Frostburg State University is a four-year university located on a 260-acre campus in Frostburg, Maryland, in Western Maryland, and is part of the University System of Maryland. FSU is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Wikipedia.
News Article | February 27, 2017
“I’m a farmer, which is where the story starts,” began Kim Alexander. Worried about health problems and the environmental impact from fracking, Kim recounted her long walk. “In October, my friend and I took to the road, the trail, the river side; 320 miles across the state of Maryland in a walking performance to educate, celebrate and protect our watershed and the communities it supports, from the far ranging impacts of natural gas development.” Kim also visited Dimock, Pa., and gathered water from the Ely family, whose well water was made undrinkable by fracking. I would frequently see the drilling in rural Pennsylvania when I worked in Butler and Williamsport hospitals. I was particularly disturbed by a scene at Summit Elementary like this, which, given what we know about the health dangers of fracking, struck me as a terrible threat to children. Recently, I attended an Allegany College of Maryland meeting of the Western Maryland (WMD) state legislators on fracking. I then went to Frostburg State University to get background for this series and met Kim and other activists, and have followed their path, learning about the health risks I outlined in my earlier posts. There are two competing bills in the Maryland legislature that will soon come up for a vote. SB0740/HB1325 would prohibit fracking in Maryland. Another competing bill, SB0862, from Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D) calls for a referendum county-by-county and further study and regulations. While this initially might sound reasonable, it’s not. One obvious problem is that if residents oppose the fracking, a new bill to challenge that can be proposed every year (p. 3, sec G3-4). A re-vote is not a provision if the pro-fracking faction wins. Carter Conway’s bill specifies that the regulations are to rely on the recommendations of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission and of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but excludes studies from Johns Hopkins and other research institutions from consideration. Why would that be? We know that the EPA has failed to protect residents from drilling, as I explained here. Public Herald has recently released a thorough study showing that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has hidden more than 9,000 complaints. Given that about three-quarters of Maryland’s residents live in places where anti-fracking resolutions are in place, allowing fracking to be decided by the two westernmost counties is likely to disenfranchise them and put their health at risk. Also, as Barbara Hurd, local resident and acclaimed writer, recently put it, “We live in places intricately bound to other places. Our communities are connected to other communities; our habitats to other lands. The effects of fracking do not abide by jurisdictional boundaries. No regulations can stop polluted water and tainted air from traveling wherever they will.” Growing health concerns, yet division over fracking in MD At the Allegany College information session, anti-fracking comments from citizens dominated. At the last Cumberland City Council meeting, 42 attended to support the ban and 13 spoke against fracking. At both, concerns focused on: Two other Garrett County physicians concur. Dr. Tom Johnson added, “It is not prudent for our community to accept this risk at this time.” Another physician, who specifically noted that he is a Republican and Trump supporter, also opposes fracking in WMD. Medical associations are increasingly voicing their opposition. The Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is supporting the bill to ban fracking altogether in Maryland, as is the Maryland Public Health Association. Similarly, the Pennsylvania Medical Society unanimously approved a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking, because of the growing evidence of its harms. A poll by OpinionWorks in 2015 showed 68% of Maryland residents wanted a ban or long-term moratorium; only 3% favored fracking. A similar poll last fall did not include the moratorium; 56% supported a ban vs. 28%. The margin in Garrett County, where most drilling would occur, and a Washington Post poll last fall had similar results. The Western Maryland delegates are strongly pro-fracking and keep telling people that they have strong support from the citizens of WMD, although all the polls above contradict that. I have reached out to three local state legislators for further comment. Senator George C. Edwards returned my call. Edwards tried to reassure me about health risks. I asked, “You say that fracking will be safe and well-regulated…but who will do that?” Edwards responded, “We’re going to have the strictest regs… We’re not Pa.!” Asked about the safety of all the heavy trucking equipment carrying chemicals, polluted wastewater and possibly liquefied natural gas maneuvering on windy, mountainous roads in an area notorious for blowing snow and fog, he deflected the question, saying that gas would be transported across Maryland by pipeline—about 250 miles—presumably to Dominion Cove Point's processing facility on the Chesapeake. Recent protests against TransCanada’s plan to run a pipeline under the Potomac River, the water source for millions of people in the metropolitan D.C. area, also illustrate the health concerns. Further casting doubt on reliance on regulatory oversight for our safety is Governor Larry Hogan's (R) inaugural statement, “We must get the state government off our backs, and out of our pockets, so that we can grow the private sector.” That’s similar to the Trump administration’s vows to deregulate safety requirements across the board and to dismantle agencies. Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA multiple times, is now the head of the EPA. It is unlikely that he or Gov. Hogan would then monitor and enforce environmental regulations. Also, to my surprise, Del. Wendell Beitzell, who was assistant director of environmental health at the Garrett County Health Department, said at the ACC meeting, “Fracking poses no threats.” Beitzel’s comment astonished me, so I wondered why he felt so strongly. He apparently has considerable financial incentive to support fracking. In 2011, Maryland spent $455,000 for agreeing not to develop his farmland in Garrett County. Beitzel also introduced a bill, despite the conservation easement, to allow drilling. Now, Beitzel has sponsored bill HB1461, cross-filed in the Md. Senate by Edwards as SB0980, to provide restitution for large landholders who can’t frack their land if there is a ban. Where do they propose the funding for this come from? The owners of renewable energy systems that generate electricity through the solar energy photovoltaic systems would be taxed 25% of their sales for this "restitution fund.” There is, of course, no similar restitution fund for damages caused by fracking. There is a common misconception, promulgated by Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D), who said that fracking “affects two counties where there are no jobs whatsoever” other than prisons. This is not true, as tourism has been increasing in the counties. A recent op-ed noted, “Tourism and vacation real estate provide about half of all jobs and two thirds of Garrett County’s tax base…nowhere in the world do fracking and world-class tourism mix.” When Kim canvassed local businesses, no one supported fracking. The only people who did not sign the ban petition expressed fear that signing would hurt their businesses. Buckel’s office e-mailed me that he believed fracking could bring “492 to 2,425” jobs. But on a WCBC radio interview, he said, “It might provide "25, 50, 100, 250 jobs". More alternative facts, it seems. Note, too, that mostly out-of-state workers get the high-paying jobs. Local worker jobs are usually low-paid, low-skill, part-time jobs. Tourism is also on the upswing. Garrett County has seen over 6% growth in tourism in 2016, with real estate making a comeback from historic lows in 2008, up 16% this same year. A report produced by the Outdoor Industry Association found that recreation employed about 6.1 million people, vs. 2.1 for oil and gas. A new report from the Department of Energy says that 3.4 million Americans were directly employed by the clean energy industry in 2016 vs. 3 million for fossil fuels. Further, renewable energy employment grew by nearly 18% between Q2 2015 and Q1 2016. It has been heartening to witness grassroots mobilization and activism. These people in WMD love their land and are driven to protect it and downstream communities. Kim even wrote this anti-fracking ballad: There is growing opposition to fracking by health, environmental and conservation groups. New York, Vermont and Massachusetts have statewide bans or moratoria. Florida is considering a ban to protect its tourism and water—a bill that has notable bipartisan support. Instead of focusing on bills that risk our clean water, clean air and our countryside, it would seem far wiser to reward innovative approaches to land use and investments in renewable energy and tourism, both of which have a much broader benefit to local communities and the state, and which pose no risks to our—and our children’s—health. For more medical/pharma news and perspective, follow me on Twitter @drjudystone or here at Forbes
News Article | December 9, 2016
A new study from UT Dallas finds that bestowing considerable power in the CEO does not create value for the firm during industrywide downturns. "We wanted to look at crisis situations in which urgency -- the speed of making a decision -- could potentially be really important," said Dr. Vikram Nanda, O.P. Jindal Distinguished Chair in Finance in the Naveen Jindal School of Management and one of the paper's authors. "We look at severe industry downturns. The essential idea is, when you have concentrated power in the hands of the CEO or a small group of decision-makers, does that lead to better decision-making or worse?" The study, "When Crisis Knocks, Call a Powerful CEO (or Not)," recently was published online in Group & Organization Management. Nanda said the topic of CEO power -- the concentration of decision-making authority in the chief executive -- has long been a topic of interest for organizational scholars and manager practitioners. Agency theory says CEO power is ultimately detrimental to the company, while strategic leadership literature highlights the instrumental role the CEO plays in getting things done. Using information on large publicly traded firms from Standard & Poor's, stock price information and databases on boards of directors, the researchers sampled 3,724 CEOs in 2,097 companies during the time period of 1992 to 2009. CEO power was determined by answering questions such as, "Is the CEO also the chairman of the board?" and "How much does the CEO make in comparison to the firms' other top executives?" For innovative firms with powerful CEOs, an industry downturn results in a notable decrease in the firm's value, or book-to-market ratio, relative to a less powerful CEO, the study found. For firms with powerful CEOs in competitive industries and high-discretion industries, a downturn results in a decrease in firm value. In general, a small concentration of power does not work well, even in times of crisis, Nanda said. It's a trade-off, he said. Decisions may be made faster because only one or two people need to weigh in, but it could be detrimental if the CEO does not get input from other sources. Instead, companies should keep their information channels open, Nanda said. The search for more information should not be sacrificed by urgency, he said. CEO governance is an important issue, Nanda said. Regulatory response has been to increase the power of the board or make the board independent of the CEO. Although there is some skepticism about the benefits of intervention, such as independent audit committees, on average, these regulations have helped, Nanda said. "CEOs can actually benefit from having a board of independent members, or having different voices in the boardroom," Nanda said. "That can lead to better decision-making. It would be positive for the firm to view it from that perspective. Many of them do, but there are always people who want more power and more authority, and don't want to have people looking over their shoulder. On the other hand, that may be what helps a firm deal with a crisis." Dr. Vishal K. Gupta of the University of Mississippi, Dr. Seonghee Han of Frostburg State University and Dr. Sabatino Silveri of the University of Memphis are co-authors on the paper.
News Article | December 12, 2016
All Traffic Solutions, the leader in cloud based traffic management solutions for law enforcement, transportation and smart cities, announced today that technology veteran Andy Souders has joined the company as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and SVP Engineering. “All Traffic Solutions is poised to lead the way in the emerging sensor-driven transportation world— helping organizations, governments and technology providers to meet their ongoing traffic and parking challenges,” said Jim Weaver, Chief Executive Officer of ATS. “Andy’s vast experience in architecting and managing advanced information system initiatives—combined with his ability to transform vision into a technical reality— positions us to realize our mission to help organizations in law enforcement, public works, traffic management and the private sector to leverage the IoT and Cloud-based data to manage traffic, build intelligent transportation systems and support smart cities projects.” Prior to joining ATS, Mr. Souders was SVP, Products and Strategy for Savi Technology, a pioneer in the sensor space and developer of innovative IoT and in-transit supply chain visibility solutions. During his tenure, the company earned many awards including Company of the Year – Sensor Analytics, Frost & Sullivan, 2015 IoT Evolution Product of the Year, TMC; and Technology Innovation Award for Operational Intelligence, Ventana Research. Mr. Souders has also held executive technical roles at Clarity Solution Group, EZShield, NEW/Asurion and America Online. “Traffic congestion is a trillion-dollar problem in the U.S. alone. All Traffic Solutions is an innovator in cloud-based traffic management solutions that continues to change the way smarter cities solve their most complex traffic, transportation and parking challenges,” said Souders. “I’m excited to join ATS All Traffic Solutions as we develop more intelligent transportation infrastructure solutions that lead to improved traffic flow, better traffic safety outcomes, as well as groundbreaking initiatives related to vehicle-to-infrastructure solutions and smart cities.” Mr. Souders holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Frostburg State University. Along with his son, Alec Souders, he is the co-founder of Pedal It Out, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funding and awareness for cancer research. Mr. Souders will be based at the All Traffic Solutions Herndon, VA headquarters. About All Traffic Solutions Located in the Northern Virginia Tech Corridor Herndon, Virginia, All Traffic Solutions is consistently recognized as a leading innovator in the traffic safety industry for radar speed and variable message displays, imaging products and intelligent transportation systems, delivering groundbreaking levels of service and product capability. By integrating cloud technology into all of its products, All Traffic Solutions allows customers to manage all their equipment and data remotely through a browser, resulting in better traffic safety outcomes and initiatives related to vehicle-to-infrastructure solutions and smart cities.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Park Heights Renaissance (PHR) today announced that Tony Bridges has been named Director of Human Services and Operations. A Baltimore and Park Heights native, Tony was previously the Director of East Baltimore Community Affairs for Johns Hopkins before joining Park Heights Renaissance. In this new role, Tony will oversee administration, community relations, education and operations for the non-profit organization. Said Executive Director, Cheo Hurley, “Tony brings a wealth of experience in community engagement from his time working to effect change at the city and state level in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and with the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. We are looking forward to him bringing that knowledge and expertise to Park Heights Renaissance as we continue to work to improve the Park Heights community.” Bridges earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Frostburg State University. He received his certificate in Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communications from Towson University. He is a former Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholar, where he researched public perception and communication at the University of Maryland at College Park and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Excellence in Local Governance through the University of Maryland. Tony is active in the community and serves on the board of VLINC, a non-profit organization that creates technological solutions to improve the independence and quality of life for individuals of all ages with disabilities. “I am grateful to Mr. Hurley and the board for this opportunity and I look forward to working with the staff and Park Heights community,” Bridges said. “It feels good to be able to support the work to improve the community where I was raised.” About Park Heights Renaissance Park Heights Renaissance is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization representing businesses, religious institutions, schools, agencies, and other stakeholders committed to shaping a better future for Park Heights. The geographic footprint of PHR is 1,500 acres -- almost twice the size of Central Park in New York -- comprising a diverse group of more than a dozen neighborhoods. The mission of Park Heights Renaissance (PHR) is to help implement the Baltimore City Park Heights Master Plan, drive land and economic development, and partner with human development organizations that are transformative influences in the revival of a thriving and sustainable community. For more information please visit http://boldnewheights.org/
News Article | October 28, 2016
News Article | February 15, 2017
On February 21, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Maryland National Golf Club, 8836 Hollow Rd., Middletown, MD, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Maryland Chapter (AFPWMD) will host an educational seminar designed for fundraising professionals and board members of nonprofit organizations. The interactive seminar will focus on the balance of personality traits and expertise a development officer needs to succeed. The speakers will provide practical advice on how to work these traits in specific skill sets, techniques, and opportunities to improve. A self-assessment tool will be provided with discussion and questions to follow. The two speakers will be Ken Coffey and Jim Lyons. With strong Western Maryland roots and extensive fundraising experience, Ken Coffey is the Executive Director at Self Regional Healthcare Foundation in Greenwood, South Carolina. For 20 years prior to this position, he was Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Frederick Regional Health System (FMH). During his tenure, more than $68 million in charitable support was raised to help FMH meet the community's healthcare needs. Ken is a graduate of Frostburg State University. Jim Lyons has 37 years of experience in the fundraising field and is a senior partner at Pride Philanthropy. He has taught seminars for over 400 institutions and their staff and boards. Jim has worked on an extended basis with over 150 non-profit clients. During that time, his clients have achieved over $450 million in fundraising goals. Jim is a graduate of University of Northern Colorado. Tickets for AFP Members are $20 and $35 for Non-Members. Full breakfast is provided. For tickets and additional information, please visit the website. About AFPWMD The Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Maryland Chapter assists in developing skilled and prepared fundraisers to maximize benefit and philanthropic giving within the Western Maryland region. Currently, AFPWMD serves Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Montgomery, Alleghany, and Garrett County by offering personal connections, educational opportunities, and professional growth experiences. Recently AFPWMD hosted a National Philanthropy day luncheon honoring outstanding volunteers who commit themselves to raising money for fantastic causes and making substantial impact within their communities.
Leung K.,Sandia National Laboratories |
Budzien J.L.,Frostburg State University
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2010
The decomposition of ethylene carbonate (EC) during the initial growth of solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) films at the solvent-graphitic anode interface is critical to lithium ion battery operations. Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of explicit liquid EC/graphite interfaces are conducted to study these electrochemical reactions. We show that carbon edge terminations are crucial at this stage, and that achievable experimental conditions can lead to surprisingly fast EC breakdown mechanisms, yielding decomposition products seen in experiments but not previously predicted. © the Owner Societies.
Kessler F.C.,Frostburg State University |
Slocum T.A.,University of Kansas
Annals of the Association of American Geographers | Year: 2011
This article examines changes in the design of thematic maps in two geographical journals (the Annals of the Association of American Geographers and The Geographical Journal) over the course of the twentieth century. We analyzed the design of thematic maps using both qualitative and quantitative content analyses. The qualitative content analysis involved writing positive and negative comments pertaining to eleven map design elements. For the quantitative content analysis, we created a set of seventeen items based on many of these same map design elements, but for each item there was a fixed set of possible nominal or ordinal-level responses. We also rated the overall effectiveness of map design using a ten-point scale. The overall design rating revealed a significant, albeit gradual, improvement in map design over the twentieth century, with considerable variation for individual years. The quantitative content analysis suggested that the improvement in map design over time was a function of improved readability and visual hierarchy and to some extent an improved logic of symbology (the latter was not significant over time). Perhaps more interesting were the summary statistics for certain map design elements. For instance, a source was not included on the majority of maps even though we felt that the maps could have been interpreted more effectively if a source were included. Another interesting finding was that thematic maps frequently fell in to what we describe as a miscellaneous category. Choropleth, dot, and other familiar thematic map symbolization types were much less common and their frequency varied considerably from year to year. Overall, our results are disconcerting because the quality of map design in these journals did not reflect our discipline's long interest in mapping and the importance of cartography to geography. © 2011 by Association of American Geographers.
Utz R.M.,University of Maryland College Park |
Hilderbrand R.H.,University of Maryland College Park |
Raesly R.L.,Frostburg State University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2010
Human-centered land use causes ecosystem degradation and loss of biodiversity in streams, yet such processes may be highly heterogeneous among species and regions. We quantified fish species sensitivity to several classes of land use and determined if trends varied among three geoclimatic regions of Maryland, USA. Our approach compares the cumulative frequency distribution (CFD) of sites where a species was expected to occur to the CFD of those where it was collected to estimate the species-specific maximum degree of land use tolerated and the minimal amount that may induce an impact. Fishes were most vulnerable to urban land use gradients, though trends were region-specific with heightened sensitivity in the Piedmont (64-72% of species negatively affected) relative to the Coastal Plain (45-52% negatively affected). Species found in both regions exhibited greater vulnerability to urbanization in the Piedmont. Responses to agricultural land use were less severe though trends were region-specific as well with the least sensitive in the Piedmont and the greatest negative impact in the Highlands region. In many cases, reduced population abundances were detected at lower levels of land use relative to the range where the species was apparently extirpated. Our results demonstrate that population reduction and species loss due to land use change differs substantially among regions, even within a single species. Greater sensitivity observed in abundance-weighted analyses implies that further loss of fish diversity may be impending in impacted streams. Our results have direct application to prioritize conservation resources and forecast future declines in species distributions and biodiversity. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kessler F.,Frostburg State University
Cartography and Geographic Information Science | Year: 2011
Mapping technologies have made considerable strides in recent decades. Global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing satellites, Web-based mapping services, and geographic information systems (GIS) have facilitated the collection, distribution, analysis, and ultimately interaction with geospatial information. In particular, portable GPS have altered how individuals participate in mapping. Individuals can use GPS to collect tracings of their personal interactions with the environment. These interactions can then be uploaded to one of many available Web-based mapping services. Once uploaded, the geospatial data can be mapped and shared among the broader community of users. Such volunteered geographic information (VGI) exemplifies the conceptualization of an individual collecting, mapping, and sharing personal geographic information. This paper focuses on challenges surrounding VGI. To help place these challenges in a broader context, specialized Web services and GPS technologies developed for the bicycling community will serve as examples of the current status and future prospects of VGI.