Catalyst Magazine

Community Engagement

Community engagement is vital to the health and well-being of every community. At the University of Maryland, Baltimore, we are deeply committed to improving quality of life in West Baltimore and the communities surrounding our campus. Through programming designed to improve health and wellness, advance justice, promote economic development, and strengthen families and communities, our faculty, staff, and students work hand-in-hand with our neighbors to meet community-identified needs.

The UMB Community Engagement Center is where local residents partner with UMB on mutually beneficial goals.

CURE Scholars Program

At the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, students work with CURE Scholars as part of the Planet Smilez Discovering Dentistry Camp.

The nationally recognized UMB CURE Scholars Program is a comprehensive science pipeline initiative that excites students about science and exposes them to careers in health care, cancer research, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In partnership with three West Baltimore public middle schools, the program offers year-round mentorship, STEM programming, tutoring, and hands-on learning opportunities.

Modeled after a National Cancer Institute initiative, Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE), designed to increase workforce diversity in the health sciences, UMB CURE is different from the national CURE program in one important way: UMB’s program engages students early in their academic careers — beginning in sixth grade — and remains with them through middle school, high school, and college to create a truly comprehensive pipeline experience.

In 2022, the first cohort of UMB CURE Scholars graduated from high school. Nineteen scholars collectively applied to 206 colleges and were admitted to 115.

Community Engagement Center

UMB’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) engages hundreds of students, faculty, and staff from all seven UMB schools to provide free vital health, wellness, employment, education, and social services to nearby residents, and it effectively partners with neighbors to create and sustain projects that strengthen community development and invite external investment.

Since the CEC opened in 2015, over 53,000 individuals of all ages have visited the center.

In 2020, UMB completed renovations on a new home for the CEC, a 20,000-square-foot space at 16 S. Poppleton St. The new facility is roughly seven times larger than the original CEC and features a large event space, a dance and movement studio, private clinical rooms, and a robust computer lab. With this renovated space, the CEC is even better equipped to reach and serve more people as we work toward our goal of improving the health and well-being of our neighbors.

ROAR Center

Administered by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School
of Law, the interdisciplinary Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center provides free legal and wraparound services to crime survivors. ROAR was launched in 2019 with funding provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. In 2022, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement awarded ROAR a $1.5 million grant to support violence reduction and expand victims’ services.

Eviction Prevention Project

UMB’s Eviction Prevention Project (EPP) is a collaboration between Maryland Carey Law and the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Created in 2020 in response to the pandemic-driven housing and eviction crisis, EPP provides ongoing legal representation as well as legal advice and counsel and wraparound social services for clients. Grant funding was secured to hire a staff attorney in 2021 and more recently a clinical law instructor to launch a new Eviction Prevention Clinic at the law school for the spring semester.

Clare O’Donnell talks with her client, Maurice Joyner, who is facing eviction after his landlady was placed in a nursing home. During this call, she finds out that the power to his apartment has been turned off.

Erin Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention

The Erin Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention at Maryland Carey Law was established in 2018 thanks to funding from the Erin Levitas Foundation. The initiative uses a restorative justice framework to educate and engage middle school students, their teachers, and their caregivers about sexual harassment and assault prevention. The curriculum uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining the expertise of law and social work students to implement the curriculum in schools.


The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s PATIENTS Program is a bridge between community and research. Using patient-centered outcomes research, the team gives patients a voice in their own care and lets them guide research in a way that ultimately improves that care for others. The program, established with a $5 million grant nearly a decade ago, has successfully grown through longstanding partnerships and additional funding.

The PATIENTS Program is an interdisciplinary research team of community partners and researchers housed at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy who work to change the way we think about research by creating a path for health equity in West Baltimore.
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UMB Staff

CATALYST magazine

Executive Board

Lynne Henry, Laura Kozak, Larry Kushner, Jennifer Litchman, Thomas Sullivan, Kate Ostrowski


Lynne Henry

Managing Editor

Chris Zang

Assistant Editor

Kate Ostrowski

Photography Director

Matthew D’Agostino


Michelle Baffuto

Web Director

Amir Chamsaz

Marketing Manager

Kristi McGuire