University of Baltimore

University of Baltimore

University of Baltimore

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President Schmoke Hails Calvin Coolidge as 'Overlooked' Figure in Fight for Racial Equality

In an interview in Massachusetts Matters, University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke discusses the importance of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, in redressing racial injustice during his time in office in the early 20th century.

A podcast from the interview, which follows a piece on Coolidge by Schmoke in Politico from 2013, is available here.

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'Future of the Symphony' to be Discussed at UB, Sept. 27-28

The Future Symphony Institute—a new Baltimore-based consortium of experts who are exploring the ways that music in the classical tradition can continue to be relevant and essential in the coming decades—will hold its first-ever international conference at the University of Baltimore on Sept. 27-28. The conference will bring together some of today's most accomplished and exciting thinkers from both inside and outside the world of music for an interdisciplinary conversation about the future of the symphony. The conference, co-hosted by UB's Integrated Arts Program and sponsored by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics and the University of Baltimore Foundation, will be held at the UB Student Center's Wright Theater, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. Registration is available through the conference website at www.futuresymphony.org.

This extended dialogue will serve as an opportunity to celebrate symphony orchestras and further strengthen the transformative relationships between these key cultural institutions and the communities they serve. The event will also provide an introduction of the Future Symphony Institute’s unique mission, which is to be "the world's leading, independent research and educational institution dedicated to a renaissance for the tradition of live classical music."

Jeffrey Hoover, associate professor and director of the Integrated Arts program in UB's Klein Family School of Communications Design, and a member of FSI's leadership, says the conference is designed to convey one core idea: that the centuries-old practice of live performance of symphonic music not only is worth preserving—it's deserving of significant support and expansion, as a centerpiece of culture and tradition.

"The best word used to describe the experience of the live symphony is 'transcendental,'" Hoover says. "It is spiritual, in that it has the power to open up minds, inspire action, and change lives for the better. So, as orchestras everywhere continue to search for new ways to remain vital, we are beginning a conversation about the reasons why the live symphony is important for our future as a society. There will be many recommendations, such as a broadening of the repertoire and how symphonies can engage communities. But at the heart of the discussion is our assertion that this music should continue, because it has such a strong, positive impact on us all."

The Future Symphony Institute, based in Baltimore, is a new think tank in the tradition of the great American think tanks. According to its website, the FSI is made up of a growing community of the world’s best and brightest thinkers, researchers and business minds, who together, through the independence provided by the broad support of stakeholders, donors, and partners around the world, focus on providing visionary leadership and contributions to strategic thinking, scholarly research, policy formation, and public dialogue.

Roger Scruton, visiting professor at Oxford University and the University of St Andrews, Scotland and the world’s leading philosopher in the field of aesthetics, will serve as the conference's keynote speaker. Scruton, a renowned philosopher, writer, scholar and amateur composer, will present his reflections on the meaning and importance of education as an introduction to one of the Institute's primary initiatives.  

The two-day event will include the following:

SATURDAY, Sept. 27

8:30 a.m.: Registration and refreshments
9 a.m.: Andrew Balio, "How We Got Here"
10 a.m.: Rebecca Robins, "Beyond Luxury: Branding the Orchestra"
11 a.m.: Marin Alsop, Topic TBA
     
Break for lunch (not provided)

2 p.m.: James Matthew Wilson, "The Trouble with Goodness"
3 p.m.: Léon Krier, "The Fear of Backwardness and Its Consequences on Architecture and Art"
4 p.m.: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Roger Scruton, "Music and the Transcendental"

SUNDAY, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Registration and refreshments
10 a.m.: Richard Bogomolny, "Tradition and the Maintenance of Excellence"
11 a.m.: Benjamin Zander, Topic TBA
12:30 p.m.: Panel: Léon Krier, Rebecca Robins, and Roger Scruton

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

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International Law Center Marks 20th Anniversary

Festivities for the 20th anniversary of the University of Baltimore School of Law's Center for International and Comparative Law will take place on Sept. 18-19. They include a luncheon with Dean Yuval Shany at noon on the 18th, a celebratory reception on the evening of the 18th, and the symposium on international courts and legitimacy.

For more information about the anniversary celebration, go here.

To R.S.V.P. to any of the events, send an email to Laurie Schnitzer at lschnitzer@ubalt.edu.

 

University of Baltimore

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Business School Professor Ranked as a Global Leader in Research in Mobile Information Technology for Business

Eusebio Scornavacca, the John and Margaret Thompson Professor of Management Information Systems in the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business, is among the world's top authorities on the continuing evolution of mobile business, according to research conducted for the 13th annual International Conference on Mobile Business. At the ICMB's gathering in London in June, Scornavacca's research papers and their influence on the field were declared to be among the top four researchers in the world, both in terms of the number of articles published as well as their impact on the field.

"For more than a decade, I have been investigating the ways that mobile technology affects individuals, businesses and society," Scornavacca says. "There has been a huge shift in how people interact with their mobile devices over the past few years. My work looks at the different ways this innovation has disrupted how we live, work and play. It's an honor to be recognized for that by my peers."

Scornavacca has been working on understanding how mobile technology has set the world on a new course—he calls it a "fluid, ubiquitous digital ecosystem"—that is profound in its impact on human behavior of all kinds, as well as on the means of production.

For Scornavacca, it's not only that you can buy just about anything via your smartphone—it's the constant connectedness that enables people to learn, communicate and make decisions on virtually anything imaginable through a platform that lives in the palm of your hand. People use their mobile devices to order a sandwich one minute, then in the next they can discuss the impact of a war with potentially tens of thousands of others users. Important decisions are made in the time it takes to read a tweet or scan an email, on the streets of a big city or in the middle of a meadow.

"The extinction of the mobile phone and emergence of the smartphone not only signals a change of how mobile devices are categorized, but it also represents a remarkable shift in the fundamental nature of this type of technology," Scornavacca says. "Now our mobile devices are complex, multi-purpose, multi-context ubiquitous media systems that encapsulate various functions and provide a steady flow of information."

Scornavacca, who a year ago moved from New Zealand to Baltimore, said he has had a lifelong interest in how technology drives behavior, and vice versa. In the late 1990s, he was conducting research on e-commerce and envisaged that its future would be mobile technology.

"I was fascinated to find that mobile technologies could break the temporal and spatial boundaries of information access," he says.

He noticed that Japan was embracing the advent of mobile technology with a particular zeal, so in 2001 he relocated there to become a researcher in the field at Yokohama National University, with a scholarship at the Japanese Ministry of Science and Technology. He recalls first arriving in Tokyo and hurrying into a store to check out their mobile phones—not only to see what the devices could do but to learn how people were using them.

"It was a time of tremendous change there, and I was certain it was just a matter of time before it caught on all across the world," he says.

Before he left for Japan, he noticed that Americans were using their cells only as a phone—they would hold the device up to their ear and speak. When he arrived in Japan, conversely, people were already looking at their phones—typing, ordering things, getting information through the Internet.

"The essential difference was between the ear and the eye," he says. "That tells you so much about what is happening with mobile technology."

Fast forward to today, and the evolution of mobile has reached a point where a handheld device can tell you how to go anyplace, do anything, and be prepared for whatever is next. Scornavacca says that as information access continues to increase, the issue becomes one of managing the technology in order to make the most out of it.

"I call it 'connectedness madness,' and it hits everybody's life," he says. "Are we more productive, happier and better now that we're more connected? It's a big question for our age."

While Scornavacca is always looking beyond the bells and whistles of all kinds of technology, he says it's important for people to recognize that they are in control of the tools—always and in all ways.

"We all talk about media dependency, and it's real," he says. "But I question why we are alarmed by it, when we don't have that reaction to being dependent on electrical power, or running water or whatever. We are just now getting perspective on these issues and coming to understand the level of disruption caused by this technology to society."

Meanwhile, Scornavacca continues to be recognized by his peers as a key contributor to the dialogue about mobile technology. He has written or co-written dozens of papers, book chapters and so on in peer-reviewed journals, ranging from case studies on the use of mobile in agribusiness to the patterns of user behavior in mobile advertising.

"This is a frontier of the digital revolution, and there is tremendous value in studying it as it happens," he says.

Learn more about Prof. Eusebio Scornavacca and 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

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First-of-Its-Kind Course to Examine 'Universe' of Cinematic Storytelling, Perspectives in Ongoing Marvel Films

A new University of Baltimore course, to be offered in the 2015 spring semester, will scrutinize the intricately plotted world of Marvel films—the Iron Man, Thor and Captain America series, characters from the Avengers, and now the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which is widely expected to be the highest grossing film of 2014. The course, "Media Genres: Media Marvels," will examine how Marvel's series of interconnected films and television shows, plus related media and comic book sources and Joseph Campbell's monomyth of the "hero's journey," offer important insights into modern culture. The course is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

Taught by Arnold T. Blumberg, an adjunct faculty member in UB's Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the class will uncover the unprecedented efforts by Marvel to establish a viable universe of plotlines, characters, and backstories that leave no question unanswered, no story or character abandoned or otherwise unexplained. Blumberg says this critical look will encourage students to better understand the culture's fixation on superheroes, fictional global threats, and other "widescreen" novelistic tales that have pushed the comic book-to-film ethos into new territory.

"One thing we'll do is dive into the impact of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, which proved two things: Mainstream movie audiences are not remotely tired of superhero movies; and Marvel Studios can now release a sci-fi adventure that actually features talking trees and raccoons. It's not that they're getting away with it—they've created a universe in which fans completely accept these developments, and they're ready for even more."

Blumberg says that in an era of Harry Potter books and films, the realized filmic vision of the Tolkien universe, and the seemingly endless stories generated by Star Wars and Star Trek, Western culture has embraced Campbell's insight that mythmaking and storytelling are rooted in a fundamental quest for justice, peace, power, family, and love.

"Every generation has a modern media mythology that serves as a framework for entertaining as well as educating about ethics, morality, issues of race, gender, class, and so on," he says. "For the past several years, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have served in that role for tens of millions. When I was younger, it was the first Star Wars series, which I saw in the theater. For me, that saga—along with many other science fiction stories—provided that essential exploration of the hero journey, the struggle of good vs. evil, in a mainstream pop culture context."

Blumberg points out that the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" began in 2008 with Iron Man; only six years later, the Guardians film is the series' 10th. The series’ close attention to continuity, he adds, is perhaps unmatched in sci-fi history.

"We have a generation coming of age with these characters and this completely mapped-out universe. It could be argued that it's never been done better. But no matter what your age, there is always a fantasy/sci-fi/superhero realm that helps you to explore your place in the world, your identity, and your ideals. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is that realm for this generation," he says.

With plans for installments of the series continuing through at least 2028, and release dates announced into 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has firmly planted its flag in the culture. But for Blumberg, these films are about much more than capes, tights, secret identities, and alien invaders.

"This series not only provides action-packed entertainment but also profound statements about the nature of heroism, the great responsibilities that come with wielding great power, our willingness to trade freedom for security, and much more," he says. "Every issue facing our world today is encapsulated in deceptively simple morality tales featuring four-color comic book heroes whose histories stretch back to 1939."

Back then, Marvel Comics was known as Timely. The Marvel Cinematic Universe draws on the comics' 75-year history of heroism and adventure, marrying old-time movie serial and modern television storytelling with big-screen effects and eye-popping visuals.

"The series maintains a consistent tone for its brand," says Blumberg. "Just like the early comics had to 'train' their audience in the basic mechanics of comic book storytelling, with human characters transformed into heroes that spoke to a college-age readership and beyond, this cinematic series has been constructed to bring a mainstream movie-going public into a wild world of superheroes and science fiction. It started with a human emotional core delivered in the first Iron Man movie, and built out from there. The Tony Stark character is memorable in that he was someone who could readily comment on the insanity around him. This grounded the entire Marvel film canon, and is still recognizable in the Guardians film. I think relatability is one of the reasons why audiences continue to come out in great numbers for these films."

About Arnold T. Blumberg

Arnold T. Blumberg has been a comics and pop culture historian and scholar his entire life. For 15 years he worked in various editorial capacities for Gemstone Publishing, serving as editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, co-author of The Overstreet Comic Book Grading Guide, and writing or editing numerous other publications and articles about comics history. He has taught courses in comic book literature as well as superhero media and mythology among many other pop culture topics over the past 15 years. In fall 2010, Blumberg's University of Baltimore course, "Media Genres: Zombies," garnered global press coverage; the course is still being offered today, and Blumberg has gone on to become a world renowned zombie expert, contributing to books, appearing in the documentary Doc of the Dead as well as on television, radio, online, and in his own podcast, Doctor of the Dead.

Learn more about Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences and all of its pop culture offerings.

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

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M.F.A. Fall Reading Series, Featuring UB Faculty

Five professors from the University of Baltimore's acclaimed M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts will read from their own works as UB's Fall Reading Series gets underway on Monday, Sept. 22. Faculty members Betsy BoydJane DeluryKendra KopelkeSteve Matanle, and Marion Winik each will present selections from their own original writings, including poetry, fiction, essays and personal memoirs. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bogomolny Room in the UB Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

University of Baltimore

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Forensics Blood & DNA Workshop

Join us for the this one hour workshop presented by the DC Crime and Punishment Museum's Traveling Forensic Workshop! Learn about the importance of blood and DNA and their role in solving a crime with this hands on workshop! Where: Academic Center RM 417 Forensics Lab When: 12:30pm-1:30pm OR 2pm-3pm Price: $5 for FSS Members or $10 for UB Students with a valid ID. *Tickets may be purchased in the Liberal Arts & Policy Building (LAP) on the 5th floor, room 538 from the FSS President, Allison Fischer. *Tickets will also be sold at the door, but don't miss out on this hands on workshop! Seats are limited and will be sold first come first serve. *FSS MEMBERS: If you would like to help out at this event, please contact me ASAP to reserve your spot. You would be working to sell tickets at the door. This would count towards your one (1) hour of service for the semester.

University of Baltimore

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OPT Seminar for Graduating F-1 Students

OPT Seminar for Graduating F-1 Students

Are you an F-1 student who is graduating in Fall 2014?

Learn about Optional Practical Training (OPT), a type of post-graduation employment authorization available to F-1 visa students through US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We will discuss:

  • -- How and when to apply
  • -- Your SEVIS reporting requirements while on OPT
  • -- Q&A session
  • -- Job search tips
  • -- OPT application packets will be distributed
  •  

Graduating students are required to attend.

All F-1 students are welcome to attend.

Presenter: Wendy Burgess, Director, International Services

 

 

University of Baltimore

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The Future of the Symphony Conference

The Future Symphony Institute—a new Baltimore-based consortium of experts who are exploring the ways that music in the classical tradition can continue to be relevant and essential in the coming decades—will hold its first-ever international conference at the University of Baltimore on Sept. 27-28. The conference will bring together some of today's most accomplished and exciting thinkers from both inside and outside the world of music for an interdisciplinary conversation about the future of the symphony. 

The conference, co-hosted by UB's Integrated Arts Program and sponsored by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics and the University of Baltimore Foundation, will be held at the UB Student Center's Wright Theater, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. Learn more.

The conference is free to UB faculty, students and staff. Email Jeffrey Hoover at jhoover@ubalt.edu to register.

University of Baltimore

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School of Law Slow-Pitch Co-Ed Softball Tournament

Calling all UB Law Faculty, Students and Alumni - Come out for our annual fall slow-pitch co-ed softball tournament. Have FUN, meet new people, reduce stress and exercise your muscles before the winter ahead.

Sign up as a team or individually. Tabling in the lobby on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays in September, noon - 1pm. Cost is $100 per team (Covers insurance, drink and food), minimum of ten people per team.

Location: Resiterstown Regional Park, 401 Mitchell Drive, Reisterstown, 21136