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Research Highlights

Read below for our MIPAR Research Highlights!

  • Sloan Fellows Program
  • Emerging Infectious Disease Videos

Sloan Fellows Program

In 2017, the Alfred P. Sloan foundation awarded a grant to the Department of Economics for the Sloan Fellows Program, which seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented people – particularly women students and students of color – in the field of economics. The $1.3 million multi-year award supports programming and undergraduate fellowships.

The focus of the past year’s work has been to establish criteria for selecting fellows. David Mitch and the Economics Department hope to introduce their inaugural class of fellows in Fall 2019.

Through the program, the Department of Economics has also established other means of support for underrepresented students in the field. Under the guidance of David Mitch and Jacob Dennis, a senior Economics major serving as Grant Office Manager, the Department established seminar series with speakers like Cecilia Elena Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Students also formed a pre-doctoral society, and the program is funding attendance in Spring 2019 at the Sadie Tanner conference, which supports African American women preparing to enter economic professions. Additionally, the program funds workshops, student advising, and partnerships with universities like Harvard and NYU.

With the support of the Sloan Foundation, the Department of Economics is poised to put UMBC on the map with respect to diversity in the field of economics.

Read more about the Sloan Fellows Program.


Emerging Infectious Disease Videos for Prehospital Providers

The Emerging Infectious Diseases Videos for Prehospital Providers, a video series designed to train EMTs and other first responders, was released in 2018 by the UMBC Department of Emergency Health Services. The video series serves as an educational tool to train first responders like EMTs to respond to unknown infectious disease encounters or outbreaks. The videos take a “multi-pathogen approach” to educating pre-hospital responders so that they can immediately respond and help patients, even when they are uncertain what the condition is.

The videos’ “whole-pathogen approach” educates providers to respond to a variety of unknown infectious diseases by training them to react to what they observe. By educating health care providers in responding to infectious diseases, the providers become better protected while on the job. If they don’t feel safe, they are less likely to respond to emergencies, and proper training of protocol will keep all parties protected.

While the videos’ protocol were designed with ebola exposure in mind, the multi-pathogen approach makes them applicable to other diseases, by taking basic precautions based on transmission method and symptoms respondents can see on the site.

Many of the videos were filmed in local communities in Baltimore County, including at local fire departments.

The cornerstone of the project is the comprehensive view of infectious disease the videos offer. The video series brings together experts in biology, epidemiology, and disaster response while combining the expertise with UMBC’s EHS department, which has experience in creating online education. The videos break down complex material and help first responders learn the biology behind the diseases and fully understand how they spread, enabling them to better react and protect themselves when responding to emergencies. In addition to biology, the videos address public health, communications, case management, technology, and logistics coordination, while integrating diverse approaches and philosophies of treatment.

The project was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) via the Maryland Department of Health. The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS) developed the training protocols displayed in the videos.

The video series was produced by Becca Scharf, Rick Bissell, and Lucy Wilson of the UMBC Department of Emergency Health Services, and overseen by Department Chair Lee Jenkins. The grant funding was managed by MIPAR.

The video series is available to the public for free, and can be found here.