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Maryland Commerce Supports Research Professorships at Morgan State University, Washington College

Maryland Department of Commerce
January 21, 2015

The Maryland Department of Commerce, Morgan State University and Washington College have endowed $4 million in two new research professorships. The endowments were made through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative (MEI), a program created in 2014 to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the state’s colleges and universities. The Morgan State chair—the first endowed chair at the university—will focus on cybersecurity while the post at Washington College will create entrepreneurial science programs. The schools raised $1 million in private funding for each chair and Commerce approved two matching grants of $1 million to support the endowments.

“Morgan State University and Washington College are economic drivers for Baltimore City, the Eastern Shore and the entire State of Maryland,” Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said. “The research they conduct and the bright young minds they nurture fuel Maryland’s economy and keep our state on the cutting edge of technology and discovery. We are proud to partner with both institutions and look forward to seeing the fruits of both new professorships for years to come.”

The new chairs are:

Morgan State University
The Endowed Chair in Internet of Things Security

The professor will apply secure embedded systems design research in an Internet of Things testbed to tackle security challenges in smart grid and home automation.

“Maryland is to be commended for setting aside funds to advance cutting-edge research and innovation and we are excited to partner with the state in this effort,” Morgan State President Dr. David Wilson said. “At Morgan, we have a program that we believe shows great promise for higher education’s ability to help the state find solutions to some of our most challenging issues and cyber safety is certainly one of those issues. The Internet of Things, which is the focus of Morgan’s research with this endowed professorship, is the next major frontier on the cybersecurity horizon. It is one of the critical areas that will dominate our future, and Morgan’s research will be right there in the mix of it all.”

Washington College
Andelot Endowment Fund for the Center of Environment and Society

The endowment, which was created with a $1 million gift from Louisa Copeland Duemling, creates a new Chief of Entrepreneurial Science position in the school’s Center for Environment & Society. The position will develop entrepreneurial science programs focused on environmental problem solving and the commercialization of tools for use in the field.

“Louisa Duemling’s foresight and generosity have created a remarkable opportunity for the College,” says President Sheila Bair. “I have no doubt that her gift, and the State’s matching financial support, will result in exciting opportunities for our students to create innovative solutions to a host of environmental and scientific challenges facing our region and our world.”

MEI was created by the General Assembly in the 2014 legislative session and in its first year has provided $8.3 million in funding to leverage $9.2 million in private donations toward nine new professorships. In addition to the pair announced today, those include three posts at the University of Maryland, College Park and two each at University of Maryland Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University. MEI dollars can be used to pay salaries of newly endowed department chairs, staff, and support personnel in designated scientific and technical fields of study; fund related research fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students; and purchase lab equipment and other basic infrastructure and equipment.