COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland in College Park (UMD) received one of the top awards at the 2015 Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Award ceremony from the Association of Public and Land grant Universities (APLU). The university took home the top honor, otherwise known as the Connections Award, which recognizes an institution […]
COLLEGE PARK – The University of Maryland in College Park (UMD) received one of the top awards at the 2015 Innovation & Economic Prosperity (IEP) University Award ceremony from the Association of Public and Land grant Universities (APLU).
The university took home the top honor, otherwise known as the Connections Award, which recognizes an institution working toward building connections between innovation and entrepreneurship, talent development, and social and community development. The award winners were announced in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Brian Darmody, assistant vice president for corporate and foundation relations at UMD, accepted the award in Indianapolis on behalf of the university.
“The criteria for the award focuses on three different areas. One being the faculty and staff quality of the talent, the second being building a place based development, and the third is innovation, or pushing entrepreneurship programs for students,” Darmody said. “I guess the judges were impressed enough that we won the top award, the connections award, which shows that the university had talent, place, and innovational entrepreneurship and that we are transforming the university and the city of College Park.”
Darmody chaired a university-wide committee compromised of students, faculty and staff that developed the nomination and pulled together the 30-page application. In the area of talent, UMD submitted a description of their partnership with Northrup Grumman to create the Advanced Cybersecurity Experiences for Students (ACES), a program which helps to train workers to serve in the cyber community. It is also known as the world’s first dormitory for cyber security students that are housed in the honors program.
“Now, we are the only Big Ten school to win the top award,” Darmody said.
Darmody said the city of College Park’s administration has been a great support to the university and the city expressed its enthusiasm when it heard about the university receiving the award.
“The award is well-deserved. The university has really stepped up its communications with our city government, to surrounding municipalities, and to Prince George’s County,” Mayor of College Park Andrew Fellows said. “The University of Maryland clearly understands that the success in making College Park the finest college town in America is a collaborative effort.”
In June, UMD was named to the 2015 class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities by APLU.
“I want to congratulate the students, faculty and staff at the University of Maryland for being recognized by APLU for exemplary programs in innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce and talent development,” said Mike Gill, secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce. “The university’s partnerships with Northrup Grumman in cyber security and the National Science Foundation on lean start-ups, as well as the university’s role in launching the country’s first entrepreneurial dormitory for undergraduates, are all deserving of this recognition. This is a vivid demonstration of Maryland’s leading role in the mid-Atlantic region in technology-led economic development.”
With more than $1 billion dollars in new construction planned on and off campus in the next five years, Greater College Park is in the midst of a major transformation.
Darmody said the city’s renovation, coupled with new entrepreneurship programming, the region’s largest number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math graduates, top ranked research programs, and the university’s management with the state, the region and businesses will only deepen.
“They are strategically linking and leveraging across those three areas in order to have a higher scale of impact for the region,” said James K. Woodell, assistant vice president for Innovation and Technology Policy at APLU. “We are really excited the University of Maryland made such a strong showing this year and we look forward to other institutions doing the same.”