All posts by Emily Kallmyer

Angela Merkel Named Time ‘Person of the Year’

by EMILY KALLMYER

Time Magazine has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the “Person of the Year,” marking the first time in 29 years a woman has received the title, which was called “Man of the Year” up until 1999.

Merkel was selected in large part because of her strong guidance throughout the European debt crises and her role in the ongoing refugee crisis. But some have expressed disapproval over the decision.

Most notably, Donald Trump, a runner-up for the award, shared his view on Thursday on “Fox & Friends”.

“I think they absolutely picked the wrong person,” Trump said.

He disparaged the chancellor, naming her as “the person that’s really done tremendous damage to Germany.” Continue reading Angela Merkel Named Time ‘Person of the Year’

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Why you shouldn’t wait 10 years to think about investing

by EMILY KALLMYER

Our generation is scared of investing. Most of us remember the Great Recession, which led to the loss of 2.6 million American jobs in 2008 alone.

It was the most jobs lost in more than six decades. The stock market had the biggest single-day drop in history. Investors panicked, withdrawing a staggering $151.4 billion from stock market mutual funds.

Those numbers may be hard to comprehend. But they were very real for the people – and families – affected.

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Protestors during the Great Recession in 2008. Source: http://www.brittanica.com

By most measures, it was the worst stock market crash since the Great Depression. So it’s no wonder that our generation is hesitant to invest.

In fact, only 28% of people between the ages of 21 and 36 think that long-term investing is important to success, according to a UBS Investor Watch survey.

Continue reading Why you shouldn’t wait 10 years to think about investing

Street Art on Physics Building Brings UMD a Nasally Surprise

by EMILY KALLMYER

“Guess what it is,” they said.

“I don’t know, a boat?”

They flipped over the massive structure composed of wires, wood and paper mache.

It was a nearly 6-foot-tall nose.

Yes, you read that right. A nose.

And they were planning to hang it on an academic building, they explained.

For three weeks, the artists plotted and strategically organized the nasal exhibition.

And in the early hours of the morning on November 18, while the rest of the campus was asleep, the team of students put it up.

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Source: file footage

The structure was only hung on the physics building for a few hours before it was taken down, but the street art was prominently featured for any passers-by who happened to look up.

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Source: file footage

While the anonymous artists wouldn’t share their exact message, or even if there was a message, they did say that they wanted people to notice the seemingly random art.

They simply hoped the display would be “a delightful oddity for those who look up from their phones and at the world around them,” one contributor said.

If you didn’t get the chance to pass under the enormous nostrils on your way to class (or if you did and didn’t notice), here’s your chance to marvel at the exhibit. Enjoy.

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Source: file footage

 

Hundreds of Thousands to Participate in Global Climate March

by EMILY KALLMYER

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people are marching all over the world to represent a movement for climate justice.

On Nov. 29, the eve of the UN Climate Summit in Paris, groups will gather in major cities across the globe to participate in the People’s Climate March.

The UN conference is expected to be the largest and most crucial global climate summit of this decade. During the two-week meeting, leaders hope to reach a deal on how to prevent global warming.

Despite the recent tragedies in Paris, city officials insisted the attacks would not impact the conference itself, which more than 140 major world leaders are expected to attend.

“What powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children,” President Obama said at a joint White House news conference with French president Francois Hollande.

However, French authorities have banned the portion of the march to take place in Paris, citing concerns stemming from heightened security measures taking place throughout the city.

Environmentalists were preparing for more than 200,000 activists to participate in the Paris march. Some of those participants are preparing to defy the ban, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The organizers of the Paris march have spoken out about the necessity of the ban and urged global participants to march “on behalf of those who can’t”.

In last year’s People’s Climate March, 700,000 people worldwide took to the streets to advocate for swift action in response to climate change. This year, the number of people involved is expected to exceed that number.

In fact, an organized march will take place Sunday afternoon in Prince George’s County.

Organizers expressed a desire to show solidarity with the global movement, while acknowledging the enormous task at hand.

“We have this huge world problem. It’s a metaphysical problem as much as it is a very physical problem, and people don’t necessarily know what activities they can do both small and large to have a measurable impact,” said organizer Kyrke Gaudreau in an interview with the Prince George Citizen.

The participants will march in union with more than 2,400 other marches being conducted this weekend.

“Regardless of what the politicians decide in Paris, this year we, the people, are driving the urgency for action everywhere,” the Global Climate March website states.

You can find the closest event near you here:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/event/globalclimatemarch

UMD Alumnus Receives Medal of Honor

Eight seconds. That’s how long it took for U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg’s life to change forever.

On the morning of Aug. 8, 2012, he led a security detail tasked with escorting 28 American and Afghan personnel to a routine security meeting.

As the group approached their destination on foot, Groberg spotted an individual walking backwards in their direction. The man abruptly turned toward them, prompting Groberg to rush toward him and shove him away.

As he did so, Groberg realized the man had a suicide bomb hidden under his vest. The soldier grabbed him by the vest and continued to push him farther from the formation, with the help of Sgt. Andrew Mahoney.

The bomb detonated, and Groberg blacked out.

Moments later, a second bomb prematurely detonated nearby.

The eight-second attack left Groberg with the loss of about half of his left calf muscle, a mild traumatic head injury and a blown eardrum. Four of his fellow soldiers were killed.

But his actions during those few seconds saved many more lives. And on Thursday, Groberg received the highest military distinction in the United States, the Medal of Honor.

“For all the valor we celebrate and all the courage that inspires us, these actions were demanded amidst some of the most dreadful moments of war,” President Obama said during the White House ceremony. “That’s precisely why we honor heroes like Flo, because on his very worst day, he managed to summon his very best.”

But the blast was only the beginning of his fight. Groberg, a UMD alumnus, underwent 33 surgeries at Walter Reed Hospital during his three-year recovery period.

“A day after Veteran’s Day, we honor this American veteran, whose story, like so many of our vets and wounded warriors, speaks not only of gallantry on the battlefield, but resilience here at home,” Obama said.

A senate spending bill passed Tuesday will bring the Veterans Administration’s budget for medical services up to $51 billion, which will serve to cover care for veterans like Groberg.

The bill passed 93-0, a sign of the bipartisan effort to protect the rights of veterans who risk their lives to protect this country.

Groberg dedicated his award to the four veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“I’m so blessed and honored for the medal, but it doesn’t belong to me,” he told reporters in a news conference on Wednesday. “It belongs to them.”

Groberg will deliver the winter commencement speech at the University of Maryland on Dec. 19.

“Today and every day, we as a nation and as a University must do all we can to support [student veterans’] education and success,” university President Wallace Loh said via an email sent to the university community. “…When our veterans return home, our service begins.”

Groberg is the 10th living recipient of the Medal of Honor earned for actions in Afghanistan and the first from Maryland.

UMD Startup Shell helps student companies grow beyond campus (Video)

by EMILY KALLMYER

Javazen from Emily Kallmyer on Vimeo.

Since 2012, over 60 University of Maryland startups have passed through the Startup Shell. The “coworking space” offers resources and a location for students to turn their ideas into reality.

One of these companies, Javazen, puts a spin on traditional coffee, offering an organic alternative from superfoods to provide more balanced energy. The startup will expand to about 1,000 stores by early next year.

Tamir Rice’s Story Represents The Controversy Behind Airsoft Guns

by EMILY KALLMYER

Airsoft: Fake Guns, Real Issues from Emily Kallmyer on Vimeo.

Airsoft is a growing trend among young people, who are often attracted to the realism of the guns. But while they may be just toys, there have been a number of recent encounters between police and possessors of these fake weapons.

Last November, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed when police mistook his airsoft gun for a real gun.

This week, a grand jury has been evaluating evidence to determine whether the officers involved should be criminally charged.

Cases like these are why police are encouraging airsoft enthusiasts to take extra precautions and play responsibly.

Holocaust survivor speaks to UMD students

by EMILY KALLMYER

Mark Strauss was 11 years old when World War II began for him in Lwow, Poland, now present-day Lviv, Ukraine.

In the first year of the war alone, 85,000 Jews in his town were murdered. The remaining 15,000 Jews – including Strauss and his parents – were forced to relocate to a guarded Jewish ghetto, where Strauss remained until he was eventually smuggled out.

“The way I survived– I was hidden by a Polish Catholic family,” Strauss said. “I was in a little tiny room for a year and a half, incarcerated. Incarcerated.”

The 85-year-old Holocaust survivor spoke to UMD students yesterday at the Ben and Ester Rosenbloom Center for Jewish Life about his experiences during the Nazi occupation of his home country from 1941 to 1945.

Continue reading Holocaust survivor speaks to UMD students

Where your free UMD t-shirt comes from

by EMILY KALLMYER

It’s almost impossible to walk around campus without seeing at least one student sporting a free t-shirt they received at an athletic event.

But the shirts do more than just look good, they often drive student attendance at sporting events. And the distribution of thousands of t-shirts is not an easy feat.

At a typical football game, the athletic department anticipates a turnout of about 10,000 students.

Continue reading Where your free UMD t-shirt comes from

Loh appoints work group to discuss Byrd Stadium name change

by EMILY KALLMYER

On Thursday, University President Wallace Loh announced the formation of the Byrd Stadium Naming Work Group to facilitate a conversation about the football arena’s controversial namesake.

Supporters of the name change argue that Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, former athletic director and university president, aligned himself with racist and segregationist views contrary to university values.

While talks had stirred in the past, the conversation came to a head last spring, when the Student Government Association endorsed a student-led petition for a name change.

Now, almost half a year later, a task force composed of 19 esteemed faculty members and students will meet to discuss both sides of the argument. Continue reading Loh appoints work group to discuss Byrd Stadium name change