Skip to Main Content

Labs@Light City

The lights may burn in the evening, but during the daytime Light City offers the Labs@LightCity, a series of innovation conferences that bring together national and local thought leaders and engaged, inspired citizens from diverse backgrounds to explore cutting edge concepts for sparking social change. Changemakers from Baltimore and across the nation will explore the question: How do we become a more responsible and equitable society?

UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, will deliver remarks at EduLab; Gymama Slaughter, Associate Professor of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, will speak at HealthLab; faculty Lee BootKimberly Moffitt and Chris Swan will participate in discussions; and alumni Greg Cangialosi (’96, English), Maritha Gay (84, Health Science and Policy), and Joseph Jones (’06, Social Work) will be featured in EduLab, HealthLab, and SocialLab.

The University System of Maryland (USM) is the official sponsor of EduLab on Wednesday, April 5.


HealthLab — Monday, April 3

Maritha Gay (’84, Health Science and Policy ), emcee for HealthLab, Executive Director of External Affairs and Community Benefit for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.

As a member of Kaiser Permanente’s executive team, Maritha Gay leads the community benefit initiatives and investments that support the organization’s mission to provide high quality, affordable health care and to improve the health of its communities. Through her work, Ms. Gay focuses on varied ways to address the medical, social and environmental factors that influence good health. She provides oversight to Kaiser’s community benefit programs, including care and coverage for low-income individuals and families, community health and health equity initiatives, knowledge sharing, educational theatre programs, and grant-making to community nonprofit organizations.

Gymama Slaughter, Associate Professor of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering: “The Body As A Battery – Harnessing Its Chemical Energy To Power Wearable And Implantable Sensors That Diagnose And Monitor Diseases”

Gymama Slaughter is the Director of UMBC’s Bioelectronics Laboratory. Slaughter develops and applies sensor-processor platforms, focusing on innovative contributions to identifying a pathway to embed sensing and processing functions in the same device to eliminate bottlenecks arising from communication between the sensor, transducer and processor, thus, resulting in ultra-fast and ultra-low power devices. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation for her diabetes research that focuses on the design and development of self-powered glucose biosensor, especially in relationship to monitoring blood glucose in diabetics.

GreenLab — Tuesday, April 4

Chris Swan, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems: New Thinking: Greening Baltimore at the Grassroots In Conversation With J.J. Reidy, Lisa Schroeder & Evie Schwartz; Moderated by Lynn Heller

Chris Swan is leading the Maryland Green Prisons Initiative, which was launched in partnership with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Baltimore Office of Sustainability and other local collaborators. As part of the program, Swan works with inmates at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore to spruce up and test wildflowers and grasses in eight vacant West Baltimore lots.

EduLab — Wednesday, April 5

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, in conversation with Alec Ross

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President of UMBC  since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011). Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), he also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the “Human Condition.” UMBC has been recognized as a model for inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News, which the past eight years has recognized UMBC as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching.

Lee Boot, director of the Imaging Research Center
Participant in Dear Mr. President: Lightning Round of 10 Big Ideas for Reshaping the Future of America, Framed in a Five Minute Pitch to the President

Lee Boot is an experimental media artist working to develop new and effective ways to use digital media to spread knowledge for prosocial outcomes. As the initiator and Principal Investigator of numerous research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and private foundations, he has assembled widely interdisciplinary teams from the sciences, arts and humanities to explore the potential of an artist’s perspective to address vexing social issues. Recent projects include Euphoria—an award-winning feature-film about the neuroscience and cultural background of happiness in the U.S.; Fieldtrip—an online film blog by and for teenagers thinking through their education issues; SpeakHealth—an online community designed to create cultural discourse around alternative views of health and medicine; and most recently, SeeIntuit—an portable interactive kiosk where visitors learn about and experience their brain and mind as it seeks intuitive insight.

Kimberly R. Moffitt, associate professor of American Studies and affiliate assistant professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. program
Participant in Dear Mr. President: Lightning Round of 10 Big Ideas for Reshaping the Future of America, Framed in a Five Minute Pitch to the President

Kimberly R. Moffitt’s teaching interests include culture, media studies/criticism, Black hair and body politics, sports and media, and popular culture. Dr. Moffitt’s research focuses on mediated representations of marginalized groups as well as the politicized nature of Black hair and the body. She has published three co-edited volumes, including Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair and Body Politics in Africana Communities (Hampton Press, 2010), The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign (SUNY Press, 2010) and The 1980s: A Transitional Decade? (Lexington Books, 2011). She has also published her work in academic journals and several edited volumes.

Greg Cangialosi (’96, English), emcee for EduLab, Chairman & Co-Founder of Betamore, Co-Chair of the Baltimore Angels

Greg Cangialosi is an entrepreneur based in Baltimore. He serves as Chairman & Co-Founder of Betamore, Co-Chair of the Baltimore Angels, and is an active advisor and investor to several companies in the mid-atlantic region. In 2001, Cangialosi started and scaled, with no outside capital, Blue Sky Factory, a leading email marketing service provider, that was acquired by the private equity firm Riverside Company in July of 2011. He serves on the board of the Baltimore Development Corporation and recently completed a two year term on NACIE, (National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship), for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

SocialLab — Thursday, April 6

Joseph T. Jones (’06, Social Work) – Founder & CEO, Center for Urban Families
“New Perspectives On Re-Entry & Recidivism In Conversation With Elizabeth English”

Joseph T. Jones, Jr. is founder of the Center For Urban Families (CFUF), a Baltimore, Maryland nonprofit service organization established to empower low-income families by enhancing both the ability of women and men to contribute to their families as wage earners and of men to fulfill their roles as fathers. Prior to founding CFUF, Mr. Jones developed and directed the Men’s Services program for the federally funded Baltimore Healthy Start initiative and replicated the Baltimore affiliate of the nationally recognized STRIVE employment services program.