USM System Insider   
March 2014
In This Issue
"Like" USM and Win
As part of its year-long 25th anniversary celebration, USM continues to host monthly Facebook contests and give away an assortment of great prizes. This month, our grand prize winner will receive four autographed books written by UMBC faculty members and a NOOK GlowLight.  "Like" the USM Facebook page and enter for your chance to win! Thanks to these monthly giveaways, USM has increased its number of "Facebook" LIKES from less than 300 to nearly 700.
Protect Your Personal Information
The University of Maryland, College Park has set up a webpage containing updates on its recent data security breach. The page includes a FAQ section as well as a list of actions affected parties can take to reduce their chances of identity theft.

USMO and Foundation employees also have access to fraud-related resources through the INOVA Employee Assistance Program (EAP). To access the INOVA-EAP, log in using the user ID "USMEAP" and the password "USMO."  From there, go to the "Living" tab on the blue bar across the top of the page and click on "Fraud & Alert" in the drop-down box.

As a reminder, USM Office IT staff will not ask you for your username and password via e-mail; if they need that information, they will contact you in person or via telephone.  Additionally, please remember not to disclose your user account information via e-mail.
Legislative Testimony Available
The 2014 Maryland legislative session is well underway, and USM and our institutions have testified at several Senate and House hearings. System and institutional testimony and the 2014 legislative session USM hearing schedule are available on the  USM website.
The System Insider, the USM office's internal newsletter, provides an overview of recent activity at USM, including department news, staffing changes, and key events in which USM is involved. Additionally, the System Insider includes a feature article highlighting USM's impact, either within USM or in the broader community, and a staff spotlight, helping us to know and connect with our USM colleagues.

In this issue, we feature an article that showcases the progress that USM has made in sustainability since Chancellor Brit Kirwan established the USM Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Initiative in 2007. We also highlight Jenna Buttler-Ray, whose work planning events touches all of us in the USM office and beyond.

Read on and enjoy!
USM Powers System-Wide Sustainability Successes
 "The time is ripe for the University System of Maryland (USM) and its constituent institutions to advance their programs and activities dealing with the environment. The USM has strong programs and substantial expertise that can respond to this opportunity. My goal is for the USM to marshal and strengthen its capabilities and respond to the needs of the campus communities, the state, and the nation," Chancellor Brit Kirwan declared at the Seminar on Sustainability at Frostburg State University more than six years ago.

These remarks publicly marked the start of USM's Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Initiative, which set out to make sustainability and environmental stewardship a strategic priority across the system. The initiative has three key areas of focus - practices, programs, and policies - calling for a system-wide strategy for campus sustainability and energy efficiency; the use of USM's educational and research resources to advance environmental understanding and action; and a concerted effort to inform and support the development of the state's environmental policies.

Important milestones have been reached on each of these fronts during the past several years, as illustrated in the following excerpts of Chancellor Kirwan's speech at the 2014 USM Environmental Summit.

"All 12 of USM's institutions have met all of their commitments to ACUPCC [American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment] obligations to date. This shows the commitment of USM institutions to climate change and sustainability goals. But our institutions have gone even further. Since 2009 and the implementation of the state's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction Act, deliberate actions taken by USM institutions to reduce energy use and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions have achieved a combined - documented and reported - greenhouse gas reduction of nearly 100,000 metric tons of carbon."

"USM institutions are, on average, more than halfway to the state goal of a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020."  

"The average amount of GHG emissions per person on campus, as well as emissions per square foot of campus space, have been reduced by 23 percent and 26 percent respectively."

"Last year, USM institutions achieved a recycling rate of 37 percent, well ahead of the State-mandated 30 percent rate for next year and well on track to achieving the State's goal of 40 percent by 2015."

"As of today, USM institutions have committed to over 30 mega-watts of renewable energy, covering approximately 20 percent of energy needs. And there are efforts planned for additional solar, wind, and biomass produced energy as well." Note: These statistics were calculated by aggregating the purchased electricity from two major solar farms, Mount St. Mary's and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), and two major wind projects, Pinnacle and Roth Rock, on the Maryland/West Virginia border.

Complementing these system-wide sustainability efforts are a host of activities and initiatives at the institutional level. UMES, for example, partnered with SunEdison, an energy solutions company, to develop a 17-acre, 2 mega-watt solar-energy farm that is not only among the nation's largest, college campus-based energy farms, but also the largest renewable energy project in the state of Maryland. Meanwhile, both Frostburg State University and the University of Maryland, College Park have established research centers that are exploring renewable and alternative energy systems. Additionally, undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs have been added in a variety of environmental and sustainability-related areas at USM institutions.

USM's ability to effect such positive change has been made possible by individuals at both the system and institutional levels. In Chancellor Kirwan's words, "Thanks to [USM Vice Chancellor for Sustainability] Don [Boesch's] leadership, [USM Director of Capital Planning] Mark [Beck's] persistence, and the dedicated work of a lot of people, we have made significant progress on sustainability over the past half-dozen years."
David May, Project Director in the Office of P-20 Initiatives, and Nancy Shapiro, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for P-20 Education, co-authored "Faculty Grassroots Leadership in Science Education Reform: Considerations for Change, Culture, and Context," which was published in the July 2013 issue of Creative Education and examines the nature of faculty grassroots leadership in science education reform in four different higher-education institutions: a community college, a master's level university, and two research universities.

David May was quoted in a story that aired on Washington, D.C. television station WUSA 9 about the Minority Student Pipeline Math Science Partnership  (MSP)2). Led by Bowie State with the support of USM and several other partners, (MSP)2 aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students entering STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines through a $12.4-million National Science Foundation partnership grant.

Working with the USM Student Council, USM's Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT) initiated a small open textbook pilot for the spring 2014 academic term. Eleven faculty members from seven institutions (including two outside the system) and approximately 1,100 students are involved in the pilot, which will make several textbooks available digitally at no cost to students.  Estimates suggest that students will save approximately $130,000 in textbook costs as the result of this initiative. 
Chancellor Kirwan was featured in "The Who, What, When, Where, and Why, of How We Learn," the cover story in the Spring 2014 issue of University of Maryland University College's Achiever magazine. The story, which also featured UMUC President Javier Miyares and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marie A. Cini, examines changes in the student body, course content, educational environments, costs, and pedagogical approaches that are taking place in higher education today.

Chancellor Kirwan also appeared in a video produced by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, in which he spoke in support of the Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zone Program.
The 2013-2014 USM Profile and the 2014 USM Quick Points of Excellence have been published. If you would like copies of these publications, contact Jennifer Rose at or x2756.

USM will be hosting its spring Way2GoMaryland event on May 3, 2014 at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. The event, which will feature panels on preparing and paying for college and a college fair with admissions and financial aid representatives from several USM institutions, is open to sixth- to 10th- grade students attending Washington County schools and their parents/guardians. For online registration and more information about this event, click here.
Stay Connected

Staff Spotlight

Jenna Buttler-Ray, Director of Special Events

Role at USM: I am responsible for many of the fundraising and educational awareness events sponsored by the USM Foundation. From the guest lists, to the food, to the run of the program, I leave no detail unattended! 


Began Work at USM: July 2006   

Born in: Verona, NJ 

Lives in: Arnold, MD  

College/university attended: Towson University 

Favorite pastime: Spending time with my family (husband Brian, son Zachary-11, daughter Zoey-5)  

Best three adjectives to describe you: Detailed, dedicated, passionate  

Favorite DC/Baltimore-area restaurantMiss Shirley's Cafe 


Fun Fact About Yourself: I won't pay retail price for anything!  

Honors and Achievements
Leonard Raley, president/CEO of the University System of Maryland Foundation, was selected as the recipient of the 2014 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award, which recognizes individuals "who have made great strides in the development and quality of their foundations and who have provided significant service to the community of institutionally related foundations."

Chancellor Brit Kirwan was appointed to the Curiosity Project Advisory Board. Founded by John Hendricks, who also founded the Discovery Channel and Discovery Communications, the Curiosity Project is a new educational initiative that aims to transform human learning and understanding through the provision of "deep dive" content.
Editor's Notes
The System Insider is distributed quarterly, with the next issue to be published in June 2014. If you have feedback on this issue, or if you have suggestions on topics to cover in subsequent issues, please contact me, Jennifer Rose, at
or 301-445-2756. I look forward to hearing from you!
USM System Insider
University System of Maryland | |
3300 Metzerott Road
Adelphi, MD 20783