articles on archaeology, ancient and modern history, and cultural affairs.

Richard Landes is a noted history professor at Boston University, where he specializes in Millennialism. Author of the popular blog The Augean Stables, his most recent book is Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millenial Experience.

Kenneth L. Marcus is president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law at the Louis D. Brandeis Center, and author of the award-winning Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America. Marcus founded the Brandeis Center in 2011. In November 2012, Marcus was named to the Forward 50, the Jewish Daily Forward's listing of the "American Jews who made the most significant impact on the news in the past year."

Asaf Romirowsky is executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Trained as a Middle East historian, he has published widely on various aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict and American foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as on Israeli and Zionist history.

Benjamin Weinthal is a European correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He also reports on European-Middle East relations and the BDS movement for The Wall Street Journal (Europe), Slate, The New Republic, Fox News, The Weekly Standard, the National Review, Haaretz, and the German daily Der Tagesspiegel.

This event is free and open to the public; an R.S.V.P. is required.

Details are available here.

University of Baltimore


Business Students Take on Real-Life Case Study Challenge from Verizon

A group of five students from the UB/Towson MBA program—offered jointly by the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business and Towson University's College of Business and Economics—are the winners of a real-life case study competition sponsored by Verizon.

The winning team was one of seven graduate-student teams competing in UB professor Eusebio Scornavacca's fall IT for Business Transformation course. The challenge was to work together in an online environment and develop an in-depth analysis and solution for a business problem presented. Teams had to deliver a report that Verizon executive Manuel Sampedro and Scornavacca then reviewed. The Verizon Foundation awarded $3,500 in scholarships to the first- and second-place teams in the competition.

The students in the top-ranked team are:

  • Nabeel Dean
  • Allison Keller
  • Gary Sachs
  • Ryan Solomon
  • Thomas Volpe Jr.

Sampedro, Verizon's mid-Atlantic area president and a 1999 graduate of UB's MBA program, praised the students' work.

"When you work on a project like this, 'effort' becomes an interesting concept," Sampedro told the students, who met him at a thank-you event with Verizon representatives in February. "When I was just starting out, I had to learn the importance of demonstrating that I gave my best effort to my work. Obviously you gave that to the case study, and we at Verizon want to acknowledge that."

According to Scornavacca, the case study involved an examination by the students of Verizon's strategic position in the data-provision marketplace.

"They worked on a real-world application of the concepts learned in the course—linking theory to practice," Scornavacca said. "We also innovated by producing and delivering an interactive, real-life case study and online course.

"We used video streaming technology combined with an interactive forum," Scornavacca added. "So this initiative enabled a business to come and interact with my students in our 100 percent virtual classroom. The results from a survey conducted among students that participated in this experience showed that they enjoyed the hands-on approach of the case. Also, the interaction with a top executive from a prominent organization such as Verizon was extremely valuable to them."

Three of the student winners also had high praise for the project.

"It was actually one of the best group projects I’ve been involved in at UB," Dean said.

Solomon said, "The best part of this experience is that we were able to contribute to it on our own time."

Volpe, who works in the IT field, said the online component of the case established "a chain of accountability" that demands responses from all participants. "I really enjoyed the experience," he said.

Merrick School of Business Dean Murray Dalziel said he is looking forward to more collaborative efforts like the case-study competition.

"One of the things we strive for with every Merrick student is simply getting things done," Dalziel said. "Testing ourselves out in the business world is good for us. I'm happy to have Verizon here with us in that work."

Learn more about the UB/Towson MBA.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.

University of Baltimore


Finance Professor: Investor Group's Plans for DuPont Will Have 'Multiplier Effect'

Interviewed as part of a major Delaware News Journal article on the impact of activist investors' plans to restructure DuPont, University of Baltimore Associate Professor of Finance Steve Isberg says a "multiplier effect" will ripple across the region's economy if high-paying research jobs are eliminated.

"Those people [who may lose their research jobs in a restructuring of DuPont] will leave their high-income homes, impacting the housing community, which will then reverberate into the local consumer markets," Isberg says.

The article focuses on long-term efforts by activist investors to peel off segments of DuPont that are not providing returns on investment at the rate expected by the group. One of those segments—research—employs technicians, inventors and specialists who are highly paid and highly skilled.  

"DuPont lives and dies by its research and development," Isberg tells the New Journal. "It needs cash flow for its research efforts. If DuPont loads itself up with debt [as [part of a restructuring] and another fixed-interest payment, that cannibalizes your ability to do future research and development."

Read the article.

Learn more about Prof. Isberg.

University of Baltimore


Community Service Day 2015

The University of Baltimore's 13th annual Community Service Day will be held on Friday, April 24. Volunteers from the UB community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, are now being sought for this important event. Sign-up is required; details are listed below.

Every year since 2002, the Rosenberg Center for Student Involvement has brought together hunders of UB community members to volunteer a day of their time, creating positive change in neighborhoods throughout the Baltimore area. Volunteer groups travel to more than a dozen service sites, assist with vital projects of all kinds, and engage in meaningful reflection about their experience to develop opportunities to work toward improving their communities. The event is organized by Me More, UB's leadership and community engagement program, along with the Leadership and Service Council, a student-led organization. 

Click here to sign-up!



University of Baltimore


Portfolio Extravaganza

Thursday, April 23, from 6-9 PM, and Friday, April 24, from 2-5 PM, writing consultants will be available to meet with you and provide feedback on your portfolios. We will have some light snacks for you and plenty of writing resources, so we are hoping that you will join us next week!

You have two options in terms of participating:


  1. You can just drop by during any of those times at the Writing Center, located at in AC 113. We will have consultants available for walk-ins during the entire time
  2. You can make a 30-minute appointment beforehand, using our online appointment schedule; simple choose the schedule labeled Portfolio Extravaganza and look for an open time.

If you have any questions, contact us or stop by.


University of Baltimore


Merrick School of Business Academic Achievement and Honors Awards

This event is by invitation only.

The Academic Achievement and Honors Awards event is all about celebrating the achievements of our students.

Each year the Merrick School of Business recognizes the top undergraduate students in each major as well as awarding the "Dean's Award"  to one student who has exemplified the best that the School has to offer. This all happens at our annual Academic Achievement and Honors Awards event.  In addition to the awards we swear inductees into our five honor societies:

  • Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting, Finance and Information Systems)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma  (Business)
  • Mu Kappa Tau  (Marketing)
  • Sigma Iota Epsilon  (Management)
  • Sigma Nu Tau  (Entrepreneurship)

University of Baltimore


BLSA Awards Banquet: Purpose, Progression and Peace: From a Legal Moment to a Social Movement

Join the UB Black Law Students Association for its annual awards banquet, "Purpose, Progression and Peace: From a Legal Moment to a Social Movement" on Friday, April 24 at Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Rd, Windsor Mill, MD 21244.

UB President Kurt Schmoke is the event's guest speaker. Attire is semi-formal, and tickets are available online.

University of Baltimore


Pipeline to Law School Open House

This open house invites current University of Baltimore students and community college students to learn about a unique opportunity to transition successfully from a UB undergraduate program into the UB School of Law.

All attendees will be eligible for an undergraduate application waiver.