Tag: university of maryland

Quidditch: Not Just for Wizards Anymore


“We have three bludgers instead of two,” says a member of the Johns Hopkins Quidditch team. “That’s pretty much the only other adjustment [from Wizard Quidditch to Muggle Quidditch]. Except for the flying.”

If that paragraph didn’t make any sense to you, then you should put your computer away and go pick up some Harry Potter books. You’re a little behind. For the rest of you:  yes, it’s true, Johns Hopkins has a Quidditch team, and so does the University of Maryland. Yes, plain old muggles like you and me can play. And yes, there are brooms involved.

Muggle Quidditch is something like a combination of rugby, dodgeball, and performance art. The goals are hula hoops; the quaffle is a slightly deflated volleyball; the golden snitch is a person dressed in gold who sprints around and tries not to get caught. As silly as it may sound, quidditch is probably the most popular sport to have been invented in our lifetime. More than two hundred colleges have teams registered with the International Quidditch Association, which was founded in 2007.  Middlebury College’s team has won the Quidditch World Cup for the past four years, which makes them something like the Slytherin of liberal arts colleges.

So if you’re nervous about Potter withdrawal after HP7 Part 2 opens this weekend, never fear – once fall comes around, the Quidditch players will be trotting around campus with their brooms again, and you’re welcome to stop by and cheer them on.

Young Blood: MAP MFA Grad Show Opens Tonight


Sponsored Post – Mark your calendar with a capital A for art: Wednesday evening, June 29th, from 6 to 8, Young Blood, Maryland Art Place’s annual MFA grad show—one of the organization’s most popular events, now in its fourth year—features painting, sculpture, video, drawing, and interactive performance by recent grads with talent to burn. We are so there.

Curated by the MAP Program Advisory Committee, which is chaired by artist, writer, and teacher Cara Ober, the exhibition provides recent MFA grads an opportunity to make connections with other artists and arts professionals, and to nurture their early artistic careers.

“After achieving their master’s, the next most important step for young artists is their professional debut in a reputable professional gallery,” Ober says.

Engaging event meanwhile provides you, gallery-goer, the opportunity to tour and purchase new art by gifted young people of powerful creative vision, their names not currently household, but we’d wager might well soon be. Show will include emerging artists from the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Maryland at College Park, Towson University, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

We can’t wait to check out work by Amy Boone-McCreesh, who earned her MFA in painting from Towson—Amy builds ultra-abundant, confetti-colorful installations from found objects, secondhand fabrics, and celebratory ephemera. All artists convey unique themes. Wun Ting Wendy Tai, a new MFA from MICA’s Rinehart School of Sculpture, is a mixed-media artist whose work references post-colonialism and multiculturalism—she “attempts to address the effects of cultural and social hybridity in a poetic and ephemeral manner.” Jill Fannon, armed with an MFA in imaging and digital art from UMBC, creates her bold images with the aid of new technology. MICA grad Adam Junior, a sculptor from Long Island, says he’s preoccupied with building structures that are at once contained and impenetrable alongside those that are vulnerable and codependent. We definitely dig his piece, “Nowhere Else to Go,” which assembles numerous small white houses that seem at once ready to house a human family or a searching flock of birds. Linling Lu (MFA, MICA Hoffberger School of Painting) recently completed a series of paintings, which allow her to “embrace the beauty in various chances [or nuanced moments] of solitary mediation.” Her gentle works likewise beckon the viewer to a most meditative place.

Emerging wunderkinds Katie Taylor, Jesse Burrows, Sarah McNeil and Rob Guevara also to display recent work.

“MAP is very excited about the fourth installment of Young Blood,” says Sofia Rutka, MAP program manager. “The nine artists in this year’s exhibition were selected based on the strength of their work, exemplary of the recent MFA graduates in the Baltimore area.”

So, see you there Wednesday, June 29, 6-8, for opening reception and artist talks. Show runs until August 27.

Maryland Art Place
Power Plant Live!
8 Market Place, Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21202

Established in 1981, MAP inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community.

For more information: [email protected]

What the State’s Richest Employees Have in Common


Who said working for the state doesn’t pay?
    While choosing the right college major may net you more (or less) money, maybe your best bet is to work for the college itself. Yes, the university system is where the money’s at — at least in Maryland, where the top ten highest-paid state employees all work for the University System of Maryland, primarily in the School of Medicine.
    2010’s top earner was Stephen Bartlett, chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. His base salary last year was $864,786. That number doesn’t include bonuses, speaking fees, or payments for appearing on television; once you include those numbers, Gary Williams, head coach at the University of Maryland, surges to the top — his base salary was $450,869, but those extra earnings add up:  his total compensation for 2010 was $2.3 million. (Williams retired after the 2010 season, so maybe he was just trying to earn a little extra for retirement?)
    Governor O’Malley? His (relatively) paltry $150,000 per year put him nowhere near the top of the list. Maybe he should consider a second career in academia.
    What else do the top earners have in common?  Well, they’re all men; only two women make it into the top fifty. The highest-paid woman entering the list comes in at #22 — Claudia Baquet, an associate dean and an advocate for underserved communities. We hope she doesn’t feel too lonely up there at the top.

Fake ID Follies


University of Maryland sophomore and Montgomery County resident Teddy Michaels was federally indicted last month for making fake IDs and selling them to his fellow students. The fact is, the vast majority of young adults between 18 and 21 drink alcohol. At that age, and really throughout all of adulthood, alcohol is everywhere. In my experience, getting a fake ID is critical for most kids under 21. I remember my own desire for one; friends who had one seemed to be blessed with some sort of golden ticket. 

People who don’t have access to a decent counterfeit (like me a few years ago) often settle for the next best thing: the actual ID of a friend or relative who looks like them. That’s great if the person you find actually looks like you, but more often than not you are a peach-fuzzed baby face and that guy with the five o’clock shadow in the photograph looks like he just escaped from Guantanamo (and if you’re mistaken for THAT guy, your troubled cousin Alfred, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands). At the very least, if you try to pass one of those around, you are eventually going to be embarrassed by any bouncer or cashier with an ounce of common sense.

These problems keep quality fake IDs in high demand, which gives upstarts (opportunists) like Michaels the ability to drive up prices and make small fortunes. But people like Teddy Michaels are rare because it’s hard to acquire the equipment to manufacture convincing fake IDs. If you get one it is more likely to be printed on computer paper and laminated with an DIY laminating kit from Learning How than an elaborate copy like the ones Michaels produced. And when someone like Michaels does come around, the excitement around him is so great he draws a lot of attention not only from students, but also from authorities. Unfortunately, poor Teddy (a triple major in finance, accounting, and economics) should have known better than to merge the two things he was learning in school: business and partying.


Commencement Speakers: The Highlights


No Oprah- or Obama-caliber superstars will descend on Baltimore this graduation season, but the speakers’ docket is still full of intriguing talent and fascinating lives. This years’ speakers include a soprano, an NFL players advocate, and a bevy of journalists and non-profit executives. A few notable speakers include:

Johns Hopkins‘ university-wide commencement on Thursday, May 26 will feature Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show, Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, columnist at the Washington Post, and New York Times bestselling author.

The SAIS ceremony — also May 26 — will include a speech by Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme.

Slated to speak at Peabody  (May 26 as well) is soprano Marni Nixon, “the voice of Hollywood,” who overdubbed the singing voices in movies including My Fair Lady, West Side Story, The King and I, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

For its May 26 commencement, the Johns Hopkins School of Education snagged Gary Knell, president of the Sesame Workshop, who helped bring Sesame Street to far-flung places including Egypt, South Africa, Russia, and China.

Goucher‘s got Dr. Ian G. Rawson, the managing director of Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti speaking on Friday, May 20.

On Friday, May 13 Stevenson will feature journalist Kimberly Dozier, formerly of CBS News and now with the Associated Press. Dozier recently penned an account of her time as a correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan — and her recovery after being wounded in a car bombing that killed a colleague.

Morgan State‘s speaker is Ruth Simmons, the first female president of Brown University and the first African American to serve as president of any Ivy League institution. The ceremony takes place on Saturday, May 21.

Towson’s commencement on Wednesday, May 25 will include a speech by Scott Pelley, who is slated to replace Katie Couric as CBS Evening News anchor.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, lends some wisdom at the University of Maryland’s graduation ceremony in College Park on Thursday, May 19.